Have this personal Health question on the board for your entering students to see, reflect upon then write an answer in preparation for the beginning of class. This is an important question to think about for all of us (not just teens) because our tendency is to do what our friends do. They influence our behavior. So it is important to investigate the different types of friendships while you evaluate your friendships.
How do I know if MY friendships are “true” or not?
I know my friendships are true because
Good questions for your students —
Did you know there are different types of friendships?
If the answer is yes — What are they?
Thousands of years ago, there was this guy in Greece named Aristotle. In college you may have read parts of a book entitled Nicomachean Ethics. In chapter 9 he discusses Friendship; his words are as true now as when he wrote them. He described three kinds of friendship — Explain to students not everyone is a best friend. After looking at the models below, they will be better equipped to evaluate their friendships. They may discover that who they thought of as their BESTEST friend may be the person who will or already has offered them the opportunity do things (sex, drugs, rock and roll) they would never chose to do on their own.
#1 Useful or selfish friendships — these are relationships formed without regard to the other person at all. This is your lab partner in chemistry class, you help each other in math class, they work with you at your part time job, or ones you buy and sell stuff to. You are friendly but these friendships tend to last about as long as the utility lasts. (I love what you do for me. If you quit doing it for me, I’ll find someone else who will.)
The next level of friendship is:
#2 Pleasurable friendships — you delight in each other’s company or bodies. These are people you love to be around. They are just fun because you have a shared interest such as books, music, travel, partying, football games etc. While you enjoy each other’s company, such friendships may end easily whenever people no longer enjoy the shared activity, or can no longer participate in it together. Do not be surprised when you graduate from high school, leave home for college, the military, different city you may never see / talk to these friends again or for years. (You please me, and when I’m no longer pleased with you, I’ll find someone else.)
The highest friendship — inspires both to greater virtue
#3 the ultimate / perfect / true kind of friendship — the one that really lasts, is when you love the same thing, and that thing is “high”. For example, in the military esprit de corps (there is a common devotion to a cause among the members of a group) is considered a high thing. (If you love the same thing and it’s “low”, it will be corrupting, and you’ll turn on each other.)
Or, when the friendship is based upon what is good or best for the other. The relationship will last, be pleasant, useful and good because the motivation is pure and not based on something else (beauty, coolness, popularity, money, what they can do for you etc.)
Evaluate your friendships (You might want to talk with your parents about this information)
My useful friends are:
- What do I like about them?
My pleasurable friends:
- Why do I like them?
My True friends:
- Why do I like them?
Do not be surprised or upset if you discover you really don’t have True friends. This is a very unselfish friendship. Kids of all ages have a natural tendency to be selfish — give me, buy me, bring me, take me, a me before you attitude.
Another way to look at friendship is:
- A True friend will do what is best for you.
- A True friend will never knowingly say or do anything that would hurt you.
- A True friend will help and support you if you are down. They would not stand by and let you hurt yourself.
- A True friend will never be jealous of your success. Success won’t change the relationship.
- A True friend will not advance their own interests, desires and goals.
Based on the above standard — “Are you a True friend?”
If yes, explain why you believe you are a True friend.
If No, explain what you need to do to become a True friend.
As you know like attracts like. If you want better people in your life, you have to become the person others are looking for.