Is the term “best friend” considered “exclusive” in today’s society?


For as long as I can remember, I have used the term “best friend” to describe anyone of significant importance in my life. I have used the term when describing my sisters, Ellie and Clare. I have used the term to describe teachers who have made an impact on my life. And I have also used the term to describe some of my closest pals, from school or dance.

But a few mornings ago, I heard the term “best friend” used in a negative way. I was listening to the radio and the topic of conversation was that using the term “best friend” is considered exclusive. And apparently, in schools across the U.S., the term “best friend” is being banned for being a form of bullying.

When I heard this, I was confused. Like I said, I have been using the word “best friend” for as long as I can remember. The dictionary definition of a “best friend” is “one’s closest and dearest friend.” I think that that definition is a very accurate depiction of the word. Thinking about my best friends, I would describe them as one of my closest and dearest friends. Thanks to my best friends I know what it feels like to be completely happy. Thanks to my best friends I know how to laugh so hard that my stomach hurts. And thanks to my best friends, I know who I am. They have helped me in ways that I can’t even begin to put into words.

For the people who know me, they probably know that two of my best friends are Tess Bond and Rachael Yoder. These two people are one of the many reasons that my days go well. Whether I see them in the hallway, or I’m laughing at Rachael’s dramatic tendencies, or smiling because of Tess’s undeniable compassion, I know that I can always count on my best friends. But in addition to them, I have so many other people who I consider my best friends. I have Jayla Williams who knows exactly what to say at the exact right time. I have Hannah Kos who is always willing to give me a warm hug. I have Anna Hansen who no matter how long we spend away from each other, I know will always be there for me. I have all of these people, some not even mentioned, who I would label as my best friends. Without them in my life, I honestly don’t know where I would be. They are my best friends, and I think that without the term “best friend,” they wouldn’t be regarded as important to me as they are.

Hearing the word “best friend” with a negative connotation is something that I don’t want to have to experience. While listening to the radio, they were talking about how students in younger grades have a hard time making friends because others are already “best friends.” Instead of having the label of “best friend,” this radio show suggested that everyone should be friends. There should be no labels, and everyone should be friends with everyone.

As much as that sounds perfect and ideal, I think it’s completely unachievable. Wherever you may go, there will be cliques. It’s unavoidable. The problem with today’s society is not that we use “best friend” too much. If anything, best friends solve the problems of today’s society.  

The term “best friend” should not be used in a negative sense. To the adults who say that the term “best friend” is exclusive, I would have to disagree. Best friends are not meant to be exclusive; they are meant to bring joy and happiness. They are meant to help in tough situations. When we think back to our high school years, the memories that we will remember are the ones with our closest friends next to us and by our side. And although exclusiveness is a prominent issue today, it doesn’t originate with the term “best friend.”