In the past couple of decades, the line between who is a friend and who is an acquaintance started to blur even further. Before social media, it could sometimes be hard to find the difference, but when hundreds of people on Facebook say they’re your “friend,” the word becomes a little meaningless.
That’s why people are surprised when someone who they assumed was a friend doesn’t interact much with them or ends up unfriending the person. Chances are, that person was not a friend, but an acquaintance.
This isn’t something that a young teen must know, either. There are plenty of adults who have this issue as well. With all that said, let’s dive into friendship and acquaintances.
This is a person you know and who you may have positive feelings for. The two of you may even hang out sometimes. However, there isn’t a deep connection.
- A person you talk to at work or school a lot, but whom you don’t see much outside of it.
- Social media friends. You may message them or talk to them on occasion, but there isn’t a deep bond there. Most social media friends are acquaintances because of the sheer number of them.
- An acquaintance can also be someone who used to be a close friend. For example, maybe you two were close as teenagers, but in adulthood, you may not see that person too often. While you still have good times together when you do, the closeness just isn’t there like it used to be.
- You may talk about some things you have in common, but the bond isn’t deep besides that.
- Someone who you may hang out with on occasion, but who you wouldn’t call if you’re in need.
- An acquaintanceship can be very fragile, with the person cutting ties through one argument or disagreement.
- Acquaintances can certainly evolve into a close friend, but many of them will stay that way, or fade with time.
A friend is a deeper bond than an acquaintance. A good friend is someone with who you are perfectly fine with sharing your secrets. They are someone who you can turn to if you have issues. You show affection, empathy, and you understand how you two operate.
When something good happens in your life, you can talk to your friend and they will be overjoyed. You two can have arguments and disagreements, but you always make up.
It Can Be Hard to Tell
As we mentioned, it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes, especially in the modern age. One thing to keep in mind is that we have far fewer friends than acquaintances. Even if you feel like “you’re friends with everyone,” there are only a few people here and there who could qualify as your real friends.
In order to figure it out, there are some ways you can do so. They mostly involve you asking questions about that person. These include:
- Do they initiate conversation, or do they only do so when they need something?
- Have you ever visited their home?
- Do the two of you get together or talk every weekend or so?
- Does the person remember parts of your life such as your birthday?
- Does the person invite you to events or lunch without any motivation otherwise? This can mean they are close to you.
It Can Be In-Between as Well
There is more to friendships than this binary. Some people can be more than acquaintances, but you wouldn’t call them close friends. For example, you may have been over and hung out with them, but you two don’t hang out too much. Sometimes, there is a gray area in your relationship, which can make figuring out your friendship a little more difficult.
Seek Help is Okay
If you are confused about who is a friend and who is an acquaintance, there is no shame in that. Our current world knows how to make the line blurry, and many of us are unsure of who is a close friend and who is casual.
One solution can be to talk to a counselor a therapist. They can help you figure out who your true friends are by listening to you talk about them and adding their own input. A good counselor isn’t going to talk you out of being a friend with someone but can give their take and give you some advice to help you make a decision.
Another solution is to look at online therapy resources to determine who is a friend and who is not. For example, you can read content about friendship by clicking on the link below and reading more:
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