Whether you look to them for a shoulder to lean on, a partner in crime, a vault to hold your secrets or a pal who allows you to let loose, your friends are allies in a world that can sometimes seem very unkind. They see you through the laughter and the tears, and they are as important to your health and well-being as your family is. Here are five kinds of friends every woman should be grateful to have in her life.
1. Ms. Blunt
So her bedside manner leaves something to be desired, but you can’t beat a friend who will be completely honest with you. You cringe when she tells you that you have a piece of lettuce between your teeth, but you have to appreciate her when you realize she’s the only person in the room who is willing to do so.
Sometimes it’s hard to take her observations (such as That dress is less than flattering), but you have to chuckle at her deadpan sense of humor and black-and-white perception of the world. Ms. Blunt tells you what you should say to the jerk at the office, and she is more than happy to complain to the waiter when you get bad service. You admire her bravery and love her despite her (very) rough edges.
2. The Mother Hen
You seek comfort in the fact that the Mother Hen always knows what to do. She is the friend who hands you tissues after a bad breakup and brings you groceries when you’re laid up with the flu. She’s strong. She’s wise. Her presence is comforting.
Since coddling is her forte, she can come off as meddlesome or, well, too motherly. You know that she knows what’s best for you, even though sometimes you do the opposite. The key to maintaining a healthy relationship with the Mother Hen is not letting her practicality and togetherness interfere with your self-esteem. And make sure you offer to take care of her once in awhile too.
3. Miss Inspiration
This up-lifter does more than offer words of encouragement. As an eternal optimist, she supports your move to Brazil if that is what makes you happy. She reminds you of others’ innate good intentions and always finds a way to make lemonade – making sure to pour you some. Most of us keep positive people around to get through the times of self-doubt, and Miss Inspiration has a knack for raising the half-full glass to you.
The downfall to this happy camper is that every day cannot be sunshine and rainbows. Her buoyant cheerfulness can easily annoy if you are not at the stage to accept a frown turned upside down. You have the ability to inadvertently hurt her with your negativity, so be careful. Go to her when you have already processed any painful parts, are embracing the next phase of acceptance and need a dose of sunshine to help you through.
4. The Boy Friend (not to be confused with The Boyfriend)
Not all of the great friends are women. Safe from romantic advances, a sincere and platonic friendship with a guy can be just as valuable as a relationship with a female counterpart. We all need advice from a male perspective, and he is your source – your window into the male psyche.
Remember, men tend to think very differently than women do. Rather than offer a lengthy, thoughtful analysis as to why your last relationship didn’t work out, Mr. Tell-It-Like-It-Is will tell you without blinking that he thought your last boyfriend was a chump. He’ll tell you to move on, get over it and get out there.
5. The Wild Child
She is your female wingman who is up for anything. She is available for a crazy impromptu weekend in Vegas, a double blind date or a spontaneous joy ride around the city in a Lamborghini. You can tell her about your fantasies of running away from everyday responsibilities to a commune in the Amazon jungle, or about how you secretly substituted your famous Christmas cookies with store-bought dough last year.
This nonconformist will listen and laugh without shock or judgment. She challenges you to abandon your rule-following nature and adopt her liberating and adventurous style, even if it’s just for one night. However, as a natural free spirit, she probably doesn’t have much use for timeliness or responsibility, so leaning on the Wild Child for anything more than a good time may prove futile.