Friendship is defined as a nonromantic relationship that is attachment-based rather than function based. These are not relationships based on a common task, like work or ministry, but friendships in which people simply want hang out together. From Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend’s Boundaries Workbook:

  1. Compliant/Compliant – this occurs when two compliant friends interact, neither does what they really want. They are both so afraid of telling the other the truth that neither one ever does. (As these friends become more open about their likes and dislikes, they may find themselves separating more from each other. It’s important to remember that having different friends for different activities does not mean it’s not a good friendship)
  2. Compliant/Aggressive Controller – the compliant friend feels intimidated and inferior in the relationship; the aggressive controller feels irritated at being nagged by the compliant. (When the compliant confronts the aggressive controller friend, limits are set to let them know their control hurts them and wounds their friendship)
  3. Compliant/Manipulative Controller – the manipulative controller may not be consciously trying to manipulate their friends. But when in a jam, good intentions disappear. They take France for granted thinking they shouldn’t mind doing a friend a favor. (Compliant confronts the manipulative controller tells about feeling used and taken advantage of and explains the need for more mutual friendship)
  4. compliance/nonresponsive – One friend does all the work while the other coasts along. (The compliant explains the need in the relationship for equal responsibility for the friendship in the future.  This kind of confrontation either exposes the friendship as a one-sided relationship or provides a foundation for building a mutual friendship)
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Megan, a native of Kansas City, Kansas is an empty nest parent of three adult children Ayanna, Jonathan and Isiah. Megan is a Christian and active in ministry at her church Cornerstone Baptist Church, in Arlington, TX. She is currently a Doctoral student working toward a Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy at Texas Wesleyan University. Her personal interests include independent film, music and marriage enrichment. Megan is the co-founder of the Minority Behavioral Health Provider Networking Group along with colleague Cynthia Thompson.

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