Saturday, 18 June 2011

Types of friends

'Hey, let's go play?' says Child 1
'No' says Child 2
'Why?' says Child 1
'Cos you're not my best friend anymore' says Child 2
'Oh, ok. You're not my best friend, either!' says Child 1

Children find it very easy to make and unmake friendships. One day, they're best friends, and the next day they're not! This occurs a lot in the very early ages, probably up till about early teenage years when the friendships become more serious, more meaningful. (Some parents get deeply involved in their children's friendships, agonizing over the fact that so-and-so is not longer friends with their child. Give it time, they'll be best buddies again!).

Some people are lucky to have one best friend who has been with them through the years and will always stand by them. (Oprah - Gayle?). (Some married couples swear that a friendship like this, is the bedrock of their relationship - 'we're best friends')

In the course of the Globetrotting Executive lifestyle, you find that whilst you might have met a lot of very interesting people in various locations, there are actually very few of them that you can call close friends. And even within that group, there are friends for different reasons. Whilst setting boundaries for friendships might seem restrictive and even premeditated, it helps one appreciate the context of the relationship, so you know what you can or cannot do, with that person. (Believe me, early on in this lifestyle, I misjudged a few relationships and therefore had to come up with these categories for my sanity!)

These are my categories for today.

The Life Friend 
She's the wise one, full of advice about what to do in life, how to move ahead, how to 'grow'. The voice of reason. The one you can confide in and you know you will not be judged, rather assisted in resolving the issue. She's most probably known you for a very long time (or maybe not!), so understands you intimately. This friend could be older, younger, your age - it makes no difference. There are things about that person's character which you admire and want to emulate, that's why you work to keep that friendship going.  

The Crazy/Wild Friend
Always ready to party with you. Fun. Wild. Makes you laugh. You need her (in manageable doses) to brighten up really boring days. She's always good company, but never as deep as the Life friend. You wonder if she ever has down days...

The Work /Career Friend 
She's your friend at work, because you share the same career goals. Most times, she's probably at the same career level as you, but not necessarily. The two of you are constantly strategizing on how to enhance your careers. She's not a threat to you and you know, she will always stand up for you, if the situation ever arises.

The Mummy friend 
She's your friend, mainly because your children are friends. You find that you are inseparable friends during term time - coffees, lunches, playdates for the kids. She's an invaluable source of information about the school and what's going on. The only snag is that once the holidays arrive, the friendship peters away until school is back in session. This is a fairly common friendship and so long as you do not agonize excessively over being 'dropped like hot coal', that friendship will thrive - throughout your children's education.

The Weekday friend
This friendship thrives Monday to Friday only. Over the weekend, there's no communication and each one focuses on their respective families. The Mummy friend and the Work friend fall under this grouping for me.

The Ideas friend
She knows everything about anything. An invaluable information store. And very happy to be of help. You find that when you arrive a new location, she's extremely helpful. Once you find your feet though, like an angel, she floats off to the next person to continue her good work!

What other unique classifications do you have for your friends? Or are they all 'best friends'?

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