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The three types of buddies Harvard recommends for happiness

By b0oua Mar 20, 2024
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One does not possess a large house, a large automobile, or a large checking account. Maintaining healthy relationships throughout one’s life is one of the factors that contributes to a person’s level of happiness.

This has been proved by the well-known research at Harvard University known as the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has been going on for at least 85 years (it started in 1938). People who have good friendships at the age of 50 are in better form than those who do not have such ties when they reach the age of 80, according to studies.

Friendship has been shown to improve levels of happiness, which in turn has a beneficial effect on one’s health. When we talk about friendship, however, we are not referring to the preservation of the friends we had when we were younger. Although there are many distinct kinds of friendships, each and every one of them contributes to an increase in levels of happiness.

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle identified three distinct sorts of friendships that each of us experiences at some point in our lives. In addition, Arthur Brooks, a professor at Harvard who offers classes on happiness management, asserts that in order to be happy in life, we require all three forms of friendships.

An article written by Arthur Brooks and titled “The best friends can’t do anything for you” provides a comprehensive explanation of the three categories of friendship that Aristotle was referring to.

Coworkers or other individuals with whom you have some kind of professional contact are the ones who are likely to experience these kinds of conflicts. One of the reasons that Aristotle refers to these relationships as “public service friendships” is that they are transactional in nature. This means that you offer something and receive something else in return, and it is not just about money.

If you did not have friendships of this kind, you would experience feelings of isolation in the job, which would have a severe impact on your morale, and many tasks would be far more difficult to do.

Because there is no interest or job value in this kind of relationship, there is no requirement to conform to the standards of a professional relationship. These are the kinds of friendships that are formed for the sole purpose of gaining pleasure from them. The reason we have friends is simply because we like them, they are fascinating or enjoyable, and we have a nice time with them. This is what happens with the friends we have.

According to Aristotle’s definition, the ideal friendships are those that are shared by two individuals who share a passion for something that not only brings them together but also elevates their actions to the level of virtue. A connection is considered to be perfect not when it is based on usefulness or pleasure, but rather when it is centered on the improvement of the conditions of another individual, as stated by Brooks. Despite the fact that it is difficult to put into words, the professor explains that you typically have a good idea of when a friendship is great.

Most of the time, friendships that are beneficial and those that bring pleasure do not extend beyond the realm of shared interests; yet, these are also very significant. According to Brooks, they are beneficial in that they help you go forward in life, but they do not give long-term happiness or contentment. It is not possible for the relationships that exist within this kind of friendship to be strong enough to endure confrontations or conflicts. In light of this, Brooks recalls that great friendships are extremely important in life because they are not contingent on one’s employment, financial status, or level of desire.

This article is a part of the Tools for Happiness series that is being produced by CNBC Make It. The series describes the information that we gained while participating in a free happiness course that was provided by Harvard University.

An 85-year study conducted at Harvard University found that the most significant factor that contributes to our pleasure in life is the presence of positive relationships, and the friendships that you have are a significant component of this.

According to the findings of the study, one of the seven behaviors that individuals who live to be happy and healthy engage in is engaging in the maintenance of long-term friendships that are stable. It is true that each of our friendships can take on a unique appearance, and it is also true that your friendships shouldn’t all have the same appearance.

The well-known Greek philosopher Aristotle determined that there are three distinct types of friendships that each of us possesses. And Arthur Brooks, a professor at Harvard who teaches a course on how to cultivate happiness, is of the opinion that in order to experience genuine satisfaction in life, we need all three types of friendships.

According to Aristotle, the following are the three categories of friendships that were discussed in Brooks’ article titled “The Best Friends Can Do Nothing for You,” which he presented in the Harvard happiness course:

Think about the relationships you have with persons with whom you work or with whom you conduct business. Utility friendships: “Think about the relationships you have with.” In his writing, Brooks stated that the nature of these partnerships is typically transactional.

Friendships that are founded on pleasure: “This kind of relationship is founded on mutual admiration because each individual derives pleasure from the other.” According to what Brooks mentioned in his article, a friendship of pleasure is one in which a person finds their buddy to be humorous, interesting, and a source of satisfaction.

“Perfect” friendships: “According to Aristotle’s standards, perfect friendships are those that are between individuals who share a love for something that not only brings them together but also elevates their behavior to the level of virtue.” According to Brooks, a relationship is seen to be perfect not when it is founded on the pursuit of usefulness or pleasure, but rather when it is centered on the enhancement of the other person’s circumstances.
It is not always the case that utility friendships are the most gratifying, and pleasure friendships may not develop beyond the point of common interests; yet, both types of friendships are essential.

In his writing, Brooks stated that although these two types of friendships are beneficial for growing in life, they do not typically bring about long-lasting satisfaction and contentment. According to Brooks, “we can’t afford to risk these connections through confrontation, difficult conversations, or intimacy.” This is despite the fact that we require friendships that provide both us with utility and pleasure.

For this reason, “perfect” friendships are incredibly important to have in life, in addition to the other two sorts of friendships, in order to achieve that level of contentment that is truly satisfying.  “You might not be able to put it into words, but you probably know how these ‘perfect’ friendships feel,” Brooks wrote. “Perhaps you are unable to put it into words.”

“They frequently involve a mutual affection for something that is not a part of either of you, whether that thing is transcendental (like religion) or simply fun (like baseball), but they are not dependent on work, money, or ambition,” Get the free Warren Buffett Guide to Investing from CNBC. This guidebook is a concise and easy-to-understand compilation of the billionaire’s most important piece of advice for everyday investors, as well as three fundamental investing concepts, as well as dos and don’ts.

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