A Look At Archetypes: Who Are Your Friends?

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Laverne & Shirley: Back in the day one friend was all you needed! { Source }

This is something fun to think about.

I was listening to Sorta Awesome, a podcast I enjoy.  The conversation topic of Episode 54 was how every woman needs a variety of friends in her life because each friend serves a different, but necessary, role in your life.

They were talking about archetypes, not specific names of people. This wasn’t gossip.

As the show went on I started thinking about who I need in my life. The women on the program believed they needed 10 friends, but I decided that at this point in my life I need 5 friends.

Call me a minimalist.  Or an introvert.

Below you’ll find my list of the five friends who I need to keep me grateful, connected, grounded, hopeful, and happy.

[A digression.  Yesterday in The Guardian I read an article: “Why don’t I have any friends?”

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The Biographer is the friend who knows all the nuances + details of your life, meaning that any problem you take to her needs no background story because she knows it, she knows you, and she knows what you need to do.

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The Oprah Fan is the friend who knows what’s on-trend, whether it be spiritual or sartorial, funny or frowned-upon, healthy or home-y, and she is willing to share her knowledge so you’ll be on-trend, too.

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The Loyal Opposition is the friend who, like you, pays attention to the events in the world, but often comes to a different conclusion about what’s going on and why it is happening.

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The Cheerleader is the friend who is on your side, without any need for you to explain or justify, in-depth, what you are up to;  she’s your own personal pep squad.

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The Snarkologist is the friend who makes me laugh out loud because she is unfiltered, truthful, and willing to skewer, in a most wonderful way, anything or anyone who deserves to be taken down a peg.

~ ~ ~ ~

How about you, my gentle readers?  Who are your friends?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

57 thoughts on “A Look At Archetypes: Who Are Your Friends?”

  1. That is a great group of friends. You need each one. I’m currently looking for an Oprah fan because that is a weak area for me. Trends are so much work to keep up with. I am always behind the pack.

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  2. Very nice. I now am challenged to think about if you have these covered. A few, for sure, spring out in an instant.

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  3. I’m in search of The Daredevil – one who will go with me when I’m wanting to try something new and scary for me (like kayaking, hiking, Parkour lessons…come to think of it, we’ll both need The Nurse, that one friend who can talk intelligently to the doctors when we end up in the emergency room, lol).

    I could also use The Accountant – I’m in business building mode as an author / writing coach but have no idea how to deal with the money side. Some one well versed in and willing to help with that until I can afford to pay them would be awesome.

    Oh, and then there’s The IT Geek – pretty self-explanatory; that one friend who is so technologically savvy they can whip my online presence into shape. Then carefully guide me as I mess it up, repeatedly, lol.

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    1. Dana, you’ve got some good friend ideas here. Well done. I especially like how you’re planning ahead to make sure that you have a Daredevil PLUS a Nurse. I hadn’t thought of an IT Geek, but now that you mention it… I could use one of those, too.

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      1. My mom had several friends who were registered nurses; made her bout with breast cancer a little less stressful because they were able to get things done for her that we didnt even know to ask for.

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        1. It makes perfect sense that someone within the medical field would know how to go about doing things to help. Sorry to hear about your mother, but glad that she had the friends that she did.

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    1. susie, snarky people find me! It’s not like I’m rolling my eyes all the time, but apparently I give off a vibe that suggests it’s okay to say what you want around me. Hope you find your Snarkologist soon. Life without one would be tedious.

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  4. The snarkologist and the biographer are absolute musts for me. I probably could live without all the rest if I absolutely had to, although I would miss my cheerleader as a nice counterbalance. The only other friend I might like is the Bondsman/woman: someone I could call in a jam whether that jam is as simple as getting out of jail or taking out villains intent to throw killer hats at me, no questions asked.

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    1. Allie P, I like your idea for a Bondsman/woman. Said friend could come in handy, no doubt. Of course, if you have the right Cheerleader on your side, she might be able to handle getting you out of jail. But when it comes to villains, you’re gonna need more muscle, so to speak. 😉

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  5. Insightful and hilarious post!
    What about THE Shopper. You know the one who’s up on all the trends, knows all the cool shops ( and which racks to browse and which to ignore), is ever alert for huge sales of current fashions, who knows what looks perfect and is quite blunt about what looks horrid on you and is instantly there with “Here, try this” followed by “Yes, now that’s perfect for you.” A really good Shopper doesn’t dawdle but whips through stores like a whirlwind and it’s off to the next one – not one to waste time.
    Saves everyone time. And The Shopper knows when to say “The 80’s called and wants that hairstyle and makeup back.”
    A real low maintenance friend that doesn’t need daily contact with you as she is so busy and has stuff to buy…run if you want to catch up with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. philmouse, I like your idea for adding a friend who is the Shopper. I don’t enjoy shopping, but like to look nice so someone who knew her way around the stores and counters + would tell me what looked good on me would be a blessing. Sadly I don’t know a soul who enjoys shopping anymore, so I’ll have to do without this help. Which I could use.

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      1. Yeah, shopping on line is easy, but you need The Shopper at your elbow to keep prodding you to keep focus or you can waste a whole day looking…and still not being sure if you were nuts to order that item even if it is the right size.
        So far my solution is to order multiples/different colors of the same item once it works well…..of course it was easier when it was OK if everything you owned was black HA HA

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        1. I’ve taken to ordering different sizes in white, then after I find something that works… I get freaky and order it in all the shades of blue available. Black no longer works on me, but I can rock blue like nobody’s business!

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    1. Stephanie, I like the idea of friends who live in your computer. I’d say that wasn’t all bad, but I’m an introvert, too. In fact, I think it’s one of the good developments to come from the internet. Connection without stress.

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  6. Hmm… I do like this idea.
    The Emotional Validator — sees things the same, understands
    The Loyal Opposition — essential for those of us who like to think
    The Intellectual — for thinking AND learning
    The Confessor — someone has to keep the secrets
    The Rationalist — someone has to talk me down from ledges and clouds
    Those are my girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, I like your list. Happy to see that you included the Loyal Opposition among your friends. I have to have that sort of counterbalance in my life or I’d go over the edge into theoretical oblivion.

      I especially like your Rationalist idea. I could add that one to my list, although I think that might be what Zen-Den does so I might already have that friend covered. Still wouldn’t hurt to have that friend specifically spelled out.

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      1. Thanks. You know, Loyal Opposition is so important, because everyone needs a counterpoint. The Mister is a rationalist as well, but sometimes I need a WOMAN to tell me how rational he’s being.

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  7. I have a snarkologist-which is good for times of stress, and those pesky life events that make me feel like I’m Jonah meeting his whale. Im an extreme introvert so my list of friends is short-and that’s okay by me.
    I’m a cheerleader 😉 and I love that title btw. There’s nothing more fulfilling than to fill someone else with love, acceptance, joy!
    The friend I currently am searching for is the housekeeper. You know-tells you what you don’t want to hear so that you can just clean up your mess and get back to being you? But alas, good housekeepers are so hard to find!

    I love this post. If it’s okay with you I’d love to use it sometime as a link in a post all my own? It’s got me buzzing with ideas!

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    1. bitsfromheaven, I’m all about having a Snarkologist. I need someone with that kind of attitude to remind me to be less mellow, more edgy. I love knowing that you’re a cheerleader. We need more of them in this world. I adore your idea of a Housekeeper. That’s something I’d not thought of when I wrote this list. Good addition.

      Feel free to use this post in any way you want. It’s too good of a topic to not share with others.

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  8. I still have my pom poms from my cheerleading days (when I was 6 and 7). As I’m so optimistic, as you pointed out, perhaps that should be MY job. Give me an A. Give me an L. Give me an L. Give me a Y. What’s that spell? No, not alliiiiii, like France. ALLEEEEEEEEE! Like Ally Bean! (Of course, some of the snarkologist would sneak in… I simply can’t help it.) ~Tara

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    1. Tara, you make a delightful Cheerleader and I appreciate your unbridled enthusiasm. I understand about the Snarkologistic aspect of your personality, which probably gives you the umph to be a good Cheerleader. It’s all one big circle, you know?

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      1. I’ve been thinking about this post all day. I love it because it’s a completely new idea to me- friend archetypes. So clever. I think I’d have to add the sort of friend who knows how to get stains out of laundry and really practical stuff, and an archetype for the sort of friend who inspires you to be a better person.

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        1. Chez Shea, when I heard the podcast about friend archetypes I was taken with the idea. It makes sense to me. I agree about a Practical friend and about an Inspiring friend. Both would be welcome additions to my list.

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  9. I agree and have many friends of lots of different types. However, I don’t think they can fit in categories. They all have to be people that I can talk with, be open around, and share laughs together. A sense of humor is essential. 🙂

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    1. Margaret, you don’t see archetypes among your friends? That’s fascinating. When I listened to the podcast, I immediately knew who I needed in my life and how she fit into it. The whole conversation made perfect sense to me, like I’d found a clue into what makes people tick and why I connect with them. Maybe it’s an introvert thing. Or maybe it’s an English major thing. But the archetype idea rang true with me.

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    1. evilsquirrel13, oh you have archetypal friends. You show us what they’re up to every Thursday! But if you want to read the article, who am I to stop you?

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  10. I too, like you, have fewer friends than ten. I mean, I have lots of friends, but only a few close friends that truly know me, and I them. I guess I never thought about dividing them into a certain category. They all though, are very essential to helping me through this crazy life! Thanks for this great post!

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    1. Beth, I think you nailed the essence of this idea: you can know lots of people, but only certain people help you– and when they do, it’s in a specific way that can be catagorized. Crazy life, indeed.

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  11. hm…..you have hit the relevant subject for me here. Friends are various in type in a chronological way as well, I think: Some friends last lifetimes, some are momentary in a moment of connection or need, others are for sometimes or occasionally, and so on.
    I hesitate to share my friend situation according to your criteria. That is because it would appear to be a sad situation……and it is, in fact.
    My ‘friends’, currently, who I regularly am in contact with, are the angels who speak to me on helplines who I call when I need an empathic human to speak with.
    The comments here are very interesting, as well as your post. I will have a good read through later on this evening.

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    1. ellah, I know what you mean about chronology. Over the years different people have been around to be the friends who fulfill my archetype, and of course, the archetypes I need have changed as I have. I’m glad you find this topic interesting. I did too. Good food for thought, eh?

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  12. I looked at the Guardian article which you provided a ‘link’ to. Let me guess……the writer of that article is in no position to know what he is going on about. His attitude is indeed an insult to all the ‘gentle’ people out here.

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    1. Perhaps he meant well? If nothing else he provides perspective on a topic that is often overlooked. I liked the attitude of the women on the podcast who were proactive about friendship. And funny in the process. That’s where the compassion is, imho.

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  13. 5 friends sounds about right . . . but I want them all to be:

    The Snarkologist… is the friend who makes me laugh out loud because she is unfiltered, truthful, and willing to skewer, in a most wonderful way, anything or anyone who deserves to be taken down a peg.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nrhatch, you’re onto something with this idea. It’d make for more interesting days if everyone around me was snarking and all I had to do was sit back and laugh. Smart thinking.

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  14. So fun! I agree that different friends will fulfill different needs in our lives. It’s funny, because after my husband and my mom, the first friend I called the day I got laid off is a combo of The Biographer and The Snarkologist. She has hopped around with jobs A LOT over the years. She was like: “Gee, you lost your job and you thought of me. Thanks!”

    But, she was happy that I reached out to her. And she had all the right things to say. I didn’t want a pity party—just someone who would understand the situation quickly and give me a no BS pep talk.

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    1. Britt, I think you’re right about some friends being a combo of the archetypes we need. A Biographer + Snarkologist sounds like a delightful combo to me. I could use one of those! I’m glad yours was there for you when you needed her, which makes her a perfect archetypal friend. Sorry to read of your job loss, but with friends like yours, you’ll do great getting back into the swing of things.

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  15. Very interesting. I agree that a handful of good friends is enough. Reading your list, I think I may need to swap some friends as they seem too similar, I also have a ‘one upper’ friend who definitely needs to be exchanged for a cheerleader!

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    1. Barbed Words, I’m currently looking for a Cheerleader, so I get your need for one. They aren’t as easy to find as say a Snarkologist or an Oprah Fan. Or at least they aren’t where I live. As for what other archetypes you might require, I leave that up to you and your clever imagination. The possibilities are endless. 😉

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    1. Gulara, I thought this was an interesting way to understand yourself via who you need to help you be you. We all have archetypes in our lives, but knowing who they are is the thing. And there’s always a thing, isn’t there?

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