female friends.

January 11, 2010

Women have 10 types of friends according to some new book about women and their friendships. But of the 10, only 3 (maybe 4) of them are the type of friend anyone would want or want to be. Essentially, we’re constantly surrounded by people with terribly toxic personalities. In fact, how can we even consider some of these people friends?

Let’s take a look. The Doormat, The Sacrificer, The Sharer (depending on how you think of this one) – all seem to put too much into the friendship that is clearly not going to give the same amount back. In fact, if you saw these qualities in a friend in a romantic relationship, you’d probably be advising her to get out. Fast. I guess it’s hard to realize when you’re in that position. And the person on the opposite side of the relationship is getting a pretty good deal and probably won’t tell you.

That makes the other person (or you if you’ve got one of the doormat friends) a User, a Trophy Friend or maybe even a Frenemy (god, separate words should not be combined into one). These three are manipulative, selfish, but charming so you don’t hate them. Again, it’s an uneven relationship that anyone should avoid. Additionally, the Misery Lover is just a downer and should only be sought out when in desperate need of complaining. That would probably make you a User then.

So that leaves The Leader, The Mirroring Friend, and The Authentic Friend as the “good” friends. Between the latter two, the key characteristic is that the friendship is mutually beneficial. The Leader gets special consideration because every group needs a leader. It’d be better if it was a shared responsibility, but usually one person emerges as more dominant – which isn’t necessarily bad.

As a side note – the comments list 10 types of guy friends. An equally awful list as most supposedly have crushes on you or you have crushes on them.



  1. I’m such a computer nerd that as I read the first sentence, I thought the punchline would be that 10 is binary for 2. Oooh boy, I think I need some help!

    Although I didn’t (and won’t) read the linked article, I would say those relationships are not unique to female-female friendships. I know a lot of couples with similar dynamics as well as male-male for some of those. More competitiveness and less social evilness.

  2. After seeing this approach succeed, I’ve been working to view and define my friends more by their own character as whole people and less by their relationship to me. Even thinking a little like this makes it really hard to relate to this article… which I might say is a good thing.

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