When you’re really down and looking for some wise words, you turn to your friends. But who do you turn to when you’re looking for insight on your friendships?
That’s when our fictional best friends come to the rescue. Whether you’re going through a fight with your bestie, or just making a new friend and excited about it, these quotes from our favorite work’s of fiction perfectly capture what friendship is all about.
1. “There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” ― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen was one of the first authors to acknowledge that all good romance is bred on friendship, so it makes sense that she describes friendship just as passionately. Your best friends are those who you love wholeheartedly — and who return your love just as fully.
2. “Things that matter are not easy. Feelings of happiness are easy. Happiness is not. Flirting is easy. Love is not. Saying you’re friends is easy. Being friends is not.” — Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by David Leviathan
In a world full of Facebook friendships, the distinction between being real friends and just maintaining the facade of friendship is increasingly important — and sometimes difficult to distinguish. Your real friends are the ones who energize and support you — not leave you feeling drained.
3. “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .'” — The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
When you’re besties with someone, it’s more than likely you’ll end up completing each others sentences. But the best part is sharing one of your innermost secrets (or just confessing to a weird behavior), and not only not being judged — but finding out they do it too.
4. “One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.” ― Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
This is a lesson you learn as you get older, that will save you so much pain. Another lesson you’ll learn after reading this book? Mindy Kaling would be the best friend ever.
5. “The person you can call at 2 a.m. and, no matter what, you can count on them. Even if they’re asleep or it’s cold or you need to be bailed out of jail… they’ll come for you. It’s like, the highest level of friendship.” — What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is the queen of crafting fictional romances that make me stay up all night reading, but she gets friendship too. And nothing is more accurate than this definition of a true friend — someone who will always be there for you, whenever, wherever.
6. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Sometimes the most important part of being a friend is the hardest: telling a friend when they’re wrong. And no one showed that better than Neville Longbottom.
7. “Friendship — my definition — is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don’t have trust, the friendship will crumble.” ― The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Why is telling the honest truth to your friends so important? Respect and trust. You need to trust your friends to tell you the truth, and you need to respect your friends enough to be honest with them.
8. “It’s all very well to tell us to forgive our enemies; our enemies can never hurt us very much. But oh, what about forgiving our friends?” ― My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather
Unfortunately, we’re not always honest enough with our friends — or we’re a little too harsh in our honesty. And as Cather writes, forgiving a friend can be much harder than forgiving an enemy — because it feels even worse when they hurt us. Luckily, with trust and respect, any good friendship can be repaired.
9. “‘I wonder what Piglet is doing,’ thought Pooh. ‘I wish I were there to be doing it, too.'” — Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
You can always count on Winnie the Pooh to put it the simplest, and the best: friends are the people who you want to be around. When you’re doing something exciting, you wish they were there too. And there’s nothing more magical than when they are.