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Ideas & Opinions Acquaintances are BETTER than friends??

Winslow

Siamese Twin
SF Supporter
#1
Do you find that acquaintances are better than friends? What I mean by acquaintances are, for example, the co-workers at your job, etc. You socially interact on a daily basis with those co-workers but they are NOT your friends. Instead they are acquaintances only. Yet I find such acquaintances to be better than having friends. Why? Well, because with friends, they can always break off commitments, etc. That can be especially painful because a friend is somebody to whom you feel emotional attachment. Whereas with acquaintances, you don't have any emotional attachment, so even if you lose them, it won't feel painful. Yet at the same time, they provide good social interaction at the job. Now you see why acquaintances are better than friends.

So I was wondering if there are any others on this forum who feel the same way.
 
#2
Interesting theory. I agree about your definition of acquaintances but I think part of human nature means we do require the emotional attachment that a friend would provide. I have acquaintances at work but am in a constant search for friendship. Yes friends can hurt you, sometimes unknowingly and other times deliberately but even knowing the possibility of getting this pain I still want to take that risk and the chance of getting the emotional attachment. I have been hurt in the past so understand the risk and I tend to cycle through a thought process where I tell myself that I’m better off without but I always come back around again and put myself in a position to try again because ultimately I know that I will feel a lot better if I had a friend who knew me as me and not as mum or wife or teacher. Xx
 
#4
@Winslow I think you portray a safe version of yourself with acquaintances. You don’t allow them to see your vulnerable side. A friend needs to accept you for all that you are and you should be comfortable saying anything to them. That wouldn’t happen with an acquaintance where conversations are limited to work related or general questions like how was your weekend to which we always answer ‘fine’ even if it wasn’t!
 

DrownedFishOnFire

Back into the wild where I belong. Out of your way
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#8
Beyond me why people assume other people are so emotional needy to need that higher level of friendship? @Holding my breath


IMO it is necessary for some individuals to have "friends" not everyone is an emotional needy person. Having acquaintance is perfectly satisfying for some folks. Nothing wrong with less drama less obligations. And even millions of people with close friends dont know the persons darkest thoughts. To me non-friends are more pleasant right now to interact with. (Work/Hobby driven keeping me busy with COVID real friends nope not been there for them nor have they been here for me)
 
#9
I suppose I’d never thought of it that others don’t need friends and are happy with casual acquaintances. Everyone is different but I know I need close friendships but don’t really have any irl. I do now have a couple from SF which has made the world of difference for me. My son has always said he only has acquaintances and people he can tolerate. But he has recently developed a friendship and I have noticed he is so much happier. Isn’t closeness and friendship an intrinsic human need? Perhaps you are suggesting for some it is not.
 

Winslow

Siamese Twin
SF Supporter
#10
I suppose I’d never thought of it that others don’t need friends and are happy with casual acquaintances. Everyone is different but I know I need close friendships but don’t really have any irl. I do now have a couple from SF which has made the world of difference for me. My son has always said he only has acquaintances and people he can tolerate. But he has recently developed a friendship and I have noticed he is so much happier. Isn’t closeness and friendship an intrinsic human need? Perhaps you are suggesting for some it is not.
But what if the close friend dies or separates for some other reason, then it hurts too much. That's why it's better to practice Non-attachment. I understand we need Socialization but you can get it from Acquaintances only --for example, from your co-workers at your job. In a way, those job-acquaintances are better than friends because we see those co-workers every day.
 
#11
But what if the close friend dies or separates for some other reason, then it hurts too much. That's why it's better to practice Non-attachment. I understand we need Socialization but you can get it from Acquaintances only --for example, from your co-workers at your job. In a way, those job-acquaintances are better than friends because we see those co-workers every day.
Is it not worth what you gain to take the risk of the pain if you lose them? What's the phrase? "Better to have loved and lost than not loved at all?" Idk I feel pain without the close friendship so which ever way you look at it there is pain. Sorry
 

Nick

☆☆Still Ducking Fantastic ☆☆
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#12
I think this depends somewhat on what your definition of a friend is. I'm very socially awkward, especially around people I don't know/trust. My conversations with them are likely to be limited to "hey what's up?", followed by a brief accounting of the weather or current events. I can see people every day and it's not going to develop beyond that. For me there isn't much, if any, connection with an acquaintance usually.

Friend, if the relationship does develop, I tend to get very close to. I'm not the type of person who wants lots of friends. I invest a lot into my friendships and I don't have the bandwidth to do that with loads of people. To me these relationship are extremely important and I wouldn't trade my current friends for the world. To me I'd much rather have a few close friends than thousands of acquaintances.

There is also a group for me that is a middle ground. People who I care about, people who I would be willing to invest more into, but who don't seem into being a part of my life. I learned long ago you can't force anyone to be a part of your life. I leave that door open. I'm here if they need me, if they want, but I'm not going to chase people down. There was a time in my life when I would have tried harder to involve people in my life, but I know now that I'm hard person to be friends with and most people aren't interested. This group in and of itself is painful, because it reminds me of how inept I am, but not much can be done about it. All I can do is be there if and when they need me.
 

Auri

🎸🎼Rock Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#15
I personally don't feel the same way at all. With emotional attachment you're at risk of having "your heart broken" - in a friendly way. Yeah it hurts, and if that scares you, then sure, you can choose not to have them. But to me that risk is worth it because it feels much more genuine, "full", valuable than simple acquaintances. And if it is genuine, it lasts...

That being said having acquaintances is also valuable, for other reasons. It's good to be kind and polite with your coworkers, you can also have each others' backs with "less deep" matters, I guess, at least work-related stuff.

But if I have to choose between both, I'd rather keep my friends. They're basically the family I chose. We'll always come back to each other.

I also think some people (not saying you ;)) have too much expectations from potential friends, and too soon. You don't become best friends for life in one day. It takes time, work, building trust, understanding... Understanding that your friends have lives of their own and they're here to support you, to help you, te be on your side... but not to save you from yourself, or to give up on their lives for you. It's just an observation I've made.
 
#16
Yes! That makes so much sense. Co-workers are 'easy' because there are job descriptions/ responsibilities so 'roles' are defined.
But friends are really hard for me as I tend to follow the above format and then get disappointed or let down. I have attempted friendships but I always mess it up because there are no rules.
Though, to be fair to others I have been guilty of ghosting simply because other things have come up or circs change so after a time I felt awkward going back to that friendship. Sometimes, they simply don't want to know.
In a 'work situ' it wouldn't really matter because even though there are disagreements and conflicts everyone knows the end goal - hopefully! If not, there is something you (by that I mean me!) can do about it because there are boundaries.
Friendships confuse me. I feel I am kind by nature and that has been abused in the past. But I have also been shown kindness by others and, despite a good first impression, I fear following it up without a template. That's def on me.
But yes, I am more comfortable with acquaintances :)
 

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