Ida-Marie's Blog: Friendships: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Most of us will have formed some sort of friendship throughout the years. It might have been the best relationship ever and you are still friends, however, it might have also been the opposite way around. Friendship comes in many sorts and sizes. Some are good and some are bad but you can learn from all of them. Aristotle once wrote that there are three types of friendship: utility friendship, pleasurable friendship, and good friendship. No one needs to be in all three or have heard of them, however, they are a great way to figure out who the real friends in your life actually are.
Firstly, a utility friendship is based on one or both partnerships wanting something from the other person. In our context, this can be popularity, someone to copy one’s homework off of or a mutual need for being with someone. A utility friendship isn’t based on love and personality but about what one can gain from someone else. This is a toxic friendship to be in, however, it is also difficult to escape. Generally, one should always try to stay clear of these types of relationships but if you do get stuck in one then try and get out of it because it will probably end up with you and others getting hurt in the process.
Secondly, a pleasurable friendship starts when two people meet each other because of shared interests. When we were younger this could be because of an after school activity or school. This is frankly still the case. We might be in the same societies and have the same classes with these people, however, the bond created often takes a ‘pause’ when we leave the space where the friendship started. This doesn’t mean that we can’t be friends with them because of other things but since it is based on a certain activity, it can be hard to bond over other aspects of life. These kinds of friendships aren’t bad and can grow into life long connections, however, sometimes expecting too much from them can be dangerous.
Finally, the last type of friendship is a well-formed relationship that is inherently good. The people involved often have the same core values and beliefs and want the best for the other person. They have an appreciation for each other and wouldn’t intentionally do anything to hurt the other person. These friendships also stand the test of time. More than often, they aren’t short-lived and they can actually help you understand yourself better and help you grow into the person you want to be. These are the friendships that everyone should strive for since they will do more good than harm.
There might be other types of friendships, however, these are the core types of connections between people that can either develop for better or for worse. The thing we all need to remember is that no one ever has to be in a friendship that is hurting either party. Additionally, we need to find our own core values to really have a successful, well-formed friendship. The saying ‘you have to love yourself before you love others’ is extremely cliché and often only applies to a relationship, however, if we step back and take a look at it, it applies to all kinds of connections that we form. Therefore, it can help us realise who actually has good intentions and who doesn’t and make us understand what needs to happen to form loving and good friendships.
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