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Last Updated on November 28, 2017

The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life

The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life

Are you aware that as you grow up, friendship is the thing that drifts away most easily? Work, vacation, relationships, family times — they’re all so important to life that it’s just hard to put friendship at a higher priority.

Have you ever been at supper at a friend’s home, you and your friends just didn’t have anything to talk about and had to force yourselves to just talk about something, like “so how have you been recently?”, or “oh the pasta is really nice…”?

This kind of awkward situation only leaves us wondering what friendship is for; but then, we also feel uncomfortable to have to declare that friendship has to be for something — how contradicting we are.

Here’s some good news for you…

Friendship does have its purpose, and having a purpose doesn’t ruin true friendship.

People come to your life for a reason. (Duh.) People do come together to become friends for some reasons though.

Alex Lickerman, the author of The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self talks about the things that draw people together as friends.

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Instead of building friendships with random people, we tend to build bonds with people who share the common interests, share common values, have gone through the same difficulties, and who support each other equally.[1]

We’re being selective about friends because not everyone can serve the purpose of being able to exchange thoughts and feelings with us.

When we get to know people, there are four things we really look for.[2]

Firstly, we want reassurance so we know we’re not alone in being a specific way.

Everyone of us has our weak spots. There’s always something that we aren’t satisfied with, or some thoughts that we’re reluctant to share with others because we’re afraid of being judged or being let down.

    We need the kind of friend who understands our thoughts and weaknesses; so we can feel comfortable to let down our guard and be comfortable with who we are.

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    We also want to have fun with people who we can be silly with.

    Life is stressful; and we’re taught to always be serious and mature at work and in life as a grown-up. Imagine yourself as an elastic band, if you kept on pulling yourself and stayed tense, you’d eventually break. That’s exactly what would happen if we didn’t get enough fun in life.

      Friends here, serve the purpose of letting you be as silly as you want and share the joy and excitement with you.

      And we need someone’s help to clarify our minds.

      We’re all imperfect people, sometimes we are confused and our minds go chaotic.

      For example, very often we are frustrated at work and not quite sure why, but after we share our confusions with friends, we somehow get things figured out and have a clearer mind to go back to work.

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        A thinking friend who gives us constructive advice and asks us probing questions can inspire us to solve our problems and get to know ourselves better.

        Finally, we network to seek collaborators to help us achieve our goals.

        We have our own dreams and goals but we are small and fragile as an individual. To get things going, we need collaborators to align their abilities and energies with ours.

          Take Emma Watson as an example, she’s an activist in feminism, and she networks to gather like-minded people who also aspire to fight for gender equality through the HeForShe campaign and the feminist book club Our Shared Shelf.

          The spiritual core reason for a friendship is help us change and grow.

          Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said,[3]

          “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.”

          This relates to the law of averages,[4] a theory that the result of anything will be the average of all outcomes.

          So if you want to grow, be successful, or simply be happy and positive; the people you spend time with matter.

          Moving on from some friendships simply means you’ve understood what real friendship is like.

          You may ask, “what about those who don’t share my ambitions or interests? And those who can’t reassure my existence? Or those who I don’t really feel comfortable to be silly with?”

          As time goes, you probably will feel difficult to stay friends with these people. Dare to let go of some people who don’t help you change and grow as a better and a happier person.

          It doesn’t mean you’ve lost hope or belief in friendship, it simply means you’ve understood what a real friendship is like.

          Move on from the friendships that you can hardly maintain. You don’t need to deny having these friends, and you can keep the memories with you. Moving on is just a way to help you get closer to true friendships that are best for you and others.

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          This article is inspired by The School of Life’s The Purpose of Friendship. Watch the full video here.

          Reference

          [1]Alex Lickerman, Psychology Today: The True Meaning Of Friendship
          [2]The School Of Life: The Purpose Of Friendship
          [3]Jim Rohn: 5 – The Law Of Averages
          [4]The Clemmer Group: Innovation and the Law of Averages

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          Anna Chui

          Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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          Last Updated on September 17, 2018

          7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

          7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

          Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

          Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

          When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

          Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

          1. You’re depressed about your home life.

          No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

          However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

          If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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          When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

          You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

          2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

          Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

          If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

          You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

          If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

          3. You can’t stop snooping.

          Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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          I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

          Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

          So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

          It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

          If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

          4. You’re afraid of commitment.

          If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

          Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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          No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

          If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

          Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

          5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

          If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

          Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

          Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

          Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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          If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

          6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

          When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

          When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

          If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

          7. You chase past feelings.

          It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

          You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

          When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

          Final thoughts

          If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

          Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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