You’re in your early twenties going through a multitude of dramatic life changes. Who doesn’t need a friend at this point of your life?
Well, the truth is that the right kind of friend can make this tumultuous time much more bearable, and I posit that there are 3 general types of such friends:
1. The Rival
Tread carefully. The word “rival” has a bad reputation for indicating a person we have harsh, jealous feelings towards. I’m not going there with this.
My rival is my best friend. The person most similar to me professionally and personality-wise. Their purpose in your life is to have someone there to challenge you. To measure yourself against.
Some of you cringe at that last statement, but let’s be frank. We push ourselves much harder when we have someone to motivate us, and a rival allows us to avoid complacency.
I have the fortune of having several friends like these that I graduated college with. I’m fortunate because they are good people with great ambitions, and I always have friends like these to remind myself that I have a lot more to work for.
2. The Partner-In-Crime
Don’t actually commit crimes here, but what I’m describing is that friend in your life that you just have fun with. You don’t talk about work, stress, aspirations, or even relationships very much with friends like these. They are there to help you unwind, relax, and focus on the positives of life.
In my life, my partners-in-crime are there for me to forget about my worries for a brief part of the week and just have people to laugh with.
3. The Kindred Spirit
This is more open for interpretation, but I’m not necessarily referring to a soul mate here or anything romantic. A kindred spirit is that rare type of friend that you only see occasionally but typically turn to when you need to have a deep, meaningful conversation.
You turn to these people, not just
because they are good listeners, but because you know that they will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. They tend to be friends that are very different from you. Maybe an opposite gender or someone older.
The importance of having friends like these is that you have someone who you connect with and have an unconditional relationship with. For me, my kindred spirits have been siblings and long-time close friends. I don’t see them often, but when I do, I know that I can tell them anything.
I’d say that these types of friends can be important for any stage in your life, but the reason I’m narrowing it down to new professionals like myself is because this is truly a vulnerable time for us. Mainly because it is the period of our lives where we feel most invulnerable, which is honestly a tragic illusion.
Forcing these types of friendships is absolutely pointless, but I do encourage you to seize an opportunity to foster friendships such as these and put effort into the types of people you surround yourself with. You will surely see it turn out for the better.
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