Updated: Jan 20
Who we surround ourselves with says a lot about who we are and how far we will go. For the sake of this blog, I'll refer to these individuals as friends. We can talk all day about what makes a friend and whether or not we should call certain people in our lives friends, but that is a topic for another day. For the purposes of this blog, a friend is: a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard; a person who is on good terms with another. The truth is, the people we interact with most on a personal level can greatly influence our moods, drive, and outlook on life. Our friends can shape how we interact with the world and how we continuously learn to respond to stress or other stimuli. Friendships can be difficult to maintain and they may not last forever. It's important, though, that no matter what season you are in, you have each of the five personalities available to you at all times.
The Forthright is the person who will always tell it like it is regardless of how you may feel. The honest one. Don't ask them if you look fat in that outfit if you're not willing to hear the truth. This personality has been called mean in some circles for their refusal to play a part in your foolery. They want the best for you and are willing to hurt your feelings if it'll get the point across. They'd rather you hear the truth from them than allowing the world to attack you either knowingly or unknowingly. They are direct with their words and can often be careless with their tone. This friend is important because they keep you level headed and ensure your ego doesn't become enlarged. Their sole purpose is to ensure that you are operating from the actual truth and not the truth you choose to believe. Their approach may be off-putting at times but be careful of eliminating this person from your circle because you're sensitive. Honesty is a virtue worth having and being surrounded by.
Also known as the cheerleader, The Enthusiast will support you in any and everything you do. They're not worried about whether or not you have a plan. Their main concern is your happiness and being a support to you. The Enthusiast is who you call when you want to go on a random road trip by yourself and need someone to tell you it's okay. The Enthusiast is who you call when you just quit your job and want someone to tell you how awesome you are because of it. It's not that this person is irresponsible, it's that their sole purpose is to support you by means of positivity and encouragement. We all have desires that we want to live out or adventures we want to act on. The Enthusiast acts as our "yolo". They give us the confidence we need to make decisions and live for today, even if it may not be in our best interest. Why should I have someone in my corner who doesn't have my best interest in mind? See, that's not for them to determine. It's for them to trust that you know what you're doing and give you the autonomy and space to make your own decisions regardless of the outcome. Their advice: go for it!
The Coach is a lot like The Enthusiast, except that they are strategic and intentional. They too want you to live your best life by doing what makes you happy, but they want you to do it in a way that is carefully designed and well thought out. Their sole purpose is to help elevate you to the next level and make sure that you are prepared for whatever comes your way. The Coach will call you on your bluff and work through every possible scenario alongside you. It's not just that they help build confidence, but they do so by helping you envision your next steps and creating a framework to do the work. The Enthusiast is more concerned with you doing things that make you happy, while the Coach is focused on you doing things that make you happy and creating the best way to do them. The Coach is not the friend who will allow you to slack and be the worst version of yourself. They will hold you accountable until you get it right, no matter how annoyed you feel. If you're not ready to execute, don't bring your ideas to The Coach. Or better yet, maybe you should.
Stress is unavoidable. It happens often and at the most inopportune moments. During stressful moments you may need to take some time to yourself or be with those who can support you appropriately. So who do you call? The Forthright is going to tell you the truth about how you played into your own demise and that you may need to breathe and get over it. The Enthusiast will see everything as the glass half full and will encourage you to be positive and engage in self-care. The Coach will walk you through what you can do to get over your emotions and figure out what to do for next time. But what if you just want to wallow for a minute? This is where The Serene comes into play. This personality's sole purpose is just to be present. They'll match your energy no matter what. If you think something sucks they'll say, "yeah this really does suck." Their goal isn't to fix your problem or bring honesty into your life. They are there to mimic your demeanor so that you don't feel like you're going through life alone. Their mirroring of your disposition puts you at ease and allows you to feel understood and heard. They do it so well that you begin to feel sorry for them to the point that you're beginning to get over what troubled you. They bring you peace, no matter your role in your own demise.
Who doesn't like a good laugh? The Entertainer is the life of the party. They are there to cheer you up and take your mind off any and everything. While you're calling the Enthusiast to tell you it's okay to quit your job and take a week long vacation, the Entertainer is who you call to take the trip with you. This is your fun buddy. The one who you know is always down for a good time and may even get you in some trouble. You may not have the most deep conversations with them, but nonetheless they are a good time any time. Their sole purpose is to help you live in the moment and be carefree. This personality introduces you to new people, places, things, and experiences. They go with the flow and bring out your bold and courageous sides. The Entertainer stands alongside you and allows you to live life one day at a time without a care in the world. They're your representation of what freedom look like.
As you were reading this blog you probably named people in your life who fit these descriptions. Some people may even fit more than one. That's perfect as it represents balance and thorough support. If after reading this, you determine that you're missing one of these personalities in your life, that's okay too. It sounds like it's time to meet new people and make some new friends. See, when you have representation of each of these categories you can't go wrong in life. There's always someone there to keep you grounded, help you be successful, or experience life with. It's also worth it to evaluate all your friendships and determine which role you play in each of them. I'm not trying to fit you or your people into boxes. What I am doing is ensuring that all your needs are being met and if not, clearly identifying which ones aren't.
Of course I could name several more types of friends, but in my opinion these are the most integral. So I ask you, what about your friends?