Friendships are key to your survival and sanity, regardless of your relationship status. Having strong friendships is so vital that the Mayo Clinic has a whole list of recommendations for how to make and keep friends. The behavioral health science consensus is that having friends is good for your health and longterm happiness. Chances are, you already knew that on some level.
All of your friendships don’t have to hold the same significance or weight in your life. It’s normal to have some friends who you’re closer to than others. Some people are in your life to help you stay grounded, and show up for you no matter what. But that doesn’t mean the friendships you make out on a dance floor are any less important. Friendships can take many shapes, and they’re all still important for your heart and health. Here are a few types of friendships you’ll find yourself having throughout your life.
1. The Workplace Bud.
You don’t need to be besties with your coworkers, but having some buddies at work is always important. You can vent to each other about the Monday morning meetings always going long, bond over the mystery of why the break room always smells like pickles, and help each other pick up the slack on team projects. Sometimes workplace friendships can turn into lifelong pals, but even if it doesn’t go that far, just having someone to talk to when you’re staring down a deadline is so helpful.
2. The Cheerleader.
This is the friend you know you can always go to when you’re feeling discouraged. They’re also the friend who will cheer on your biggest successes. The Cheerleader friend tends to be supportive and a calming force in your life. You may both fill that same role for each other. When you’re hard on yourself, they’ll remind you of your good qualities. When you finally stick the landing on a personal goal, they’re going to be the friend who is excited for you, because they know how hard you fought to get there. Cheering each other on is the best.
3. The Fun Night Out Friend.
You’ve probably got a friend like this already. When you need to hit the town and let loose, you know you can call them up and they’ll be down for a fun time. They know when your favorite band is in town, and you know you can rely on them to dance just as hard as you do when the beat drops. They’re that well-connected friend who thrives on socializing, and they’ll be happy to bring you along.
4. The Platonic Life Partner.
This is the best friend who just fits perfectly into your day-to-day life. You’re definitely roommates, whether past, present, or future. You can talk to each other about your days or just be in the same space not saying anything, while still enjoying each other’s company. You can rely on them to take you to the hospital, or to answer your call when you’ve got a flat tire. The Platonic Life Partner is just that—someone who does life with you. You’re lucky if you’ve got one.
5. The Social Media Maven.
This is the friend you go to when you need a breakdown of the latest celebrity scandal. They’re also the person you know has up-to-date info about politics or pop culture, because they’re always online and therefore informed. When they tag you in the brunch group photo, you instantly gain 20 more followers, such is their social media power. Chances are, they’re also one of your most well-connected friends. They love networking, and they’re always happy to connect you to someone else who might be able to help you with your next career move. This friend is generous and whip-smart, and you feel caught up with the world after you’ve hung out with them.
6. The Far Away Friend.
Your most frequently FaceTimed pal is the one who lives on the opposite coast. You may be in different time zones, but you’re in touch throughout the week, leaving messages that they’ll answer when they can. This type of friendship can be harder to keep up with, but it’s always worth it. No matter the distance between you, they’re a key part of your social support system. They’re the one you plan your vacations around seeing, and vice versa. Geography can’t keep you apart for long.
7. The Childhood Friend.
The friends you grew up with often lead very different lives than you, but you’re still connected throughout your separate journeys. When you catch up, it’s like no time at all has passed. Things just click, and you get to hear all the new developments of their life. You may not talk often, but there’s a depth of feeling between you that only childhood friends have. There’s a special sweetness to this type of friendship. The pleasure of reconnecting every once in a while can be really nice.