I’m not the type of person who would ever encourage another not to make as many friends as they possibly can. As of matter of fact, I’ll take as many new friends as I can, since I consider myself to be a friendly person! But how do you go about separating friends from acquaintances? You have to draw the line somewhere!
So, I have this saying, “I’ll trust you at first, until you earn my distrust.” What I mean when I say this is I don’t have any trust issues that keeps me from making acquaintances, but that’s what they’ll stay until I decide that they can become a friend.
You can pretty much treat an acquaintance the same way you would a friend, but with limitations. Acquaintances are usually kept in a “safe zone”, until they are allowed to cross over into the deeper areas of your life.
I’ve actually made friends with people who’ve kept me in the safe zone. I was oblivious to it though. We would talk for hours at a time and then I noticed I was the only one divulging, while the associate shared nothing. I had been duped and it was my own fault! Sometimes trick yourself into thinking and acquaintance is a friend because they will allow you to invite them into your personal business, while keeping you at bay from theirs. Lesson learned…
These days, I don’t place too much responsibility on someone who never wanted it in the first place. This is the key to avoiding mistakes like the one I made, and you don’t have to feel so bad and so deeply let down when it’s time to bid farewell to an associate.
Acquaintances don’t really know you, they know you as something they identify with, which is determined by the environment (work, party, event, another associate) they met you in, but they don’t care to actually get to know you.
Friends know your likes and dislikes and are there to support you on occasions where they may not be well-versed. They are just eager to see you happy, and are sometimes too involved in your life. Acquaintances on the other hand, have you noticed that if you invite them to something you think they might like to do, they take you up on the offer? But when you invite them to something that is of interest to you, they don’t have time? They won’t even get into details; they just decline your offers. But that’s ok, because you guys aren’t friends; you’re just “friendly” with one another.
Friends are people you can see anywhere or any time of day or night, and this is not initiated by a certain person, place, or thing to make it happen; it seems to happen by itself. They’ll let you know when they’re concerned about you, and that concern will bother them just as much as it eats away at you.
Acquaintances will pretend to care about your welfare, and you’ll be fooled, but it’ll only last for a short time. They won’t have your back in situations and that’s fair because they really don’t know you, so it’s not their fault. You just can’t hold an associate with the same responsibility as a friend because they don’t have the same emotional connection as a friend.
And of course, there are friends that aren’t worth it, who will let you down so often that, you have to move them to the acquaintance pile. You’ll recognize them in time because you’ll notice you have become numb to their disappointments.
Don’t make the same mistake I did. You have to meet people where they are, and leave them there. Don’t try and make something out of nothing.