In-the-Trenches War Buddy
She (or he) gets everything that makes your workplace more dysfunctional in your life. Yet, somewhere you realize the two of you are just rehashing the same old things. She isn’t interested in improving things, it turns out she just really likes complaining. The more you get stuck in that cycle, the more trapped you can feel at work, because all of your energy is devoted to feeling frustrated by the situation, not changing it.
Wannabe Personal Trainer
This friend is an incredible accountability partner, but every time the two of you hang out, at some point it starts to feel like an interrogation. She’s so interested in living healthfully that she’s always telling you what you should and shouldn’t eat, and grilling you on your workout routine. That motivation though well intentioned can lead instead to a shame spiral, fast
Pal Who’s Up for Anything
A conversation with this friend usually goes something like this: “What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to do?”
You’re always making the decisions and she’s always tagging along to whatever it is, even when you can tell she’s just not that into it. She means to be easygoing, but in the process, you’re getting stressed because you want to choose things you’ll both love to do. And unfortunately, when you look more closely at your friendship, you realize you have no idea what she really likes.
Friend Who Lives on Memory Lane
As hard as you try to bond over your current lives, things inevitably revert back to the good old days. There’s no progress with a friend like this only the looming feeling that your friendship peaked in 10th grade. The friendship doesn’t have to end, but it also doesn’t have to be forced. Years later, you may reconnect over your kids’ finger-painting adventures. Until then, you might find you can chat more easily over Facebook messages than lattes.
The One Who Finishes Your Sentences
This friend is practically a mind reader. She can sense what you’re going to say, and she’s so helpful that she just can’t resist jumping in and ending your story for you, even if she’s never heard it before. She’s just speeding you up until it’s her chance to talk. It makes you wonder if she’s looking for a friend, or an audience.
Unbelievably Funny Friend (aka The Unbelievably Cool Friend)
The woman volleys one-liners faster than the Gilmore Girls; and she does it all while wearing lipstick that never smudges. Her sarcastic quips veer cruel more often than witty, and, even if the punch line isn’t at your expense, you’re left with this generally slimy, gossipy feeling after hanging out. Not to mention a creeping concern about what she’s saying when you’re not around.
Sometimes, that desire to lift you up can get in the way of her telling you the truth. And, at her worst, she can push you to take risks that only make her look better as she’s standing next to you.
Our free time is limited enough; and, to us, it’s better spent with friends who know that being supportive and being honest aren’t mutually exclusive, and who can (gently) steer us away from our more questionable choices.