Friendships are one of God’s greatest gifts and necessary for a meaningful and happy life. Studies show that people without friends are more likely to die early and be much less content. While some friends remain in our lives forever and others just for a season, each enriches our life and makes us a better person. Here are six kinds of friends everyone should have:
There’s nothing like someone who just “gets” you, who is wired the same way you are and shares the same world view.
1. The Confidante
This is the friend you can trust with your deepest secrets and problems. An excellent listener, the confidante is always supportive and can be counted on to be available and discreet.
2. The Mentor
Each of us needs a friend who inspires us to be our best selves without belittling us or making us feel inadequate. A mentor friend is a wise person who calls you to be and do more, and who is willing to share expertise, experience, and advice when you need it.
“How beautiful and liberating it must be to have nothing to hide. When people are willing to reveal themselves to each other in a spirit of honesty, acceptance, and reverence, they liberate each other from the insanity of isolation and loneliness.”
The Seven Levels of Intimacy by Matthew Kelly
3. The Kindred Spirit
There’s nothing like someone who just “gets” you, who is wired the same way you are and shares the same world view. Kindred spirits make us feel understood, accepted, and less alone in the world. Even if you rarely see this friend in person, when you do, it’s like no time has passed.
4. The Loyal Bestie
We all need a friend who will stand by us no matter what, who loves us no matter our mistakes or shortcomings. This is the loyal best friend – always there, cheering us one, ready to accept us for who we are and who we can be.
5. The Challenger
It’s not always fun to be challenged, but having someone in our lives who will speak the truth, who will kick us in the pants when we need it and invite us to take risks, is a great gift. This is the friend who will help you get out of your comfort zone and reach higher.
Good friends who love, respect, challenge, support, understand, and stand by us are one of life’s greatest joys!
6. The Fun Bud
We all need a friend we can call up last minute for a movie, a drink, or a quick visit. Always up for an adventure, this is the friend who makes you smile and helps you to relax and rejuvenate. Who doesn’t need that?
Many of these “friend types” can often be found in more than one person, but one thing’s for sure – good friends who love, respect, challenge, support, understand, and stand by us are one of life’s greatest joys. Cherish and nurture these friendships and be a great friend in return.