Author: Justin Mckibben
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist and tutor to the emperor Nero of the Silver Age of Latin literature. This wise man once said,
“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.”
The truth of this is profound and crucial to a meaningful, resilient friendship; understanding those closest to you and being understood for who you are is the fabric that true authentic friendships are made of.
Knowing what is important to the people around you and what kind of personality they have makes a relationship so much more natural and honest. Knowing what you bring to the table and the contribution your friends make to your life is very important, and there are probably at least 4 different types of friends everyone should have.
- The Seer
The Seer is the person in our life who does exactly what it sounds like… the see things. They do everything they can to help us see what is really there and bring clarity to situations which we may find it hard to notice what is trivial or what is necessary.
The Seer helps us to take note that we do not live in a vacuum. They show us that there are influences outside of us, either from our past or the current cultural influences, which can encourage us to react in one way or another. The Seer gives us the second opinion needed to evaluate whether we are being true to ourselves or placating to something beyond us.
In recovery from addiction the Seer can also see the things we are trying to control, the things we are complacent with, and where we can step up. These friends are important because when they understand who we are, they see what we do not see, and they bring it to our attention when we need to be protected.
- The Sympathetic
Sympathetic friends bring with them the calming and reassuring support that can keep us together in moments when we feel like falling apart. They are compassion and sympathy, without judgment or accusation the sympathetic friend will be our ear to listen or shoulder to cry on.
A perfect duo with the Seer friends, our sympathetic friends can balance out the harsh reality a Seer might bring with love and support.
These two are most effective in combination, because having one without the other can be enabling, or even overwhelming and put us off balance.
- The Joker
Who doesn’t like to laugh with a friend?
I know the majority of the friends I have are people who share a similar sense of humor with me and even keep me laughing when I don’t feel like it.
The Joker is the person brings that sense of humor into the troubling situations, while creating an opportunity to regain a fresh perspective without taking our problem, and especially ourselves, too seriously. In recovery we can all get a little on edge, because bottom line this is life or death with addiction, but we also can see the bright side and not live in doom and gloom.
The Joker is critical to keeping your sanity in life, because if everything is serious and dramatic than of course your life will mirror those vibes you’re surrounded with. Jokers present the concept of being open and flexible in a way that seems comfortable and even enjoyable, so having funny friends in your corner means having some sanity with a smile, laughing through the pain and not sweating the small stuff.
- The Muse
The Muse is the one who inspires us. This is the person who challenges us to step up. They know what our passions are and what we stand for, and when it comes time to take action they believe in us, sometimes even more than we do. The muse pushes us to do what fulfills us.
They call on us to acknowledge our calling in life, and they call on us to take action while not making us feel bad about where we are right now. They know how far we have come, and they want for us what we want for ourselves. In recovery being inspired by others can bring our program of recovery to a new level. When we see results in others we can try to work hard to get the same. When people believe in us and support our recovery we can often find motivation to do more.
So reading through the list, are any of these ringing a bell? I bet a name or face even have popped into your head when you examined each of the different types of friends. Maybe one friend showed up a couple times, in which case you are blessed to have some very versatile and influential people in your life.
We all cab depend on our friends once in a while, especially during the times in our lives when we are going through some tough stuff. When drugs and alcohol have defeated us, sometimes the best we can do is look for the right kind of friend to show us a new way. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135