There are many different types of friendships. Acquaintances are people you know, see occasionally & have friendly conversations, but you don’t have a deep connection. Casual friends are those you see more regularly and likely have a bit more in common. Maybe you share interests or social circles, but you don’t necessarily confide in each other or spend a lot of time together. Close friends are people who you have a deeper connection with – sharing personal info, confiding & spending time together. You may have a long history together, having shared significant life events. Best friends are those you have a strong bond with, share a lot in common and support each other through thick & thin. Online friends are those you “meet” but connect, share interests & communicate through social media, forums, or other digital platforms. Work friends are those you mainly interact with in a work setting, sharing professional interests or goals, but may not necessarily spend time together outside of work.

Some good listeners become our confidantes & offer comfort as we deal with day-to-day challenges. Some friends are practical helpers, who might help if a car breaks down or if we’re ill or offers to pick up & drive kids. Some make us laugh, offer distractions when we need it & share perspective when we might not be seeing clearly.

Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on our friendships. We might think they should suit our every need. But this puts a lot of pressure on any relationship. It’s hard but important to remember that while we’re coping with our lives— so is everyone. So if we can remember what our friends do and offer when they can, we’re less likely to feel disappointed when it feels like they haven’t fulfilled our expectations of the friendship.

Friends come in all forms. If you have one or maybe two that are actually all-fulfilling — you are exceptionally lucky. That said, it’s wise to create a collective of friends. Understand everyone is coping with life just like you are. Doing this will help you appreciate their strengths and generosity when offered.