Growing up in the age of Sex and the City, I assumed once I found my way into adulthood, that my group of friends would fall into place. There would be a Samantha, a Carrie, a Charlotte, and a Miranda, and we'd all have brunch at least once a week to catch up. Fast forward to actual adulthood, and I found out that not only was the brunch availability of Sex and the City a complete lie — but that there are way more than four types of friends you need in your life.
In order to cultivate a circle of friends that supports you, keeps you sane, and makes sure you're having a good time during the trials and tribulations that life can so often present. Because when it comes down to it, it's your circle of friends that gets you through the tough times, and your closest friends that go with you through all of the milestones in your life. Whether you've got a circle of friends that have been with you since you were toddlers, or you're feeling a little lost in the strangeness of the adult abyss and cultivating a new circle of friends — read on to find out the types of friends you need to have in your life.
1The Life Coach
Sometimes, you just need a friend to sit you down and give you some good advice. Enter the Life Coach of your circle of friends. Regardless of topic, they seem to know exactly what you need to hear, exactly when you need to hear it. Kind of like the unlicensed therapist of your friends group, the Life Coach provides sound advice to anyone who asks for it, and wants to see you be the best you can be.
2The Wild Woman
In every group of friends, there should be a Wild Woman, the the level of wild will change throughout the years. Whether they're instigating a group skinny dip, or carousing everyone into a night of dancing , the Wild Woman is always up for a good time and always wants people to live it up while they still can. There will be times when you just need to get out and do something crazy, and the Wild Woman will be there with you every step of the way.
Everybody needs a Cheerleader at some point in their lives. Whether it's for a job promotion, a big decision, or a huge life change, sometimes you just need a friend who's there to celebrate you. Just make sure you celebrate and encourage the Cheerleader for her own accomplishments, so that she feels the love in return.
The Nurturer winds up being a little bit like the mother of your circle of friends. With a big heart and a propensity for giving, the Nurturer just loves to love people. Always making sure everyone is okay, the Nurturer is the friend who will be there for you when you need an extra boost of love and kindness.
You know the friend who saw Wild and decided to pull a Cheryl Strayed a few weeks later? That's the Adventurer. Not afraid of a challenge or heights, the Adventurer likes to push themselves to their limits, and encourages you to do the same. Last year, the Adventurer in my life signed the two of us up for motorcycle classes, because she knew it was something I'd always wanted to do, but was too nervous to do on my own. And yes, it was a total adventure.
6The Free Spirit
The Free Spirit may not take the traditional route most people do, but they're just as valuable, and just as necessary in your circle of friends as everybody else. When the world seems to be going haywire, the Free Spirit is there to remind you that when one door closes, another opens, and that going with the flow is just a way of life that you should accept. They encourage you to think outside the box, and challenge yourself to go against the grain.
Everybody needs a friend who's good for comic relief. They can talk to literally anybody, and they make the perfect wing woman. The Entertainer can hold their own in any situation, and can make even the most stoic people crack a smile. They're the perfect friend to take with you when you need someone there for moral support, but can't babysit them all night. They're also perfect for smoothing over awkward situations, and keeping everyone entertained during dicey times.
8The Devil's Advocate
Sometimes, you need a friend to challenge you; to make you think about the other side of a situation. That's where the Devil's Advocate comes in handy. You may think that friends who side with you all of the time are the most important, but Devil's Advocates cause you to really take a look at your actions and challenge you to understand more than just your own story.
An entire circle of Devil's Advocates would drive you nuts after a while, which is why you need a friend who will stick by your side no matter what. The Loyalist is the friend who will nod and listen to your story, tell you that they understand, and give you a hug, even when you might feel like you're not worthy of a hug. Loyalists are great friends to have at any age, but especially from the teen years on, when you start feeling like the entire world might be against you. You always need someone who'll be in your corner.
Like Paula Abdul told you, opposites do attract. Which is why finding an Opposite in your circle of friends might be easier than you think. If you're an introvert who prefers reading to conversation, find yourself an extrovert who can talk to a brick wall. An Opposite widens your world view, and will challenge you to try and get involved in things you don't necessarily think you'll like. Even if you never thought you'd enjoy an opera, having an Opposite who'll invite you to events and to participate in things you never imagined yourself taking part in will help you grow as a person.
11The Childhood Friend
Having someone who's known you from your childhood in your circle of friends is not only comforting, it's helpful. They know more about you by default, and can often times help shed light on situations that the rest of your friends might not understand. Though the Childhood Friend can be hard to hang onto, do your best to keep them in your circle of friends. They're valuable.
You know the friend who simply demands better? That's the Diva. And while they can be hard to handle 24/7, you have to hand it to them — the Diva knows what the Diva wants. Keeping a Diva in your circle of friends will help the "I deserve more than this" attitude blossom inside of you. From terrible customer service to a date gone awry, taking a cue from your Diva can help you to realize that hey, you really do deserve the best, and you don't have to be ashamed about that.
13The Eternal Optimist
When the day feels like it's about to crush you with unending doom, you need an Eternal Optimist to turn to. Sure, sometimes you need to wallow in your own disappointment and sadness. But at the end of the day, an Eternal Optimist in your circle of friends will see you through. They'll lift you up when you need it most, and you can always count on them for words of encouragement. The Eternal Optimist is an invaluable friend to have.