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There are 3 types of friendships, here's why you need them all

There are 3 types of friendships, here's why you need them all

An 85-year-old Harvard study found that the most important thing that brings us happiness in life is positive relationships, and friendships are a big component.

Maintaining long-term friendships that are stable is one of the seven practices people live to be happy and healthy, the study found.

However, each of our friendships can look different, and it turns out that your friendships don't all have to look the same.

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle specified three types of friendships that we all have. And Arthur Brooks, a Harvard professor believes that we need all three friendships to feel truly happy in life.

The 3 types of friendships and why you need them all

1. Useful friendships: “Think about the relationships you have with the people you work with, or do business with. These relationships tend to be transactional in nature,” Brooks wrote.

2. Friendships based on pleasure: "This type of relationship is based on mutual admiration, because each person receives pleasure from the other. If a person finds their friend funny, interesting, and a source of pleasure, it is likely to be a pleasure friendship,” Brooks wrote in his article.

3. "Perfect" friendships: "According to Aristotle's standards, perfect friendships are those between people who have a mutual love for something that not only unites them, but elevates their behavior to virtues. A relationship is perfect not when it is based on utility or pleasure, but when it focuses on improving the other person's circumstances," notes Brooks.

Friendships of utility are not always the most satisfying, and friendships of pleasure may not deepen beyond shared interests—but both are important.

These two types of friendships are useful for getting ahead in life, "but usually do not bring lasting joy and comfort," Brooks wrote.

For this reason, "perfect" friendships are extremely necessary.

"You may not be able to put it into words, but you probably know what these 'perfect' friendships feel like," Brooks wrote.