Importance of Useless Friends

Every two weeks, Daniel Pink sends me a newsletter which includes his Pinkcast. The newsletter and short video provides a brief hack or trick to improve you life. Last week, he introduced Arthur C. Brooks, the author the book From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Purpose in the Second Half of Life. Since I’m in the second half of life now at 45, I was particularly interested in this book. I haven’t read it yet, but will very soon as it is in my library and on my next-up list.

In the Pinkcast, Arthur talks about the need for “useless” friends. There are better terms for this, I’m sure, as the types of people he is talking about are far from useless. The specific audience he is addressing are those types of individuals who surround themselves with friends that they receive a lot from, usually in the form of advice or collaboration.

What these people are missing in their lives are the useless types of friends that you don’t receive anything from, but those that you can simply banter back and forth, tell jokes, let out the occasional fart with, and to just be you around. The best kinds of friends are those that can and will be useful or useless, whatever the moment demands.

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