How many friends do you need?

April 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 5 Comments
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I read an article on the train recently which stemmed from the Facebook culture of ‘collecting’ friends.  To feel more popular?  To widen your reach?  To network?  Who knows.  I keep trying to cut mine down – concious that I sometimes have a tendancy to bare my soul, I decided that the less people who see that, the better.  I currently stand at 205.  150 would feel safer.

But out here, in the real world (yes, shock, it does still exist), how many friends do you really need?  David Beckham claims only to have three close friends.  Well I guess it could be quite depressing being in the company of someone that beautiful for any length of time.  Maybe it’s not his choice to have so few…

After reading the article, I decided that for a normal, married woman with children, this is how many friends you need.  Seven.

And here they are.

1. The honest friend.  The  first thing you are likely to tell them about is how crap your week has been.  Or how you’ve had a barney over closing the microwave door with your husband.  Or that you’re not earning as much as you need to be.  This friend is invaluable; she’ll always tell it how it is, she never puts on a front and she remembers to ask after ‘that saga’ from last week.  She’s the one person you can be totally yourself with and not have to pretend you’re a well dressed, baking, home making, career building superwoman.

2. The hilarious friend.  These friends are often male and secretly you have a soft spot for them.  Not like that, you just really, really enjoy their company.  Everything they say is funny.  Their mannerisms are just funny.  They could tell you what they had for tea and the unfolding story would make you want to pee with laughter.  Great after a long day, brilliant for long lazy pub garden afternoons and generally mood-lifters to be around.  You want to be that funny.

3. The party friend.  Everyone needs a party friend.  The one person you can call on and know they’ll be totally up for it, will have an outfit that’s been dying to come out, and they’ll get just as trashed as you, not care and have great photos of you both (amazingly flattering) to prove it.  She also never loses her memory so can fill in all the blank spots for you.  And she eats fried eggs sarnies for brekkie.

4. The no words needed friend.  Sometimes you just want a chilled afternoon out with the children.  As chilled as it can be.  And you just want to be out of the house, with people but you’re not feeling especially sociable.  That’s fine though because with this friend you can enjoy the comfortable silence.  She’s not going to go home to her husband saying ‘not sure what’s up with her, right face on, barely said a word’…

5. The inspirational friend.  You might not see this person very often but when you get together for a glass of wine and a catch up, you always leave feeling ready to take on the world.  That project you’ve been putting off for years is finally going to be ressurected, you’re going to achieve so much this year, and it’s all thanks to her words of advice and support.  You wish you could keep her in your pocket.

6. The ‘don’t mention the kids’ friend.  This friend is refreshing.  You talk about clothes, houses, gardening, books, cooking, dancing, fashion, s*x, men, films, food, work, birthdays, Christmas, weddings, funerals, holidays, love, chores, friends, family – the lot – just not the children.

7. The thoughtful friend.  Aah the thoughtful friend.  A real gem; there aren’t many of these in life.  They text you because they’ve spotted a new program on tv about social media, and they know you’re a Twitter geek and they want to make sure you don’t miss it.  Or they buy you a tea towel because it’s Wills and Kate and they know you love all things Royal.  They call every week just to say hi.  They always remember a birthday, wedding, christening and bar mitzvah.  They always think of you before themselves.  They make life look pretty, pink and perfectly wrapped.


By the way, some people are lucky to have three hilarious friends, seven party friends and two thoughtful friends – this is just the minimum requirement I believe…. discuss!


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  1. 7 ?
    are you sure?

    • Maybe I’m wrong how many would you say? I reckon if you had to survive with a really tight knit handful of friends, you could?!! Maybe you could survive with seven types of friends!!!

  2. I’m running several short then! lol!

  3. I agree with your seven…. but Mummy would like to suggest another type of friend. The background friend. According to Mummy, this friend is the one that will always be there in the background. This type of friend you may not see for months at a time but when you do catch up, you are both completely comfortable talking for hours about life’s recent events, without getting upset with each other that it has been so long since the last time you saw each other.

    • Let’s make it a round 8 – a background friend is a very good one!

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