Think of your five closest friends. Are they are very similar to each other? Or are they extremely different?
Now think about what kinds of experiences and relationships you've been wanting in your life recently. It's rare that we make a conscious decision to reflect on these sorts of questions, but it is an incredibly valuable way to recognize how much power we actually have in designing our lives to be what we want them to be. And our friends, unsurprisingly, are a big part of the equation.
Perhaps you've been craving more adventurous experiences, and are seeking a fellow risk-taker. Or maybe you've been longing for more TLC and want a friend to support you and exist beside you in your quest for more downtime and relaxation.
Well, whatever your desires may be, remember that our friends can be the gatekeepers of our desires. This is why it's not only fun, but essential, to have many different kinds of friends. Whatever it is you may be looking for at any given moment, you already have a supportive presence in your life who can provide you with companionship, validation, respect, admiration. The list goes on.
With that in mind, here are five different kinds of friends that everyone should have:
1. The Truth Teller
This is the friend who values honesty above all else. When you ask for advice, he/she's not mean or ill-intentioned, but won't ever exhibit a tendency to sugar-coat. This friend tells it like it is. He/she's the one you go to when you want an honest "cut to the chase" opinion. No BS, just the honest to goodness truth, no matter how painful it may be to hear.
2. The Parental Figure
This friend is the ultimate nurturer, the person who will call you after an interview to ask how it went, who will invite you over for a cozy dinner of mac and cheese after a heartbreak, who will hold you as you cry on his/her shoulder and softly whisper that everything will be okay. You go to this friend when you need an endless supply of hugs, reassurance and love.
3. The Adventure Magnet
When you hang out with this friend, anything is game. Even if the initial plan is a low-key dinner out, somehow or another, his/her mega-extrovert superpowers will lead you both to a Mad Men-themed house party on the other side of town; martini in hand, you'll wonder how in the world you end up flirting with a Don Draper look-a-like. Or maybe you end up going on a day-trip and hiking up a mountain unexpectedly, perhaps even wearing the wrong shoes. This friend challenges you, but the initial discomfort is always worth it because you grow.
4. The Cheerleader
Want a pep talk? This friend is there for you. Something of a magical fusion of Oprah meets Tony Robbins, this friend motivates you, reminds you of your strengths and your innate ability to empower yourself through difficulty and success alike.
This friend cheers you on, front and center, at your 5K, during a stressful time at work, in the aftermath of heartbreak or drama with family. Whether you're feeling down or just need a little reinforcement in your life (who doesn't?) you know that a 10 minute phone call with this generous soul will get you back on your feet in no time.
5. The Connector
This friend either knows everyone, or is just able to connect and open up to others no matter what the context. You're not sure how this friend ever met everyone he/she knows, or how long they've known each other, but you can always count on this person to restore your faith in the human connection.
Plus, whenever you need a recommendation for a dentist, a massage therapist or even a holistic vet, this friend knows what's up, and has got your back. He/she's the one you go to when you're moving across the country and want new friends before you get there. You know that she'll have at least five people to connect you with before you even start packing.
Do you have all of these kinds of friends? If not, which ones are you missing? Or do you have other types of friends that fulfill particular needs for you? That's the most important thing. Comment below and maybe we can introduce our friends to each other!