Have you ever seen that movie Mean Girls? It’s the ultimate comparison of toxic friendship and true friendship.
Aristotle describes three different types of friendship that can help us understand what true friendship is:
- Friendship of utility, which is a friendship based on circumstance. It just makes sense to be their friend, since you work with them or see them often for some other reason
- Friendship of pleasure, which is a friendship where you enjoy hanging out with the person in your free time, but wouldn’t exactly share your deepest thoughts or feelings with them
- Then there’s true friendship, which is a friendship with someone with whom you could truly be yourself, and even be vulnerable.
God does not want us to be alone. When we turn inward we inhibit God’s grace from working in our lives. Friendships are a way for God to reach us. St. Paul says in Galatians:
“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another.”Galatians 5:13-15 (accidentally referenced as being in Galatians 6 in the video)
When a friendship is turning toxic—to the point where the person is consuming too much of you—it’s important to start setting boundaries.
We’re all called to be holy. Find friends who are striving to be holy and these will be true friendships.
Meet Taylor Tripodi
Taylor is a twenty-something cradle Catholic from Cleveland, Ohio aspiring for sainthood. She graduated from Franciscan University, majoring in theology and catechetics and is now a full-time musician, traveling all over and spreading God’s unfailing love through word and song. In her spare time, she enjoys making scented candles, seeking adventure, and being present to her large, crazy, Italian family. Want to hear her sing? Check out www.taylortripodi.com.