Who is really your BFF, and who isn’t
Friends should ultimately add more joy than stress to our lives. Yet with us woman, that is not the case 80% of the time, right? This is definitely one area where men are light years ahead of us.
I have come to the conclusion that there are 4 different types or paradigms of friendships. When one is mistaken or confused for another, that’s when we feel hurt or disappointed as we feel they don’t measure up. If you are firmly aware of which friend falls into which category, you can and will be completely content with your circle of friends.
Now obviously some friendships are more rewarding than others, and we should always continue to strive for deep friendships, but ultimately all 4 kinds of friends or friendships contribute somehow, something, and if they don’t, your precious time should not be spent with them.
- useful friends
These are friends that will only call you when they need some sort of favor or something, and visa-verse. This may be once a month, or once a year. They are useful to know, and probably feel the same about you. It is an unspoken gentleman’s friendship agreement, with which both parties are perfectly fine with. These are usually business partners, coworkers or old school friends.
- Mutual interest friends
The glue to these friendships are mutual interests. You might have a particular gym buddy, or yoga partner, or “drinking” buddy. You share a common interest or pleasure, and that’s where your friendship is rooted. If you lose interest in that common pleasure, the friendship ends. I have had many friends in my younger “partying days” who I was friends with for years because we could party up a storm together, yet when our lives took different directions, and the “root” was no longer there, the friendship also diminished. These friendships are commonly mistaken for deep friendships.
- Confirmed friends
These are friends that you have probably known for some time. You are comfortable around them, and enjoy one another’s company, and you catch up regularly. You are their friend, not for how they can benefit you or how they can bring you pleasure, but simply because you like them. However you wouldn’t necessarily share with them your deepest secrets and have those “deep” conversations with. You know there might be an element of judgement should they know some things.
- Deep Friendships
This is the highest form of friendships, the BFF’s. You trust them to confide in them about highly private and confidential matters, and you know you can be completely honest without any worry of being judged. Within these friendships there are NO jealousy, and they rejoice in each others joys and experience pain for each others sorrows. A close friend won’t de-friend you if you disagree, or if you have stuff going on in your life and cannot necessarily do as much with them as you use to. These friendship will be as strong as before even if you haven’t seen them for 3 months. True friends stand with and stand up for each other, and NEVER participate in gossip with anyone else about their “friend”.
Deep friendships are very rewarding and can only be built over a period of time. Again its important to realise that people’s lives change, and people change. You might have a deep friendship with someone for years, and “outgrow” the friendship, or they might outgrow you. Its sad when it happens and it hurts, but its life. I think we will have many BFF’s throughout life….well probably not many, but at least a few. Confirmed friendships and deep friendships are also interchangeable, depending on how your lives differ at that point in time.
Take time before giving someone BFF status. You don’t know someone (even if you think you do) until you’ve experienced enough of life with them (Not just know them for a long time). A “deep” friend is someone whom you trust implicitly. They have earned your trust, and you don’t doubt that they have your back.
Remember happiness is more often obtained when our expectations are in line with and change with reality. That means that life changes, and different life stages each bring a shift in our friendships that frequently leave us drifting apart from some friends.
Firstly we have to come to the table with healthy expectations. Know who fits into which league, and don’t mistake one for another. Don’t expect the commitment of a deep friend when she is actually only a mutual or confirmed friend. And accept that life and people change, and so does our needs and friendships.
Remember friends should ultimately add more joy than stress to our lives, and in my life my BFF’s have definitely contributed to stress in my life, but ultimately added mostly joy!
You choose which friends fall under which group, and I know that’s easier said than done, but if you can master that, the feeling is way more liberating and empowering than anything preordained or supposedly destined.