The 3 Requirements of All Healthy Friendships
May 29, · Friendships are considered to exist when pleasure is taken in the company of another; when being with someone becomes a duty, rather than a preference, friendships begin to wane. The construct of. The four levels of friendship are (1) acquaintance, (2) casual friendship, (3) close friendship (fellowship), and (4) intimate friendship. Acquaintance. This level of friendship is characterized by occasional contacts. Regard each introduction to a new acquaintance as a divine appointment. Learn and remember his name and greet him by name during your next encounter.
In my never-ending quest for wisdom, truth and blog fodder, I've been reading some Aristotle of late. Before you go getting all impressed, let me say it's fairly easy reading--simple sentences, simple ideas--if occasionally a bit dull.
In his Nicomachean Ethicsthe old Greek dude has plenty of interesting insights, and makes a number of well-reasoned value judgments.
And he's fairly unique among philosophers in the sense that he devotes a lot of time and thought to the question of friendship--about one-tenth of his long treatise, in fact. Aristotle figured there were three kinds of friendships :. For instance, perhaps you're friendly with your cubicle mate mainly because she helps you figure out the printer when it jams and--if you're an IT guy--you pretend to fix her computer in some top-secret-awesome way when it freezes, although all you really do is re-boot it.
Or maybe the two of you take turns going out on coffee runs. Possibly you're friendly with your neighbor because she waters your lonely little cactus when you got on vacation and you take care of her Great How to open rar files on windows 8 free when she's away.
These are friendships of the "You scratch my back, I'll degrade myself by picking up your how to lose the last 10 pounds women poop with a plastic baggie" kind. Often, these are "activity buddies": people with whom you do things like playing soccer, going for long bike rides or cow-tipping. You may have this kind of relationship with one of the other locals at your friendly neighbor coffee shop or gym or tattoo parlor--the kind of person with whom you enjoy a little chit-chat or a good joke.
Would "friendships with benefits" fall into this category--because you're both enjoying the sexual pleasure? Or into the first category, because you're using each other for sex? Good question. But I think casual sex is a bit closer to 2, because The Big A. We might like his wit, her compassion or his flirty manner, for instance.
Friendships of utility, on the other hand, exist mainly because the person can help us out in some way. These friendships take longer to build than the other two kinds--but they're also more powerful and enduring. They often arises when two people recognize that they have similar values and goals; that they have similar visions for how the world or at least their lives should be.
Not infrequently, they begin in childhood, adolescence or college--though plenty form after that, too. All this is interesting to think about, no? Aristotle thinks "friendships of the good" are invaluable, and necessary to happy lives. No argument there. Ruby, in particular, seems like a good example to discuss.
We do very different things with our lives--she's the only person I'm close with who works in politics. Most politicos bore the thongs off me, to be honest And most of my other friends are creative types or writers. Nonetheless, Ruby amazes me. I like the way she treats her friends and what degrees celsius does water freeze way she gets the right things done.
She cares equally about the earth and the welfare of the humans who happen to live on it. She eats healthfully, loves deeply, is incredibly loyal and knows how to have a nice life even though she doesn't make a lot of money. I learn a lot from Daisy about literature and culture--and learn a lot from Teddy about how to be funny--but Ruby helps me understand how to live better.
I'm lucky to have her around. Come to think of it, I feel completely unworthy of her friendship! She's just tooo good! I try to only have friendships of the goodbecause otherwise I feel kind of phony--like I'm using people or what is a tubal pregnancy symptoms. Kids, what do you think?
What categories do your friendships fall into? Could you use a few more of a certain kind, maybe a few less of another? United States. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Dear lovelies: In my never-ending quest for wisdom, truth and blog fodder, I've been reading some Aristotle of late. Aristotle figured there were three kinds of friendships : 1 Friendships of utility: exist between you and someone who is useful to you in some way. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below.
Friendships may take a back seat to other priorities, such as work or caring for children or aging parents. You and your friends may have grown apart due to changes in your lives or interests. Or maybe you've moved to a new community and haven't yet found a way to meet people. Developing and maintaining good friendships takes effort. Mar 01, · Consistency is what gives our new friendships momentum to get to know each other and, over time, it's what builds a shared history and increases our commitment and feeling of support in each other. In order for a relationship where both people feel seen, it must develop vulnerability: As we spend more consistent time together, we are also incrementally revealing and sharing more of who we are . As friendship works both ways, a friend is also someone you feel comfortable supporting and accepting, and someone with whom you share a bond of trust and loyalty. Focus on the way a friendship feels, not what it looks like.
As the COVID pandemic drags on for many of us, making and maintaining friendships has become even more important. For specific help at this difficult time, see our Coronavirus Mental Health Toolkit.
Our society tends to place an emphasis on romantic relationships. We think that just finding that right person will make us happy and fulfilled. But research shows that friends are actually even more important to our psychological welfare. Friends bring more happiness into our lives than virtually anything else.
Friendships have a huge impact on your mental health and happiness. Good friends relieve stress, provide comfort and joy, and prevent loneliness and isolation. Developing close friendships can also have a powerful impact on your physical health.
Lack of social connection may pose as much of a risk as smoking, drinking too much, or leading a sedentary lifestyle. Friends are even tied to longevity. One Swedish study found that, along with physical activity, maintaining a rich network of friends can add significant years to your life.
Many of us struggle to meet people and develop quality connections. Improve your mood. Spending time with happy and positive friends can elevate your mood and boost your outlook. Help you to reach your goals. Reduce your stress and depression. Having an active social life can bolster your immune system and help reduce isolation, a major contributing factor to depression.
Support you through tough times. Support you as you age. As you age, retirement, illness, and the death of loved ones can often leave you isolated. Knowing there are people you can turn to for company and support can provide purpose as you age and serve as a buffer against depression, disability, hardship and loss. Boost your self-worth. Being there for your friends makes you feel needed and adds purpose to your life.
Technology has shifted the definition of friendship in recent years. With the click of a button, we can add a friend or make a new connection. But having hundreds of online friends is not the same as having a close friend you can spend time with in person. So make it a priority to stay in touch in the real world, not just online.
A friend is someone you trust and with whom you share a deep level of understanding and communication. A good friend will:. As friendship works both ways, a friend is also someone you feel comfortable supporting and accepting, and someone with whom you share a bond of trust and loyalty. The most important quality in a friendship is the way the relationship makes you feel—not how it looks on paper, how alike you seem on the surface, or what others think.
Ask yourself:. The bottom line: if the friendship feels good, it is good. A good friend does not require you to compromise your values, always agree with them, or disregard your own needs. If you are introverted or shy , it can feel uncomfortable to put yourself out there socially. Focus on others, not yourself.
The key to connecting to other people is by showing interest in them. Pay attention. Switch off your smartphone, avoid other distractions, and make an effort to truly listen to the other person. We tend to make friends with people we cross paths with regularly: people we go to school with, work with, or live close to.
The more we see someone, the more likely a friendship is to develop. So, look at the places you frequent as you start your search for potential friends. Another big factor in friendship is common interests.
We tend to be drawn to people who are similar, with a shared hobby, cultural background, career path, or kids the same age. Think about activities you enjoy or the causes you care about. Where can you meet people who share the same interests? When looking to meet new people, try to open yourself up to new experiences. Not everything you try will lead to success but you can always learn from the experience and hopefully have some fun.
Volunteering can be a great way to help others while also meeting new people. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to regularly practice and develop your social skills. Take a class or join a club to meet people with common interests, such as a book group, dinner club, or sports team. Websites such as Meetup. Connect with your alumni association.
Many colleges have alumni associations that meet regularly. You already have the college experience in common; bringing up old times makes for an easy conversation starter. Some associations also sponsor community service events or workshops where you can meet more people.
Walk a dog. Dog owners often stop and chat while their dogs sniff or play with each other. Attend art gallery openings, book readings, lectures, music recitals, or other community events where you can meet people with similar interests. Check with your library or local paper for events near you. Behave like someone new to the area. Cheer on your team. Going to a bar alone can seem intimidating, but if you support a sports team, find out where other fans go to watch the games.
You automatically have a shared interest—your team—which makes it natural to start up a conversation. Making eye contact and exchanging small talk with strangers is great practice for making connections—and you never know where it may lead! We all have acquaintances in our life—people we exchange small talk with as we go about our day or trade jokes or insights with online. While these relationships can fulfill you in their own right, with some effort, you can turn a casual acquaintance into a true friend.
The first step is to open up a little about yourself. Friendships are characterized by intimacy. So, try sharing something a little bit more personal than you would normally. Do they seem interested? Do they reciprocate by disclosing something about themselves? Invite a casual acquaintance out for a drink or to a movie. Lots of other people feel just as uncomfortable about reaching out and making new friends as you do.
Be the one to break the ice. Take the first step and reach out to a neighbor or work colleague, for example—they will thank you later.
Carpool to work. Many companies offer carpool programs. Spending regular time together is a great way to get to know others better and offers the opportunity for uninterrupted and deeper conversation. Track down old friends via social media. Here are some common obstacles—and how you can overcome them. Developing and maintaining friendships takes time and effort, but even with a packed schedule, you can find ways to make the time for friends.
Put it on your calendar. Schedule time for your friends just as you would for errands. Make it automatic with a weekly or monthly standing appointment. Or simply make sure that you never leave a get-together without setting the next date.
Mix business and pleasure. Figure out a way to combine your socializing with activities that you have to do anyway.
These could include going to the gym, getting a pedicure, or shopping. Errands create an opportunity to spend time together while still being productive. Group it. Making new friends means putting yourself out there, and that can be scary. But by working with the right therapist, you can explore ways to build trust in existing and future friendships.
For more general insecurities or a fear of rejection, it helps to evaluate your attitude. These fears get in the way of making satisfying connections and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody likes to be rejected, but there are healthy ways to handle it:. Making a new friend is just the beginning of the journey. Friendships take time to form and even more time to deepen, so you need to nurture that new connection.