Remember this: It’s a privilege to even be considered a friend of yours.
I’m very disappointed in some of you guys. All I see on my Twitter timeline is many of you talking about your unsupportive, messy, draining, and jealous friends. The problem is that you might’ve picked your group of friends wisely, but you fail to remember that there is a HUGE difference between friends and acquaintances. In other words, some of y’all are using the word “friend” too loosely. So, yet again, I’ve come to the rescue. Here are three ways to tell the difference between friends and acquaintances.
Number One: You Don’t Know Where Their Loyalty Lies
Is this person friends with someone that can’t stand you who constantly has your name in their mouth? Do you know for sure that they’ll stand up for you or defend you when someone is talking about you when you’re not there? If you feel deep down in your gut that this person will sit there with your enemy and laugh and talk about you, they are not your friend.
Trust your instincts. I’m not saying that someone can’t be friends with people that you don’t mess with, but there is a line that is crossed when that person acts like they don’t know you or talks about you when they’re around your enemies. Loyalty goes beyond this, but if you see that this person can’t even do the bare minimum by defending your name, having your back, or not talking about you when you’re not around, they don’t deserve to be called your friend.
Number Two: They Can’t Hold Water
I know for a fact that some of y’all will open up to your so-called “friends” before you even have the time to get to know them and trust them. If you don’t talk to your “friend” on a regular basis, you should not be sharing details with them that you wouldn’t even share with your siblings. If you have second guesses about telling this person something or trusting them, chances are, you shouldn’t be sharing information with them because they haven’t earned your trust. It’s time to get this person off your close friends list on Instagram. He or she can’t be trusted until you’ve known them for a longer period of time. Keep in mind, acquaintances are not obligated to keep things confidential by any means. Don’t get confused. That’s what a good, trustworthy friend is for.
Number Three: They Act Different Around Other People
If this is something you’ve noticed, don’t call this person fake or two-faced. You haven’t known him or her long enough for them to reveal their true colors to you, let alone to even be considered one of your friends. If they’re not inviting you to link with them and their crew or even introducing you to other people, why would you call him or her your friend? They are just your acquaintance.
There should be separate expectations for friends and acquaintances. Acquaintances don’t have to support you, hang out with you, or even keep your secrets. That’s what true close friends are for. Sure, as time goes on, you guys might get to know and begin to trust each other more, but until that time comes, don’t open up all the way with people you barely know.
By Jada Daniel, Freshman, Beloit College