Friendship in your thirties (part two)

nata4As Natasha so brilliantly wrote about last week, friendship is a minefield. One minute you think you’re the belle of the ball with more friends than George Clooney on Oscar night, the next you’re twiddling your thumbs and wondering why the phone doesn’t ring and the only socialising you get to do is between 2.30 – 4.30pm on a rainy Thursday in the park. Friendships ebb and flow, die and grow, but over the course of your life you are bound to meet the following characters. We bring you W&W’s guide to the five friends every woman needs and the five toxic friendships to be avoided.


Of course, we don’t all need five friends, some of us won’t feel happy unless we have many many more. Others are very happy having one or two close friends who fill all of the following roles between them. Truth is it’s not about the friends you have (it really is quality not quantity that counts) it’s about what you’re happy with. And don’t worry if at present you’re feeling a little under-friended, everyone feels lonely at one stage in their life, hopefully it won’t last too long..

The Older Sister

I don’t have an older sister, but I do have a friend who fills this role. The one whose been there, done that and has great, sage advice to impart to you in your hour of need. The one who will be honest when everyone else passes the buck and tells you what you really need to hear. We all need a friend that we really respect and look up to.

The Good-time Girl

You thought you’d done with the good-time girl? Think again. Everyone needs someone to make them feel that little bit naughty, to sloshily fill up their wine glass ‘just one more’ and lead them off track just once in a while. Just don’t let her do it all night, every night.

The No-Judgement Confidante

We’ve all been there. We’ve all been mortified by something we’ve said or done and really needed to speak to someone about it. The No-judgement confidante is just your woman. You know that when you tell her your deepest, darkest secret she won’t be storing it up for future gossip or judging you in the slightest. Talking to her is like giving confession.

The Old Friend

The one who can remember your 16-year old crush on Eddie Vedder, the one who held your hair when you were sick outside the pub, the one who knows and grew up with your family. You may not see each other that often, but there’s something wonderful about seeing someone who has known you all your life.

The New Friend

There’s nothing like meeting a new friend, someone you click with, someone who shares your likes, dislikes, shopping obsession. She may be transitory, she may be there for the rest of your life, but discovering a new friend can be like rediscovering yourself, and yes, you are pretty darn cool.



Needless to say, we’ve all experienced toxic friendships with people who actually, you really don’t like. Whether you choose to let them slowly burn out or you want to cut ties dramatically, toxic friendships need to be taken control of.

The Queen Bee

The Queen Bee is all about making herself feel good. You’re there to serve her needs, to sit on her committee, to attend her parties, to be part of her court. Wonderfully charming, dangerously seductive, she’ll manipulate you into doing exactly what she wants. What’s in it for you? That’s what you’ve got to decide…

The Crow

Just like a crow, this old bird is all about feathering her nest. She’s desperate to meet your friends and before you know she’s taking charge, organising meetings and generally making you feel like a rung on her ladder to social success. Avoid like the plague if you’re in any way insecure.

The Bad Good-time Girl

Ok, ok, so I’m confusing you. Good time girls are good right? Well yes, some type of good time girls. The ones who lead you astray but also understand that you have responsibilities in the morning. The bad good-time girl is the one you used to party with back in the day, but just won’t accept that you don’t have the stamina/lifestyle/desire to go out all hours anymore. She doesn’t understand you anymore and you don’t understand her. And without alcohol to oil the hinges, this friendship is seriously squeaky.

The Me, Me, Me Friend

She’s the one who calls you desperate to catch up and then talks about herself for half an hour. She’s the one who convinces you to drive for an hour to see her and then spends all the time on the phone to the estate agent/boyfriend/friend she’s meeting at 5pm. Every time you see her you wonder why on earth you bothered. So why not just stop?

The Ego-Downer

Subtle little digs are the trademark of the ego-downer, delivered like a bullet with a smile. The ego-downer is, at first, hard to spot. On first impressions she seems nice, but then she’ll comment on your children’s behaviour, on your thin hair, on your tiny kitchen, all so subtly that it can drive you mad wondering whether you’re oversensitive or she is in fact is a bitch. Infuriating.

IMAGE: 20th century Fox/Rex Features

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