As a little child, have you ever felt so happy and proud you made a new friend? A new neighbour perhaps that you both spent a little time kicking a ball together?
As a young child, often every new person you play with is considered a new friend.
Is there a difference between a friend or an acquaintance?
As a child, the neighbour whom you had just befriended and enjoyed kicking a ball may just be short lived. You may have nothing else in common and play dates eventually became non existence.
The same principle applies to adult friendships. At times, we get so excited at the prospect of having a new social outlet, that we mistook casual acquaintances for friends.
The neighbour you chatted with going to check on your letterbox or washing your car are nothing more than just mere acquaintances as you probably have nothing to do with each other other than ‘good day’ or ‘nice day mate’. Your colleagues at work are people you see everyday and how many of them do you consider as your friends?
True friendship is born out of time, spending time together, sharing good times and bad times. It is strengthened by a feeling of connection between two individuals with care and understanding for each other. Personally I find that friendship from young, school mates and friends are often strong and lasting. Most children do not often judge and as they go to school to learn, they learned to adapt and accept.
Imagine a friendship between two primary school kids and another friendship between two working colleagues. In both cases, the kids and workmates probably have fun together but the working adults are able to reflect on their relationship in a much more complex way than the little ones can.
The little ones accept each other and grew up together ending up being life long friends. Those working adults may analyse and decided they have nothing in common with each other outside after office drinks. Just because you interact with a person everyday does not necessarily make that person a friend.
For instance, you may have school friends that you have not met up for years other than getting all their news on Facebook. You know almost everything about each other’s lives and in many ways, you are there for each other no matter where you or they are. One need not live next door to another for a strong bond to be established and nurtured.
The rule of thumb dictates that a close friend is not necessarily someone who is always close by, but someone who constantly remains close to one’s heart, someone you would turn to in times of need.
People often think that best friends have to enjoy almost all of the same activities. While this is a bonus, we cannot expect our best buddies to take a keen interest in everything that we do. A real friend cares more about how you’re doing, than what you’re doing.
With the ‘Meet-up’ social group available throughout the world, an acquaintance may be physically available on any occasions. At the same time with Skype and other video calling service, a real friend can offer genuine support no matter how far away or how close you reside with each other.
In today’s society, aren’t we so blessed? When we wish to do things locally, we join a ‘Meet-up Group’ and when we miss a friend who is close in our heart, we log into Skype (for example).
Choose who you wish to spend your time with, your friends or your acquaintances.
And here’s today’s food for thought.
If someone you’ve recently befriended continuously asks for “favors”, or frequently “forgets” to return borrowed items time and time again, is this person an acqaintaince or a friend?
Your call !
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