The Evolution of Friendship

Opposites attract. It’s an age old belief when it comes to romantic relationships but does it hold true for friends? Our friends over at whisky brand Chivas Regal, commissioned a study which revealed that many groups of long-time male friends are made of 6 ‘archetypes’, with each man taking on a very different and specific role that balances and complements the others.

Despite the average gentleman boasting around 120 Facebook friends, we really rely on face-to-face contact with a small, close group of friends for support and advice.

The 6 Archetype Roles

  1. The Pilot – the leader of the group. Popular, in the know and successful in his career, the Pilot will provide leadership, structure and stability for the group of friends.
  2. The Explorer – the friend that inspires the group, instinctively seeking out new ideas and opportunities. The clothes he wears and the music he listens to this month will be what the rest of the group buys the next.
  3. The Rock – solid and reliable, his friends are his life. The Rock is the embodiment of old-school values like hard work, commitment and common sense and he is the closest to being the soul of the group, the keeper of its true values.
  4. The Hero – has a clear sense of morals and a willingness to stand up for what he believes is right. The Hero is excited by togetherness, providing energy and inspiration to the group.
  5. The Wit – irreverent, satirical and possessed of a great zest for life. He is a tremendous optimist and has a determination to make the most of every moment so he tends to be at the centre of the group’s liveliest conversations.
  6. The Coach – articulate, emotionally intelligent and a great listener. The Coach understands the needs and feelings of individual friends, gravitating instinctively to those who are feeling damaged in some way to be a shoulder to lean on.

The findings of the report reveal that these 6 archetypes can be seen around the world in not only friendship groups but in many successful sports teams where coaches often pick different archetypes to find balance and harmony.

“We would not be looking for the characteristics to make up a team in the first place. They tend to come to the fore over time, and the coach will act accordingly to develop elements which are useful for the squad. Ideally, I would have one of each type for a team, with the exception of The Rock. Otherwise trouble may brew. Opposite poles attract, but men of the same type can come into conflict”.

Bill Black, Team GB Volleyball Coach

The report was commissioned as part of Chivas Regal ‘Here’s to Real Friends’, the latest installment of their Live with Chivalry campaign. Launched in October 2011, ‘Here’s to Real Friends’ features two short films about friendship, ‘Here’s to Twinkle’ and ‘Here’s to Big Bear’, created by Chivas Regal and Academy Award® winning short filmmaker Joachim Back. Both focus on the trials, tribulations and idiosyncrasies of modern male friendships, the two films celebrate the stories that bind real friends together.