Even if you’re lucky enough to have a really solid social circle in your twenties, there are bound to be times when you’ll have to have tough conversations with your best friend, and it’s understandable why you might fear those dreaded moments. The good news is, you can say tough love things to your bestie without hurting her feelings or ruining the friendship, as long as you’re thoughtful about the way you have tough conversations with your pal.
Unfortunately, the age-old expression “you’ve gotta be cruel to be kind” can sometimes apply to our closest friends, and even though it may hurt, there are times where tough love is the best love, especially since you’ve got your pal’s best interests at heart.
In other words, you gotta keep things very real with your BFFs sometimes, because that’s a big part of why you’re in each other’s lives.
These are the tough love convos every pair of BFFs should have before they hit their thirties.
1Their partner isn’t treating them fairly.
Oof, this one is tough because it’s such a delicate situation. After all, you’re merely an outsider to your bestie’s relationship, but it’s awful to sit back and watch your BFF stay in a relationship that’s anything less than loving and healthy. Whether she’s married, seriously dating, or just casually texting with someone, she needs to know when her partner isn’t treating her the way she deserves to be treated.
2She deserves better.
If your partner is being under-appreciated in an area besides her relationship, you’ve got to speak up. Maybe your BFF is settling in her career or letting other people in her life take advantage of her. Either way, if she’s settling for anything less than the best in any aspect of her life, she deserves better, and she needs to know it.
3She doesn’t seem happy.
People often go through the grind of day-to-day life forgetting to remain in touch with their emotions and do things that actually make them happy. And our twenties are filled with so much growth and change that it’s hard to find time to regularly check in with ourselves. If your BFF seems unhappy or even depressed at work, at home, or in some other area, she may need a gentle nudge to know that her feelings are valid and that it’s OK to make some changes to be happier.
4The friendship feels one-sided.
If it feels like you’re the only one in the friendship making an effort, it’s time to have a talk with your pal. Sure, everyone gets busy, especially in our twenties with job changes and big life events like moving and potentially getting married and having kids, but all friendships require a base level of effort from both parties. Friendships are a two-way street, and if you’re the only one that ever reaches out to make plans or ask how she’s doing, you need to tell her how it makes you feel.
5You feel like you two are growing apart.
Our twenties mark the first decade of adulthood, which brings about plenty of exciting (and often scary!) changes. We do a lot of growing up, which can unfortunately mean that we have less and less in common with our BFFs. If you used to be able to talk to each other four hours on end and now can barely find a common ground — maybe you’re getting married, buying a house, and having children and she’s still spending all night at the club before heading to work late the next day — it can simply mean you may be growing apart.
6Things are different than they were when you met.
If you met your BFF in college or are practically lifelong friends from childhood, there’s no doubt that by your twenties, you’ve experienced a ton of changes in your lives. The fact of the matter is that a person is rarely the same at 20 as they are at 30, and there’s nothing wrong with growing into different people. It just may mean that your friendship changes, too…something crucial to address before things become irreparable.
7When she really needs to hear how much you love her.
Sometimes, those three little words are actually the hardest ones to say. We assume our BFF knows we love her, or we’re not great at showing our emotions in such an open and honest way. Either way, you’ve gotta remind her of how much you care for her and how much she means to you, which can actually be the hardest conversation of all.