Are you a friend or just an acquaintance

Often times we’ve heard people feeling awful about the friendships they were in because these people realised or asked themselves about their position in a person’s life, much to late in the assumed relationship. There are quite a number of “friendships” and that’s quoted for a reason- they aren’t friendships but we try to act like they are. Take for instance, it’s a rainy day and you’ve been given a lift by your course/classmate and she’s such a chatty person so you immediately consider yourself her friend-that is an acquaintance. You sit next to someone on your first day of school/ college and so you exchange contacts because you need notes from them and you occasionally respond to their status updates- that’s an acquaintance. She occasionally asks you about how you are doing before asking about school stuff, sis, that’s an acquaintance!

See, we often times feel good about calling certain people our friends when they view us as acquaintances. And then we even ignore all the signs thinking that, those people are just like that-aloof- yet to them, we are nothing more than course mates or workmates and so the relationship we have with them, is just one of convenience! Sometimes we’ll see someone and feel the urge to be identified with them when actually, the feeling is not mutual. And when they finally start treating you like a second thought, you write them off as toxic friends, and paint such an ugly picture of them on social media and everywhere, to every one who cares to listen to you. But were you friends in the first place?

So, what is a friendship?

Difference between an acquaintance & a friend?
Difference between an acquaintance & a friend (Picture: Courtesy)

I’ll give you an my idea of a friendship. You have no food and so you call your home girl who is equally broke, but she gives you 5k out of her 10k to scruple up a meal- that’s a friend. You were hit by rain on your usual commute to school and so you feel so bad about it, but then you decide to call that one person who makes such situations lighter and when you do, y’all laugh about the problem or situation, sis, y’all are friends. And so a friend is someone who allows you to be yourself without any layers, they understand you and that doesn’t mean that they agree with you all the time, but they know how to compromise because they value what y’all have together. A friend will always be weird with you before judging you or recommending that you get checked every time you have a different opinion of what you want out of life. A friend will laugh with you about your problems and then help you fix them or let go of those you can’t and a friend, will never question why you are still friends with them, when you disagree with them or reveal who you are!

Before you try to force that acquaintance into a friendship, first try to find out whether the feeling is mutual and before you ask someone to be friends with you, well, just don’t! Friendships are not asked, they just happen and if you should ever feel like you should be identified with someone, make sure they SEE you too or you’ll be in for a long weary ride.

Guest Written by: Abesiga Golda Desiree. Golda is who passionate about women and equality, among others and has written many articles on topics around women, parenting, and equality.