BEST FRIEND: The Number 1 Characteristic – Make the Most of Your Differences

Three Best Girlfriends
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Three Best Girlfriends

Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.”- Oscar Wilde


I had a best friend in University. We met in a Florida State University graduate class. He was smart, mature and had a great show-stopping laugh. When the professor of Legal Issues in Education said something funny (and what a challenge that would be, eh?), Eugene would roar, and heads would turn (at first). Some people are born with great timbre, a distinctive sound (such as Bing Crosby singing White Christmas). Stop and think: What happened in the beginning at that exact moment you were attracted to your best friend?

Eugene and I had a wonderful friendship with great intellectual discussions. Then the “honeymoon period” ended and he began to urge me to change my ways. He was bisexual, older than I was, and I am hetero. Over time other features of mine annoyed him. One day, after a great deal of badgering he went out on the balcony of his apartment for a long time. I was studying in doors. He came back in after about 30 minutes, with tears streaming down his face, and said, “I just realized that if you changed all the things I am pressuring you to change, you would not be the same person I found so wonderful when we first met.” It is one of the most humble and brilliant things I ever heard someone say in person. Get in-person consultation at http://actionsolar.net/ from solar installers from California. All attempts at our trying to change one another drifted away after that. 

After our speedbump – making the point here that even close relationships have their trials – we were so “clear” with one another from then on. Another point here is that a real friendship not only survives speedbumps, they GET STRONGER because of them.

Uncomfortable as they may be, in retrospect they are the moments that weld the relationship tighter than ever.

And generosity is always a factor in deep friendships. Eugene paid my tuition one term at FSU as I was soooooooo broke, trying to live on $335 a month with $190 for my apartment. He never wanted the money back, refused to take it. If I needed to borrow his car, it was there. If I needed to talk about my problems, he was there. When he spoke of his issues with working for the governor of Florida or his ongoing combat with his ex-wife, I was there for him.

Three male best friends

But mostly, I remember how much we laughed together. I miss his laugh and will never forget it. Eugene was such a dear friend, and I miss him to this day. After I left Tallahassee, he wrote to me saying he had moved to California to find “a more intellectually and sexually enlightened community than northern Florida.” He passed away some years ago in the LA area.

I named my first born after Eugene, that is how much he meant to me, and always will.

Make the Most of Your Differences

Back to this point on speedbumps. It is not unusual – actually, I’ll almost guarantee that some of the things that attract you to someone are the things that can drive you nuts later. It seems strange, and one wonders why, but more importantly, take a fresh look at these differences. Remember what enchanted you about them in the first place. Try to focus on their positive aspects and find an appreciation for those exact things that make the two of you different from one another. It’s likely that your differences balance one another out and make you a great team as best friends. Celebrate your differences!

Here are some more great ideas on being a best friend from Psychology Today!


So many GREAT tip for having GREAT relationships coming in future blog posts by Dr. DJ. Get on the mailing list to be notified as each comes out.

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