Aristotle divided friendships into three different types: friendship of utility, friendship of pleasure, and friendship of good.
Friendship of utility is based on the benefits that each friend brings to the table. For example, business partners, colleagues and school friends. Friendship of pleasure is based on the enjoyment that it brings, for example hanging out, fitness, fishing and games buddies. Friendship of good is based on reciprocal appreciation of each other’s values, trust, openness and honesty.
The first two types of friendship can fade when the benefits end or change, however they can lead to self discovery and discovery of one’s core values. They can help to refine one’s circle of friendship leading to the third type of friendship, friendship of good.
Friendship of good can last for longer or even for life, based on openness, commitment, trust and honesty it grows. Only a good friend will tell you to pick that boggy from your nostrils or that sea weed hanging from your teeth
All three types of friendships as classified by Aristotle play an important role in one’s physical and mental wellbeing. It is important to have a good understanding of the different types of friendships. As the old saying goes, ‘a hand shake’ does not necessarily mean an embrace in every culture. Understanding friendships can help one to determine how much to invest in them; it can also help one to heal quicker from the heartache that often come with friendship breakups.
Friendships help one to stay connected, to be of service, to find belonging. Make like life meaningful worth living and boost one’s immune system. Having strong friendships can help provide networking and mentoring opportunities for career development and advancement
Be intentional, make time, commit in making friendships. Depending on what ‘floats your boat’, below are some examples of how to nurture friendships: cook , garden, exercise, attend a dance class, attend a book club, go on a good night out, exchange gifts, send cheerful and empowering messages, meditate together, meet for coffee. Make time and space on those grey days when one needs a good rant, a cry or a listening ear.