A very special person posted on FaceBook a question about our friends. She asked if we have truly good friends or people we just call acquaintances. Fortunately for me, she was patient enough to read the mini-book I wrote. I am extremely over-analytical and friendship has often been the subject of my self-discovery as well as the way I relate to other people.
Please allow me to share and expand my answer to her.
I feel very fortunate to have several friends that I feel are truly family. They are so very different. Each one has a unique place in my heart. They all know everything about me, good and bad, but each one seems to play a different part in my life. Each relationship changes with time. Each relationship seems to have natural ebb and flow to the depth and intensity. However, there are some things that remain constant and seem to be the cornerstone of each friendship. I have one friend who truly inspires me. Every single time we are together, I walk away bursting with new ideas, excitement, and dreams. I have another couple of friends who allow me to let loose. They show me how to live without inhibitions and how to embrace every moment of life and laughter. I have another friend who I know I can count on to be there in my very darkest hour. They understand me on a level that no one else does. I have another friend who is always caring compassionate and I have no doubt in my mind that they will always be my biggest fan. I have another friend who reminds me that life is so very short and to live every moment to the fullest because you never know when it will be your last. All of these people make up my "network" of people who make me who I am. If you put them all in the same room, it would be difficult to find much of anything they have in common due to different belief systems, different lifestyles, and different upbringings. But they do have one thing that ties them together. It is the fact that I love them all very much. There are natural ups and downs and times when they can drive me crazy. Although not nearly as much as I am POSITIVE that I do them. But at the end of the day, they love me and I do them. I feel so very blessed to have such a great group of people in my life. No single person could ever be all they are to me. And you know what, I am glad there isn't. Because from each person and each background, those people teach me something about the world and most importantly about myself.
I also lucky to have other people in my life that are so much more than acquaintances, but due to "life and time" constraints, those relationships haven't developed as much as I would like. And even though I don't get to spend as much time with them, or even talk to them as much as I like, they also play a huge part in my life. I try to learn something from every single person I meet. I know so many people who amaze me by their faith, their business sense, their compassion, and their dedication. I wish there were more hours in the day to devote to growing a deeper relationship with these people. I most definitely still define these people as friends, just friends that I haven't penciled in a date just yet. And for these people, it would only take a phone call, and I would be there in a heartbeat.
So I guess I would say an acquaintance is simply someone who I meet and pretty much know there is no emotional connection. I am a pretty deep person and for the most part if I feel I can trust you and therefore want to get to know you better, I am pretty much an open book. If I don't see you as someone I could develop a friendship with if given the time, I really just don't bother at all. I am not being mean, I just have so precious little time to spend with the people I know are fantastic people, I don't want to waste time when there is nothing to base a friendship on.
The post is rather long, but it is something that is very important to me. I hope you are blessed to have so many wonderful people in your life. If you don't, let down the walls and let them in. Life is so much fuller when you are surrounded by the souls of amazing, loving people.