How Many Styles of Friendship Are There?

Over the weekend, I worked on a quiz for Redbook‘s new website. It was a “What’s Your Friendship Style?” quiz, which is a pretty fun project for someone who obsessed over quizzes as a kid (and, oh wait, that’s right, as an adult too) even though I always got the lame middle-of-the-road result. You know what I’m talking about. YM asks: What’s your popularity status? And the result options would be “You’re a party animal!” “You’re a huge nerd!” or “You’re level-headed.” I was always level headed. Boooring. (Sometimes I would pick the “party girl” answers just to feel cooler, but it was a sham and I knew it. My level-headed self couldn’t hack it.)

I’ve thought plenty about the different types of friends, but telling someone she’s a flake, or a disappearing friend, didn’t seem in line with the project.

My quiz was about all the different types of great friends one might be. Maybe you’re the social gal, maybe you’re the listening ear, maybe you’re the easygoing, reliable friend. Or maybe you’re…..

I don’t know. Throughout all my research, both anecdotal and academic, I had a tough time coming up with other types of friends.  Most of us can be split into these three large categories.

Personally, I think I’m the listener. At least, I hope so. I’m certainly not the cruise director. Being the organizer is not so much my forte. I did a lot of that during my friending year, and while it was incredibly rewarding, it was also exhausting. Luckily, though, I made some new friends who are stellar social chairs, so now I get to be social without having to be in charge. Win.

I’d like to think I’m part easygoing up-for-anything friend, too. Though I know that sometimes I’m not actually up for anything. Like if the “anything” involves going to a standing room only indie rock concert, or to a club with bottle service, or horseback riding. I just… I can’t. I know myself, and I’d just get tired and no fun. I wish I were cooler, I do. But I’m not. (I did get better at being breezy, too, during my year o’ friends. Moral: Extreme friending can make you super well-rounded.)

Most people are probably able to categorize themselves into one of these styles, maybe even two. But are there other broad-stroke friend categories? Or is everyone either a confidante, a social butterfly, or an easy-breezy gal?

Where do you fall?

MWF Seeking BFF, the book, is out in less than a month! December 20 to be exact. If you’re inclined to buy the book, can I entice you to pre-order? I’d like to offer a small token of gratitude to those who do, as pre-orders are hugely important to a book’s first week sales numbers and also help build media and bookstore buzz. A friendship bracelet? A personalized note from the author? (I wish I could sign them all!) Anyone have a great idea? I’m open to suggestions.

If you want to learn more before buying, you can: Read an excerpt! Check out advanced praise! Read reviews (from Publisher’s Weekly, book bloggers, Amazon readers, Goodreads contest winners).


Filed under The Search

4 responses to “How Many Styles of Friendship Are There?

  1. Christina

    I think I fall into the easygoing/listening category, however anymore, I am not so up to being as easygoing and the always listening type of friend that I used to be.

    I prefer friendships where I don’t have to work too hard at either listening to another’s drama or getting together real often. A good friendship to me is one where I get together with someone about once or twice a month for something fun and where I don’t have to listen to them whine.

    • I am not commenting to judge, but rather am baffled and curious: Don’t you get lonely when you only see people 1-2x a month? What do you do with the rest of your time? Do you communicate with them via email/text/phone/etc?

  2. I think another friend category might be “the rock”. That friend that is your anchor and life jacket. The one who, no matter what idiotic episode is going on in your life, is the one who is steadfast in their love/devotion to you. I know that I have a few friends who are my “rocks’ and that I have had to be the rock for a friend a few times in her life.

  3. anon

    I keep forgetting the book is not out yet. But as someone who got to read it from amazon, I hope people will buy the book without need of a special incentive because they will truly enjoy it, and it is inspiring, fun, and just clicks. It should absolutely be on every book group’s list ASAP (I think it’d be totally fun to discuss it in a group). And for those of you not in a book club/group like me, you’ll just really enjoy it, period.

    But Rachel, maybe as you mentioned, you can get people to pre-order by incentive of autographing it for them?? I don’t know. Autographed copies always seem extra special.

    And it would make an excellent holiday gift. Could be a great “hint, hint!” to someone you’d like to strike up a friendship with too. And can you try and get on some tv shows to promote it? It’s one of those books where it is a “topic” too so that would be cool. I’d post it and advertise it on my blog for you except I started my blog last November and last time I wrote on it was last November, lol!

    But good luck with the book! I am selfishly hoping it does awesome because I want more books to read by you in the future (heh!). But I wish it for you too because I think making it in a career you feel is your passion must be one of the best things in the world. Your blog here is fun to read too. I enjoyed the Thanksgiving post. I used to be so happy and grateful, but the past few years I can feel I’ve become more bitter and jaded – and I hate it. I know I need to keep remembering the good things, the good people, and the joy, even the days where that seems no where in site. I am going to try and start remembering to start each day with some happy, good thoughts. I’m going to bookmark some inspiring blogs/websites and maybe each morning with my coffee get in a nice mood for the day.

    Happy Thanksgiving blessings to you and your fam!

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