Revealed: 6 Types of Friends Women Don’t Want And Why It’s So Dang Hard To Make New Ones

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friendship“I don’t know what happened.  She said she wanted to hang out, and she was going to come over yesterday, but I never heard from her.”  

We all know this feeling.  We’ve either done it to someone else or had it done to us, (or both).  

Every set of eyes reading this blog post has probably, at some time or another, misappropriated a relational decision.  I certainly have.  I’ll be the first one in line to admit I have ended friendships over things that maybe could have been worked out, but I just didn’t feel like doing the work, or I felt and knew they were really toxic for me (right decision), but I didn’t walk away the way I should have (wrong decision).

Let’s face it – we’re all human and we all make bad decisions when it comes to our women friends at times.  I really wish we could stop being so harsh on each other.

The fact of the matter is – it’s more difficult to make quality friends the older you get.  Unless you’re jet-setting off to do book signings every week or a social butterfly, your circle more than likely consists of this:

  • A friend or two from high school you really trust (if that)
  • A friend or two from college you managed to hold on to as your lives changed (if that)
  • Your Mother or parents (if you’re so blessed); and
  • A friend from work you can semi-talk to (not about anything too personal)

I want to get real real with this post too and say to those women who bully or manipulate others into thinking they have it all together and have 5,000 friends on Facebook – we see you, and you’re not fooling us.  We have Facebook & social media accounts too, and we know what the statistics say – that at least half of those so-called “friends” would not be there for you crying in the middle of the night, want to hear your shame story, or could even come close to carrying the weight of what you have to share – what comes with your true, authentic story.  Actually, maybe just one or two would.

Honestly, for me, if I may be so vulnerable & honest – I have ended many friendships for feelings like this.  Feeling competed with or against, judged, or I simply got drained from giving 110% and feeling a drought in the return.  

Really, I’m noticing with many women that any or all of a combination of any of these is about all they have, and that it can create many scenarios, like:

  • increased loneliness
  • unrealistic expectations of the one or two who carry the most weight in your mind
  • unrealistic expectations of yourself (to do, go, be, and perform your friendly duties with excellence & perfection)
  • feelings of jealousy (because there isn’t as much diversity in your repertoire of friends, so you’re constantly comparing or looking at only one or two), or
  • resentment (that she doesn’t spend near as much time with you as you’d like OR she has way more friends than you)

The truth of the matter?  We need connection and we need empathy to survive the world we live in – in real life.  

Let’s take a look at 6 types of friends we really don’t want, then we’ll review after.  This video is really concerning sharing a shame story, but these types of friends exist in many other types of story-sharing too.  I’ve never heard this put this way before, and I’d like to share it with you…

Here’s the 6 types, in case you missed them.

  1. The friend who gasps in horror at how ashamed you should be – then there’s awkward silence.
  2. The friend who responds with sympathy instead of empathy.  “Oh you poor thing” or “bless your heart.”  
  3. The friend who needs you to be the pillar of worthiness and authenticity, but she can’t help because she’s too disappointed – you’ve let her down.
  4. The friend who’s so uncomfortable with vulnerability, she scolds “how could you let this happen?”
  5. The friend who’s all about making it better, and, out of her own discomfort, refuses to acknowledge that you can actually be crazy & make terrible choices.  “You’re exaggerating – it wasn’t that bad.”
  6. The friend who confuses connection with the opportunity to one-up you.  “That’s nothing, listen to what happen to me!”

I believe when Brene talks about what we’re really looking for, she hit the nail on the head.  We most need, want, & desire empathy.  “Okay, you did it – let’s do this thing – what’s next?  What do you need from me?  How can I help?  What are you feeling – I’m here, let’s work through it.”

She called them “move the body” friends.

And, I actually agree on the not having more than one or two of these people in our lives being the most healthy, but as in all things we learn here, this is up to your discretion.  Like usual, this is more of an awareness exercise and call to action.  Evaluate those you call “friend” and why.  Furthermore, evaluate if you are by any chance guilty of being one of these 6 types of people (keeping in mind we are all capable of being any or all of these).

I used to think that having two or three really close people in my life was detrimental, but the older I get, the more I realize that really is all I need.  Brene & Oprah talked about this being “the lottery”, so I feel blessed to have 3 people I can put in this category – empathetic, loving, accepting always, great listeners, and most of all – human.  Fully present & fully supportive.

I’d like to ask you a question this week, in lieu of this post.  What is the #1 struggle you either a) have or b) see in yourself or women around you with regard to friendship?  In your opinion, what’s keeping us from deeper connection?

I look forward to your thoughts & opinions below.  Thank you for reading & contributing,



  • July 23, 2013, 6:18 pm  Reply

    Between work or building a business, family, house and yard work, hobbies – there is no more time left to invest in a friendship.

    • July 23, 2013, 10:56 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Cheryl. I believe many women would feel that way.

  • Lori
    July 24, 2013, 7:58 am  Reply

    I have an issue with labeling six types of friends as not worthy of a deep friendship. No one is perfect, and I know I have made plenty of mistakes in my relationships. It’s like she draws a very hard line with which friends are worthy of sharing our story, but then right at the end she does a 180 and says that we’re not going to do empathy right all the time. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like she caught Oprah off guard with that! I think it would be better to list types of behavior that are unhealthy in friendships rather than labeling types of friends. Perhaps there’s not much of a difference, but for me it leaves more room for imperfection and forgiveness. Also, number two is not even an issue for me. I have no problem if someone says those two expressions to me. You may bless my heart any day 🙂 Having said all that, I do believe it is important to share your deepest thoughts with just a small number of close friends, and those have to be people you trust, however you define that. Thank you, Tamisha, for sharing this video. It is very thought provoking, and I hope to be a better friend to my closest gal pals as a result!

    • July 24, 2013, 3:42 pm

      Hi Lori – thank you so much for weighing in here. You are so right that we need to leave that room for imperfection and forgiveness. I’m all about it. I think Brene mentioned two different things that confirmed that – one in the beginning when she said that we are all capable of being these types of friends and later, when she said that we, indeed, wouldn’t do empathy perfectly.

      I think with phrasing, it just depends on the person honestly. Some people have a more dominant expression value with words & language than others, so it would matter to them more what you said – other people wouldn’t care as much.

      And you’re welcome for the video. As with all things here, I love awareness & things that help us be better women in our introversion.

  • Peggy
    July 30, 2013, 12:20 am  Reply

    I have a hard time making friends because I don’t like to join groups…As an introvert I am afraid of being misunderstood or called a fruit loop because I believe in things that others find odd…angels, UFOs, conspiracy theories, the law of attraction, oracle/tarot cards, and other metaphysical pursuits/topics. I end up meeting Christians of all people….yet I practice meditation and energy work. I want to make friends with like-minded people so that I can worry less about rejection. I am an expressive introvert who divulges too much, and I think this scares would be friends away.

    • August 20, 2013, 8:55 pm

      Hi Peggy – well, you know what I say? Keep that expression coming!!

      I am an expressive introvert who divulges too much, and I think this scares would be friends away.

      There’s two things here I would question. 1) Are you REALLY divulging too much, or 2) are they just uncomfortable with who you are and how expressive you are?

      I would get solid on authentically what you feel about those two questions and how you can answer them first. Once you know, then you can move forward in full confidence that the relationships you are acquiring are authentic.

      Thank you for sharing, Peggy.

  • October 4, 2013, 8:17 am  Reply

    Love this Post! I can really relate to Peggy on this one, as I do feel that making new friends can be difficult as an introvert. Until have had time to observe and gage someones personality, I tend to avoid offering up what I consider personal information or launch opinions of a deeper discussion (which I love once I know the other will reciprocate…and not judge) and awkwardly muddle through the small talk (which is the bane of my existence). I do realize that the small talk is a necessary evil to be able to forge a better connection, but its hard it is for some people to understand that is really a big struggle for some people and can easily just shrug you off as stand off-ish. Having a very small circle of friends who understand that while I do need my own space, but will be there for them whenever they need me and visa versa, is now something that I value above having a million fake facebook friends.

    • October 4, 2013, 9:25 am

      Oh how I love this, Alicia! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • angela
    October 13, 2013, 11:58 am  Reply

    Thanks for the post — it is true that true friends that you can confide in is hard to come by and even more difficult to find as you get older. Personally, the struggles I have with my girlfriends is balancing our friendship with their husbands/boyfriends. As much as I love my girlfriends, I also find it hard to be completely honest with them about what it truly feels like to be the “third wheel”. I mean, I am guilty of that too — When I thought I’ve found love, my friends became secondary in a way. And the solution always seems to get yourself out there and meet some new friends to fill in the “void”. And sometimes filling that void to carry on is very difficult. As I too struggle to meet new friends — it’s difficult because to connect with someone, you have to let yourself be vulnerable at times. And I find vulnerability takes a lot more courage as you get older. Perhaps it’s because you know what rejection and fear feels like? I haven’t quite figured that one out yet.

    Despite my personal struggles, I still believe women can develop a deeper connection with one another — even as you find love and build a family of your own. And maybe it’s not as complicated as we think it needs to be… Maybe we just need to slow down and disconnect to reconnect with the people that truly matters.

  • Vicky
    August 17, 2014, 4:20 pm  Reply

    I honestly don’t know if I can say anything than what others have already shared here. I’ve read a lot about this issue, done some introspective work… I guess my answer is that even though folks that struggle making friendships do share many staggering similarities, they each experience it so uniquely…
    I don’t know what’s mine… I just know that I’ll probably spend the rest of mine life trying to figure out the elements of my makeup and characteristics of this world that simply do not come together.
    I was born & raised a foreign country. I have an accent, very different beauty, different attitude. I am sure all of that somehow contributes to my inability of having friendships. People probably find me foreign… & people are afraid of what they can’t relate to. I am very nice to everyone, & will go out of my way to help someone or do something thoughtful for them. A lot of people tend to think that my kindness oftentimes has a hidden motive & I so totally hate that fact. As much as I want to care for others, there is sometimes this deep feeling of not caring anymore as no one reciprocates it anyway.
    I’m sorry if this doesn’t sound positive or inspirational. This is just my life.

  • Giselle Buonomo
    July 29, 2015, 9:17 pm  Reply

    I think the biggest challenge I have with making friends as I get older is that I constantly put myself out there and I’m open and honest and yet, I find that it’s not reciprocated. I find too many women to be stand offish and to act as if they want to be your friend only to keep you at arm’s length. It’s like a game just like men and women. This whole idea of remaining a bit aloof so that you are always the one wanting that person’s time and attention. The thing is, the older I get and the more I run into this the more I simply let go and walk away. I really don’t have the desire, time or patience to deal with those head games. I’d rather be on my own if that’s what I can expect.

    • August 12, 2015, 11:17 pm

      I feel you, Giselle. I think it’s important to let people in slowly, but that process shouldn’t last forever. At some point, we have to let people in. If someone is playing games or keeping you at a distance, they likely aren’t ready for that kind of commitment. We talk about this a lot in context of romantic relationships, but not enough in the context of friendships. But the same advice applies! If someone isn’t ready for the commitment, walking away is not rude, it’s necessary. There’s nothing more assertive and beautiful about allowing someone their time to grow and heal while you move on with your life. In the same right, I don’t think we have to be alone either – I think it’s all about intuition and genuineness in our daily lives – the right people will be attracted to us. Some wrongs ones too, but that’s why we have intuition. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment SO much! I loved it.

  • YK
    September 3, 2015, 4:37 am  Reply

    I really liked your article. It was refreshing to see your honest way of expressing this matter of viewing yourself with regards to friendships as we grow older. When it comes to the no. 1 struggle I see or have in myself with new women around me is my comfort level. I know it is something I need to work on myself in terms of self-perspective and the grand scheme of things- like how big the world is in this universe and you just gotta be easy and find your spot like a polka dot. I think women have a hard time especially throughout the 20s and there can be friction as we all are experiencing the same sorrows and consequences of transitioning from college and there is pressure for confidence building into the adult world. I learned working and traveling helps a lot and I know longer become my own enemy, but at times I still feel lost when the fast lane fades. I believe that as life goes on, the right paths will cross and everyone doesn’t need to be down on themselves if they have not been lucky with finding the right friends, and as for me I will just continue to work on myself!

    • September 3, 2015, 4:42 pm

      Wonderful perspective, Yuumi! And thank you so much for sharing your mind here. Beautiful thoughts. 🙂


  • Adriana
    December 20, 2015, 10:16 pm  Reply

    Making friends when I was younger was so easy. I find it really difficult now there’s always that awkward fight for small talk.

    I’m a young hip mom, I always have my hair done outfit done etc when I drop my kids to school and I feel like even though I’m really friendly and make sure I always say good morning to other mothers they just find ke hard to relate to.

    It’s like they don’t know what to say to me. I thought being pleasant and friendly would make up for that but I guess it doesn’t.

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