HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND

Busy Philipps re­veals her tips for a suc­cess­ful friend­ship

Red - - Contents - This Will Only Hurt A Lit­tle by Busy Philipps (Sphere) is out 18th Oc­to­ber

About a year and a half ago I be­gan to no­tice that peo­ple had started ask­ing the same ques­tions when I would give an in­ter­view or ap­pear on a red car­pet, ‘Tell us how you main­tain such a close friend­ship in Hol­ly­wood? You are #BF­F­GOALS! What’s the se­cret?!’ They were mostly re­fer­ring to my some­what (okay, very) pub­lic best friend­ship with ac­tress Michelle Williams, who I met while film­ing Daw­son’s Creek when we were 21 years old. I un­der­stand some of the fas­ci­na­tion, es­pe­cially with our friend­ship in par­tic­u­lar. Michelle is known as be­ing a very se­ri­ous ac­tor and has been nom­i­nated for mul­ti­ple Academy Awards, her pub­lic per­sona is very quiet, thought­ful and pri­vate.

And here I am, this loud, brassy ac­tress known mostly for roles in TV come­dies and now for shar­ing ev­ery­thing in my life on In­sta­gram. But the truth is, M and I have more in com­mon than not. And like any re­la­tion­ship, the best ones are the ones where you’re just dif­fer­ent enough in order to pull the best out of one an­other. The ques­tion has al­ways irked me a bit (not just be­cause I find hash­tag any­thing an­noy­ing) and con­tin­ues to do so, by the way, be­cause there’s no sign of reporters ceas­ing to ask it. What’s so dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to un­der­stand about two women hav­ing a long-stand­ing close re­la­tion­ship? Why is it the sub­ject of so many ques­tions? Is it sim­ply as su­per­fi­cial as peo­ple’s idea that ev­ery­thing in Hol­ly­wood is fake, there­fore two ac­tresses couldn’t pos­si­bly be real friends? Maybe. But that in­ter­pre­ta­tion al­ways feels a bit sex­ist to me when I’m asked to an­swer for my abil­ity to be a friend. Like two woman can’t pos­si­bly work in the same in­dus­try and be real friends. The un­der­ly­ing im­pli­ca­tion al­ways feels like our cul­ture (via reporters for on­line gos­sip pub­li­ca­tions) is send­ing the mes­sage that it’s im­pos­si­ble for two women work­ing in the same in­dus­try to main­tain a long friend­ship be­cause, you know, jeal­ousy, cat fights, com­pe­ti­tion, blah blah blah. It bores me to death.

Michelle is cer­tainly my most fa­mous BFF, but she’s not my only one. One of my BFFS, Emily BB, and I have been best friends since we were five. An­other has been a close friend since high school. I have a few girl friends that I’ve be­come BFFS with in the last five years, but I know we’re friended for life. Hav­ing long-stand­ing best friend­ships with women has never been some­thing I’ve strug­gled with, but maybe it is some­thing other women strug­gle with. So, if you’re some­one who’s like, ‘I don’t get how peo­ple have best friends for longer than a few years, what’s the se­cret?’ Keep read­ing. There are some ob­vi­ous tips, like text and call back in a timely man­ner, send songs or al­bums you think your BFF would like, re­spond to their so­cial me­dia if that’s some­thing that’s im­por­tant to them (I have one friend who, quite lit­er­ally, keeps track of likes. No joke). But here are my three top tips for main­tain­ing a long-last­ing best friend­ship:

NUM­BER ONE No one is per­fect. You and your long-term friends will in­evitably go through many phases to­gether. Some­times those phases aren’t the best ones. Such as if your friend has had a par­tic­u­larly bad break-up and she only wants to talk about that and isn’t ask­ing you any ques­tions about what’s go­ing on with you or your life. You might start to feel like say­ing to her, ‘Ugh. I can’t hang out with you any more and hear about Jeremy’s new girl­friend and what it means that she watched your In­sta­gram Sto­ries last night!’ Or maybe your friend gets su­per into In­sane Clown Posse or tries a new in­tense ‘fashun lewk’. Lis­ten! Your job as a friend is to not judge and just be there for your friend un­til the phase passes, in a bud­dha-es­que way. You can, of course, give your­self some self-care and get some space if you need to, but make sure your friend knows you’re still there when­ever she needs you, be­cause phases do pass. Some­times it takes a long time. Look, Emily BB and I were barely friends for three years in high school when I de­cided I was a raver, but even­tu­ally I came out on the other side of that hor­ri­ble trend and Emily BB was still there – my BFF since I was five.

NUM­BER TWO You aren’t per­fect, ei­ther. You will fuck up and be a bad friend. When you do, you have to im­me­di­ately ad­mit your wrong­do­ing and apol­o­gise. Now is not the time to bring up the fact that you were there for her In­sane Clown Posse phase that you were there for. Now is the time where you say, ‘I’m so sorry. I know I hurt your feel­ings and

I was in­con­sid­er­ate. I love you and hurt­ing you is the last thing I want to do. I hope you’ll let me buy you a Soul-cy­cle class and that you’ll for­give me.’

NUM­BER THREE As life goes on and you be­come cra­zier with your jobs, sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers (then hus­bands or wives) and chil­dren and life, make sure you carve out spe­cial time for your friends. And not just a generic ‘girls’ night’ with a bunch of ladies where you drink too much pinot. While those are amaz­ing, that’s not what I’m talk­ing about. I mean spe­cific ac­tiv­i­ties where you con­nect with your friend one on one, es­pe­cially as peo­ple move to dif­fer­ent cities and you maybe only get a chance to see each other once or twice a year.

I do dif­fer­ent things with dif­fer­ent BFFS. Michelle and I like to do mu­seum or spa days to­gether. Emily BB and I go to Coachella to­gether ev­ery year. My BFF Chris­tine and I va­ca­tion with our fam­i­lies in the sum­mer. My BFF Sarah and I work out to­gether. My BFF Irene and I drink tequila to­gether. And

I feel re­ally con­nected to all of them.

So, there – that’s my ad­vice and a few of the things that have helped me be­come the best BFF I can be.

It’s kind of like a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship – you just have to find your­self a girl you love and make it work. There’s no real se­cret. It’s just love and com­pas­sion and un­der­stand­ing and fun. You too can be #BF­F­GOALS.

‘MAKE SURE YOU CARVE OUT TIME FOR YOUR FRIENDS’

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