“Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
The benefits of friendship:
Humans are social animals and friendship is actually vital to our emotional and mental health. Research has shown that loneliness and the sense of isolation that comes with it can cause depression, a slide into illness and early death. Friendship can enrich your health in the following ways:
- Boost your feeling of self-worth
- Help you to feel valued as a person
- Cause you to laugh more often which releases endorphins
- Improve happiness
- Reduce stress
- Raise your self-confidence
- Increase your sense of belonging
- Help you to cope with life traumas such as divorce, job loss, illness and bereavement
The ‘F’ factor
So what types of friends should you surround yourself with? Tough question. Nobody goes out looking for a friend armed with certain criteria – it’s not a job interview. There’s just something special that draws you to that person – a common interest, the way they think, their sense of humour or just what we like to call ‘the F factor’. Here are 10 different types of friends you may encounter at one point or another in your journey through life:
10 types of friends you may have in your circle:
1. The social media friend – you may never have met them, but have hooked up on Facebook, Twitter or a community forum. They’re always there with a witty comment, a ‘Like’ or an entertaining Tweet to brighten your day.
Most likely to: Post an amusing picture of a cat when you say you’re feeling blue.
2. The mother hen – the old head on young shoulders. Ready with a shoulder to cry on and sage words of advice. The one who insists you text them after a night out so he/she knows you got home safely.
Most likely to: Ply you with tea and homemade cake when you need a listening ear.
3. The amazing disappearing friend – now you see them, now you don’t. Can disappear from sight for weeks at a time, but like the proverbial boomerang, he/she always comes back. It’s not something you said, they’re just… preoccupied.
Most likely to: Disappear off the radar when in a new relationship/starting a new job/dieting.
4. The scatty friend – you know the one, always late due to some emergency like losing their car keys, locking themselves out of the house or forgetting where and when to meet up. Usually has a glazed expression because there’s a dozen different things going on in their head at once.
Most likely to: Forget your birthday, but will turn up with a belated card and gift a few days later.
5. The ‘tough lover’ – Always tells it like it is, even if it stings. If he/she thinks your new love interest is a jerk or you look like an elephant in that clingy dress you’re trying on, they’ll say so and won’t sugarcoat it. The thing is, he/she is usually right and always has your best interests at heart. So if you can manage to grow a thick skin around them, they’re definitely a friend worth having.
Most likely to: Give you an honest opinion,whether you like it or not.
6. The Fashionista – the one who’s always immaculately turned out and makes it look effortless. No matter how dressed up you are, she will sidle up to you and make you feel like, yes, an elephant in a dress. Not that she means to make you look bad. She’s just that fabulous, sweetie darling!
Most likely to: Loan you an ultra-stylish outfit for a special occasion and GHD your hair.
7. The workaholic – the one who’s always ‘just sending a quick email’ on their phone when you’re on a night out or is late due to some high-powered board meeting or vital deadline. But once you prize him/her away from her Blackberry, they become a party animal!
Most likely to: Buy that round of jager-shots you’ll be wishing you hadn’t had the next morning.
8. The opposite sex friend – can you be friends with somebody of the opposite gender? You can if you are willing to ignore the gossips and have partners who are secure in their relationships. These friends are great for helping you see things from a different perspective.
Most likely to: Play Devil’s Advocate when you’re having relationship trouble.
9. The drama queen – if it’s going to happen to anyone, it will happen to him/her (Yes, guys can be drama queens too!). Life is an ongoing soap opera for this type of friend. Always entertaining to listen to, just hand him/her a drink, ask how their day was and sit back.
Most likely to: Give you a list of restaurants/hotels/pubs to avoid because they’ll have had a bad experience there.
10. The best friend – You may have known him/her since you were five or just met 5 weeks ago, but this friend has the ‘F’ factor to outlast all others. They will laugh with you, cry with you, celebrate your highs and pick you up when you’re low. He/she’s the one you can call on any time of the day or night no matter what. They’ll fight your battles… and even help you hide the bodies if it comes to it. This one’s a keeper!
Most likely to: Always be there when you need them, even if it’s 4am and he/she’s been sleeping.
Friends come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Some remain in our lives for decades, while others are but fleeting. They all help to enrich our lives in some way, just as we enrich theirs. So next time you meet somebody new, take the time to smile, say hello and get to know them. As the saying goes:
“Strangers are just friends you haven’t yet met.”
BY HARSHVARDHAN SINGH