Relationships

Psychology: this TikTok breaks down the three types of friends we all need for our mental health

Posted by
Leah Sinclair
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Illustration of two young happy cheerful women are sitting on the couch and laughing.

There are some friends we call for a good time and some that we call for deep intimate chats – and this TikTok shares why we have these different friendship types and the purpose they serve.

We all have particular friends we call for in different stages of our lives. There’s the friend we turn to for lengthy catch-ups, filled with nostalgia and reminiscing on all the things we used to get up to in our youth. Then there’s the friend you know is always up for a bottle of wine and a good laugh no matter the occasion. And the friend you call when you’re at your most vulnerable and need a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.

While these different friendship strands exist, sometimes we may feel guilty for having friends that fit particular moments in our lives – but this TikTok shows us that having different types of friends that serve different purposes is not only pretty common, it’s also OK.

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Dr Wendy Walsh, a Canadian author, lecturer and relationship expert, broke down the three types of friendships we need for our mental health, sharing it with her 870,000 TikTok followers.

In the video, which has amassed over 19,000 views, Dr Walsh begins the TikTok by acknowledging that one of the first friendship types we need in our lives is historical friends.

“Those who knew us when,” she says. “Even though time passes, we get on the phone with them and we’re transported back to our childhood.”

Dr Walsh says that historical friends are “important for our identity” so that we can be “authentic”.

Next on the list are fun friends, or as Dr Walsh calls them “common interest friends”.

“We may have boundaries with some of these friends but whatever fun we’re into, we want to share it with somebody,” she states.

Last up, the author says we all need intimate friends.

“Third, we all need one or two intimate friends,” she concludes. “That’s the person you can call from a hospital emergency room or yet, the person who will take you to the airport”.

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While the lecturer clearly analysed the three different friendship types, one of the biggest takeaways from the video was in the caption, which read “not all friends are the same”.

Sometimes we can feel bogged down by trying to be all things to all people – but the reality is, sometimes we play a certain position in our friendships which serves both them and us – and that’s OK.

Many took to the comments, to share their thoughts on Dr Walsh’s friendship analysis.

One TikTok user wrote: “Thank you for affirming this need”, while another commented: “I didn’t realise that these friends could be different people, but it makes sense”.

Image: Getty

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Leah Sinclair

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