We all want to think that we are a good friend. However, it’s important to know what kind of friend we are to those around us. Sometimes the vision we have of ourselves might not be how others see us. Today we break down some of the different friendship types and this should help you identify exactly the kind of friend you are.
What kind of friend are you?
The mother hen
You’re the go-to person in the group when someone needs help and advice. Your friends know that you are the one they should call on when they are in need 24/7. Whenever you’re with your friends on a night out, you take the responsibility to make sure that everyone is okay, no one gets too drunk and everyone makes it into the taxi at the end of the night.
The mother hens of friendship can become overwhelmed by the constant need to help their friends. They may feel that their feelings and issues are often ignored by other members of the group. They may come to resent the constant dependence their friends have on them.
There are a few ways mother hens can become an even better friend.
Set up some boundaries – If you find yourself on call to deal with every little drama that your friends have, this can leave you emotionally drained. Don’t always be the first person to respond in the WhatsApp group. If an issue isn’t an emergency, tell your friend that you will think about what to do and get back to them tomorrow. Mother hens may complain about having no ‘me time’ but if they don’t set boundaries, they have no one to blame but themselves. Your friends aren’t mind-readers, so probably have no clue that you are feeling overwhelmed and taken for granted.
Realise that friendship is a two-way relationship – If you feel that your friends are always taking but never giving, you may need to sit down and reassess your friendships. It’s vital to talk to your friends and tell them that you feel taken for granted. If they are true friends, they will try and make it up to you and listen to what’s bothering you. If they make it all about them, maybe it’s time to phase out the friendship.
You are the straight-talking no-nonsense friend in the group. When your friends come to you they know you are going to give practical actionable advice. Friends know exactly where they stand with you and because of that, they trust you deeply. However, your frankness can be difficult for some to process. You can become easily frustrated at friends who seem to flounder and are annoyed when people don’t take your advice.
Some ways a tough-talker can be a better friend
More empathy – Sometimes your signature brashness and straight talking can make your friends feel alienated. Often when they are coming to you for advice, your friend already feels overwhelmed. While honesty is always the best policy, it might be best to filter yourself a little bit and provide some words of comfort with your advice. Telling them that they are a fool or stupid is probably not the best way to be a friend right now.
More listening, less talking – Sometimes all a person wants to do is vent. If your friend is coming to you, ask yourself ‘Do they just want to vent or are they actually asking for advice?’ Tough-talkers have a tendency to dive right in and become vocal about their opinions. If your friend comes to you and vents about a boyfriend, it’s possibly not wise to totally slate him. The issue with the boyfriend will probably blow over, but your friend will remember all the things you said.
The social friend
If there’s a party involved – you’re all over it. Your friends know that you are the life and soul of every party. You’re the one on the WhatsApp group making sure everyone is going out tonight, even if that means dragging them away from a Netflix binge. Social friends are an essential part of any group as they are the ones that make the rest of the group get up off their ass and enjoy life! However as people settle down, marry and have children, social friends can find themselves pushed to the sidelines as everyone else becomes busy with adulting.
How to be the best social friend possible
Make time for your friends beyond the parties – You might be enjoying some serious sessions with the girls on nights out, but are you really bonding outside of that? Make sure you are meeting the girls for quality time and get to know what’s happening in their lives. If you are feeling left out as some of the girls settle down with families, offer to call round and give a hand. It may not be your idea of a night well spent – but it could mean the world to an overwhelmed friend.
Organise special nights out – If your group of friends are dwindling because of other commitments, take the time to organise a special night out. If you are constantly calling them every week to come to the pub, they may just dismiss as they feel they can do that anytime. But if every once in a while, you organise something new and different (but take into account that they may need babysitters etc.), your friends may be more inclined to go on the night out.
The flaky friend
Are you always cancelling plans to meet with the girls at the last minute? Do you always have the best of intentions to catch up with friends but life always seems to get in the way? Amongst your squad, you’ve probably been labelled as the flaky friend. It can be hard to keep up with friends when you have your career, family, relationships and just life in general but it’s important to make the time to nurture your friendships. Your friends are the people that can help you with relationship difficulties, family issues and when you feel swamped in your career. Don’t let these important bonds fade.
How to be a better flaky friend
Make room in your diary – ‘What may be done at any time will be done at no time’ – this proverb perfectly describes the flaky friend. Unless you make time and put it into your diary to meet your friends, you’ll never get around to it. And make this appointment non-negotiable. When your boss asks are you staying late, unless there is an emergency – tell them that you have an appointment that you can’t miss. And don’t feel guilty about it! Hanging out with friends is essential for good mental health.
Multitask to make the most of your time – Do you always get your nails done? Call a friend and see if they are available to come with you and get your nails done together and catch up. Find activities in your life that you could incorporate your friends into, while not having to change your regular habits. This will make it much easier to meet your friends regularly.