Must-have friends

Make sure you have atleast one each of these 5 types

Having been through life in its many myriad modes, I have lost and gained some friends. Some I’m relieved to have drifted away from but the others, I regret to have lost. I don’t always surround myself with people but I do subscribe to the saying, ‘Books and friends should be few and good.’ As a kid, I changed so many schools that I never had enough time to make lasting friendships. Coupled with my introvert nature and the lack of communication modes that we had while growing up, I never managed to keep in touch with anyone. I cannot thank technology enough for helping me tremendously. Right from photos to numbers to addresses to updated profiles, I have them all now at the tips of my fingers! Question is—do I want so many friends now?

I’ve had my share of blunders and triumphs when it comes to forging bonds with people. Drawing from my experience, I’ve created a list of friends one absolutely must-have [with an in-built warning of whom to avoid]. Read on and see if you can think of at least one close pal who will fit into each of the five types.

  1. Chaddi buddy – This one is probably top of the list for most people because the bond you forge with the people you’ve grown up with is irreplaceable. Time, money, fame or any other natural calamity cannot take those memories away from you. My husband grew up on a campus with some incorrigible characters… but every time he talks of all the tricks they played together on innocent people, the passions they shared, the collective crushes they had on a certain PYT and their many misdemeanours, I cannot help but feel envy. He does not speak to these friends regularly or even meet with them often but just talking about them transports him to an innocent, carefree childhood. So, if you’ve got someone you’ve shared your growing up years, don’t ever let go.
  2. Tactless wonder – If you have a friend who is sometimes naïve, speaks her mind bluntly even at the risk of hurting you, and is not afraid to call a spade a spade, you’ve chanced upon a treasure! Every single day of our lives, we come across people who are sweet on the surface but can’t wait to ridicule or run you down the moment your back is turned. The ‘tactless wonders’ may not be good for your ego but you can be assured that they’ll be there when you really need help. Not only will they give you constructive criticism but also help you work on your weak points. So you’ll have a personal image consultant for life… for free!
  3. Superior being – Have you ever known anyone who’s so surprisingly perfect in something to the extent that they make you cringe? After you’ve absorbed the initial shock, you want to cry, complain, rave and rant about why you are not that way? These people sometimes appear to us in a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde avatar since the truly Superior beings are not visible to the naked eye or simply don’t exist [for purposes of convenience]. While there will be one aspect of this person’s character that you may baulk at, another facet of their personality will just make you sit up and take notice. I have a friend who is just that. She has a tough time managing her time between her home, family and social obligations but when it comes to her kids [she has three of them], she’s a dream-come-true mom. While my outings are generally geared towards me letting my hair down and having a good time, ALL of her outings are designed to make sure that the kids have a blast too. Even in her day-to-day exchanges with her kids, she is so calm, patient and loving that you wonder why she can’t apply the same to her housekeeping! I know I’m always going to keep her on my radar—not because she makes me feel I’m a bad mom but because she shows me how I can be a better mom.
  4. Like minds think alike – I’m sure you definitely have one of these. In whatever we do, we seek company. Be it happiness or sorrow, it’s always easier with a friend who shares the same enthusiasm. Be it for shopping, eating out, watching movies or plays, listening to music, reading books and sharing reviews, playing a sport, working out, dancing, playing games, discussing strategies or any other interest—this is a stress busting friend and one that you could definitely do with in this fast paced, mad, mad world. I have to say here, though, that my husband and me are opposites, in the sense that we have radically different tastes. Having said that, my life is richer for having been exposed to that which I didn’t care for earlier. If it was not for him, I would have never enjoyed the pulsating rhythm of rock music or the adrenaline inducing thrill of a horror or sci-fi movie. But then, we live and learn!
  5. Go to friend – Be it home or work, we all have situations where we feel we need to unload our thoughts/ emotions to someone. A go to friend is just that. They are not experts [unless you’re lucky to have a psychologist for a friend] or problem solvers; they just listen. Sometimes that just makes it better. And you know they’ll have they’re doors open for you at any time of the day… or night. 

So, this is my list of must-have friends. How many of these do you have? If you score 5 on 5, consider yourself truly blessed because as they say ‘God gave us our relatives, thank God we can choose our friends.’ Choose wisely!

This was first published in the January 2013 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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