Mindy Lahiri (played by Mindy Kaling on The Mindy Project) says this on an early episode (season 1, episode 13). She’s talking to Danny, clearly ignorant of female social practices, and she mentions a best friend from college is coming to town, and Danny says, “I thought Gwen was your best friend from college.” And Mindy replies, with slight disgust, “Best friend is a tier, Danny, not a person!”
I’m lucky to have a lot of people in my life that I consider to be close friends, but I hesitate to ever use the term “best friend” except I might say “one of my best friends.” So I LOVE this quote because it’s freeing! You can be my best friend, and YOU can be my best friend, AND YOU can be my best friend too!
Have I told you that I have jealousy problems? I do. I get jealous. I find myself believing that if someone else has something, that means I can’t have it. So if we extend this to friendship (which I unfortunately sometimes do), it means that if a best friend spends time with friend other than me, that means I can’t be best friends with them.
This is dumb. I realize this.
It’s kind of like saying “I can’t eat pizza because this other person is eating the pizza and so there will never be enough pizza for them AND for me.”
But you guys, there is always enough pizza.
And truthfully, while I have many friends, many people in my best friend “tier” I don’t want to spend all my time with any one of them, not because they’re not awesome and I don’t love them, but because one of my friends doesn’t really like shopping, but another one does, and I sometimes need a shopping friend, and sometimes I need a friend who tells me not to go shopping.
Among other things.
But how terrible of me to assume that because a best friend decides to spend time with another best friend and not me…. That this means they don’t like me.
And so now when I find myself having those jealous moments, those moments when I think “they want to hang out with that person so that means they don’t want to spend time with me!” I just remember what Mindy says…
Best friend is a tier. Not a person.