For our upcoming class reunion, we thought of having this as our theme: “Celebrating 30 years of friendship.” But how do we define friendship? We just found an interesting article about this topic and we thought of sharing it with all of you.
And by the way, we are now busy conceptualizing the reunion program. Any bright ideas?
Different Types of Friendships
Written by Rajyeshwari Ghosh
One of my professors once told us to diversify our own personalities, and today I am very grateful to him for his advice, because I make a conscious effort to accept someone without judgments. These days, we name almost any relation as a “friend.” Do we really think what kind of friend we are to another, or what kind of friends we are actually looking for?
To me, friendship is a relationship where both individuals can have a great time together, with whom there are less ego fights, with whom I can have open conversations, and who will prove loyal. A good friend always appreciates the good qualities in a friend, tries to mend the negative qualities, and encourages an honest and open relation. A good friend is a sense of inspiration and motivation. Good friends learn from each others’ mistakes.
Based on my experiences, I have explored the different types of friends I have found in my life, and what we can expect from each of these types.
1. Professional Friends – This group is for professional networking. At the beginning of the relationship, most of the conversations are about topics of mutual interest in specific professions, and then it can gradually take a more personal turn. In this friendship, the expectation is to learn, exchange information, ideas, concepts and grow professionally. A lot of these friendships are formed in professional organizations like Economic Club of New York, Project Management Institute, and 100 Women in Hedgefunds. Most of these relationships grow deeper when both individuals can provide professional expertise and insights. We can find these friends at workplace also. Sometimes, they take the form of mentors, or someone we can count on in future. As we grow professionally, this group tends to increase more. This is where professional and business etiquette must be practiced.
2. Social Friends – This group of friendship is formed in social service clubs like Rotary International, Lions Clubs, and Kiwanis International. This group is conscious about social issues and also wants to network in a less formal setting than the professional friends circle. This group of friends volunteers their time, money and efforts to work on social causes, and get public recognition for the same. The budding professionals can take leadership roles to take and execute responsibilities, and to promote and sell their skills. We can also find a group like this in major corporations like Asian Heritage Network group of Citigroup.
3. Deep/Emotional Friends - Friends in this group are very few. This group of friends tends to have an intellectual appetite, but usually have perceived and experienced life through various relationships. This friends group will be there to support us during the ups and downs of life. Sometimes, we can find these friendships between married women, mother and daughter, close sisters. These are the friends who we will grow old with.
4. Intellectual Friends – This group has a very curious and intellectual mindset. We can talk about anything without being embarrassed. Friends in this group are very few. The difference between the Emotional and Intellectual friends is that the latter understand situations logically without mixing feelings. Usually this group of friends is considerate, matured, well-developed and have their own fulfilled lives. Sometimes, these groups of friends are so busy in their own pursuits and quests of life that they might not be able to offer the time, but when they do, it is mutually fulfilling.
5. Self-Actualized Friends – Friends in this group are the perfect combination and are very rare to find. These friends have an amazing appetite for intellectual conversation, are open to discuss about life experiences, take care of their own needs, have less complaints about life in general and respect others views of life. In addition to that, they will love to invest time to grow emotionally, professionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually, know how to laugh and enjoy life also. These friends will not try to change others, but will appreciate and respect the differences. Probably, we will grow old with this group of friends. The friends in this group volunteer to give us feedback and advice about different aspects of life, not only because they care about us, but want positive things to happen in our lives.
6. Buddy Friends – This is a very informal group of friends, who meet informally to have a great time together. A lot of Meet Up groups fall under this category. This is the group who are usually college students, high school students, and singles. These friends usually go to the clubs, bars, happy hours, discos. There is not much intellectual connection, professional connection, because the people in this group still does not have the need to explore more serious matters of life, or might not feel the comfort to seek advice on any issues.
7. School Friends (Memory Revisiting) – There are a lot of friends in this group. If we have not kept in touch, most of them are acquaintances at this stage. Most likely we have changed, since we last saw them and they have changed also. We will meet them at reunions, alumni events. Most of the conversations are nostalgic and about the “good old days.”