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IMAGE shows relationships in TIERS ⬆️

The following article is modified from Tim Urban’s site.  See other images & longer explanations at “The Friendship Quadrant”

“Once student-life ends, the people in your life start to shake into more distinct tiers….. Whatever your particular mountain looks like, eventually the blur of youth is behind you, the dust has settled, & there you are living your life – when one day, usually around your mid or late 20s, it hits you: It’s not that easy to make friends anymore…”

Tier 1 – those who feel like close siblings (if you like any of those!)
Tier 2 – your Pretty Good friends…
Tier 3 – your Not Really friends…. the lowest part starts to blend indistinguishably into your large group of acquaintances (pink zone),
who gradually blend into the endless world of strangers (white).

Some TYPES ➡️ :
▪︎ Walled-Off Wally – surrounded but totally alone
▪︎ Phony Phoebe – trying to be everyone’s best friend, but ends up with lots of people mad at her
▪︎ Unabomber Ulysses  – who gets rid of everyone


1) The Non-Question-Asking Friend
– extremely self-absorbed & only wants to talk about themself
– avoids getting close to others & won’t talk either about you or themself (nothing personal, just third-party topics)
– considers you as being insufferably self-absorbed, & knows if they ask about your life, you’ll talk their ear off

2) The Friend in your Group YOU can’t ever be Alone with
– because you’re jealous of each other, or are too similar, have too much rivalry, or are both alpha dogs / queen bees…..

3) The Non-Character-Breaking Friend you have to be “On” with
– they’re terrified of having a genuine interaction, so your friendship with them is always some kind of performance. They’re only capable of shallow communication, based on a facade

4) The Double-Obligated Friendship
– neither of you really want to spend time together – but won’t admit it, somehow believing you have to keep up the pretense (“don’t want to hurt their feelings”// better them than no one)

5) The Half “Marriage” Friendship
– it would be a marriage if only the other person weren’t very, very, extremely not interested in that happening….  It feels like one long, continuous rejection of you as a human being, but you stay, & wallow in longing

6) The Frenemy
– the one who roots very hard against you – just because you’re you…  usually someone you go way back with – & have or though you had – a very deep friendship, but the trouble probably started a long time ago (they’re envious, you have unspoken hurt feelings, one of you is holding a grudge….)

7) The Non-Parallel Life Paths Friendship
– early friends who seemed to be going in the same direction as you (under 30), but later some of them suddenly veered in a completely different life direction you couldn’t have imagined…. so can’t be as close as you used to be

8) The Historical Friend
– someone you met when you were little & stayed friends with through the years, even though you’re a very weird match…. often someone you absolutely would not be friends with if you met them today

9) The Facebook Celebrity Friend
– a rare Tier 3 friend or just an acquaintance, who you turned into a ‘deep connection’, but it’s all in your mind – since you’re not actually friends… like someone at work you’ve a ‘thing’ for, or someone on Facebook you’re following fanatically, but they have no idea of your obsessive attention

10) The Lopsided Friendship
– one can be higher on one friend’s mountain than the other
– one can want to spend more time with a friend than the other does
– one will consistently spend 90% of their time listening & only 10% of the time being listened to…..

URBAN concludes:  Not All Friendships Are Grim….
“No friendship is perfect, but those in Quadrant 1 are doing what they’re supposed to – making the lives of both parties better.
And when a friendship is both in Quadrant 1 and on Tier 1 of your mountain – they’re a rock to depend on” ….
✦ Figure out which ‘friends’ are NOT in Quadrant 1, & demote them down the mountain

✦ Since Tier 1 people are a comfort & a joy, dedicate more time to them

NEXT: False people

3 thoughts on “ODD FRIENDSHIPS

  1. This is SO good !
    Please make some youtube videos on these… well ok, on ALL of your blog material. 😂


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