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The Three Types of Friendships

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by jleeb05, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. jleeb05

    jleeb05 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In some ways, I consider myself lucky because I know Aspies often struggle with social connections. I've managed to meet some great people and cobble out some wonderful friendships throughout my life. However, recently I've often found myself disappointed with the quality of my friendships. I recently moved to a new place after living in the same apartment for almost 7 years. This is my first time living without a roommate or family. In other words, this is a major life event! I expected my closest friends would take notice. However, none did.

    My closest friend here barely seemed to register the fact that I had moved. A couple of weeks ago he asked me to remind him what neighborhood I was in and casually mentioned that he was close by. I assumed he wanted to hang out and perhaps see my new apartment but he never showed up. I was lamenting this to my therapist when he mentioned Aristotle's Three Types of Friendships: Friendships Of Utility, Pleasure, and Good (see image below).

    This concept made so much sense to me. I have always wanted Friendships of "good." Close friendships that are based on mutual affection and interest. I have been lucky enough to have a couple "Friendships of Good" but because of circumstances (graduating college, moving to another city/country), I no longer speak with these friends on a regular basis.

    It seems, my "closest" friendships are now at best, ones of "pleasure." My friends call me when they're bored and want to do something. I'm the drinking buddy, their plus 2 for a movie or social event (ironic, huh). However, when there's nothing going on, I rarely hear from them. They almost never check in on me, we don't spend hours talking about our lives, we rarely hang out outside of some activity.

    My therapist noted that all three friendships types were valid and I agree. However, it bothers me that I currently have no close friendships "of good" and I can't even say the friendships I do have are based on mutual "utility" or "pleasure" as they are heavily skewed towards the other person's wants and interests.

    I'm curious as to what types of friendships you all have, if any, and whether you're satisfied with this or not.

    Three Types of Friendship.png
     
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  2. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My thought is, all generalised categories are based on the majority neurology, and may or may not apply to how we are.

    My experience is that regular settings to interact in are crucial to developing friendships, and where these allow sharing at depth, friendships may deepen. But if the regular setting and norms are lost, for example I move away to a new job, the friendship will fade and end. This appears to be because I don't keep in touch adequately, once the straightforward setting is lost.
     
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  3. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Moving house is a very big thing for you, obviously, because it's a big change, but not so much for other people; from their perspective, people move around quite a bit, and it's not so strange or unusual, not such a big thing; it's not happening to them or their family - it doesn't directly affect them. The way I see it, people have concentric circles of relationships around them, right in close in the closest circle are immediate family and one or two close friends, other friends for hanging out with in the next circle out, and in the farthest circle would be aquaintances, work colleagues, etc. So perhaps you are in the second circle out - a friend, but not their closest friend from their perspective.

    A lot of the people I know are what I call 'comets' - people who live elsewhere but come to the area periodically because they have home or family, or whose work takes them away from the area for long periods of time and so 6 months on, 6 months off.
     
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  4. Aspie_With_Attitude

    Aspie_With_Attitude Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I had once made a video about 3 different types of friendships, this is going as far back as 2018 when I published the video.

     
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  5. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    I have been involved with activities groups, freinds of pleasure, for quite a while and quite a few have become friends of good. We have helped each other and sometimes it is hard, like when I would visit a friend dieing of cancer. Many of friends of pleasure have moved to this area after we did and we help each other out. Earlier this year I had a stroke and was in denial about it (my spouse was away with family at the time and noticed that I wasn't "right" on a video call.) One friend, a former nurse contacted by my spouse, read me the riot act until I got into the ambulance for care.
     
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  6. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Almost exclusively friends of utility.
    Completely satisfied.

    I've tried the other levels of friendship,...always ended up in me getting hurt or disappointed. Every time a window opens up for me to take a friendship up from "utility" to "pleasure",...somehow one of us fails to reciprocate. Other than my wife, of whom, would fit all three levels of friendship, I don't have anyone else.
     
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  7. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My issue with the third type is they are passing away, hard to replace.
     
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  8. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Friendships are weird for me. I crave the "good" friend but I prefer to not have frienships that take a lot of time or energy. I need tons of alone time and lots of time to gather thoughts and make connections in conversations.
    My husband and I have a couple of frienships with other couple. Frienships of pleasure I guess. We see them once a month or so. I like these couples because I don't actually have to entertain them. They like to talk a lot and do not need particularly interesting responses.
    The thing is, I am not always kind or agreeable and I attract similar folk. I don't like the friends I do attract when I attempt to get to know them intimately, and they probably find me challenging too. I am too self centered I think.
    Still, I will help my friends when they need it so I am more useful than friendly.

    But I do appreciate this forum and the opportunity to get to know such a diverse group. Even if we aren't all real friends I appreciate many of you much more than you probably realize.
     
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  9. phantom

    phantom Active Member

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    I have only had one friendship of good in my life so far, that was with a girl. Others where of pleasure i think.

    edit: actually had two friendships of good with girls. For some reason it's easier to make those with woman. But i think friendships of pleasure are easier for me to maintain.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
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  10. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have 1 type 2, meet in public school, another type 3, meet in college. Type 1 for the most parts see occasionally as now retired. Dinner together a few months ago.
     
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  11. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    I have a couple “good” friends, but none of the “utility” or “pleasure” types.
     
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  12. Ronald Zeeman

    Ronald Zeeman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I noticed a trend my wife and I share we both tend to have close friends with our family members, she is definitely a NT.
     
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  13. paloftoon

    paloftoon Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Utility for work. I aim for Good for everything else. I don't necessarily need to be with a person a lot, but I need good communication and I need to feel like they aren't holding me back either.

    My life is so busy that if people start off with me like I could be a good friend and then they start dropping me off, after a few times, I stop communicating with them and if they want to meet again, only at my convenience for something I want to do to restart things cause I'm too busy to continue wasting my time building something where it's not going to be built.

    If they ask why, I let them know bluntly 1-1. Most people don't ask- so they usually know or don't care.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
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