12 Questions to Help You Decipher Between Friends vs Acquaintances

What’s the difference between friends vs acquaintances? Social media seems to have diluted the meaning of friendship. If you scroll past someone’s profile and their friend count is in the single digits, you might think they’re a loser. But, someone who understands the meaning and value of friendship might see things differently.

friends vs acquaintances

Facebook claims I have 4,000 friends. Sometimes I’ll meet people and we’ll have 200+ friends in common. I’ll wonder, “How did I not already know them?” The terminology is a bit off; I have a lot of acquaintances, not necessarily friends.

2017 is a year of restoration and reconnection for me, but I only have so much bandwidth. I can’t be a true friend to everyone I know. This is a hard and sad truth as I genuinely would like to spend more time with more people.

About a decade ago, I was sick and then got busy with work. For a month I didn’t make it to the place where most of my friends resided at the time…bars and clubs. Something was missing for those 30 days. I didn’t hear from my bar and club friends; not even a text message, and I realized I’d put them in the wrong bucket by classifying them as “friends”.

When we put people in the wrong bucket, and consider them closer than they might see us, we can get hurt. They won’t show up or come through. Of course you have to ask yourself, “Have I been a good friend to them?” And if you have, ask yourself these questions:

12 Questions to Help You Decipher Between Friends vs Acquaintances:

  1. Who is a friend who will be there for you in the middle of the night when you need help?
  2. Who can you be truly authentic and real with?
  3. Who can you trust with a secret?
  4. Who would stand up for you when you’re not around and everyone is talking trash on you?
  5. Who isn’t afraid to keep you accountable?
  6. Morbid, but who will be your pallbearer?
  7. Who will stand with you when everyone else leaves?
  8. Who prays for you and with you?
  9. Who accepts you for who you are and doesn’t judge?
  10. Who’s consistently been there for you?
  11. Who’s quick to listen and slow to offer advice?
  12. Who do you go to for advice?

We need friends who will be there through financial and relationship hardships. We need friends who will be there when our dog’s life is failing.

Who doesn’t want to be fully known and also accepted? We need people around us to stand for us when our knees buckle. We need friends who will hold our arms above us when we become weak.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17: 17).

It’s important to understand the difference between friends vs acquaintances. You network with acquaintances, but a friend isn’t someone you keep in a rolodex. A friend is someone you advocate for regardless of what you get in return.

If you’ve ever felt used by someone you thought was a friend, even the Pope understands:

“Friendship in the utilitarian sense – let’s see what advantage I can gain by getting close to this person and becoming friends – that pains me,” Pope Francis said in an interview. “Friendship is something sacred. The Bible says to have one or two friends.”

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6 Responses to 12 Questions to Help You Decipher Between Friends vs Acquaintances

  1. bruce nahin January 2, 2018 at 6:32 am #

    In my 64 y4rs I have learned the hard way that even people we feel are our friends because we socialize regularly with them, that they are not friends but really social acquaintances. Friends conversations are deep, not superficial, they are intimate, loving supporting and giving. Your success or failure should not define it. Your economic bracket doesn’t define it either.. Friends dont abandon friends in hard times or when the friendship requires effort on their part.

    • Kris Wolfe January 4, 2018 at 8:29 pm #

      This has been a tough lesson to learn out here in LA. The truth is, friends are rare and hard to come by.


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