MAKING FRIENDS: THE 4 TYPES OF PEOPLE YOU’LL MEET
Your social network is perhaps the most important thing you will develop.
Friends make the quality of your life better, expand your opportunities both professionally and socially, and are the single best way to meet and date the girls you will connect with the most.
Yet when it comes to making friends, many people settle. They associate with people who hold them back and miss opportunities to connect with people who will take them forward. They sleepwalk through their social life, and when making friends they never ask themselves the crucial question:
Should I be making friends with this person? What is the value of this person to me?
A narcissistic and calculating question, perhaps.
But an obvious one, nonetheless – and one that needs to be considered.
People have different roles in your life. And though it might sound machiavellian, you need to understand them and learn to prioritize who you let into it.
Clearly you are not going to be making friends with people you don’t like or people that are your enemies, so I won’t even address them here.
But what about the people you do like, the people who do add value?
There are four different types of them, and each of them contribute in their own way.
“Making Friends” Type #1: Your Bros
I know, I know… the word Bro has a connotation with douchiness.
But I’m not talking about that kind of bro.
I’m talking about the kind of “bro” that is like a brother. A best friend.
Bros are rare. If you meet one, you’ll know it because you guys will seem to “get” each other instantly. Talking will be easy and effortless, and silences – when they occur – will be comfortable. They are one of the few guys you’ll meet that you can relate to and rely on, no questions asked. You’ll be making friends with him easily.
Unfortunately, however, meeting bros as an adult can be tough. People have busy lives and don’t see each other very often. As a result, generally people meet most of their bros in high school and college (or in war). Heavy exposure and growing up together creates a level of trust and camaraderie that is harder to develop later when everybody’s doing their own thing.
Yet that doesn’t mean meeting them in the “real world” is impossible. You will always find guys in life you have chemistry and shared values with. But whereas in the past circumstance would put you guys together automatically, now you have to take the initiative to make it happen.
And if I were you I’d do it.
Bros are your partners in crime. They’re the guys you meet up with spontaneously and invite wherever you go. You may even keep in contact with them regularly.
Absent a girlfriend, bros are your primary confidents, and on an emotional level every man needs them.
Just make sure your bro relationship is a real one. A lot of “bro” friendships may appear close but are in truth missing the key component of this sort of close relationship: trust.
This is huge, because it doesn’t matter how much you like them, if you can’t depend on them, they’re just a buddy (more on them later). Don’t be fooled!
“Making Friends” Type #2: Your Connectors
Bros are the people that keep you fulfilled on a deep level.
Connectors are the people that take your life to the next level.
Connectors are social jackpots. Making friends with these people is essential. They know all the cool things going on, the most important people, and the most attractive and fun girls.
Connectors are the ones with access.
You will know connectors instantly when you see them. They are social, buoyant, usually successful people. Often charming and always busy, they know everybody. And if you become friends with them, they will introduce you to their world.
Expanding your network is usually an organic, gradual process. Connectors speed this process up drastically, and arguably more importantly, open social and professional doors for you that you could never open on your own. Making friends with them becomes a magnifying effect. They invite social opportunity.
There have been times when my social life felt stagnate. No matter who I met, things barely seemed to change. Then I met and befriended a connector and suddenly I was making so many friends and meeting so many people I couldn’t keep track.
Indeed, the secret to many successful, popular people is that they know how to identity connectors and use their networks for themselves!
In a later article we’ll talk about how to befriend connectors, but for now just understand how important they are for a vibrant social life and be on the lookout for them. They are truly gamechangers socially, romantically, and professionally. Make sure you are making friends with them whenever you come by them.
“Making Friends” Type #3: Your Mentors / Mentees
In the same way that connectors impact your external world, mentors transform your internal world. Mentors give you new perspective on life and a massive edge over your competition.
Mentors are essential to getting more out of life. It is a tragedy too many guys don’t have them.
Mentors are mentors because they know more about the subject you are focusing on than you. Whether that’s business, dating, spirituality, masculinity, or another trade (like art, carpentry, etc.), they have been down the road before – not simply intellectually, but experientially. And they will help show you the way.
Mentors are wise, and usually (though not always) older. But what is most interesting about mentors is the affinity they have for their mentees: they tend to see themselves in them. Indeed, the connection is usually so strong that were they not at different stages of life, mentors and mentees might have even become “bros.”
Yet because they are at different stages of the life, the dynamics are different – and the difference is important.
Unlike bro dynamics, which are more or less equal, there is a clear divide of power and influence between mentors and mentees.
This makes sense, as a good student always defers to his master. However, when the mentorship ends (it always does), these relationships frequently evolve into ones of equals. With the power difference gone, all that is left is one of affinity.
Acquiring and making friends with mentors should be a social priority. Seek them out in every area of your life, and if you can’t find one, pay for one. Good mentors are hard to find, but there is no question – they will help you avoid mistakes and grow faster than you ever could on your own.
Finally, don’t be afraid as time goes on to open yourself up to mentees. Not only will they sharpen you (the best way to learn is to teach, and you will better internalize your own lessons) but you will enjoy the process of helping another man grow. They will always be grateful for the lessons you taught them, and once they “outgrow” you and go on to crush life, you will have strong, loyal relationships with successful, high character men to show for it. That is priceless.
“Making Friends” Type #4: Your Buddies
The final group of men that you will making friends with in your life are your “buddies.”
Buddies are good, fun people to hang out with but, unlike in your bro relationships, you’re not going to intentionally try to see them every week. Frankly you just don’t have enough in common to make it worth it.
Usually, you acquire your buddies through some shared experience or through a mutual friendship with a bro that made you guys like and trust each other more than you would have otherwise. They are friends by circumstance. If you’re new to an area, talk to your acquaintances and start making friends with them. After a few hang outs it shouldn’t take long to flip some of them into buddies.
A little effort + time and any acquaintance can become a buddy.
Buddies vary in their dependability and chemistry. Some will surprise you with how loyal and committed they are, others will disappoint. Some will be easy to talk to, others more difficult. What distinguishes them from bros is that they don’t have the full package.
Buddies are a dime a dozen in life and whether or not you decide to invest in them longterm should be on a case by case basis, as you will never be able to keep up with them all. Many people never contact any of their buddies again once they leave their vicinity. Although I think this is extreme and not to be advised, it is not uncommon. They just don’t mean a lot to many people.
Personally, I try and keep in touch with as many *quality* buddies in my life as possible. Quality buddies for me score above average on dependability and chemistry, though the proportions of each vary per person. All of my buddies have shown me they value our friendship and are fun to be with, and I’m happy to have them in my life. If they haven’t, I let them go.
Buddies may be the “pawns” of your social life, but don’t count them out. They play their part, and every now and then one becomes a queen.
There is no question some of your buddies will change your life, romantically or otherwise. Every connection someone in your network makes expands the number of connections you can make. Connectors may know a disproportionate amount of people, but collectively your buddies can punch way above their weight. And you never know when one of them might blow up 😉
If you’re worried about the effort it takes to maintain a relationship with a buddy, don’t. In the age of social media it’s easy than ever. Even just reaching out once or twice a year can be enough to keep the connection alive until your paths cross again.
And chances are in our ever closer-moving world, they will.
Over and over again buddies in far away places have taken me under their wing and introduced me to all of their friends and shared their social life. You never know when the relationships you make now will come in handy.
You will meet a lot of good people in your life. But as your social life grows, you will have to make choices. You can only keep in touch with so many people, and you will have to have some guidelines for who to keep and who to cut.
Shared values, mutual trust, and ability to “expand your life” are the most important criteria to consider when making friends, not proximity. You need to become selective – even ruthless – in rooting people out who don’t meet them.
Buddies, being the most common, inevitably suffer the most when prioritizing. Some will make the cut; others will not. This is ok. As you grow, BOTH of your trajectories will change. Events may drive you closer together or drive you apart. Life is comings and goings, and most will understand, even if sad. After all, they are doing the same thing.
Just make sure you never stop meeting people and making friends no matter what obligations in your life you might have. It’s easy to get complacent when you have a lot of friends, but there should always be churn in your network. You should always be making new friends. It’s these new people that will lead to most of your future opportunities. Don’t miss out on them.