Best friends forever… that’s a blast from the past for most of us who have been adults for some years. I can remember growing up and thinking that having good friends was THE single most important thing in my life. Somehow that went by the wayside as I graduated from college, moved away, got married, and raised children, and the friendships of yesteryear waned. Now divorced, with happily grown children, I again appreciate that having good friends is one of THE most important things in my life.
The friends I make today are not as easy and frequent as those I made in grade school, and many of the people I meet today are made through random encounters at events or business networking meetings. I no longer adhere to the childhood adage of best friends forever – instead I embrace the concept of best friends today. I’ve also discovered that we meet many more people who will become acquaintances that we will ever have as friends. Friends are like anchors that steady us against the winds of life, while acquaintances may grasp hold of us for a moment during a storm of their own. Regardless, a plentiful supply of friends and acquaintances give our life variety and keep us honest and sane.
These days, I’m still learning about the differences between acquaintances and friends and I’d be honored if you’d add, change or drop items I’ve put on my list.
Friends and acquaintances… what’s the difference? (A list by Carol Dekkers)
– A friend doesn’t mind if you call them in the middle of the night because you’ve just done something stupid and need to chat for a minute. (An acquaintance will keep score)
– A friend will tell you tactfully if you have mustard on your face (and won’t laugh out loud) where an acquaintance might enjoy a chuckle at your expense.
– A friend will honestly tell you when you’re shopping if a pair of jeans makes your butt look big, and will continue to help you find the perfect pair. (An acquaintance might lie to you to save time and keep the good looks for themselves).
– A friend will listen to you lament about your latest date gone poorly and reassure you that not all guys (or gals) are jerks. (An acquaintance is waiting for their turn to talk.)
– A friend doesn’t judge you when you’ve got nothing to do on a Friday night and you call to hang out. (An acquaintance will drop you if you don’t have exciting events to bring to their life).
– A friend will gently give you their honest opinion even if you don’t want to hear it. (An acquaintance will tell you what you want to hear or offer inconsiderate unsolicited advice).
– A friend cares about you even when there are others around who might not like you. (An acquaintance will opt for “mob mentality” and might ditch you if someone in the crowd isn’t your fan).
Wishing you more friends than acquaintances, and certainly Best Friends for today.
Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.