Three Types of Friendships and True Friend
You might have heard from many people saying a true friend who stays with you on bad, dark or rainy days. Everyone can be your friend on Sunny days and when the sky is blue. I agree that we need friends for our good and bad days; however, not all friends necessarily to be with us or support us during our lifetime. There are different level of friendship.
Let me start with the definition of friendship first. As a human, it is our nature that we need to socialise and communicate with other people. When we begin to communicate with people, we share our moments, thoughts, feelings, ideas, problems, achievements, sadness and happiness. The more we connect with someone, the more we become familiar with them. This helps us to develop trust in that person. In the above explanation, I would say friendship is communication between people based on trust, understanding, sharing feelings, thoughts and supporting each other on good and bad days.
Depending on the level of friendship, the communication and activities between people can be different. Therefore, friendship can also be different based on these communications and activities. Aristotle described three kinds of friendships.
1- Friendships of utility: are based on usefulness. You have this kind of friends because they are useful to you and make your life easier. There is help and support in this kind of friendship. "You scratch my back, and I will scratch yours." For example, when you are going away for a few days and asking your neighbour to keep an eye on your house and water your plants. Or at the workplace, you are friendly with IT guys because you need them to fix your computer or printer, etc.
2- Friendships of Pleasure are based on pleasure and enjoyment. Your relationship with these kinds of friends is based on activities that you enjoy doing together. For example, friends that you play football with, going on holiday together, night out together, people you have a chit chat at a local coffee shop, gym etc. In this category, you are doing some activities with the company, and you enjoy it.
'Would friend with benefits fall into this category?' I would say yes. Because your friendship is based on pleasure, therefore, a sexual relationship can be counted as pleasure.
3- Friendships of the good are based on mutual interest, admiration, respect and vision in life. You are friends because you have similar goals and expectations in life. It takes longer to build up this kind of friendships comparing the two other friendships mentioned above. This kind of friendship doesn't have to be from childhood or college/university years; it can be built up later. It is stronger, powerful and enduring. You can have deep conversations, discussing ideas, sharing personal and family problems without hesitating because you trust them and their opinions are valued.
So Who Is A True Friend?
We usually call a person a true friend when they stay with us on our bad days. You might have heard from people that they fall out with their best friends of 10, 20 years over minor disagreements, jealousy, trust issues and unable to support bad days.
In my view, a true friend helps and supports you physically, mentally and most importantly, give you the feeling of he or she is there for you no matter what is happening in your life. Furthermore, a true friend is the one for good and bad days and the one you can communicate on a deep level and share and discuss your ideas, thoughts, goals, and vision in life.
To summarise, we all have different level of friendships. Therefore, we need to be realistic when we have expectations from our friends. If friendship is not suitable for our expectations, we should not pressurise our friends because they might not be helpful and supportive as much as we expect. We should observe our friendship and develop a relationship as well as expectations accordingly.