How to Write a Heartfelt Thank You Letter to a Best Friend

Updated

You may have dozens of followers on Twitter and hundreds of friends on Facebook, but how many of those people do you consider real friends?

Jump ahead to these sections:

Out of that shorter list, how many people do you merely tolerate because you have a long history, shared proximity, or similar interests? Narrow down that list again, and who do you have left? You have your best friends.

Since life is short and unpredictable, let’s tell our best friends how important they are in our lives. Here are some hints to help you write a heartfelt thank you note to those special people in your life. 

Step 1: Make a List of Your Friends

If you are truly blessed, you may have several people who you consider to be great friends. 

Think back to your childhood and teen years. Are you in contact with any of your grade school or high school friends? Even if it has been months or years since you have physically been in their presence, would you be able to comfortably resume a relationship with them if you saw them now?

Perhaps you had supportive friends in college. Maybe they were your first roommates when you went out on your own. 

Do you have work colleagues who are as close as members of your family? While work circumstances may have changed, you still may consider many of your former coworkers friends. 

What about your past and present neighbors? The people who worship with you? The parents of your kids’ friends, or your hairdresser?

Look at your list. It’s longer than you thought it would be, isn’t it? 

ยป MORE: Instead of ashes, create a beautiful stone. Parting Stone helps you keep your loved ones close.

 

Step 2: Determine What Makes Each Friend Special

How would you feel if a friend tagged you (and a dozen other people) to a friendship poem on Facebook? You may “like” the post and comment with a kissy-face emoji, but you would probably forget about it in a week or two.

Imagine if that same friend took the time to write you a letter to thank you for your friendship. What if he or she took the time to list your virtues? What if the text of the message included specific ways that you had helped or supported your friend? If you are like most people, you will keep that letter forever. You would tuck it away in a special box and re-read it periodically when you needed encouragement. 

The key to writing — whether you are drafting the text of a eulogy or writing a thank you note to your best friend — is to use specific examples rather than vague descriptive words. Instead of merely signing a quick note “with gratitude,” tell your friend what you specifically appreciate about the friendship.

Each person in your life gives you something different (though some friends can fulfill all of the following needs): 

  • You may have one friend who is a “doer” and is always looking for ways he or she can help in a situation. She brings you bottled water at your mom’s wake or volunteers to pick your kids up from school when you’re swamped at work.
  • Another friend may be a calming influence. You turn to this person when you feel overwhelmed and stressed. He or she helps you put your problems in perspective so you can see the big picture. 
  • You may have fun friends as well. They’re the ones you call when you need a laugh or who are always ready to meet for a beer.

Step 3: Organize Your Thoughts

As you write each letter, think about the general format you want each note to take. Maybe you want to thank a friend for a few specific actions or you have a laundry list of characteristics you would like to highlight. Regardless, group each thing that you would like to say into categories and order those categories from the least to greatest importance.

Organizing your thoughts can be tricky when you have a blank sheet of paper and a pen in front of you. For that reason, you may consider composing the letter on your computer. That way, you can quickly move paragraphs (and do a quick grammar check) before writing your final copy.

Step 4. Handwrite the Letter

Your friend’s texts will eventually disappear or get lost in the never-ending scroll. Emails get lost in a massive inbox. But many people keep handwritten notes forever.

Handwritten notes are rarer and more special. Don’t worry about the quality of your handwriting. It’s only important that the recipient is able to read it.

Step 5: End and Sign Your Letter

As you complete the text of your letter, you may consider ending with an emotionally impactful statement. For example, don’t finish the letter thanking your friend for picking up orange juice for you when you were sick. End the note with, “I value your friendship more than you can even imagine,” or “I love you!”

As you sign your note, consider alternatives to the word “sincerely.” This term is still fine to use in a business setting but it may be a little too formal for this purpose.

Thank You Letter to Best Friend Examples

Ikea knows that showing pictures of the assembly process is more helpful than just providing a list of written steps. Ikea’s our inspiration — here are some samples of text you could use in your thank you note to your best friend. 

For supporting you through a tragedy, sickness, or death

“How can I ever thank you enough for being such a good friend to me over the last six months? You came without asking, provided when you thought I might be in need, and acted as my emotional crutch more times than I can count.

My life took a horrible turn four months ago with my sister’s diagnosis, but during that time, you have been an incredible friend. It was nice being able to spend time with my sister at the hospital, knowing that you were there to pick up the kids from school and get them a snack.

I also appreciate the times when you fed them and helped them with their homework. I honestly don’t know how I would have survived without you. You have been such a blessing and I love and value our friendship.”

For just being there

“You saw my depression for what it was. I don’t know where I would be today if you hadn’t forced me to get the medical help that I needed. Thank you for being there for me when I needed it.

“I know I haven’t been a great friend to you in the last few months. I’m sorry I allowed my own sorrows to supersede your troubles. Thank you for being patient with me as I sorted out my issues. I feel as if I owe you for the hours of therapy you provided.”

For supporting you through a tragedy

“I thought you were simply a good friend, but when I saw you working tirelessly to help clean up after the flood, I realized you were a great friend. Thank you for working so hard when I needed help. I am eternally grateful.

“You were such a good friend to me when I was freaking out about the COVID-19 virus. Thank you for dropping off bags of groceries, picking up my prescriptions, and checking on my mom when I was unable to leave the house. I can’t wait until we are able to hang out again.”

Final Thoughts

Look back over your note. Have you followed the necessary thank you note etiquette? You may also check that you used proper grammar, even though your best friend probably doesn’t care whether you did or not. 

The most important part of writing a thank you letter to a best friend is that you speak from the heart. Be sincere and thank your friend for all the qualities that make them a special person.  

Kudos to you for taking the time to write a letter of appreciation to your best friend. These acts of kindness can create a ripple effect. They may encourage others to provide support when it is needed. Through this one simple act, you can make a difference in the world.

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