Friends vs Acquaintances

Okay, so an interesting point was brought up with regard to my Friends post the other day.  One that at first I didn’t really put much thought into but, today I decided to try to establish, for myself anyway, what the difference between a friend and an acquaintance is.

I had looked at it this way I guess, and this is in its simplest form and I realize that it doesn’t cover everything.  A friend is someone who you make plans with, go out with, etc.  Whereas an acquaintance is someone who you see when you are out, and chat with, etc. That is my simple, straight to the point version.

Here are a few quotes about friends and acquaintances.  Let’s see if they can shed some light for me.

  • Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances.
    — Jay Leno
  • If you have one true friend you have more than your share.
    — Thomas Fuller
  • Don’t pity the girl with one true friend. Envy her. Pity the girl with just a thousand acquaintances.
    — Author Unknown
  • Acquaintance. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
    — Ambrose Bierce
  • Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.
    — Oprah Winfrey
  • Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.
    — Richard Bach

First off I have to say, some of these sayings are great.  I particularly agree with the first one about the phone book, and the borrow but don’t lend one.  As to whether this cleared anything up for me………I guess a little bit.  I mean if I’m going by the phone book one, I’m gonna say most of the people I know are definitely acquaintances.  **No matter how many times I write that word (you know, the acq… one) it’s still wrong every time.  I guess that’s what spell check is for though**

Now I fear I have even fewer friends than I thought I did before……..damn, I knew I should have just looked the other way when I had the chance.  Oh well, one is all you need right?


12 thoughts on “Friends vs Acquaintances

  1. Some things are best taken as they come. A friend will save your life but might still steal your girl. We are all what we are and when we can meet and feel special, we are friends.

    What is sad to me is when friends go away simply because their lives have changed course. But that is really no reason to be sad, because we all do that.

    Friends and love are of the moment, but those moments make life worthwhile.

    That is my take on things. At the moment, JM, I love you and we have never even met.

    No, not that kind of love, you silly guy. 8)

    1. It is the little moments that make life worth living isn’t it? I’ve always thought so, the moments you least expect are often the greatest. I know for me that’s always been true.

      That is quite possibly the nicest thing a grown man who I’ve never met has ever said to me Roger 😉 Thank you and thank you even more for clarifying that, haha.

      Oh yes, I almost forgot Roger. You are the 100th commenter on my blog, we’ll just ignore the fact that half of those comments were from me, it’s better that way. Your prize? Well, prize maybe misstating it a bit but, if you are up to it you can pick something, anything(*) that you would like me to write about. It can be a question you have for me, or just something you’d like to hear me go on and on about.

      * Well almost anything 😉

      1. JM,

        I would like you to write about who you are…I am not asking for your name, but your culture. What are/were your surroundings and every day experiences. What helped to mold you into the person you are?

        For a bit of context…Since we grew up in different places and different times, what may seem small and ordinary to you, will seem new and interesting to me.

        You can feel free to spice it up if you wish. 8)


  2. The sad thing is when life happens and one person who you were sure was a friend turns out to be a fair-weather acquaintance. Gotta hate when that happens.

    Fortunately it didn’t happen to me that often so there was no chance to get all cynical. 🙂

  3. I think Richard Bach’s qoute on the list is my favorite. I think our personal definitions of what friendship is and means is most important — and I think it’s different for most people. Most people though, use the word “friendship” pretty losely and then are extremely hurt when it doesn’t work out the way they had hoped… you’ve given me lots to think about. Thanks! Happy Saturday.

    1. Yeah that is a good quote, and quite true I think. My personal definition has always been pretty “loose” I guess you could say. Which is perhaps why it’s bitten me on the ass a few times. My eyes are opening though, in a good way. I see things a little different lately, I feel…….a little more alive too.

      Have a great Saturday Nadia!

  4. It’s always enlightening to see how differently other people view life, molded by their different life experiences.

    As an only child who moved every three years throughout my childhood, I’ve always had one good friend that I spent all my time with and very few acquaintances. These definitions of true friendship seem a foregone conclusion to me, but now I see how others may not arrive at the same truth in quite the same way.

    P.S. That word is indeed a bitch to spell. I had to resort to spellcheck as well.

    1. Perspective is EVERYTHING, isn’t it? Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completely different.

      Thanks for the visit/comment, and also for validating that it’s not just me who has serious problems spelling the “a” word, haha!

  5. You may be interested to know that there was an article not too long ago (maybe a few weeks ago, not sure) about how schools are discouraging kids from socializing exclusively with one “best” friend. Instead, they are trying to force kids to socialize with everyone. The intention is to build social skills, reduce cliques, and thereby reduce bullying and other anti-social behaviors.

    As a kid who always had one “best” friend throughout each phase of my childhood, you can guess my opinion. While it’s nice to build general social skills, I think purposely breaking up naturally occurring close friendships is a disservice to children. You are then robbing them the opportunity to form deep bonds that allow for self-exploration in ways that superficial acquaintanceships cannot.

    Some teenagers were interviewed in the article. They stated that they don’t hang out with any one friend, always in large groups. Their understanding of friendship is predictably and drastically different than mine. I wonder if any of these friends would be willing to drive each other to the airport? (And if they have 20 regular friends they socialize with day to day, where do they draw the line? I mean, you can’t possibly give everyone a ride to the airport!)

    I wish I remember where I saw the article. I’m pretty sure it was in the New York Times. I don’t remember a title or a date, unfortunately.

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