So I had lunch last week with two of the few black people that work in my building and the topic of friendships came up. After listening to their stories... I asked a simple question that made everyone go quiet for a few minutes. Are these people we are discussing friends or acquaintances?
I must say that I tend to use the word very loosely... but I know and recognize the real meaning. And for me there are three levels of friendship: Friend, Confidant, and Acquaintance. Now an acquaintance is someone you hang out with from time to time. They are often confused with friends cause you are often seen out and about together. A confidant is a step up from an acquaintance, not only do you hang out with this person but you actually share more of yourself, your secrets, and your aspirations with this person. And of course a friend is the top tier of friendship. For me a friend has no restrictions on the length of time that you know them, but it is more about not only knowing me and my secrets, not only being someone I enjoy hanging out with, but also it is about being someone you can depend on and whose opinion I seek out and trust. For me a friend compliments what I lack and not only sees what I need before I ask, but offers to help me meet that need.
I have had very few friends in my life time. Some confidants. And endless number of acquaintances. Here in Atlanta... I only have two friends (there were 3 but such is life). There is my girl, Tracee, that I have known since freshman year at Auburn and Damian, who I have known since my first summer living in DC. I have a couple confidants (with Larry being my favorite LOL).
I know you have read throughout the two years this blog has been around about a few people I have hung out with that are no longer around... those were acquaintances and for me those are the ones you often either outgrow quickly or your time together just seems to dwindle for other reasons in life. While I usually enjoy the company of the acquaintances when they are gone there is usually no heartache or missing. It is one of those situations where you enjoy it while it lasts and move on afterwards. Now friends are the only ones I truly have ever miss, I think you share so much of yourselves it is like loosing a part of yourself when they are gone. But I guess you take what you can learn from that person and your experiences together and let that make you a better person and eventually move on.
So what are you a friend or an acquaintance?