A group of friends. Picture: Pexels
A group of friends. Picture: Pexels

7 types of friends you'll encounter in your lifetime

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published May 31, 2019

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Friendships are part of a valuable support structure. 

Through thick and thin, they remain at your side. They are the ones who pick you up and dust you off and when you fall down and, when you are celebrating success, they'll be gleefully jumping for joy, embracing every fortune that comes your way. 

However, not all friends are what they seem. As they come and go, you'll grow to realise not every friendship is meant to last - some people enter chapters of your life solely to teach you valuable lessons.

From competitive friends to BFFs, Rakhi Beekrum, counselling psychologist and resident psychologist at eThekwini Hospital & Heart Centre, shared the seven types of friends you're sure to encounter in life.

The Good-time Guy/Girl

This friend is always available for parties and celebrations, but may not always be there when the going gets tough. This is a great friend to be around when you need to de-stress and let your hair down, though they may not be the best option when you need sound advice.

The Leader

This is the friend who thrives from being in charge – by making plans and being the centre of attention. The leader is happiest when all friends comply with his/her plans, but may strongly dislike others suggesting alternatives. The leader is a useful friend when plans need to be made.

The Agony Aunt/Uncle

There’s always that one friend you can rely on for sound wisdom and advice. This friend is the good listener, non-judgemental, empathic and often wise beyond their years. The agony aunt/uncle always knows what to say to make you feel better.

The Drainer

Friendships are meant to be reciprocal relationships, but there are some friends who just take without giving anything in return. Beware of the negative energy that such ‘friendships’ may transmit to you. These ‘friends’ are needy and expect you to be available to them, while not offering the same in return. They are also likely to be complainers and gossips.

The Competitive Friend

This friend never seems to have matured since high school and is constantly competing to outdo the rest of the group from driving a better car to having a fancier birthday party for the child.

The Know-It-All

This friend seems to know everything about everything and is a useful well of information and knowledge. This could be your go-to person when you’re stuck and need ideas for something


This is your closest friend who you can trust to be completely honest with you – even if it’s not a truth you may be prepared to hear. This friend will remain loyal and take  your secrets to the grave.

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