I had heard this word for the very first time when I was attending ‘English’ lecture back in the last year of my graduation. My teacher had explained the difference between friends and acquaintances. Till then I was not aware of the importance of knowing the difference as it never really mattered during college life. However, now at this age of life I really felt the need to take a look at people I am surrounded with just to differentiate. Really, the word suddenly has made me think about it as I have found myself in this dilemma of deciding whether the people I am spending my time with are my friends or they are just acquaintances?
You usually follow the practice of considering all of them your friends when you think of your classmates, colleagues, etc, the people of same age you may say. You introduce them as friends if they happen to cross your way while you are out with someone else. This is common and I used to do the same. All of my classmates, colleagues, Facebook connections, Google connections, and WhatsApp connections were my friends until I gave it another thought. What really makes two people friends to each other? Is it about the number of hang outs they have or is it about for how long they talk to each other? I don’t think that these things make a friendship between two people. Friendship is something that involves lives of two people with each other. It is when you know each other at very personal level. The likes and dislikes, interest and hobbies, moods and nature and just everything you know about them. And, you not only know but you care about all of their stuff. Communication is another factor that really defines the friendship. Just meet your friends after six months and you will have the better conversation than any of those with acquaintances.
Most of the time you are surrounded with acquaintances and you just don’t know that because you really never give it a thought. It becomes necessary when you are forced to decide the priorities in your life. There is no harm keeping acquaintances around but letting them become your priority is something you should reconsider. I am not saying that acquaintances don’t deserve your attention and/or time but the extent matters. Before setting any priorities you will need to differentiate between your friends and acquaintances. As far as I know, acquaintances won’t be playing a big role in your life even they seem to be doing that. You won’t believe but the colleagues you are spending your entire day with or classmates you are talking day and night with could only be an acquaintance to you. They may look like your friends but if you think a bit more you will find that a friend is a way more than any of them. Again, let me clear that I am only talking about possibilities here and opposite may happen. But, you will need to find out and differentiate to ensure the better life experience. Sometimes it may happen that the person you consider your friend does not consider you the one. For you, he/she can be your friend but for him/her you could only mean an acquaintance. You will get to know if you see the behavior, the ones who don’t consider you as their friend will never create an emotional bond with you, they will talk to you as if it is their job or just not to hurt you and most importantly they won’t care. Try, going out from their lives and they won’t mind you leaving them alone because for them you are just an acquaintance.
The topic is somewhat complex and can become interesting one for debate but yes, at this moment I have realized that acquaintances do exists and they are everywhere. Trust me, you need not consider them as your friends just because they might get hurt knowing that they are just acquaintances to you. In fact, you should learn and know the difference and set the priorities accordingly. Get to know who are your friends and who are just acquaintances to have a much happier life.