Four Friendship Communication Styles

Are you a storyteller, a good listener, or are your lips sealed? Want to know more about the role you play in talking with your friends? Take a look at all four results for the Friendship Compatibility Quiz:

You are a Listener: One of the best ways to be a good friend is by being a good listener. But while friends cherish your nurturing ways and willingness to always lend an ear, you don't always love to share your own stories with them. Keep in mind that willingness to share, especially to share personal information about oneself, is a basic feature of friendship, says Florence Isaacs, author of Toxic Friends, True Friends: How Your Friends Can Make or Break Your Health, Happiness, Family, and Career. If someone confides in you and you never reciprocate, no matter how good a listener you are, it weakens the relationship, according to Isaacs. Mutual self-discovery is what makes friends so close.

You are a Reliable Advisor: You love to give good advice, and your friends usually love to receive it. But be careful: While you have the best interests of your friends at heart, you run the risk of offering too much judgment (which can be viewed as criticism) and too little unconditional love and acceptance. Sure, your friends may say they want your good advice and objectivity, but the honest truth may not really be what they're after -- or what they truly want from you, as a friend. Deep down what most friends are looking for is unconditional acceptance. To be a better advisor, try to react to your friends' stories by considering their situation and viewpoint and not merely reacting based on your own viewpoint. And be sure to offer your input in the most positive, empowering way possible. Lastly, remember that you can't always be the one to solve problems -- some problems aren't solvable -- so it's important to also develop your listening skills, too.

You are a Chatterbox: You love to communicate and converse. And you know how to use discussion to motivate a crowd of pals, cheer up a friend and even charm prospective friends. You're the bright spark everyone loves to be near. While you love to share your own stories (you have a way of telling a tale that makes it truly Seinfeld-worthy), you also love to hear what's going on with your friends. Just be careful that your excitement over a good story doesn't get the better of you -- what your friends tell you in confidence should remain between the two of you. Likewise, know that it's a myth that you can tell a friend anything, warns Jan Yager, Ph.D., author of Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives. In truth, you have to always think about how your words will affect the friend you're telling and what they'll do to your friendship.

You are a Private: You're not comfortable sharing all of your deepest thoughts and feelings, no matter how close you feel to your friend. While friends should respect each other's privacy, willingness to share, especially to share personal information about oneself, is a basic feature of friendship, says Florence Isaacs, author of Toxic Friends, True Friends: How Your Friends Can Make or Break Your Health, Happiness, Family, and Career. If someone confides in you and you never reciprocate, it weakens the relationship. After all, talk is what makes women value friendship and feel valued in those relationships, as Ellen Goodman and Patricia O'Brien point out in I Know Just What You Mean: The Power of Friendship in Women's Lives. Women reveal themselves and the friendship grows and deepens.

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