Accidentally Intentional

What Types of Friendships Do I Need? (These 4 Types Maximize Happiness) | What It Takes Series

April 13, 2023 Zoe Asher Season 2 Episode 8
Accidentally Intentional
What Types of Friendships Do I Need? (These 4 Types Maximize Happiness) | What It Takes Series
Show Notes Transcript

According to an 80 year study (the longest study in recorded history), we now have scientific data to point towards what 4 types of friendships one needs in order to be happiest in life! So in this podcast episode, we outline what the 4 types are, the philosopher Aristotle's thoughts on friendship categories, and also where you can find these types of friendship in your life!

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70% of people do not have a single person that they can call in the middle of a crisis. Let's face it, we are relationally broke. And my mission is to make that percentage zero. But how? By building relational wealth, the embodiment of all your relationships with yourself with others and experiences that enrich your life. I promise you this podcast will help you build wealth in every way that money cannot. And it all starts by being accidentally intentional. Let's begin. Welcome back to another accidentally intentional podcast episode. So we're right now in the middle of a series called What It Takes series where we're answering three big questions people have around friendships. This year, the last episode, we talked about an answering the question, How many friends do I actually need? And yes, science does reveal the legitimate number and answer. In this video, we're going to be answering the really important question, what types of friends do I need the categories of the friends. And so throughout this video, we're going to share the types of friends what Aristotle, the philosopher actually thinks about this. And then we're gonna close by talking about where you can find these four types of relationships in your own life. The goal of this entire podcast is to build relational wealth and have rich relationships in our lives. To answer this important question. Today, we're actually looking to the famous Harvard happiness study, which was an 80 year study. It's the longest scientific study in history. And as a fun fact, President John F. Kennedy was one of the people that was studied starting from childhood in this happiness study. And so we're using that as our guide map today, because one of the huge discoveries that they found through the happiness study is that one of the key indicators of someone's happiness is the quality of their relationships. And so because we're looking for quality relationships, ourselves through this podcast, we're going to talk about the four types of relationships, that they were able to narrow it down to that everyone needs to thrive. Now, before I state what these four types of relationships are, I do want to make a certain distinction here. And that is that multiple of these types can be one person, but not one person, your life should satisfy all four types of relationship, because quite honestly, that's just too much for anybody to hold, that can make someone really dependent on another person. And obviously, dependency is never healthy. So the first type of friend that they were able to outline and happy to study as an imperative type of friend in your life, is actually the one that this entire podcast is revolving around. And that is finding someone who you can call in a time of need, or crisis, as you may or may not know by now, depending on how long you follow the podcast, you know, the statistic that 70% of people don't have a single person that they could call in the middle of a crisis. And our goal is to bring that statistic and that percentage to zero. That's the first type of relationship in which one needs to have quality, deep, rich relationships. The second type that the happiness study outlined as an imperative type of relationship in our lives is to have people that we can have fun with now, this is a no brainer, who wants a friend where they ain't having any fun, right. And I always like to expand on this idea of when you're having fun with someone gives you life, it puts a pep in your step, it just does something for your soul. And so those types of friendships, we now have scientific evidence to prove just how important those fun friends can be. I also want to say as we're halfway through these types, that you can find all of this and so much more. Because this is truly one of the most fascinating studies ever in the book, good life where it shares all the most important findings from that Harvard study. And how we in turn, can find that same level of happiness. The third type of imperative relationship in which we need in our lives, to find happiness is finding people that can teach you things and I thought this one was really interesting, but also made a lot of sense, the more I dug into it, these are the types of people that you love hanging with, because you know, every time you're together, you're gonna have a really thoughtful conversation. And it might be a thoughtful conversation, because it's something that you didn't know a lot about, and something that you find fascinating once you're hearing it from somebody else. And this is also the type of person who can challenge you if you're someone who wants a growth mindset, which, if you're listening to this podcast already know that you have that. This type of person, the one who teaches you something new, they're the ones that help challenge you and help you grow in those areas as well, because they want to come alongside you and support that. And then the fourth type of relationship that is imperative for our happiness based on 80 years of research is people that know certain things, and they have a specialty that can help you in challenging times. Now, this is an example, right? Every March and April, what type of person gets bombarded by their friends? The tax professionals, right? Or let's say, you're a doctor, you're always getting questions from your friends of, hey, I'm feeling this, what do you think right? Now, this is really important. And and I want to talk about this right now. Because if you have a specialty, you know, what I'm talking about, and you have definitely experienced this firsthand is people taking advantage of what you do for a living as hoping that you'll give them a free service. And this is where it's really important to distinguish between the two and make sure that we're not the friends that are putting that burden on somebody else, and just expecting that they're going to do things for us, or give us hookups, you know, because they're friends, finding people that have specialties that can assist you should not be abused, or taken advantage of. So I've found in my own life, that the best way to think about this is as an extra quality that they have. And so you love these people, because not only do they teach you something, but you have a curiosity. So you want to understand you want to learn more of their world. And so when you're talking to people about this, where you genuinely want to understand for your benefit, and also there's that's different than just using someone looking for answers, and then moving on with your life and only reaching out when you need them. Because we all can think of somebody who seems to only show up when they need something from you. And in the last episode, we talked about how that's actually a quality of a bad friend. Having a type of relationship where someone has a specialty, where you can go to them in a time of challenge is different because there isn't an expectation that it's going to be free for you as much as like, hey, you know what, your I know you're looking for new hairstylist, I actually have a great one, right? Your relationship with them, helps other people too. And in order to be friends that never tow, that line of making someone feel like we are just using them or kind of abusing their specialty for our own good is to genuinely show up and support them in the specialty that they have, which sometimes support them and show up means paying them for their services, right. But it's still a relationship and unnecessary one, because we don't know everything. Now that we've gone over those four types of relationships that the happiness study revealed. I want to talk about what Aristotle thinks about relationships. And you might be asking, why, why are we talking about Aristotle? Well, he's one of the most famous philosophers in history. And from 1000s of years ago, he actually outlined three traits that he found imperative in our relationships. And this is pretty mind blowing. Because what Aristotle said 1000s of years ago, was important traits in relationships, literally parallels what the scientific study that they did that took 80 years through Harvard found. That's pretty wild. So let's go through this real quick, because I think it's so fascinating. And hopefully, you're nerding out with me right now. So Aristotle said that there's three types of relationships in our lives that are most important. And it is relationships of utility, relationships of pleasure, and relationships of virtue. Now, let's outline what that is. And then we'll match them with the types from the Harvard study. So utility, this is a type of friendship based on mutual benefit. And this is so clarifying for me, right? Because just like we talked about in that fourth type, friends who have specialties, the friends that look for mutual benefit, not just take, right, what can you give someone? What's your specialty that you can offer friends as well. So I would attach this utility type that Aristotle talks about to type number four from the study, people who have specialties that can come alongside you when you're having challenges. Aristotle also said something really insightful about a friendship of utility. It's actually the most fragile type of relationship in which we can have because if mutual benefit is no longer present, then that friendship can easily fall apart. So pleasure is the next characteristic trait. Type that Aristotle discusses and friendships of pleasure obviously aligns with the Having friends that you can have fun with type from the Harvard study. And this is, this is friends and the relationship where you're both having fun and enjoying each other's company. according to Aristotle, the friendship of pleasure is less common than the friendship of utility. I find that really fascinating and surprising. However, this type of friendship, the ones where it's mutual pleasure and enjoyment, and fun, is way more stable than friendship of utility. And then the third one that Aristotle outlines is virtue, this type of friendship is based on mutual admiration and respect. So I would align this with type three from the happiness study where it's people who can teach you something you have a respect for the knowledge that they bring to the conversation and what you can learn through. And because of them, it's the type of friendship that is based on a mutual desire to do good, and to be good. That's cool. It's really growth minded. And Aristotle said this 1000s of years ago, how crazy individuals in this type of friendship value each other's character and are willing to help each other grow and develop. Morally, I love that. Isn't that crazy that those three that Aristotle outlines all point to what the happiness study revealed. But we also know now, because it's 1000s of years later, that that fourth tie, which was actually the first one from the happiness study, someone that you can call in a time of crisis is imperative because of how disconnected we are as a society. And by disconnected, I'm not even talking about digitally, I'm talking about compared to tribal ancestors, who spent their entire life together. It's very different today. And one thing I'm a big proponent of is, as we're creating and building relational wealth is, as we're going through these, and we're thinking about some, and we're talking about certain types of relationships, if there's someone who came to mind that you just thought of as we're going through this list, you should reach out to that person right now and let them know you're thinking about them, and that you're really grateful for them. Because everybody loves in his life, from a text like that. So now I want to discuss where you can find these types of relationships in your life. Well, for the first one, the first type in the happiness study, which was someone that is there for you in a time of crisis, I would say that we outlined the answer to that question in the previous episode, How many friends do I actually need? So if you want to check out that episode, click up here. So I'm going to skip that one. Because ultimately, that's the most important, closest relationship one can have. But let's go to the other three types, because they all may point back to that one anyways. So where do you find fun friends, right? Maybe you're listening to this? And you're saying, I don't have fun with people? I don't I don't have someone that can be like, Hey, you want to do this fun thing tonight? So let's find those people, right? Where do you find those people? Well, unfortunately, but also Fortunately, you can never find those people by staying in your own home, we're gonna have to go out and get a little uncomfortable. These friends could be coworkers, these friends could be ones that you make, by going to a gym class, or playing sports. Or maybe these are people that are your acquaintances, that that you want a stronger connection with and want to have a deeper relationship. And it starts with figuring out Hey, can I have fun with somebody? Right? So is there someone in this group, so whether it's like co workers, people that you go to a gym class with something like that? Can you think of something that you do right now? Or where you're around a group of people, where there might be somebody in there? Like, you're already thinking about it? This actually might be the person I can end up having fun with? If so, why not ask that person for a hang? And, honestly, people always get so nervous about that, because they're like, Well, what do I say, I'm gonna be so awkward. First off, literally, everybody thinks they're awkward, if they're honest with themselves, and I have my own research I've done on that. But that's besides the point. It can be so casual, like, Hey, I think you're a really fun person, and I want to get to know you better. Would you be willing to grab coffee sometime? And they might be like, Yeah, sure. And then be like, great, and pull out your calendar right then and there. Because if something doesn't have a date behind it, it doesn't happen. The same way with goals. If you don't have a deadline, they're not going to happen. Or it could be an online group that you're part of it might be like a Facebook group or something. Find out if they have a in person meet up. Because then you know, we have similar interests, and now he's gonna find out. Do we click Do we have fun together? So the third type is friends who can teach you something Right, which can sound a little vague. But here's what I know that it's not. These are not necessarily literal teachers, and they're not parents, I can give an example of this in my own life, my husband is part of the fitness industry. And so he is someone that I definitely look to teaches me stuff about nutrition, health, fitness, wellness, all of it, he has a ton more experience. And time spent learning that. So he's one of the people I look to for insight on that, because then I learned as well. And that's also something I want to talk about, because friends who can teach you something, you know, what's the most rewarding about this type of friendship is when you genuinely learn something from somebody and put it into practice? It's different than learning something, doing nothing with it, and then continuing to come back and talk about the same things that wears on people. And you might be saying, I know exactly what you're talking about. Because someone may have come to you ask for advice, continues to ask you for advice, yet never does or puts into practice the things that you say, that's frustrating, right? It makes you think, why am I even why am I even putting this much time and effort into this, if they're not even going to do anything with it. So I just always think that's an important thing to call out is when you want to learn something from somebody, learn it, and implement it, learn and then put it put action behind it, to show the person hey, look, look what you've taught me, I'm so grateful for the knowledge that you have in this area, because it's helping me as well. And friends who you can learn something from, it could be, it doesn't even need to be like a topic, right? As much as just learning through their life. For instance, my best friend has been married for 10 years, we've been best friends were like five or six years now. So she was fully married. And I was fully very, very single at the time. I'm married now. Anyways, that's besides the point. But so we met that way. And so just like watching her in her marriage, taught me so much about what healthy marriage looks like. And then she became a mom. And now she's a mom of two boys. So I'm learning through her what awesome parenting looks like for one day down the road, she teaches me so much. In those two aspects and areas of life, finding friends who don't think like you is so important. It's so important, because those are the ones that help us grow, and continue to grow and continue to make us think outside of ourselves. And then four types of friends that are specialists. I mean, we kind of already discussed this one, but doctors, accountants, plumbers, you know, they have like a specialty or trade. Perfect example, therapist, one of my really close friends, is a therapist. And so my conversations with her are never Hey, you know, like, let's talk about me, what do you think is going on with me? Or like, hey, I want free therapy with you. That's never what our conversations are about. But we have incredibly stimulating conversations, where I learned so much because of her specialty, and see the world differently. And because we have really thought provoking conversations, because of her experience, then when there is a challenge going on, that's a one off circumstance, she knows that I'm not out to use her because of her skill set, as much as I'm honored because she has knowledge and insight that I don't have. So if there's a one off instance, I'll be like, Hey, I'm about to write this text. It's filled in a little bit. Can you just give me can you just give it a quick read? Let me know what your thoughts are? Because I want to make sure I'm articulating this so clearly, so that this is how that is how it's received kind of thing. That'd be an example. Right? So I think we get the concept of Don't abuse, that type of specialist. But also let them know that you really appreciate that they are a specialist in that category. So we've gone through this. Some of you might be saying, Why is this important? At all? Can I just be a loner? Well, in the last episode, we talked about the research that shows that loneliness is actually as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So I would say no, based on that alone, we can't just be alone, and we're actually created for connection. But along with that, I want to share some other research that the Harvard study found, and that's that the feeling of loneliness is on par with the feeling of hunger in our body. Our body needs relationships to the same degree and level in which it needs food. Isn't that wild? That means that sometimes we're socially starving ourselves. We've talked about how ancestral tribes would stick together, because if you were alone, you would literally die. And so all of this is pointing back, all of this data is showing just how imperative and important these deep rich relationships are in our lives. But this concept of socially starving ourselves, right? I want to bring social media into it and give an example of how I think about this. Because I think about it like food, in the same way that when you're so hungry, you want anything in sight, right. And normally, when you're starving, the body wants carbs, cheap carbs, to just get a quick zap of energy. These cheap carbs have calories that are calorically dense, and it gives temporary satisfaction to put a bandaid over the issue, but it's rather empty, nutritionally, right. I think we all know this, we all know like, hey, when I'm hangry, I just need some, but it doesn't fix the hunger unless you're eating a full meal. And I see social media the same way. More often than not, social media is a cheap calorie dopamine hit here. And here. Oh, comment here, you know, oh, somebody liked this, oh, somebody DM to me, but it's not actually enough to fill your body. I think rich relationships kind of look like protein, real relationships where you're looking people in the eyes. And building a meaningful connection physically restores the body the same way that protein can. So I hope you found that analogy helpful in your own life as well. But hey, here's what I want to close with. You're worth incredible relationships, you're worth incredibly rich relationships. So let's challenge ourselves this week, to build them and take one step, to become closer to that goal in our own lives and honestly destroy loneliness and kick it out and not make it part of our lives anymore. In the next episode, we're going to be discussing the third question, which is how much time as in how many hours does it take to build these types of relationships? There's actually scientific studies that have been done to put a literal number of hours behind it, so I can't wait for that episode. Be sure to subscribe to make sure you get that one. Know that I love you. You're my friend, and I can't wait to see you next time.