10 The party friend
It takes a special sort of somebody to be with you partying until the club lights come on at 3am. Their energy, their willingness to go shawarma-hunting in a ball gown straight from the dancefloor, the very realistic possibility that they might actually be mad – your party friend is there for you. As long as you’re busting a groove on the dancefloor and shouting a lot. For anything else, you’re probably better off without them.
9 The home store friend
A true friend is one who will traipse around a giant homeware store with you for an entire afternoon. With no agenda or demands, they’ll stand by your side while you buy self-spinning mops, coat hangers, candles, lamps, enormous wall clocks and anything else funky you can find. Not once will they mention the fact that you only went in there to look at cushions for your sofa bed. It might be because you bribed them with a post-shop dinner, but their companionship is still invaluable.
8 The slob friend
“You want to just stay in, order pizza and have a sitcom box-set marathon this evening? Just let me find some clean jogging bottoms and I’ll be the… actually, forget it, I’ll see you in ten minutes and I’m bringing snacks.” Appreciate your slob friend. They’ve seen you fall asleep on a sofa eating ice cream directly from the tub and thought nothing of it.
7 The clever friend
Pub quiz Tuesdays need a few boffins to give you a whiff of hope. You have Oscar-winning actresses, pop songs of the ’90s and James Bond trivia sorted, but a couple of clever friends will be needed to walk away with top prizes.
6 The inspirational friend
If you only hang out with slobs and party people, you’ll have to eventually face up to the fact that you’re a hedonistic slob yourself. You might not be ready for that realisation, so it’s important to bask in the reflected glory of an Inspirational friend. You weren’t with them when they hiked Kilimanjaro, built a school for children in need or saved the whale (literally, probably, the amazing do-gooder), but liking their Facebook post about it is practically the same thing.
5 The friend from back home
They knew you when you were a spotty teenager flipping burgers at a provincial town drive-thru restaurant. Now you’re a career high-flier with a 75” TV and your own assistant at work (kind of), and sometimes you need The Friend From Back Home to remind you that you’re still the same person, but you’re flipping properties instead of burgers these days.
4 The arty friend
Try and convince work mates or your quiz team to cross town to attend the opening of a new calligraphy exhibition and they’ll think you’ve gone peculiar. Or worse: that you’re pretentious. Thank heavens for culturally adventurous, art-loving friends. For the simple price of a chai latte and a mung bean salad, they’re willing to stand around intimate galleries all evening while you stand around looking thoughtful.
3 The work friend
You can’t wait to get out of the office at the end of the day so you can spend hours dissecting exactly what happened and what it means, why the marketing department are stealing all the best biscuits, what the new Nakotomi Corporation deal will mean for staff morale and who is going to get Doug’s desk if he gets the boot next month. Literally nobody else in the world cares about your office politics, which is why you need The Work Friend to go over these matters with.
2 The workout friend
You must never see them outside the confines of the gym. That would reveal that 95 percent of what you tell them is not true, but in the heat (and sweat) of a brutal bikram yoga class, there’s no other supportive face and wobbling thighs you’d rather see.
1 A furry friend
Not one of those peculiar people you read about on the internet who like to dress up as animals, but an actual animal. All of the above friends will let you down, but a loyal cat or dog will always be by your side. Well, a dog will be at least.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. He wants to be your friend…