categories of friendships existing in the workplace

To a certain extent I would personally agree with sociologist findings  pertaining to the sincerity of my work colleagues. Though at times you  may see your co-workers more times than your family during the week,  they may still not know who you truly are. This kind of relationship is  based on mutual activity and are easy to form due to the fact you don’t  have to share too much of yourself to find in commonality amongst one  another. In books 8 and 9 of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle identifies  two categories of friendships that exist in the workplace as intrinsic  and extrinsic. According to Aristotle, a intrinsic friendship was the  perfect friendship. He states this by saying “Perfect friendship is the  friendship of men who are good, and alike in virtue; for these wish well  alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves. Now  those who wish well to their friends; for they do this by reason of  their own nature and not incidentally…(Aristotle, 1156b7-9)^3.)” What  this kind of friendship means to me is that you do something for one  another without regard to self-reward.
When it comes to work you  don’t truly know someone’s intentions on whether they are befriending  you vs friending you. Vernon states when referring to business, “A  capitalistic system fosters distrust among members of society; in part,  because no one can ever trust anyone else”. I disagree with this view  based on the I don’t see work relationships as being a trust or not  trust relationship depending on if your safety is depended upon someone  else. Most people just want to come to work to work and get their job  done so that they may return to their families which aligns with  Aristotle’s views that “…They like each other only insofar as it does  them some good…They are friendly because its beneficial to be so”.
My  experience with enacting friendships of utility to secure my employment  have been well. Through observation of how others treat one another and  gossip about one another when things aren’t going their way, I learned  to not get very close to people I work with and to just come to work to  work. I do believe this is ethical because I am not leading anyone on in  a false friendship and I also believe people are allowed to create  personal boundaries of who is allowed full access into their personal  lives without having to pretend.
Cooley, D. R. (2002). “False Friends.” Journal of Business Ethics. (195-207). Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Vernon, M. (2010). The Meaning of Friendship. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 1: Friends at Work

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