7 friends (total!) is all it takes for a happy life


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You know the VIP people in your life? The ones who you’re in constant contact with via the squad group text message, meeting up with for weekend yoga, and gassing the heck out of? Well, according to Bella Zanesco career and life strategist, and author of Smart Girls Screw Up Too: The No-Nonsense Guide to Creating The Life You Want, the quintessential inner circle of besties is composed of just seven personas.

You’ll likely already recognize at least a few of these archetypes in your “Favorites” section of your contacts list, so let’s break down Zanesco’s seven paradigms of friendship #goals below.

1. The Catalyst: According to Mamamia Out Loud, an Australian podcast for women, the first Zanesco-approved member of your friend group is the “catalyst”, or the person who inspires transformation and pushes you out of your comfort zone. This individual emboldens you to brave reformer class, ask for a raise at work, or flirt with your crush.

2. The Player: The one you keep around for those occasions when you’re ready to kick back with horoscope-appropriate cocktails, and just laugh for hours.

3. The Nurturer: The caring BFF you call when you need to cry—and your mom doesn’t pick up her phone.

4: The Inspirer: Parting with this person leaves you with a head full of new thoughts and ideas. They spark the occasional existential crisis, and may just convince you to go full-on Marie Kondo on your closet.

5. The Challenger: This tribe member has no fear of testing your opinions, helping you dive deep into why you believe what you believe, and—yes—occasionally infuriating you (but in a good way).

6. The Lover: This individual just loves you, period.

7. The Maker: You can go ahead and put parentheses around this person, because whether or not they’re in your life is totally up to you. The maker is your partner, but (of course!), you can totally be your own maker, too.

Once you’ve finished mentally categorizing all the humans who bring their own form of magic into your women’s circles, Netflix sessions, and Sunday morning brunches, you can start recruiting newbies to join the septet fold. But hey, IMO, having three to four number sixes might just be what #friendshipgoals are made of.

Looking for even more friendship intel? Here’s how to find your people even if you’re super introverted, and how to stay close with your long-distance BFFs

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