I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about friends, mainly my friends in particular. I’ve come to the realization that there are several different types of friends and each serves their purpose in life. I’m sure nearly everyone can think of a friend of theirs who can be defined as one of these types of friends that I’ve listed and defined below. Now, just because a friend might fit one particular definition, doesn’t mean that the same friend can’t also be defined by another type. So sit back, get your friends in mind, and see where they fit in your life!
1) The Best Friend: I think this one pretty much speaks for itself. A best friend would most likely be your “go-to” friend. The one that you’re always hanging out with. The one that you’re making the most memories with. Best friend is a title that should be bestowed upon your number one friend, the one who is there for you no matter what. Oftentimes a best friend is a boyfriend/girlfriend or even a spouse.
2) The Old Friend: An old friend is someone you go way back with. Typically old friends have shared many memories together and have TONS of stories about their crazy shenanigans. Sometimes the oldest of friends can also be best friends simply because of the nature of old friends. Other times though, old friends may fit one of these other types of friends because life happens and people change over time. Either way, I’m sure you’ve got at least one person that you consider an old friend.
3) The Older Friend: The older friend is a friend of yours who is older than you in age. These types of friends are great to have because they are typically “wiser” in their older age. They have been able to experience things before we can. Sometimes older friends are much older, meaning they can give you more warning about certain things that may or may not happen in any given situation. Other times older friends are only somewhat older than you. In these instances, be careful, because this can sometimes get you into trouble. Older friends who are only somewhat older than yourself may not be as “wise” as they think they are and can sometimes cause more mischief (buying alcohol for instance.)
4) The New Friend: New friends are great. They haven’t been around as long as your old friends, so they enjoy hearing your old stories, you know, the ones your old friends have heard a thousand times. New friends can sometimes lead to new experiences as well. They sometimes take you out of the comfort zone created by you and your old friends. New friends, given enough time, can also fill the role of other types of friends such as best friends.
5) The Wild Friend: Everyone knows this type of friend when they see them. They are the ones who are the life of the party, even parties that they weren’t invited to! Wild friends are great because they can lead to some interesting evenings, which leads to great stories and awesome memories. But be careful, sometimes, if they are let out to run too wild, they can get you into some trouble. Make sure you have your boundaries set when you’re out with your wild friends. But on the flip side of that coin, go ahead and let your hair down, be daring, do something you ordinarily wouldn’t do!
6) The Ex-Friend: This friend isn’t just someone who has drifted away over the years. The ex-friend is someone who has wronged you in some unfathomable way. A way that violated all of the friend rules. Ex-friends are ex-friends for a reason. That reason may only be known by you, by both you and them, or by the whole world. Regardless of why they are your ex-friend, typically, they stay that way.
7) The Scary Friend: Scary friends aren’t just your friends that you think are a little odd. Scary friends are the ones that when you’re with them, you’re sending out text messages to those you love because you know that you might not make it home in the morning. Scary friends are sometimes the ones who have a big mouth and tend to get into fights if/when they’ve consumed too much alcohol. These friends are often the last to be called when you’re looking for something to do for the weekend. Though, sometimes, if you’re lacking excitement in your life, they might just be the answer!
8) The Boss Friend: Anyone whose ever held a job for more than a few months knows this type of friend. The boss friend is obviously someone who out ranks you in the corporate world. Sometimes the friendship can be genuine, but sometimes it’s just a bad case of brown nosing. Boss friends are not typically someone you’d want to hang out with on the weekend. They are best for golfing with through the week.
9) The Confidant: Another pretty self explanatory friend is the confidant. Someone you can tell all of your deepest and darkest secrets to. Confidants are typically either best friends, spouses or both; but sometimes neither. You must be careful when choosing your confidant though, as you don’t want all of your biggest secrets being regurgitated to the masses by some gossip queen!
10) The Benefactor: Simply put, this type of friend is someone who has things that you want. It can be access to a particular exclusive establishment or something like a Play Station 3. You typically call on this friend when you find yourself in need of what they have, and you would either like to partake in a specific activity that they can grant you access to or otherwise let you be a part of. Benefactor type friends will begin to feel used though if you don’t include them in activities that don’t include whatever it is they have to offer.
11) The Internet Friend: An Internet friend is someone that you either never see or rarely see in person. Internet friends are often times the product of online forums which means they are also typically a Special Interest Friend. Internet friendships aren’t typically as close as the other types of friends listed because you never or rarely have the human interaction. That being said, Internet friends are great, because they are generally unbiased in your personal dealings.
12) The Special Interest Friend: These friends share a common interest. Normally that common interest is the only thing that bonds these friends. Since they only share this common interest, special interest friends aren’t best friends. They get together from time to time to discuss their special interest and then they go on about their daily lives.
13) The Road Trip Friend: A road trip friend is, generally speaking, almost always a best friend. Who else would you want to spend that many hours in a car with? Road trip friends have to share a special bond since they will be in such tight quarters for an extended period of time. Many many many memories can be shared during a road trip. This is quite often the birthplace of inside jokes.
14) The Secondhand Friend: When a friend of yours introduces you to a friend of theirs, then that mutual friend becomes an ex-friend, the resulting friendship is a secondhand friendship. These friends typically would have never met if it wasn’t for that mutual friend first introducing them.
15) The Dormant Friend: A lot of times when a friend moves away and then you reconnect later, you pick up right where you left off. This is a dormant friend. Different from an ex-friend because you never really stopped being friends, you just weren’t active in your friendship duties. Dormant friends are typically old friends because of the very nature of this type of friendship.
16) The Friend-You-Only-Drink-With Friend: These types of friends are rare but they do exist. The friend you only drink with is someone who you can tolerate long enough to have drinks with. They might offer something in the way of a special interest friend, perhaps some kind of infinite wisdom you can’t get from another type of friend. Whatever the case, these friends are usually the ones you call when you’ve had a bad day and just want to drink without being bombarded with questions from other types of friends such as a confidant or best friend.
17) The Acquaintance: Acquaintances are typically either a friend of a friend or maybe even someone you work with. They could also be classmates that you don’t hang out with if you’re still in school. You don’t even necessarily have to know much about this person, but normally you at least know their first name. Sometimes acquaintances can further their friendship and be bumped up to another friend status.
18) The Frenemy: These are the people for whom the quote “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” was made for. Frenemies are usually someone you’re competing in something with. Whether it be a particular task at your job or a school project, frenemies are people that you want to keep a close eye on because they appear to be your friend on the surface, but they typically have ulterior motives.
This list probably isn’t all inclusive, but I think it’s a fairly good representation of the diversity that makes up “Friends.” I’m sure each of you can relate to all of these types of friends. Either you’ve been that friend, or you have a friend who fits one of these categories, maybe even both! I guess the point to this entry is that everyone has friends and everyone needs friends. The world would be a really boring place if we had to go through life all alone and without friends.
Here is a little proverbial advice:
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” – Proverbs 12:26
So basically, regardless of the role you play as a friend, always choose your friends carefully. You’re known by the company you keep!