9 things you should *never* say to your BFF
You and your BFF are so close, you can say anything to her...or so you thought. But no matter how tight your bestie bond may be, it’s still good to have a filter when it comes to touchy topics. Here’s how to serve up the honest truth in a way that’s helpful—not hurtful.
"You're seriously wearing that?"
The two of you are heading to your school’s Friday night dance—and she shows up in bright blue tights, a red top, and a mustard yellow mini. While you’re tempted to ask if she’s going to a ’70s costume party, rein it in. Chances are she thought long and hard about this ensemble...and you criticizing it or questioning it is just going to make her self-conscious and upset.
SOFTEN THE BLOW: If you truly think the girl needs some guidance in the style department (like she’s wearing something that’s super borderline for your school’s dance dress code), go with a gentler approach. Try, “I’m not really sure that works for tonight. Wanna borrow my pink dress you love? It always looks amazing on you.” If she’s simply opting to rock a look that you find a little far out fashion-wise, zip it. You never know, maybe she’s onto a trend you just haven’t heard about yet.
"What do you even see in that guy?"
Your bestie is head over heels for the school bad boy, and you think she’s way too good for him. Still, it’s best to keep your thoughts to yourself unless you have a legit reason for her to run far, far away. (Think: He cheats, he drinks or he does other illegal stuff.) Simply telling your bud her BF is bad news because you don’t like him will most likely just make her mad—and make you look jealous.
Soften the blow: If you have a sinking feeling about this boy, plus evidence to back it up, tell your friend exactly what you know about him. Don’t toss in any personal opinions—just let her know the facts. Then, once you pass on the info, trust that your girl will do what’s right for her.
“You know you're terrible at [such-and-such thing], right?”
Your pal dreams of being the next Camila Cabello. Only prob? She can carry a tune about as well as a pigeon. So when she tells you she wants to do a solo of “Havana” at your school’s talent show, you have to tell her how heinous she sounds...right?
Soften the blow: We’re betting your bud doesn’t know how bad she is. And you’ve got to give her credit for having ambition. Instead of telling her the tone-deaf truth, say, “Wow, are you sure you want to sing? You’re such a great dancer, I thought we could do an old-school hip-hop routine.” If she’s insistent on grabbing the mic, support her no matter what. Telling her she isn’t good at something will only encourage her to quit something she loves. Don’t burst her bubble—just provide plenty of applause.
"You don't need more friends, you've got me!"
She’s been invited to a party by a friend from an after-school drama class and she’s planning to go...without you. Eep. All you can think about is how she’s replacing you with a much cooler crew.
Soften the blow: Respond with, “Have fun!” And mean it. Then remind yourself that just because she’s hanging out with new friends doesn’t mean she’s going to chuck you to the curb. Even if the two of you are basically attached at the hip, exploring separate interests, branching out and meeting new people will only strengthen your friendship with each other.
"I know I promised, but..."
You pinkie-swore with your pal months ago that you’d head up the class fundraising project together. And you were completely on board…until you came down with the flu and fell way behind in school. So when she schedules the first planning meeting, you have to break it to her that you can’t commit. Or do you?
Soften the blow: You should never get in the habit of breaking promises—especially to your BFF. Instead, you’ve got to do whatever you can to hold up your end of the bargain. Be honest about your situation and give her the option to find another planning partner. And in lieu of totally taking yourself out of the equation, see if you can still participate in a more modified way—like by creating posters and flyers. It may not be much, but it’s better than nothing.
"You're not really going to eat that, are you?"
You’re out for pizza when your bud reaches for her fourth slice of pepperoni and a pile of garlic knots. She’s been complaining about her weight since the start of the year, so you feel obligated to tell her that wolfing down half a pie by herself isn’t the solution.
Soften the blow: Anything to do with weight and body issues are super sensitive topics, even between the best of friends. Instead of highlighting her questionable eating habits in a critical way, suggest adding new, healthier restaurants (like that fun chopped salad place) into your hangout plans. And ask her to join you on bike rides or walks around your neighborhood, too. By subtly adjusting what you do together, she’ll get the kick-start she needs…without you playing the role of food police.
"You'd be so much prettier if only you'd..."
You are all for the no-makeup trend, but your girl’s beautiful baby blues are just crying out for some shadow and mascara. She’s got to let you (and your makeup bag) help her out with a spring update, stat.
Soften the blow: Friend Rule Number 1: Thou shalt love a BFF regardless of her appearance. And even though you want to help, it’s far better to butt out of anything that has to do with her beauty routine. A good rule of thumb: Show instead of tell. Next time she’s over at your house, give her a demo of that amazing new cat-eye you’ve been perfecting. Then ask if she’d like you to swoop one on for her. Maybe she’ll agree to let you experiment with her look...and if not? Well, it’s her face. She can rock makeup (or not) any time or any way she wants.
"Can't hang out tonight. I have plans with [insert new bae's name here]!"
You just hit it off with the super cool, insanely sweet new guy in town. And, of course, you want to spend every second with him—so your bestie will understand when you cancel your standing mani and matinee date to go on a hike with him, won’t she? Actually, no, not necessarily. Bailing on your bud is a definite no-no. And even a text or a last-minute call to let her know you can’t go just won’t do. She’ll feel slighted, for sure, and may interpret your actions as you saying, “My new relationship is way more important to me than you are.” Ouch.
Soften the blow: Call her as soon as you sense that plans are changing. Tell her you’re sorry and you hope she understands, then make sure to let her know straight-up that this doesn’t mean you love her less. Moving forward, try to include her in some group plans (not a romantic date—no one wants to be the third wheel). Just like you’d never want to take a back seat in your relationship, you should always make her feel like numero uno in your world—even if she has to share that spot with your new sweetie.
"OMG, you'll neve believe this, but your BFF just hit on me!"
Telling your friend her fella may have eyes for other girls is one thing. Blurting to your bestie that her one-and-only is hitting on you could send her into a spiral of heartache.
Soften the blow: Centering the attention on his actions will come across as, well, insensitive. In this sticky sitch, it’s best to be totally honest with her. Take her to a place where the two of you can chat quietly about her BF’s shady behavior. Reiterate that you are only telling her this because you don’t want her hung up on a guy who can’t return the love (or is a total creeper). And, obviously, tell her that you flat-out told him to buzz off…because #girlcode, right?
A version of this story appeared in the April/May 2018 version on Girls' Life magazine.