Blair (played by Leighton Meester) and Serena (played by Blake Lively) in 'Gossip Girl'

TikTok’s 6 Besties Theory Will Change Your Friendships For The Better

Viral advice columnist Hello Hayes explains how.

Friendships can be hard work, and they only get more complicated as you get older. When your BFF no longer lives down the hall from your dorm room, it gets much more difficult to stay in touch, and it takes actual effort (gasp!) to maintain your closeness. But TikTok’s six besties theory — coined by Alexandra Hayes Robinson (better known by her username, Hello Hayes) — is here to make those bonds easier to navigate.

Hello Hayes’ advice column, where she answers letters about friendships (but also romantic relationships and other life challenges) weekly on Substack, has grown her platform on TikTok, earning her 7.9 million likes and over 260,000 followers. The six besties theory is arguably her most popular take.

“In making content and starting my advice column, people would often write to me about their friendship challenges,” Hayes tells Elite Daily. According to her, a lot of these struggles arise from one misconception. “Many people expect one friend to fulfill all of their hopes, dreams, and desires in a relationship,” she says. “But different friends can have different purposes. That's what the besties theory is all about.”

Here, Hayes explains the theory in full — plus, she clears up any questions and misconceptions about the concept.

Who Are The 6 Besties?


Hayes’ concept stipulates that there are six kinds of besties you can have:

  1. Dead Body Bestie: the no-judgment friend you can call for help after a major screw-up, à la Cristina and Meredith on Grey’s Anatomy
  2. Good Time Bestie: the perfect plus-one who is always down for a fun night out or adventure
  3. Work Bestie: someone who already knows all the work drama that you can discuss off Slack
  4. Similar Ambitions Bestie: the friend who is on a similar journey to you — whether you’re both taking art classes for the first time or each other’s confidante while interviewing for jobs
  5. OG Bestie: someone who knows your biography like it’s their own and doesn’t need consistent communication to stay close
  6. North Star Bestie: the ultimate bestie who fully *sees* you and feels like the platonic version of Megan Fox and MGK’s “twin flame” energy

TL;DR: Not every bestie will fulfill all of these roles — so you can (and should) stop expecting them to. “Different friends will have different strengths,” Hayes says. It’s an idea that has resonated with people; one video explaining this topic has been played over seven million times. “People's reaction to this theory really revealed to me the friendship crisis that is happening,” Hayes adds.

Your friendships can also fall into more than one of these categories, and you don’t need need to have a person in mind for every bestie type listed. “The six besties theory is not meant to be seen as a checklist — that you need every single person on the list,” Hayes clarifies. “Instead, it's really a tool for someone who's feeling disappointed in their relationships.” (And yes, your SO can also fall into these categories, though you shouldn’t expect them to fulfill the space of your platonic relationships.)

According to her, this theory allows you to manage your expectations of your friends, while also appreciating the specific value they add to your life.

A Practical Application Of The 6 Bestie Theory

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This theory makes the most sense illustrated with an example. Hayes lays it out like this: “If someone says, ‘I have this best friend, but when I try to talk to her about my parents’ divorce, she keeps trying to change the subject or she doesn't really know how to listen to me,’ I would ask, ‘What value does that best friend bring into your life?’”

Reframe your mindset by considering the other ways this friend shows up for you — maybe she’s always down for a last-minute dinner date or has painstakingly edited your texts with a new crush. Those are still real strengths, even if heart-to-hearts aren’t her forte.

Hayes continues, “The person might respond, ‘We go out together and we have fun. She makes me laugh, and she gets me out of my comfort zone.’” In other words, this friend is a classic case of a good time bestie, not a North Star bestie.

In this sitch, here’s the advice Hayes would give: “If you're able to accept them as a good time bestie, you might be able to find new value in that friendship and feel less disappointed.” Next time, skip the deep talks with this friend — instead, reserve your bonding time for trying out that new sushi restaurant or going on a spontaneous double date.

Reminder: This Doesn’t Make Toxic Friendships OK

Photograph by Eddy Chen/HBO

Consider the six besties theory when you’re feeling uncertain about the relationships in your life — particularly if you are considering a friendship breakup (which, TBH, is just as painful as a romantic one).

By focusing on what your friend brings to the table rather than what they don’t provide, you might gain new clarity into the status of your relationship.

Reminder: That doesn’t translate to accepting crumbs from the people in your life. “Of course, there are some friendships that are completely one-sided. That's another conversation,” Hayes says. “But using the six besties theory as a lens to evaluate your relationships could be a step before a friendship breakup.”

You can also use it to investigate how *you* act in your friendships. “It can be a really powerful tool for self-reflection — to guide thinking about how you show up in your relationships and how you want to show up,” Hayes says.

Whether you want to be a better OG bestie to your high school BFF (like Serena and Blair) or hope to be the ultimate work bestie (like Donna in Suits to literally everyone), you can use this theory as a litmus test.