Really great people take a lifetime of trial and error, and careful curation to gather into your closest circle. The people who are right for someone else might not be right for you, and vice versa. Likewise, the people who are right for your twenties might not be right for your thirties, and the people who are right for your thirties might not be quite right for your forties. You can’t quite plan any of this, but what you can do is know when you’ve stumbled upon the kind of person its worthwhile to work hard to keep in your life. Here, seven of those people, who will be absolutely essential to your health and happiness as you live, learn and grow.
1. A Non-Judgemental Bestie
We think this person is of the utmost importance, because you’re not always going to do things that are 100% awesome in life, and a true friend is one that makes you feel as though you’re worth love and support not just as your best self, but as your worst self as well. Some friends will consistently give you their black-and-white moral judgement of a situation, and there’s certainly a place in life for that type of friend, too; however, look to keep at least one non-judgmental friend close to the vest, as we can pretty much ensure you’ll need him or her at many points along the road.
2. A Brutally Honest Friend
This person is a perfect compliment to the non-judgemental friend. They will always give you the truth, no matter how hard it is to hear. Should you text that guy again? Probably not, according to this pal. Did you blow your last relationship? Yep, according to this honest guy or gal. Should you cut your hair into a bob? Absolutely not, according to your most honest confidante. You may resist his or her feedback on occasion—we ultimately have to learn lessons in our own way and in our own time, unfortunately—but it’s important to be as open as possible to this sometimes harsh take on things. Hopefully, this person will save you from leaving the house looking like a trainwreck on occasion, at the very least.
3. A Trusted OBGYN
Having someone you don’t dread seeing on call to take care of your lady business is important. As you move from your twenties to your thirties to your forties, your OBGYN will wear many hats for you—they will see you through the boyfriends of your twenties, the relationships of your thirties, and they may even deliver your children! As such, they should be someone you feel comfortable confiding in, as well as someone whose opinion you wholeheartedly trust.
4. A Career Mentor
So, people don’t really have defined careers in the way that they used to, and chances are that the shape of yours will change often over time. That said, it’s advisable to have one person in your life who is at least ten years older than you and who has traversed a path somewhat similar to the one which you foresee for yourself. This is the person you will turn to for advice when given a job offer, looking to switch jobs, or wanting to break into a new field altogether. This should also be a person upon whom you can rely for recommendations.
5. A Tireless Cheerleader
If you’re lucky, this person is probably your mom. The role of the tireless cheerleader is not the same as the role of your non-judgmental friend. Your mom would totally judge you if you told her about the time you had to have a Lyft pull over so you could be sick on the side of the road; however, she is going to root for you to have the best results in life no matter your path. If you’re starting a new venture, this person will be the first person to call you on the day of its launch. When you “fail” at something, this is the person who will spend a tearful hour on the phone with you, reminding you of all of the ways in which you actually succeeded. The tireless cheerleader is absolutely essential for surviving tough times, and for allowing you to adequately celebrate your victories, no matter how big or small they may be.
6. A Stylist You’d Let Do Anything to Your Hair
If you stick with one stylist long enough, he or she will become your confessor, BFF, and guru. We think it’s of the utmost importance that you be able to trust this person to cut your hair blindfolded in the dark, because it’s hard to break out of a style rut, and sometimes you need to be pushed to do so by someone who knows better than you do. Besides, why pay someone to do something you’re going to direct them to do anyway? We prefer to hire an artist and then trust them to create something unique and beautiful—it won’t always work, but when it does, it will be magic.
7. An “In Case of Emergency” Person
The criteria for this one is actually much harder to meet than you might think. This person shouldn’t be a family member who lives in another state, or a significant other who—not to be cynical—you could be fighting with or broken up from when trouble strikes. This is the type of rare human who will always, always come when called—if you just got dumped, have a flat tire (and for some reason don’t use Triple A, which you should), get arrested (mistakenly, of course) or whatever may come. This is also the number one person whose number you should absolutely have memorized.