The other day when I was mulling over the newsletter, my boyfriend suggested that I write about loyalty. Actually, his words were: “why don’t you write about loyalty since that’s what you’re all about?” I didn’t write about it that day–nor have I ever done a newsletter around it because it’s something that requires much more than just 150 words.
Hands down, one of the most rewarding aspects of my life is my friends. To them I’m the “Loyal Friend,” which means I will protect them like a mama bear from unpleasant situations and stand up for them whenever standing up is needed. Someone being mean to my bestie? Not on my watch. I’ve also been blessed with different kinds of friends, who have made my life unimaginably richer. In fact I think everyone–but especially women–need to have at least one of the following types of friends.
1. The friend who knows all your craziest adventure stories.
Increasingly I feel there is no greater relief in life than knowing that someone else shares an exact same memory as you–and when you two bring it up, all the emotions come back and you light up together. This is even better if no one else can possibly have the same memory except the two of you. Example: I was recently on the phone with my college friend, reminiscing about one particular night out, when she pointed out that I came to her room at about 4 in the morning because I’d realized I’d lost my cell phone. We went back out, retraced our steps all over campus, stumbling from drink and fatigue, and were about to give up–but she called my phone, randomly, and the ivy bush 3 feet in front of us started lighting up and buzzing! This was hands down one of the best nights of my life and the feeling of remembering that moment together is just priceless. We’ll probably talk about it for the next fifty years.
2. The friend who shares your passion.
Remember when you were little and all the girls were in “cliques” according to whether they played volleyball, or soccer, or did ballet, etc? Having the same interests is not a requisite for an adult friendship–but, having at least one friend who shares your passion makes it so much more joyful. Whether it is art, books, music, or what have you, having someone to talk to about your higher-order needs is so crucial.
3. The friend who motivates you.
Great adult friendship isn’t always just about having fun together–it also is about watching out for each other’s best interests. One of my friends is so savvy, hardworking, and smart that I can’t help but take a page out of her book. She’s given me advice on interviews, jobs, or anything that requires more business-like mindset on top of the usual general life wisdom. Meanwhile, she has often said that my grit and entrepreneurship are really inspiring–so we motivate each other. Awww.
4. The friend who makes you feel confident.
I am soo this type of friend. I really love boosting my friends’ confidence because by gosh, they are wonderful, smart, talented, complicated, genuine, sexy…you get the idea. Sometimes this means settling down for a heart-to-heart while baking vegan chocolate chip cookies in our PJs, other times it’s going for a girls’ night out. Or most simply I will talk to you on the phone for hours explaining point by point why you are such a shining gem package of womanliness. But, I just won’t let you feel less than who you truly are.
5. The friend with whom you can be totally vulnerable.
Revealing your deepest secrets, anxieties, insecurities, and not-so-kind thoughts (about self or others) is so hard. Because I don’t want to look like a sad excuse of a human being, I will try to hide these feelings far, far away from anyone–except the few friends who make me feel as though they won’t be mad at me for my flaws. These friends won’t judge you. They’ll let you cry without making you feel awkward, like you revealed too much for social propriety. They won’t think less of you because you showed them your weaknesses. They’ll just listen, understand, and make you feel more comfortable in your own skin again.
Tell me, dumplings, what kind of friend are you? Do you have these type of friends?
Also see: 20 Things I Wish I Knew in My Early 20s
Photo: Chris Zielski via Flickr