Which Friend Are You?

After the transition from campus life to quarantine, it can be difficult to manage long distance friendships. In some instances, depending on your friends, there is always that one member of your group that is quite awful at communicating over text or phone. They can seem distant, may not answer their phone for a few days or respond to the funny Tiger King memes you’re sending them, but don’t be alarmed. Though many may perceive this as a red flag or downfall in a friendship, it can also be a sign that your friend is an “in-person” communicator. This type of friend is the type to be better at hanging out in person. 

According to Aristotle, there are three different types of friendship classifications, let me break them down for you:

1.    Utility:

     •    The type of friendship that exists between you and an individual that is of use to you. As awful as it may sound, everyone has at least one person in their life that fits into this category. This friend is someone you call or text when you want something from them rather than to spend time with them. For example, imagine you text your friend asking to go for food, knowing they will pay for you because they are generous, but you never return the favor. In this situation, though it may seem you’re asking to spend time with this friend, you really have an ulterior motive; to get a free meal. This type of friendship is not always one sided; it can go both ways, meaning you give and take equally and do favors for one another. In this instance, the relationship works 50/50, so there is no need to see it as a red flag. From my experience, I tend to be someone who gives more than I take, but remember to let that friend give every once in a while, otherwise you may feel used.

2.    Pleasure: 

     •    The type of friendship that exists because you enjoy their company. A friend like this can also be considered your adventure buddy- individuals that you may go to the beach, road trip’s, and hiking with. Friendships like this can be difficult to hold on to and may take time to develop. As someone who has found friends that resemble this type of friendship, I can say they definitely stick around and are worth putting in effort for. 

3.    Good:

     •    The type of friendship based on respect for one another. This type of friendship is built over-time and may be seen in childhood friends that you have a strong bond with. Friendships of the good withstand separation for a long period of time, but when you come back to one another, it’s as if you were never apart. This type of friend is hard to come by but can be built from your similar values and trust for each other. Throughout my life, I’ve had three childhood friends that have lasted due to our mutual appreciation for the friendship. 

It’s important to keep in mind that a friendship can contain a bit of each of these categories and may not fit into just one. Friendships can also grow overtime, which means your friendship can go beyond these classifications. Those who give as much as they take, appreciate your company, and respect you are those you should definitely keep around for the long run. Consider which type of friendship you have!