Four Friendship Priority Styles

How do your personal priorities affect friendship compatibility? Your friends change as your life and your needs change, making some friends more appealing and some friendships stronger and easier to maintain than others. Take a look at these four priority styles to see how your outlook could be affecting your friendships.

You are Love-focused: Right now, your principal goal is to find a life partner, whether that means lots of dating or spending quality time with the one or two potential partners in your life right now. You still value your friends, but at this stage of your life, love comes first. What you look for from your friends is a sense of regularity and security.

You are Family-focused: Whether because of time demands (you can't focus on every aspect of your life at once) or personal desire, you've got your eyes on your spouse or your children (or, perhaps, your aging parents). The friends you see and need the most right now are those whose lives mimic yours: married women or mothers. Not that you don't love your single friends, too, but in friendship, like attracts like, and your life is about family right now.

You are Career-focused: You don't spend hours at the office for nothing; your career is your passion, and it's predominant in your life right now. Which is why so many of your friends (at least the ones you spend time with) are probably either in your same professional field or right there in your workplace. These are the friends who can offer you the most right now. Their emotional support and valuable feedback can improve the quality of your work. Don't be surprised, though, if your non-work friends start expressing their dissatisfaction with you, despite how proud they may be of your professional ambition and success.

You are Self-focused: That's not to say you're self-centered or selfish, but your focus right now is on self-improvement and self-satisfaction. You may be taking classes, concentrating on creating a new living environment or, in general, working to build a new and better life for yourself. This may be because you're either just starting out or starting over after a divorce, death of a spouse or serious illness. The friends you hold dear are those who understand what you've been through and share your enthusiasm and interests for the future.

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