“Choose your friends wisely.” It’s a phrase we’ve heard a thousand times, but how often do we actively do this? We’ll take an estimated guess and say… never. And you probably should. Your friends are like investments. You put your most precious time and effort into these relationships with the hope that you’ll be happy with what comes back to you. But not every friend will prove their worth, especially if they’re not paying out returns like happiness, loyalty and compassion. So why are you hanging out with these duds when you could be spending your time with the people who, in turn, give you something back? You need to know when it’s time to double-down and invest, and when to sell out and trade up.

The bestie
She’s the Taylor to your Karlie, the red wine to your cheese, the headphones to your commute. Your best friend is pretty much your perfect match – the first one you call when your boss is being a pain, when you can’t decide if the LBD you’re buying is sexy or more wannabe-hipster, and when you can’t decide whether to say “Hi” or “Hey” in the first text to that hot guy you met last weekend. This girl is your daily go-to person, and you don’t know what you would do without her. You put loads into your friendship, and she does the exact same. It’s a win-win situation.
Time to invest: At least once a week, with emoji-filled texts, hilarious Snapchats and phone calls scattered in between.

The “it’s all about me” friend
You haven’t seen her for more than two months and when you finally do, you spend the entire brunch date listening to all her boy dramas, work issues, family problems… so pretty much anything and everything to do with her. You walk away from your catch-ups feeling annoyed and unfulfilled. If you had an engagement ring on your finger and started waving it “Hokey Pokey” style right in front of her face, she still wouldn’t ask a single thing about you.
Time to invest: Stick to every few months. Instagram and Facebook will keep you up-to-date on any pressing life matters.

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On the rise: The flake
Everyone knows this girl. She’s the person who agrees to every plan (and sometimes even initiates them) and then a) bails as you’re arriving at the destination, b) is ridiculously late every time or c) is just a straight up no-show. Sure, your love for her runs strong. You’ve had many a fun time with her and some good D&Ms (when she does show up), but at the end of the day, you just can’t rely on her.
Time to invest: A catch-up once a month will do the trick. Just ensure she’s actually going to be there, or you’ll be drinking alone. Again.

The work/travel/sports buddy
While you don’t have a solid crew of friends in common, the both of you have bonded over some fun times and share awesome memories. But there’s no point inviting her to come out with your core group, because there are only so many times they can hear the same old story, “Hey, remember that one time we were in Thailand and we [insert hilarious memory]?”, or “But how funny was it when [insert office blunder]?” Other people just don’t get you two.
Time to invest: Plan a dedicated catch-up with this niche friend every couple of months.

The obligation mate
She’s the family friend your mum forced you to play with when you were little, the girl you sat next to in seconday school or your cousin’s ex-boyfriend’s sister that you can’t seem to shake off. Hanging out with this person is an awkward, superficial drag, and organising the time and place for the next one is more painful than it’s worth. The spark in your friendship has well and truly fizzled. What exactly are you getting out of it? Nothing but frustration.
Time to invest: None. If you dread it and can’t be bothered, there’s no profit for either of you.

Text: Natalie Babic