A note about listicles: So we know a lot of people hate listicles and associate them with cheap, low-quality, traffic-driving, link-bait articles. Then, over the last few years, I watched in horror as one of my favorite formats decided to prostitute itself all over the internet as the default format for lazy articles. Friends just kind of happen. Once student life ends, the people in your life start to shake themselves into more distinct tiers.
Something like this:. At the top of your life mountain, in the green zone, you have your Tier 1 friends —those who feel like brothers and sisters.
These are the people closest to you, those you call first when something important happens, those you love even when they suck, who make speeches at your wedding, whose best and worst sides you know through and through, and whose relationship with you is eternal—even if you go months or years without hanging out, nothing has changed when you find yourself together again. Unfortunately, depending on how things went down in your youth, Tier 1 can also contain your worst enemies, the people who can ruin your day with one subtle jab that only they could word so brilliantly hurtfully, the people you feel a burning resentment for, or jealousy of, or competition with.
Tier 1 is high stakes.
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Below, in the yellow zone, are your Tier 2 friends —your Pretty Good friends. Pretty Good friends are a much calmer situation than your brothers and sisters on Tier 1. If you live in the same city, you might see them every month or two for dinner and have a great time when you do, but if one of you moves, you might not speak for the next year or two. Towards the bottom of the mountain in the orange zone, you have your Tier 3 friends —your Not Really friends. You might grab a one-on-one drink with one of them when you move to their city, but then it surprises neither of you when five years pass and drink 2 is still yet to happen.
You may also try to sleep with one of these people at any given time. And depending on who you are and how things shook out in those first 25 years, the way your particular mountain looks will vary.
Whatever your particular mountain looks like, eventually the blur of your youth is behind you, the dust has settled, and there you are living your life—when one day, usually around your mid or late 20s, it hits you:. As time goes on, you start to realize that the year frenzy of not-especially-thought-through haphazard friend-making you just did was the critical process of you making most of your lifelong friends.
Here are 10 common ones—. This friend can be explained in one of three ways:. Possibility 2 is a pretty dark situation for your friend, but it can actually be fun for you. Sometimes the skit is that you both burst out laughing at everything constantly.
This type of person hates earnest people because someone being earnest dares him to come out from under his ironic safety blanket and let the sun touch his face, and no fucking thanks. The key here is that the two of you must be on a team at all times while interacting.
The only comfortable mode for this person is bonding with you by building a little pedestal for you both to stand on while you criticize everyone else.
What these all have in common is the friend has tall walls up, at least toward you, and so she builds a little skit for you two to hang out in to make sure any authentic connection can be avoided. Sometimes that person only does this out of her own social anxiety and can become a great, authentic friend if you can just stomp through the ice.
Ya know? Most old friends fall somewhat into this category, but a true Historical Friend is someone you absolutely would not be friends with if you met them today. Throughout childhood and much of young adulthood, most people your age are in the same life stage as you are.
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But when it comes to advancing into full adulthood, people do so at widely varying paces, which le to certain friends suddenly having totally different existences from one another. Anyone within three years of 30 has a bunch of these going on. Some people have become Future year-olds, while others are super into being year-olds. At some point, things will start to meld together again, but being ish is the friendship equivalent of a kid going through an awkward pubescent stage.
There are darker, more permanent Non-Parallel Life Path situations.
The Frenemy roots very hard against you. Those are bad emotions, but they can exist in people who are still good friends. You and the Frenemy usually go way back, have a very deep friendship, and the trouble probably started a long time ago.
A little less dark but no less harmful is a bully situation where a friend sees some weakness or vulnerability in you and she enjoys prodding you there either for sadistic reasons or to prop herself up. Whatever the reason, if you have a Frenemy in your life, kick her toxic ass off your mountain, or at least kick her down the mountain— just get her off of Tier 1. A Frenemy has about a tenth of the power to hurt you from Tier 2 as she does from Tier 1.
Well done. Is one person allowed to be more of a dick to the other than vice versa? In the Does This Friendship Make Sense graph above, the friendships we just discussed are all in Quandrants 2, 3, or 4—i. And when a friendship is both in Quadrant 1 of the graph and on Tier 1 of your mountain—that friendship is a rock in your life. Investing serious time and energy into those is a no-brainer long term life strategy.
But in the case of most people over 25—at least in New York—I think A not enough time is carved out as dedicated friend time, and B the time that is carved out is spread too thin, and too evenly, among the Tier 1 and Tier 2 friendships in all four quadrants. In theory, once this happens, you can go back to just hanging out, shooting the shit, and actually being in the friendship.
Most importantly, doing this clears up time to…. So go make plans with them. How to Pick Your Life Partner.
6 (non awkward) ways to approach someone you want to be friends with
The Great Perils of Social Interaction. Something like this: At the top of your life mountain, in the green zone, you have your Tier 1 friends —those who feel like brothers and sisters. Finally, acquaintances gradually blend into the endless world of strangers. Both of you—go do something else.
Someone can want to spend more time with a friend than vice versa. Most importantly, doing this clears up time to… 2 Dedicate even more time to the Quadrant 1, Tier 1 rocks in your life.
Friendship quotes your best friend will love
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