Here are the explanatory definitions of the types of friendships listed in the Friendship Inventory
The Essentials – Company of Heroes
These are the best and very close friends who we do (or possibly should) spend a lot of time with. If you are lucky within your core group of friends at least one exhibits this type in order to make your life just great overall.
Best friend: The friend from old times, who understands your history, and has been through the thick with you, loyal to the end. Supportive when you are in a pickle, and the one to stay with you when the others don’t.
Coach: This is the one who pushes you forward. He knows your goals, and he knows when you need a reminder not to loose focus. And when the going gets tough, he will be there by the side lines cheering you on or pushing from behind.
Partner in Crime: This is the soulmate, the one with the passionate same goal. This is the Ive to Jobs, the two great minds coming together to solve the mysteries of mathematics or physics, the inklings composing their books together and reviewing them. In a way this one comes closest to the friendship of old, where a joined passion for a common goal and the power of appreciation for it creates the friendship almost by itself.
Clown: This is the fun one. Always producing a light giggle or roaring laughter in his company the clown brings joy all around. We all need a Ms. Doubtfire in our life, our own personal Robin Williams. This is the one who teaches our kids to play pranks on us on April 1st, who sends us stupid memes on a dreary day, and every now and then tests our capacity to forgive if a joke overstepped the mark a little.
Mind Opener: This is the one who you get on well enough to enjoy the conversation with, but is different enough to add that random element to your life. This could be the hippie leftie who eats vegan but still talks to the carnivore in you, or the artist or musician who is free of constraints of a daily life defined by the struggles of family or regular work spending his time with the creation of inventive works of art.
Mentor: This is the friend who provides perspective and wise council before big decisions and along the way. She should know the person well, has empathy and life experience.
Mom: The mom radiates warmth, love and affection. It is the safe house where you rock up, to find a full fridge, open arms and a warm hug, sweets and cake, and a patient ear to listen to your hearts sorrows.
Dad: This is the second version of the home coming. Quiet and caring, no big words, maybe just a ‘good to have you back’ nod. This function can be the one into which the actual dad and/or uncle morph into, as a person grows up, moves out and becomes independent.
The Social Circle
This is the sympathy group. Some of them may be deep connections too, but essentially not every friendship needs to be of the ‘put down your life for each other’-type. In life it is the good friends, close but not super close that help us out in key moments both practically as well as help us simply have a good time.
Cheerleader: This is the one to show up at our sports events, concerts, speeches or other events, whilst also behind our back be singing our praises and holding down the fort for us.
Rust Friend: This is the old friend from school or general earlier days. You are acquainted, trust each other, and generally enjoy each others company, but for now there is no pressure or desire to significantly increase the frequency of encounters.
Connector: The connector just knows everyone. He effortlessly connects to people around him, remembering the stories and introducing people. He knows peoples needs and capabilities, and matches them as he can.
Daredevil: This is the power type, hiking, going on adventurous holidays, and prompting us to actually do the things we always dreamed of, but never thought we would do. She brings us to go-carting, makes us do Cross-Fit, laughs away our protests and complaints but then basks in our expression of joy and fun, as we in the evening sit with her over a pint confessing that it was a great day out with her.
Neighbour:The neighbour is a classic, once domestic life settles in. This is the mutual support group for little favours, such as checking in on the house when you are on holiday. Coming over for a bottle of wine, a few beers or a dinner is enjoyable, and you encounter each other at various local social occasions. A very frequent variant is someone to meet in parents evenings, where the kids go to play, and who is likewise living close enough to support with day to day items (especially those of the kids) if life overwhelms you.
Younger Sister/Brother: This does not refer to kinship, but to the phenomenon that sometimes friendships can be struck across generations. An older guy/lady befriends a younger person who profits from their experience in life and in return draws them back into ‘active life’.
Saint and Idol: This is the one we wish we would be like (at least a little more). Whatever you admire in live, she embodies it. Truthful, authentic, despite rough adversity still smiling and positive. Compassionate and putting other people first when we ourselves would have withdrawn or minded our business, the saint reminds us to appeal to our better senses and keep pushing forward with hope, love and integrity.
Work Pal: This is the one to make you want to go to work. She may provide you with a little funny gossip, or help you out with a task. He may just make some funny jokes here and there and brighten up your day. In meetings she has your back, and he shows appreciation of the work you do. After hours on a friday a pint in the pub might let off some steam. Before important decisions or presentations she has an open ear to give you some perspective on the matters at hand, using her knowledge of the work place to point out issues you have missed.
Discussant: The discussion partner is someone with similar interests, who has an appreciation for the finer details of issues you are also interested in, be it poetry, politics, philosophy, art, music or contemporary events. It is fun to engage with the person and delve deeper, knowing that your passion is understood and mirrored.
Best Friends Partner: As the Friendship grows he/she also becomes a friend in their own right and adopts one of the pure roles. Often in career oriented couples even with the best intentions one partner becomes a little amnesic of the old friends and the need for friendship, and the social partner picks up the slack, prompting to reinitiate contact, reminding of birthdays and other social occasions. The partner is aware of the deep importance of the friendships and out of love for the other partner ensures that they don’t wither.
Single Friend: This is the one who never settled, challenging us to go out and relive our glory days. The one who allows us to experience the troubles of single life by telling us all the stories of why it didn’t work out this time. She gives us perspective on also the benefits of our current life
Running Mate: The relationship is not deep, but you are there for each other – reliably so, ensuring that the other’s training schedule does not slack. Whether it is 6am in the parks for a jog, after work in the gym or on the weekend of the golf course, you keep to your schedule together.