search burger
search ×

What friend are you?

The friendship test according to Kasley Killam, an expert in social health and connections, divides the world into friends fireflies, butterflies, evergreens and the like


There are many questions that a true friend, if he felt like it, could ask himself. 

For example: "Do I prefer to go deep when talking to my friends?", "Do I recharge my batteries in solitude?", "Can I miss a group outing or risk FOAM (fear of being disconnected)?"

And again: "Am I more for parties with lots of people or for dinners among a few intimates?". The aim, which is not scientifically proven, is to outline the friendship profile that is closest to each of us. 

Fresh from the publication of her book 'The Art and Science of Connection', Kasley Killam, an expert in social health and connections, defines the friendship styles that populate the planet. The book provides stimulating input for cataloguing how we approach others in our daily lives. 

Visualizza questo post su Instagram

Un post condiviso da HarperOne (@harperonebooks)

On the New York Times online it is, in fact, possible to take a test that on the basis of the answers given gives back a classification of the type of friend one is. The results range from 'Fireflies' and 'Butterflies' to 'Evergreen' and 'Wallflower'

What does this mean? Although writing in the first person is an unpleasant exercise, sometimes it is necessary. As in this case, for example, where I became a guinea pig and tried out the questionnaire in question. Between more specific questions and generalist trivia about attitudes in the friendship field, it turned out that I was one of the 'Fireflies'

So, imagine a firefly flying through the air on a warm summer night, glowing in the company of its fellow fireflies, only to mysteriously retreat into the darkness of the night sky. Fireflies limit the number of social engagements in a week or month, but light up when they feel deeply connected to others. 

“In social situations, fireflies tend to be highly present and focused,” said Kasley Killam, the social scientist who developed the framework for this quiz. “When they are connecting, they are connecting deeply. And that’s a gift to others.”

Fireflies need solitude to recharge, it’s true, but Killam (herself a firefly) has a challenge for you: aim to interact with others a bit more than you might naturally this week.“Chitchat can be fulfilling,” Killam said. “It doesn’t always have to be a heart-to-heart.”

What about the other styles?


Picture a mighty spruce tree: lush, green and reliable year round. It seems to always be healthy and thriving, so long as it is getting enough sunlight and water. Evergreens feel most alive when they’re being nourished by frequent interactions with close friends. They tend to prefer it when those interactions feel deep and meaningful. Evergreens “easily give love to others,” Killam said.


Picture a butterfly fluttering from flower to flower, drinking nectar and pollinating plants along the way. Butterfly friends tend to thrive with frequent social interaction and are drawn to more casual forms of connection. They are likely excellent party guests and hosts. “Butterflies are comfortable in almost all social situations,” Killam said. “And they can really help other people feel at ease.”


There are plenty of perks to being a wallflower — forget any negative connotations you might have heard. Wallflowers are likely somewhat shy and tend to be selective about how they spend their time. Their social calendars are fairly light, and they are drawn to more casual forms of connection. Their “superpower” is taking in information and being sensitive to what’s going on around them, Killam said.


To discover the quiz, click here.



Illustration by Gloria Dozio - Acrimònia Studios