1. They never tire of listening to you talk about what it means when your love interests texts you back after a 45 minute silence. Or, when they do, they help you realize you have better things to do with your time and energy than perseverate. They are on your team, they don’t make you feel needy or crazy.
2. They answer your phone calls. A lot of people screen and wait for a voicemail or text message to see if it’s worth picking up your call (or avoid it if say, your car got towed and you need an emergency ride in the middle of the day), but a great friend answers the phone, they are there for you.
3. You can brag about the promotion you got without feeling like an asshole. You know your best friend is genuinely ecstatic for you and so you can be happy for yourself and not worry about coming off as conceited, they know you aren’t.
4. They don’t act one way with you and another way with their significant other or other groups of friends. They know who they are, and they are confident enough in that to not have to put on an act around people.
5. You can ugly-cry in front of them. No judgement.
6. You can tell them the bad things you do — the time you’ve had lapses in judgement and done something shitty. They won’t judge you, they know one act doesn’t dismantle all the good things you’ve done. And they’ll help you figure out what motivated you to do something you regret, and how you can avoid it in the future.
7. You can ask them extremely personal questions about their grooming habits or sex life in order to figure out how “normal” you are, and they’ll offer up the details without hesitation. You trust each other.
8. You don’t have to ask for permission to take a swig of their drink, to take your pants off when you’re veging at their place, or to use their phone when yours is dead.
9. They bring you a Gatorade when you’re hungover, or, better yet, bring one over the night you go out together so it’s chilling in your fridge when you wake up. That’s A+ best friend thoughtfulness.
10. You think they might actually give you a kidney, if you needed one.
11. When someone says something about them that seems sketchy you can, with confidence, say “no.” You know they’d never do anything behind your back with complete authority.
12. They would never, ever, let your birthday pass without making a big deal out of it. Even if you offer up a humble “I don’t really feel like making a big deal about it this year,” you know they’ll do something to make you feel special.
13. They don’t bitch viciously about others. It’s one thing to vent, but if they are intentionally mean about people most of the time, they probably aren’t that great of a friend.
14. When you want their opinion they find a way to express it that is both honest and respectful. They aren’t a yes man, but they aren’t rude under the guise of “I’m just being honest” either. They know how to strike the perfect balance between telling you what you need to know, and not hurting your feelings.
15. They always have your back. Always. I always think of the scene in Sex and the City where Samantha got upset at her doctor for implying she got breast cancer as a karmic punishment for never having children. Sure, maybe her fresh-from-finding-out-she-had-cancer emotions were a little oversensitive, but her BFF Carrie apologized for her instead of having her back. A high-quality best friend doesn’t do that. If you’re genuinely in the wrong, they will explain it to you later, but they won’t throw you under the bus in the heat of the moment.
16. They know secret ways to make you feel better — and they use them. They don’t have to stop their entire life and devote it to you when you get dumped, but they check in. They show up with a bottle of tequila and both Anchorman movies. They make sure you have a shoulder to cry on and if you don’t feel like crying, you at least have something to laugh about.
17. You don’t have to put on a show for them. They know you inside and out, and they love you for it. They make you feel loved.