12 Rules for Life
Jordan Peterson
Contributed by Nina Calhoun
Chapter 3

Peterson dives into psychological thought in regard to this rule and presents a promising in-depth analysis that is strengthened by people’s tendency to form toxic relationships. Several reasons stop individuals from making friendships with individuals who would be detrimental. Prominent among these reasons, Peterson says, is the lack of objectivity in a friendship. For instance, it is essential to understand the initial factors that lead an individual to such circumstances before helping them. He claims that "You shouldn’t merely assume that he or she is a noble victim of unjust circumstances and exploitation.” In this case, there would be objectivity in the relationship that would ensue. Finally, Peterson says that "Friendship is a reciprocal arrangement. You are not morally obliged to support someone who is making the world a worse place.” With this reasoning, it is important for one to do a cost-benefit analysis in their relationships. When the costs outweigh the benefits, it is important to abandon the chaotic friendship for your own sake.


There is a purpose for having friends: finding meaning in other people is the sole solution that many use to cope with the repetition and boredom of modernity. It is important to develop friendships on solid foundations as those are typically the most healthy and beneficial.  When choosing friends, it is always advisable to pick those who would improve one’s well-being rather than those who hurt one’s well-being. If a person has a friend who he would not refer to another person, there is no need to prioritize or keep the relationship. Instead of spending time with individuals who would diminish or be jealous of your progress, one should strive to have who is supportive and inspired by your success. These are the friends who add value to another person's life.

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