Types of Friends You Should Surround Yourself With

friends eating on the table

Are you happy with the friends you have in your life right now? Do you think you’re surrounding yourself with the right kind of people?

According to clinical social worker Amy Morin, the company you keep matters a whole lot because your friends can greatly influence the way you feel, think, and behave. So it’s important that we all take the time to reflect every once in a while the quality of our friendships. Because we all deserve to be with people who value, respect, and uplift us. 

With that said, here are the 5 types of friends you should surround yourself with, according to experts:

1. The Motivator

According to a 2013 study published in Psychological Science, having strong-willed friends can increase your own self-control, which can in turn improve your focus and make you more likely to achieve your goals. So it’s important to surround yourself with people who inspire and motivate you to push yourself the same way they do. According to psychologist Dr. Robert Wicks, having friends like this helps us to grow as people, challenge ourselves, and keep ourselves accountable for our progress. 

2. The Empathetic Listener

Everyone needs a friend who can help them through the tough times by being a shoulder to cry on or a safe space they can run to. According to certified counselor Juliet Lam Kuehnle, this innate need we all have to connect is what makes our friendships so fulfilling. We need friends who can validate our feelings, perspectives, and experiences; someone who can make us feel seen and heard. So having an empathetic listener in your corner can contribute a lot to our feelings of emotional connection and belonging with those around us because we know that they are genuinely interested in us and our well-being.

3. The Optimistic Dreamer

The next type of friend you’ll want to surround yourself with, according to Dr. Wicks is the optimistic dreamer. These are people who love life and thrive on positivity. They are idealists who can help you see the silver lining in everything and uplift you. They passionately go after their dreams and encourage you to dream big for yourself, too. Their attitude of gratitude can be infectious and spending time with them will have you falling in love with life again in no time. 

4. The Authentic, Open-Minded Friend

This is the friend who makes you feel free to be yourself and never puts up pretenses with you. Genuine and down-to-earth, you trust them to be honest with you and keep you grounded, too. They’re not fair-weather friends who suck up to you just because they want or need something from you. No, they’re real friends who are fiercely loyal and non-judgmental. And you’ll know when a friendship is good for you, says clinical social worker Amy Morin, when the connection is easy and natural, like it is when you have this kind of friend around. 

5. The Funny Friend

According to psychologist Dr. Deborah Serani, there are a lot of benefits to having a good sense of humor. To name a few: it boosts your immune system, releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones) which relieve chronic pain, and improves our mental and emotional well-being. So find yourself a friend who makes you laugh, who can remind you not to take yourself or life so seriously all the time. Surround yourself with people who know how to have fun, let go, and even laugh at themselves every once in a while. Having a funny friend by your side can go a long way into brightening up your life.

So, what are your thoughts on this video? Let us know in the comments down below what kind of friends you surround yourself with, and if you have any advice for finding the right people. Because friendship is a beautiful and important part of life, and everyone deserves to experience it. 

And ’till next time Psych2goers, remember: you matter!


Morin, A. (2015, Apr 10). 5 Reasons Studies Say You Have to Choose Your Friends Wisely. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/5-reasons-studies-say-you-have-choose-your-friends

Wicks, R. (2015, Aug 24). 4 Types of Friends You Need in Your Life. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-resilient-life/201508/4-types-friends-you-need-in-your-life

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