Monday, December 17, 2012

Five Essential Friends

With all of the curveballs life can throw at us, it’s no surprise that you can never have enough friends; given the variety of challenges we face every day from personal to social to academic to job-related, the more diverse friends we have, the better! How would you describe your closest friends and what they bring to your life? Are they all different and do they enhance your life in different ways or do they have similar personalities? How would you best describe your friendship style? Below are five essential friends that everyone should have, so if you are looking to add some other types to your friend arsenal, look for these traits:

The "Counselor" Type – This person is known for his/her excellent listening skills. He/she may not dole out advice at the drop of a hat, but will listen with their eyes, ears and heart and reinforce that you are being heard and understood. This type of friend is ideal for when you are needing to solve a major problem or when facing a startling dilemma that leaves you unable to cope. The Counselor type can help you put things in perspective; by rephrasing what is really going on, you will see that the issue you are dealing with may be larger than life.

The Encourager – This person is known to be brimming with encouragement and positive messages. When you are about to undertake a major challenge, they are there to remind you of your strengths and that you will pull through. This type of friend is the optimist that will give you that positive boost the next time you are feeling hopeless about a difficult situation or if you are nervous about a new challenge such as a job interview for a position that you have never done before.

The "Tell It Like It Is Friend" – Every now and then, we need someone to tell it like it is and show us the reality of a situation when we aren’t willing to accept it ourselves. Maybe we are not setting priorities effectively; maybe we are contemplating a situation that isn’t in our best interests. Every now and then, we need someone to spell it out for us to either go for an opportunity or turn down something that isn’t right for us.

The Friend that Inspires – Maybe you want to take up a new hobby or sport. This friend is adventurous and lighthearted; at times, a Renaissance man or woman. No task or activity is too difficult or out of reach. So, if you wanted to try parachuting, this type of friend (along with the Cheerleader) would enable you to embody the courage necessary to go beyond your boundaries and think outside the box. A friend in this category is not afraid to try new things and already has taken on a variety of exploratory projects and new endeavors.

The “Relaxation” Friend – I call this the “Relaxation” friend because he/she is characterized by someone who enjoy being with just for the sake of being with them. There doesn’t have to be a special occasion or an emergency conflict to warrant spending time with a friend like this. You are just happy being in this person’s company. This is the friend that you call just to have a relaxing lunch on a Sunday afternoon and talk about nothing or everything. Or, if you are just in the mood for some company for no particular reason, this is the friend you turn to.

Overall, we all need a variety of friends, even if your buddies to fit into all of these categories. Regardless, point out their positive qualities to them every now and then; let them know what they bring to your life as a means of keeping your friendships strong and intact.

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  1. The school semester can get so hectic. It is almost necessary to have a friend to go to, to be able to relax. Finals week is especially stressful until grades have been posted. My two closest friends, are tell it like is friends I like going to them with problems I have because they are honest and look out for my best interest. Me on the other hand I am the Counselor type friend I do not always know how to express my opinion to them but I am a great listener, my friends know they can call me at any time and I will be there for them.

  2. That is great that you gained some major insights about the kinds of friends you have and how you identify yourself in the different friend categories. It's wonderful that you have lots of "tell it like it is" friends.