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8 Types Of Friends You Need To Have in Your Life

8 Types Of Friends You Need To Have in Your Life

Did you know that people without friends are more likely to die an early death?

It’s true. Just ask science.

To up your chances of living a long, happy life, having a bunch of fair-weather buddies won’t do the trick. You need a diverse, well-rounded entourage that will stick with you through thick and thin. The following eight types of friends are just what you need to keep the doctor away.

1. A Loyal Best Friend

Sometimes a loyal best friend is the only thing you need to stay sane. Everyone needs a non-judgmental friend who will support them no matter what. This is the kind of friend who lets you be a hot mess and knows all of your deepest and darkest secrets, but still loves you all the same.

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2. A Fearless Adventurer

We live in a big world where there are so many places to see, people to meet, and experiences to be had, yet so many of us are stuck in our own routines and forget to, well, live. We all need an adventurous friend who will pull us out of our shells and introduce us to new ideas, cultures, philosophies, and activities.

3. A Brutally Honest Confidant

There’s certain situations in life where we need to hear the harsh truth. That’s what the brutally honest confidant is for. If you’re in a rocky relationship and everyone’s telling you that it’s perfectly normal that you’re back with that special someone for the 8th time in the last 2 years, the brutally honest confidant is there to yank your rose-colored glasses off and tell you, “Enough. Stop with all that break-up-and-get-back-together drama. You deserve better.” Friends are supposed to be honest with each other. If you find someone who is brutally honest with you (in a constructive way), then hold on to this person! People like that are hard to come by these days.

4. A Wise Mentor

Jesse Jackson once said, “Never look down on someone unless you’re helping them up.” If you have someone smart, inspiring, and admirable in your life who practices this philosophy, you’re extremely lucky. We all need a friend who inspires us to be better people without making us feel inadequate. Plus, being around such a person will challenge us to better ourselves every day.

The wise mentor in your life doesn’t have to be someone who shares the same occupation or hobbies with you. It’s simply someone who’s a few steps ahead of you in life and has enough wisdom and patience to guide you in the right direction. It can be anyone — a colleague, a friend who’s beyond their years, or an older neighbor — as long as you look up to this person and want to be more like them.

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5. A Friend From a Different Culture

The last thing you want to be described as is someone who’s stuck in their own ways. If everyone had a friend from a different culture, the world would be a much better place. Being in a cross-cultural friendship allows you to explore customs, values, and traditions outside of your own culture. Sometimes you might even adopt new ways to do things.

Be careful; don’t befriend someone just because they’re from a different culture. No one likes to be a token friend. Instead, keep your mind open, and if you come across someone you click with who just so happens to be from a different culture, make the effort to learn about their customs, values, and traditions while getting to know the person on a personal level.

6. A Polar Opposite

We humans are hard-wired to get together in groups and attack outsiders — the human pack mentality, if you will. If you only develop friendships with others who follow the same beliefs, customs, and values as you do, chances are you’re somewhat detached from the rest of the world, and you’re more likely to perpetuate stereotypes on anyone who holds a different world view from you.

Instead of constantly surrounding yourself with like-minded people, try to break out of your comfort zone and befriend people who hold opposing views. They will help open your eyes to different world views and you’ll learn to accept people who don’t see the world exactly the way you see it.

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7. A Friendly Neighbor

These days, a lot of people don’t know their own neighbors. It’s a shame, because some neighbors can be the nicest and most helpful people ever. If you’re on a vacation, and you suddenly realize that you forgot to lock the front door, you can call up your trusty ol’ neighbor and ask them to head over to your house and lock it for you. Nice dependable neighbors who have each other’s backs are a dying breed, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t introduce yourself to the new neighbors across the street!

8. A Work Pal

Did you know that with a full-time job, you spend at least 50% of your waking hours at work? Not only that, but you spend some more time commuting to work, thinking about work, working overtime, and furthering your career on your personal time. Depressing, isn’t it?

Statistics show that the more isolated you are at work, the more depressed you get. That’s why it makes sense to get a work pal to chat with at the water cooler and to help you get through the week. You spend 50% of your waking hours at work, and so does your work pal. You’ll find it much easier to shoot the breeze and complain about work with someone who can relate to you than eating lunch alone every day.

Your work pal doesn’t have to be your best friend outside of work. They just need to be someone you click with on some level, and if you two hit it off exceptionally well, you can always start hanging out with them outside of the office.

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With a loyal best friend, a fearless adventurer, a brutally honest confidant, a wise mentor, a friend from a different culture, a polar opposite, a friendly neighbor, and a work pal in your life, you’re bound to live a long and happy life!

Featured photo credit: More Than Mommies via 4.bp.blogspot.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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