No New Friends

In our early stages of life, we begin determining people as our friends. Whether it’s close friends, someone we rarely see, or someone we just met, we would label them as our friend. It’s not until middle school, when kids begin worrying about fake friends being in their friend circle. This in turn, causes people to separate best friends from acquaintances.

For some, they may not know there is a difference between a best friend and an acquaintance. Best friends and acquaintances differ in many ways but also share some similarities. An acquaintance is a person known to one, but usually not a close friend. Best friends are typically close friends. 

Throughout the years, I have made many friends. Many who I would consider acquaintances and just a few that I would call best friends. The friends that I do consider best friends, we have been friends for at least 6 years. We share many of the same hobbies and have a similar lifestyle. When we are all together, many people say we are the same people.

In an interview with ESSENCE from, Maya Angelou describes the difference between friends and acquaintance:

Marcia Ann Gillespie: There are friends and then there are acquaintances. How do you know when someone is really a friend?
Maya Angelou: There’s a marked difference between acquaintances and friends. Most people really don’t become friends. They become deep and serious acquaintances. But in a friendship you get to know the spirit of another person; and your values coincide. Friends may disagree, but not about serious matters. A friend will stand for you when you are no longer able. A woman can say to herself, “If I die, I know that my friend, my sister friend will be here to hold up the banner.” Now that’s very profound.”

I totally agree with every thing Maya Angelou said. People confuse the deep and serious acquaintances with their friends all the time and get disappointed when they don’t meet the expectations of a true friend. I think we as people should make sure the ones we consider as friends are actually friends. According to, here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciphering between friends and 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 accepts you for who you are and doesn’t judge?
  9. Who’s consistently been there for you?
  10. Who’s quick to listen and slow to offer advice?
  11. Who do you go to for advice?

There’s nothing wrong with having acquaintances but you should be sure that you don’t have the same expectations for acquaintances that you do for your friends. Refer to the chart below to help you determine the difference between a friend and acquaintance.

Difference Between Friend and Acquaintance- infographic

Acquaintances are temporary, but friends are forever!

Damani Toudle

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