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What’s The Difference Between A Friend, A Therapist And A Guru?

Upasana Kamineni Konidela

Wellbeing Curator

4 min read

At different points in our lives, we have needed a friend, a therapist, and a mentor to push us through the difficulties, share our happiness and guide us to a better tomorrow. However, they are all different and play different roles in our lives. So, what is the real difference between them?

One of the easiest ways to find that out is to as these simple questions, “What role does this person play? To what end? For how long?” If you can get answers to these, you can very well understand each of them and move ahead in life.


A friend is supposed to take your side. They need to have unconditional love for you, where right or wrong shouldn’t matter. They are someone who stand by you, take your side and make sure that they are there for in every situation. A friend is someone you can partly take for granted as well because they have your interest in the place. They are neither certified nor are trained practitioners, but the advice that they give you are out of the shared experience of your lives.

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You also need to set some boundaries and rules, and you should choose a minimum of 5 people who will always be by your side for the rest of your life. You have to cultivate the sort of friendship from your school or college days, where you spend time with them, understand and make a comfort zone around them. You have to make sure that these relations are platonic, and you do not reach any uncomfortable situation in these relationships. You should also let your parents or partners or sibling know about your friends. As a matter of fact, these friends could include your partner or siblings who are in this “5 friends” relationship with you. Friendship is sacred as the rules of friendship are strong. They include,

  • Sticking by you
  • Being available for you
  • Understanding your needs
  • Syncing and growing together
  • Building a relationship together

As friends, you need to have a positive influence on each other, rather than draining each other out. This is what a friend should be.

By practice, therapists are certified professionals who do not have to judge you and listen to you. Their job is to teach you how to deal or cope up with the urgent situation that you are facing.


A therapist is a trained professional who you seek for help. Therapists are not supposed to be judgemental. By practice, they are certified professionals who do not have to judge you and listen to you. Their job is to teach you how to deal or cope up with the urgent situation that you are facing. When a therapist teaches you how to deal with a situation, you will learn to deal with more similar situations or even worse in a better manner. Some of us have deep-rooted issues, and they don’t know who to speak with. That’s where a therapist comes in to help you figure the problem and deal with it in a better manner. Therapists also prescribe medication, as it is essential for you to heal with medication. They also prescribe alternative therapies. Before going to a therapist, you must do your homework. You must understand what you are visiting the therapist for and what you want out of it. Don’t go with high expectations and understand your needs before visiting a therapist, as they are expensive. So choose them wisely, closer to home, within your budget, and can give your benefits out of those therapy sessions.

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A guru or mentor is a person who you seek advice from at different times of your life, depending on what you need. Say you want to start a new business, it is this guru or mentor who will help you move in the right direction. These people give you advice. You can look at their life and experiences and gain from them. Depending on what you want to achieve in life, you have to choose your mentor. That’s the essential part of the process. It is also crucial to choose a set of mentors. Make sure that you learn your lessons from them before moving on to the next one. It will lead to confusion where you might learn anything even with the best of help. Dive deeper into your questions. If you can get a personal session with your guru, then there is nothing better. Or else, you can keep following them on their website or YouTube channels. Study their lives and understand their successes. Take what you feel will help you grow.

This is the difference between a friend, a therapist and a mentor or guru. Always remember that all three are your well-wishers, and you need to have them all in your life. Choose who you want to, to succeed in life. And segregate them in different compartments, which will help you become a better person in life.