Pushing Your Friend’s Buttons is a Sign of True Friendship

Are you really friends with someone if you don’t do the exact things they don’t want you to do from time to time? As a true friend, it’s your sworn duty to get under your friend's skin!

We’re polite to strangers and nice to acquaintances. Why is there such a stark difference between how we treat our friends and how we treat others? We are generous with the people we don’t know well but sometimes veer on the side of mean to our friends. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

You and your friends just “get” each other. You know your friend’s favorite everything. You understand your friend’s sense of humor to an uncanny degree. And humor is a big reason behind why we tease our friends: we do it for a laugh. Friendship allows a deeper understanding for a wide range of humor without fear of misinterpretation. You don’t have to worry about offending your friends because you already know that at the end of the day, they’ll think it’s funny too. 

To tease and jest in good nature, you must first know the person. It takes time to build the level of trust in a relationship that allows room for playful prodding and that trust shouldn’t be taken for granted or abused. It’s an honor to know someone well enough that you can easily poke their buttons. This intimate familiarity is what sets true friendship apart from casual acquaintances. 

We’ve all been there: that moment when you’ve made a joke or poked fun at someone that you don’t know quite well enough and immediately regretted it. Later the entire conversation keeps you up at night because you hope they didn’t take what you said the wrong way. You can’t decide if you should apologize or find a rock to hide under. That’s why an honest relationship with a close friend is so refreshing—you avoid most of those “should I have said that” situations and, if it does get awkward, it’s usually nothing another laugh can’t smooth over.