Variety is the spice of life – and that’s also true when it comes to your circle of friends. While some support and encourage you, others will push you and some will offer you constructive criticism.

Friends can be divided into three very general groups according to Mind Body Green: elevators, stabilisers and analysers. Of course some pals will straddle two or even all three groups and it’s important not to generalise or oversimplify your relationships. Instead, use this assessment to get a deeper understanding of individuals you spend time with.

Elevators

These are the friends that encourage you to pursue your dreams and are always excited about seeing you achieve. They’re the kind of people who will gear you up before a big interview or give you that final push to reach for a promotion.

If you’re about to take a big step, surround yourself with more of them. They’ll get the best out of you and see your potential, even when you might not be able to.

However, be warned. Those who consistently put you down and suggest you’re not good enough are not elevators. In fact, they’re not even real friends. Anyone chipping away at your self-esteem should be cut out.

Stabilisers

These are the friends who love you exactly as you are. They are probably people who’ve known you for a long time. They are accepting of your quirks, your moods and the things others might perceive as negative. The great thing is that you can really be yourself around a stabiliser. You won’t feel judged and will be encouraged to be comfortable in your own skin.

Be careful you don’t get too comfortable or complacent though. Stabilisers don’t actively hold you back, but they also don’t push you. So if you’re keen to make changes in your life, consider spending a little less time surrounded by these kinds of people.

Analysers

These aren’t exactly your cheerleaders, but they do mean well. Analysers will be honest enough to point out flaws in a grand plan you’ve dreamed up and may highlight things you hadn’t taken into consideration.

Just make sure to take some things they say with a pinch of salt. Their advice comes from a good place, but analysers tend to get caught in a negative funk and may not see alternatives to a problem. Don’t confuse their opinions with your own, either. If you truly believe in something, always go for it.

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