I’ve got this friend.
She’s pretty much the best thing to ever happen to me.
If she’s reading this, I hope she knows who she is. She’s the kind of friend who – in spite of not seeing eachother for weeks or months – can immediately pick up on a hint of sadness in my voice within 2 minutes of a phone conversation. She’s the kind of friend who lets you cry on her shoulder, helps you verbally assault the person who has done you wrong and encourages you to spend money you really don’t have on clothes you don’t need – and then shares Old Cheddar Kraft Dinner with you because you can’t afford anything better. Everyone should have at least one of these friends – and I’m fortunate enough to have three.
Growing up, my Mom always warned me against some types of friends – you know the ones who are toxic and make you miserable? Sadly, it would seem, only women have those traits. Have you ever noticed that a lot of guys are friends with the same group of people they were friends with as children? Guys are straightforward. When they don’t like something, they say it. They (usually) confront the situation and leave it all on the court. Women, on the other hand, we’re nasty. We talk behind backs and we are the masters of the Backhanded Compliment – don’t act innocent, you’ve done it.
There are five friends every girl should have. Here’s the list:
1. The friend who knows you better than you. She’s the one who can spot your meltdown before you feel it coming on. She’s the friend who sees something on a hanger and knows you’d look great in it, or meets someone and thinks you would love them. She’s the friend who gives you that special insight into situations that you’re too wrapped up in to see clearly and she’s the single friend you should never be without. Cherish her.
2. The friend who is louder and more outgoing than you are. She can break the ice, help you storm a castle and take charge of the room. She’s the girl who sets you at ease and – if you’re me – gives you the opportunity to take a step back. I’m usually this friend, and it is such a pleasure to have someone else be this person. Let her take charge of the party, bask in her glow and enjoy yourself. It’s awesome.
3. The super serious friend. She’s the friend who tells you it’s time to put your Visa away (No, seriously… stop online shopping!), to reconsider that job-change or relationship. She’s the girl who makes sure you get home safely from a night out and whips your ass into shape in more ways than one.
4. The “no cares” friend. Be warned: this is the friend with whom you will always have a love-hate relationship. Nothing bothers her, and that kills you. She takes everything as it comes and can always hit you up with some “just chill” when you most need it. Take her advice sometime, go to a yoga class or take a walk with her and soak up her aura. It will help.
5. The Non-Stopper. She’s the friend who drags you out of the house when you want to skip the shower and lay on your couch. She’s involved in 98 things at once and seems to have endless bounds of energy. She’ll help you get involved, turn you on to new things and give you a new perspective on life. You’ll want to be her and you’ll respect the Hell out of her for all she’s up to (even if it’s just party rockin’ 7 nights a week).
For all the great friends you have and the wonderful people you meet, there are going to be these four that you don’t need:
1. The Negative Nancy. You know the one. She’s complaining about everything from the weather to her chipped nailpolish (which, might I add you can totally complain about because that shit takes time). She’s perpetually miserable and she’s going to bring her rainy attitude into your life, too. Don’t let her. Try to make her positive, or make a B-line for the door. You don’t need that negativity.
2. The Mooch. “Hey, I know we haven’t talked for a while but I was wondering…” is one of my least favourite lines coming through my phone’s earpiece. (Bonus points when you get it via text.) Yes, sometimes you or your friend is going through a tough time, but this the chick who only contacts you when she needs something, like your favourite dress or a reference. If she can’t be your friend all the time, don’t be her friend some of the time. She’ll either shape up or ship out.
3. The Attention Whore – you know, the one who shows up all dressed up for you casual brunch or flirts her face off with your new boyfriend. Her. Stomp that out before it’s too late, because that shit grows like wildfire. Tell her how you feel. ALSO: Boyfriend-flirting is so offlimits.
4. The Backhanded Complimenter – she’s the girl who rains on your parade and takes the wind out of your sails, all while smiling and making you *almost* feel good. I think the best one I ever heard was, “Oh, wow… those jeans actually make you look really thin” as if I was fat and it was a miracle I could look otherwise. It’s the compliment that’s hiding a stab, and you don’t need to hear that. Come right back at her with a true insult and see how she likes it, but you should probably explain the reasoning so you don’t come across as a total bitch.