“You are who you hang out with.”

My mom said this often when I was growing up. If I wanted to be a better person, then I needed to find the girls that were living ideals which I admired. Forget the ones who sought fleeting beauty and popularity. I needed to surround myself with kind, loyal, and fun-loving girls. Here are three friends every girl needs in her community:

The Dreamer

A big thinker, this friend won’t squash your ambitions. She’ll get more enthusiastic as you brainstorm your next endeavor with her. My favorite thing about this friend is that she lets you dream without limits, allowing yourself to really believe you can do anything.

Sometimes, when I’m on the brink of a good idea, I call up my dreamer friends and let their wisdom speak truth into my ideas.

The Challenger

Every gal needs a friend that takes her out of her comfort zone. This woman, sometimes with force, takes us to new places and challenges us to try new things. We grow through these “out of the box” experiences.

I had two of these friends in college, who decided we needed to skinny-dip in the ocean. You need to know; I never get in the Pacific. It’s FREEZING. Also, I am absolutely not going to get into freezing water naked. They dragged me all the way down to the beach where they immediately stripped down to their birthday suits and ran in. I sat on the beach for a while just pondering how I ended up with such crazy friends but thankful for the ways they challenged my comforts (and also my faith).

The Intellectual

This friend treats my thoughts like they matter. She gets to the root of the matter by asking the right questions and intentionally listens for the response. She typically reads different sources to create a more well-rounded belief on a topic. I am a better citizen because she asks me to think about issues I’d prefer to remain passive on.

I’ll admit this friend is a bit hard for me to handle because I am the opposite of an intellectual (give me the feelings). But, I need this! I need someone to expand my decision-making beyond my emotions.

So, this list isn’t exhaustive (clearly!). There are many “types” of women out there, and lots of new friendships to be explored. The idea is to surround yourself with women who are different than you. You are who you hang out with, so make sure you are spending time with women you’d like to emulate.

Also, you probably are “that” friend to someone else. Whether you are the intellectual, the dreamer, or have a different gift to share—your actions influence others. Remember to build up the body of believers with your unique set of gifts.

Our communities are stronger because you are in it, dare to be someone’s _________.