Women have an innate need for female friends.
They are our vaults, our confidantes, our advisers — and they sometimes lead us to trouble, albeit fun and mischievous.
These friends are essential for women to be happy, connected, and healthy. They provide a connection unlike any other.
Our closest friends have unique personalities, and although we bond as a group for a girls’ night out, each woman usually falls into a category.
Here are the five essential types most of us have in our sacred circle — or should.
1.) The friend who never lets us down. She is your reliable go-to for all situations, both good and bad. She cancels her plans when you’re having a bad day, drags you out of bed, forces you to wear something pretty, and takes you to brunch to lift your spirits (perhaps while drinking spirits).
She keeps her word to you and keeps it to herself.
As South Florida relationship counselor Harriet Kiviat, Ph.D., explained, “We have people in our lives who come and go, but it is important to have one steady BFF who you can rely on in the best and worst of times.”
She added, “This is the one you call when your Tinder date turns out to be a nightmare” — and for other critical, last-minute situations, such as “when your boyfriend flakes and you need a companion” for business or social events.
Most importantly: “Nurture this relationship and be mindful of giving as much as you take,” advised Kiviat.
2.) The pal we know from grade school. You’ve been friends forever. She knows where the bodies are buried, has seen you through the awkward hair and fashion styles and the early boyfriend dramas — and she’s still your friend.
While meeting the “new guy,” she utters not a word about previous trysts or love interests.
This friend also serves as “necessary reminders that we were once young and more carefree than we are now,” said Kiviat. This relationship encourages us to not take everything so seriously.
3.) The reliable neighborhood friend. She watches your house while the repairman, the cable guy, the plumber, or some other critical expert has to visit during the workday. She picks up your kids from school when it’s impossible for you to be on time, brings you chicken soup when you’re sick — and you can always go to her house for a cup of sugar (or vodka) to hide from your husband or kids for five minutes.
When you simply need a good cry because you’re premenstrual and the dishwasher is broken, this great woman is your savior.
Kiviat said the neighborhood friend, by the way, is quite different from your BFF. “A good neighbor is just that … someone who watches out for you with no strings attached,” said Kiviat.
4.) The sage friend. Within your friends circle, she is the wisest, most level-headed, most give-it-to-you-straight girl.
You know to wear your big-girl pants when calling or meeting her because she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. Although she’s a dear friend, you sometimes avoid her because you’re not always ready for reality. However, when it’s time, there is no better friend to consult.
You share a mutual love and respect — and yes, she’s always right!
5.) The inspirational buddy. This friend is invaluable. She boosts you up while struggling with responsibilities and goals. She raises your confidence and shows you the possibilities are endless.
She lifts you from your self-deprecating hole and helps you cross the next threshold, while holding your hand the entire time.
This friend is an absolute essential to your posse because everyone experiences slumps in business and personal issues. She sheds light on the situation and fills your soul with brilliance to forge ahead.
Keep up your guard with her, as she may also slap your hand if you don’t snap out of it — which indeed is a method of snapping you out of it!
Based in Boynton Beach, Florida, Christine King is founder and CEO of Your Best Fit , a health and wellness company that provides fitness, nutrition, and design and management services for individuals, private clubs, luxury communities, and corporations. This article appeared earlier in LifeZette and has been updated.