10 Types of Odd Friends We Had As Teens

types-of-friendsI was recently talking to a few friends from High School about how when we were teenagers we had different types of friends than we do today–not just Cotton Candy friends.  Today, I have my couple friends (to go on double dates with), my shopping friends (who will get up at 6am for a good sale), my party friends and my blogger friends.  When I was a teenager, this was very different.

For my fellow 20 something and teen readers, enjoy the walk down memory lane and/or see if you recognize someone from your life on this list.  For my parent readers, knowing these types of kids can help you identify the kind of kids your child hangs out with and some of their lingo.

1) Hanger-Oner

I had one of these in middle school.  Remember the Hanger-Oner? That kid who just would not leave you alone.  I mean, they were nice, and you liked them, but it’s called b-r-e-a-t-h-i-n-g  r-o-o-m.

2) Frenemy

Maybe this is more of a girl thing than a guy thing, but there were definitely those people in High School who pretended to be your friend, and you pretended to like them, but in reality, you didn’t.

3) The You’re-Cooler-Than-Me Friend

I had (have) a few people who are friends with me and I seriously wonder why.  In my mind, they are way cool, smart, funny, attractive and certainly way cooler than me.  We are friends, and I am grateful, but you always hope you can live up to their expectations and coolness factor. (I am making this sound a little bit more pathetic for simply humor value).

4) Make-Me-Feel-Good-About-Myself-Friend

I was working with a teen girl client the other day about her friends and she said “well, then there is my pretty, but not prettier than me best friend.”  I was like, whoa, “what?!”  She went on to explain that in High School everyone has to have a friend they can do to when they need to feel better about themselves.  I chose to take this as more of a pep-talking kind of friend than an-uglier-than-me-friend.

5) Wingman or Wingwoman

Typically a best friend, which you of course can still have later in life.  I had a girlfriend in High School who I always went on doubles, blind dates and to dances with because we always got along well and most importantly, had totally different taste in men.

6) Homework Friend

This does not have to be someone smarter than you (or a cheater-friend), this is someone who teens all have to go to when they need to make a study guide, plan a study session or as a homework problem.  I had one friend in High School and we talked at least once a night on the phone, but never about anything other than school, yet they were one of my closest friends.

7) Secret Bitch/ Secret Bully

I have written about Secret Bitches before.  Secret bitches (female) or secret bullies are similar to frenemies in that they are nice to you in person, but are different because they don’t want to be your friend, they just want to know you enough to make fun of you behind your back.

8) PE/Math/Science Friend

This is the friend that you have in that one class or club and you hang out pretty much exclusively when you are in that environment, but nowhere else.

9) Family Friend

This friend is who your parents want you to be best friends with/marry because the parents are best friends or you are neighbors and it would just make it easier to carpool.

10) Used-to-be-elementary-school-friend-but-don’t-really-have-anything-in-common-anymore

Oh, these are awkward.  You used to climb trees together, you had a Ya-Ya Sisterhood handshake and have really cute pictures of the two of you in a bathtub together, but it just isn’t the same anymore.  They are a jock and you are a bandgeek, but you still say ‘hi’ in the halls and invite each other to your birthday parties.  Mom and dad will forever be asking you, “how is your old friend ___, you used to be so close!”

Hey, let Facebook and Myspace serve their purpose! Go find your old frenemy or wingman and invite them for drinks.  Or ask you kids if they can identify each of these types of friends in their life!


This post is dedicated to my sisters, Courtney and Haley Van Petten who is still navigating her High School friendships, heard about mine all the way through the bad years and will always be one of my best friends.

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3 Responses to “10 Types of Odd Friends We Had As Teens”

  1. virtual worlds for kids
    April 8, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    this article is really walking me down my memory lane . But it also brings back a question to me, ” wat type of kid i was, in my friend’s eyes? “

  2. Vanessa Van Petten
    April 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    I think it is this exact question that is leading many adults to go on Facebook and find them…and ask!

    Vanessa

  3. M
    July 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    best story i've ever told to my girlfriend

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