In her recent blog, Gretchen Rubin acknowledged that friendships were one of the most important elements to happiness. She presented her colleague, Geoffrey Greif’s breakdown of friendships into the following four categories:  must, trust, just, rust. I’d never heard any of these unique divisions, so I was interested!

Geoffrey Greif

          He characterized these four types as follows:

          Must friend: a best friend, a member of your inner circle, a person you count on when something big happens in your life

          Trust friend: a friend who shows integrity, someone you feel comfortable with, that you’re always glad to see, but not in your innermost circle; perhaps someone you’d like to be closer to, if you had the time or opportunity

          Rust friend: a person you’ve known for a long, long time; you’re probably not going to get any closer to that person, unless something changes, but a part of your life

          Just friends: a person you see — at book club, at your child’s school — who is enjoyable company, but you have no desire to socialize outside a specific context or to get to know that person better.

          When I read this list I was able to immediately identify at least one person in my life for each category. Then I wondered how I might be categorized by people I know.

          I’m not always a big fan of putting people into generalized “boxes,” but I do find it interesting and entertaining to see how people can be described. I don’t take it too seriously, but rather allow my friends to move closer and then not so close depending on how busy we all are. It’s sort of like reading and applying horoscopes…fun but not to be used for hardcore evaluation.



          How about you? Do your friends, for the most part, fit into these four types? What other types might be added to these four

*Geoffrey Greif is the author of Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships.
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