What about your friends?

I recently had the pleasure of helping to facilitate a session on friendship for middle school -to-high-school aged girls attending a local summer camp (CAMP COSMO). As the young ladies discussed some of the issues they face within their various groups of friends, I couldn’t help but notice that the same issues they complained about as a result of the types of friends in their respective circles are quite similar, if not identical, to the types of women in some of our adult circles.

So let’s face it- we all have that ‘one’ friend that __________ (take a look below and fill in the blank).

1.       The complainer – This friend is rarely ever happy. She always has something to complain about. You can start with ‘hello’ and she’ll tell you why she can’t’ stand the rain…ok, I’m being facetious but you get the point. 

2.       The ‘low key’ antagonist – You can’t quite figure out why you’re friends with this person. Seriously, she never has anything nice to say about you or anyone else for that matter. This person rarely supports or encourages you and is usually the first to say something negative about you especially if others are positively promoting you.

3.       The ‘one upper’ – Is it a friendship or a competition? You can’t possibly share your good news or bad news for that matter without this friend trying to ‘one up’ you. Even the bad news? Yes, even the bad news…

You- “I had the worst day today, I locked myself out of the house this morning, forgot my lunch, and my tire went flat on the way home.”

The ‘one upper’- “Oh that’s nothing, my right eye has been twitching so I know hard times are coming, plus my car insurance is going up in six months.”

4.       Dr. Loud & Always Wrong- Sigh! Everyone knows it but no one can seem to break it to this friend. She typically has something to say about everything but rarely makes any sense. The logic is always lacking but you nod and smile or keep silent like the rest of the girls in the group, in hopes that she’ll just stop talking.

 5.       The ‘follower’ – This friend can’t make a decision on her own to save her life. She follows whomever is leading for the week. She adopts their sayings, behaviors, likes/dislikes. etc. If someone else is doing it, so is she.

The types of friends listed are not pointed out because I think they are bad people. That’s not the case at all. I do think that they are people that we need to be mindful of as we become more purposeful about who we let in our space. I won’t belabor the point by discussing all the research done on the positive and negative impacts of the company we choose to keep. I will say that it is evident, indeed, that those we keep in close proximity often impact our lives and livelihood.  Better, yet, I’ll leave you with this- “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

It’s easy to point the finger but which friend are you? Seriously, think about it and I want to hear from you!

This post was originally featured in the Women Who Hustle Newsletter: August Edition | Vol. 2