Would You Be Your Best Friend?

If you met yourself, would you want to be your BFF?

I think about this a lot. I heard somewhere that the usual answer is no–that we often don’t like people who are too much like us. Which I can imagine might be true. If we want to be the expert on something, maybe it’s annoying when someone else comes along with her know-it-all knowledge. Or maybe all the things we find frustrating about ourselves are uber-turn offs when it comes to someone else.

The other night I was at the library with my little brother reading a book from the kids series Judy Moody. In the book, Judy meets a girl who’s a bizarro version of her. Amy Namey’s name rhymes, so does Judy Moody’s. Amy idolizes Nelly Bly, “woman reporter,” while Judy’s hero is Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor. They both have funny speech ticks.

You get the point.

At first Judy can’t stand Amy. She finds her little quirks obnoxious, until her friends point out that Amy and Judy might as well be twins. Judy’s horrified by the fact that there’s another her walking around, when she thought she was special. Soon, though, she talks to Amy–who invites her into the My-Name-Is-A-Poem club–and Judy decides they should be BFFs.

Then Chapter 2 ends.

At this point, my little bro got bored so I don’t know what happened next. But the set up got me thinking.

That same night I was watching the season premiere of Glee, and a similar theme popped up. Rachel and Kurt show up to a mixer for a New York dramatic arts school, and meet a room full of people who might as well be them. They’re not thrilled.

I’d like to think that if I met the bizarro me I’d want to be friends with her. After all, I like myself, right? I think I’m a pretty decent friend. And when I meet women with whom I share similarities, I go ahead and claim them as my BFF like it’s nothing. (Well, claim is a strong word. They’re not baggage.) But I can totally see how it might not go that way. We like being individuals, right? We want friends who complement us, not who are us.

I’m not entirely sure why I think about this as often as I do. But I think it matters when it comes to looking for pals. Do you look for a BFF who seems to share your brain? Or for someone totally different than you? Or both?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Would You Be Your Best Friend?

  1. Megan

    I’m pretty sure I would drive myself nuts! I definitely need people who are opposite of me in my life, as the people I have met that are like me…well, we can’t really be in the same room for more than five minutes before it gets dangerous. There’s a reason they say opposites attract! ;-)

  2. Mia

    It’s like when Ross met Russ. He couldn’t stand him and it was (literally!) the exact same person. I, however, am awesome! I would totally be friends with myself, but don’t think that Bizarro Me, would be the end-all, be-all of friends. Kinda like real life….different friends for different reasons.

  3. Morgan

    I think people are drawn to people who complement them in some way. They share enough interests or attributes that they relate to each other, but there are enough differences to challenge each other. You support each other with your different strengths. Someone who is exactly like you won’t challenge or complement you at all, and so you’re more likely to butt against each other.

  4. I’d like to think that there is no one quite like me and that I would appreciate finding someone – at least for the beginning while – that wanted to do some of the same things that I want to do. It’s hard for your interests to have changed and not your friend’s interests (for instance, my love of hockey really took off when I went to school and now I have no local friends to go to games with…and it can get old going with your mom all the time when you might want to go out occasionally afterwards).
    But I can also imagine how things might not work out well – what with me being SO indecisive.
    But I’d like to think that if I met someone that was very similar to me, we’d hit it off pretty well and things would go at least okay…so maybe we’d at least be friends with bff potential (but maybe we’d never quite reach that bff status).

  5. Cheryl

    Interesting question – I approached it from a different way, based on your title, and that was whether I would be friends with someone who behaved the way I did. Your other posts about how we act versus how we feel about the people in our lives – whether we “flake out” or show up, how we express ourselves, etc. – had me thinking that maybe I wouldn’t be my own BFF!!

    If it is just a question of whether, if I met someone who was similar enough to me that others would see us as twins separated at birth, I think it might be fun to find out. Most of my friends are people who are pretty different from me in many ways, but we are or aren’t close depending on whether we value the same things.

    I have “work-friends” with whom I am not at all close who don’t share my personal values, but we can talk about politics or gossip about whatever topic is on the table relatively easily, have a good time, and go separate ways. Those people that I am closest to, though? Most of the time, we agree on the same things that are important, but we’ll agree to disagree on the less important stuff, and we honor each other’s feelings, no matter what the circumstances.

  6. I think it’s a mix for me, I like being around people who are somewhat similar to me, but I like them to also have some differences. I learn a lot from friending all sorts of people, and I think that’s really cool. I’ve learned about professional belly dancing from one, good looking professors from another, various countries and cultural practices from others, etc. I think we have some of the same values and morals, but have some different interests and experiences as well.

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