I first read this in a report in Chinese in MyPaper and wanted to google the English report for a more accurate read (yes, my Chinese is really poor nowadays). What I wanted to do was to see if I could identify these 5 friends in my life. The same topic has been reported in many websites that if you are fortunate enough to have these 5 friends, your life is much happier. (Forget about having the hundreds of faceless Facebook friends.)
There are many variations on which 5 friends you need when I googled. Many of these websites are also written mainly for women in mind.
Oprah listed the following 5 friends you need:
1. The Uplifter
This woman’s favorite word: yes. You could tell her you’re trading your six-figure income for a career in offtrack betting, and she’d barely pause before yelping “Go for it!” Don’t you need someone who looks past the love handles to notice the extraordinarily gorgeous you?
2. The Travel Buddy
When the hotel in St. Lucia is a bust, one characteristic becomes all-important: flexibility. This agreeable companion need not be the girl you traded pinkie swears with on the playground; it’s enough that she’s comfortable with quiet (between gabfests) and is a teensy bit mischievous (as in tequila after midnight).
3. The Truth Teller
Intent is what separates the constructive from the abusive. Once you’ve established that the hard news is spoken in love (not in jealousy or malice), you’d be smart to seek out this woman’s perspective.
4. The Girl Who Just Wants to Have Fun
One Saturday a pal and I—and yes, we’re both over age 12—pored over every glitter lip gloss in a drugstore aisle for an entire 45 minutes. Forget the crisis download (for that, see the Uplifter); this partnership is about spontaneous good times.
5. The Unlikely Friend
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive,” Anaïs Nin wrote. My friends—some twice my age, others half, some rich, others homeless, some black like me, others Korean, Mexican, Caucasian—have added richness to my life that only variety can bring.
I can’t really agree with Oprah (for once) especially for Friend #4. Mike can safely cover Friends #1-#3 and I count myself lucky to have my hubby as a good friend. Try as I might, I cannot identify Friend #5 in my life.
Good Housekeeping identifies the following:
1) The Old Friend.
2) The Secret Keeper: The friend in whom you confide in.
3) The Navigator (literally and figuratively): knows everything truly important in life: how to find great deals on airfares and whether to wear silver or gold shoes with a champagne-beige suit.
4) The Coach : Your one-woman cheerleading squad who never attempts to look better in a short skirt and pom-poms than you do.
5) The Party Pal: Always makes you feel as if you were the guest of honor. Her enthusiasm is unconditional. When we’re determined to be depressed, she shows up at our door, ordering us to ditch our big bag of M&M’s (and our bathrobe) for a night of embarrassing karaoke.
I refer to these two websites as their demographic readers are people like me, yet I can’t help wondering, Party Pals? Is there a cultural difference or age difference here?
I finally found the article I really wanted to share:
The list reads:
1) An agony aunt: top of the list is an agony aunt figure we can tell our problems to.
2) An emotional support: a loved one who will put an arm around us and provide emotional support.
3) Someone good with money: the third most in demand is someone to help us out with financial matters and advise us how to save money.
4) A practically minded person: is a knowledgeable friend or family member we can turn to for advice on life’s practical matters.
5) A colleague we can ask for work advice: a colleague we can look to for help and advice in the workplace.
Mike satisfies all the above; but I am really pleased to be able to also identify at least four females friends who satisfy the above.
Thank you my Agony Aunt who is also my real aunt, Aunt E. She comes to mind as she has always been there for me since I was young. I have other agony aunts as well – Bee, who often gives me a lecture after I share my agony.
Ms Teh, who have since relocated, also provided listening ears and support even for my most mundane gripes. She, who dropped everything at work to accompany me to the traffic police to plead my case of speeding when she found out how upset I was.
My financial adviser PH who juggles her role to perfection as a friend as well.
(The last one is not relevant.)
I write this because I have just learnt about an old friend who appears to be in trouble, but feels she has no one to turn to, except to her religion. I am disappointed she thinks this way, for I know she is surrounded by people who loves her, including me. I hope I can be at least one of the above friends for her.
Can you identify the 5 friends you need?