- Mom Figure—Someone who has “been there.” Someone who mothers you at times. Someone who offers advice not from formal education, but from life experience. Maybe it actually is your mother, but maybe it isn’t. Either way, she’s invaluable.
- Someone from Childhood—It’s nice to have a friend who has known you “all your life.” Seriously…someone to remember the good ole’ days with. Someone who can giggle over silly memories with. Someone who understands why you once were in love with the school jock. Someone who used to braid your hair. Someone who was with you when you got your first speeding ticket. Someone who celebrated when you got your driver’s license. It’s nice to have someone who truly knows where you’ve come from.
- Someone just like you—You need someone to agree with you. You need someone to let you know that you’re not crazy (at least not by yourself). You need someone to validate your feelings. You need a friends who is on the same page as you.
- Someone who is your polar opposite—But you also need someone to challenge you. You need someone who doesn’t enable you. You need someone who gives you new perspective. You need someone with a different viewpoint. You need someone who isn’t afraid to argue with you.
- Mentor—It’s wonderful to have someone to look up to. To see someone who is in a position that you would like to be in one day. You can emulate them. You can question them about their successes and failures. You can find out how they came to be who/where they are. You can learn so much from them!
- Mentee—It’s humbling and self-esteem building to have someone look at you as you look up to your mentor. You can teach them, as teaching often makes us better learners. You can influence them. You can watch them grow. They can bring new perspective and ideas when you are set in your ways. They can question your motives and provide insight just out of their curiosity.
- Accountability Partner—You need someone that will hold you to your own beliefs. You need someone who is not afraid to hold you accountable for your actions. You need someone who knows your weaknesses and can coach you through them. You need someone who is firm, yet non-judgmental. You need someone who will tell you the truth when you lie to yourself.
- Neighbor—Sometimes you don’t even have to know them well. Sometimes it is good just to have someone to shoot the breeze with. It’s okay to have someone to just talk the surface things with (as long as that is not what ALL of your acquaintances are). It’s good to have someone you can share your tools with. It’s good to have someone that has nothing in common with you but a property line. You can learn from one another, as you likely came from different walks of life. You need someone close who knows you and your routines in case something is someday awry, someone will notice. You need someone to smile at you as you pull into your driveway or speak to you as you get the mail. You need a neighbor.
Photo credit: lhumble