Who Are Your Friends? Aristotle identified 3 types of friendships and suggested that one of them is the ideal utility, pleasure, good

Who Are Your Friends And Why Are They In Your Life?

Who Are Your Friends? Aristotle identified 3 types of friendships and suggested that one of them is the ideal utility, pleasure, good

Who Are Your Friends? Aristotle identified 3 types of friendships and suggested that one of them is the ideal

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal insights into the 3 types of friendships, and the reasons they are in your life.

First a quick update:

The Breakup Test
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Are You Perfect Yet? Stop Trying To Be Perfect
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Now, let’s talk about who your friends are and why they are in your life.

Did you know that there are three types of friends? Which one are you?

The Greek philosopher Aristotle identified 3 key types of friendships and suggested to only place emphasis on one of those three.

And when you understand this concept and the 3 categories of friendships, you will also become clear about which friendships to pursue and you will gain insight into why some friendships naturally end, and others you should end. Of course, any friendship must consist of mutual goodwill between two persons.

1. Needs & Benefits – Friendships of Utility refers to friendships that are based purely on mutual benefit, and when that benefit ends, so too, does the relationship. An example of this type of friendship of utility is business partners, co-workers, colleagues and schoolmates.

Friendships of Utility is an accidental friendship based on your job or situation; it is not necessarily a conscious choice (not intentional.) When one changes jobs or graduates from school or college, those friendships tend to automatically dissolve. I will reveal the exceptions below.

“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit”.

2. Enjoyment & Companionship – Friendships of Pleasure refers to those friendships that are based on the pleasure that is derived through a mutual interest i.e. companionship and common interests. For example, school or college friends, people playing on the same sports team or playing sports or other recreational activities together, people in hobby clubs.

Friendships of Pleasure is an accidental friendship based on your situation (college, school, age, location); it is not necessarily a conscious choice (not intentional.)

“In poverty as well as in other misfortunes, people suppose that friends are their only refuge. And friendship is a help to the young, in saving them from error, just as it is also to the old, with a view to the care they require and their diminished capacity for action stemming from their weakness; it is a help also to those in their prime in performing noble actions, for ‘two going together’ are better able to think and to act.”

3. Meaning & Fulfillment – Friendships of the Good refers to friendships that are based on a foundation of shared virtues (including moral excellence, character traits) and a mutual desire for each person to realize their potential and live a good life. It is built upon mutual respect and admiration.

Unlike friendships of Utility and Pleasure, friendships of Good is not an accidental friendship; it is based on a conscious choice (intentional) to develop and grow the friendship in spite of job, age, location or other situations or impediments.

Most of philosophy is built upon the search for ‘the good life’, how to live a good life. The Greeks via the eudaimonistic framework (doing the right thing), focused on ‘human flourishing’ or ‘well-being’ – living well.

Aristotle believed in friendship as having an ideal; he believed that a Friendship of the Good is what leads to a good life and living a good life. He even believed that life without friendship is meaningless and that a friendship of the good is paramount: “No one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world.”

Aristotle identified 11 virtues: courage, temperance, liberality, magnificence, magnanimity, pride, patience, truthfulness, wittiness, friendliness, modesty.

Friendships of Good involves empathy, compassion, mutual care & support, and mutual growth. Friendship of the Good is enduring powerful, and meaningful. It is best recognized by another quote by Aristotle: “The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.”

Accordingly, the Friendship of the good is also described as a selfless friendship. This is a friendship that is forged through good and bad times and is nurtured and cultivated and strengthened through hardships and challenges. In Aristotle’s ideal, it is friendship teaches us what we ought to be.

“Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.”

Finally, I believe that all friendships and relationships (Utility, Pleasure, Good) can be divided into one of two categories: 1. Parasitic (one person feeding/benefiting exclusively off the other); 2. Symbiotic (both people mutually benefitting each other – equal exchange.)

Who are your friends and which ones are Good and worth developing, and which ones need releasing?

If you need help to believe in yourself and let go of toxic friends or to overcome the past, book a one-on-one session with me.

You can add to the conversation below.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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