Acquaintances get a bad rap. Really—have you ever heard the word used in a positive light? Usually, it’s used to verbally demote someone from friend status because calling someone a friend is oh so holy. People boast about only having a small circle, like all those outside of it are unworthy, or possibly even fake.
I am a woman of many acquaintances. And as someone who has little time to spare for even my best of friends, having them has always been very convenient for me. If you are one of those people who turns your nose up at them, I’m here to change your mind.
Why Acquaintances Are Awesome
1. They Don’t Expect a Ton from You
You don’t really ever have to worry about letting an acquaintance down. Can’t make it to their birthday? No big deal! They invited you because they like you, but if you don’t show you don’t have to worry about them being upset or tossing a guilt trip your way.
There’s literally zero obligation when it comes to an acquaintance. You have a mutual understanding that you like each other, but don’t know each other well enough to get upset with each other the way close friend might if you were to do the same thing.
2. They’re down for a Good Time
Ever have a night when you’re ready to party and it seems like all your friends are staying in? Or maybe they all want to do something that you’re just not feeling that night. This is the perfect time to tap your acquaintance pool. You don’t need to be besties with someone to have a great time. Some of my best nights have been spent out with chicks I didn’t know very well, having some carefree fun.
3. They Get You out of Your Comfort Zone
In addition to being down for a good time, since these ladies are outside of your direct circle, they go, see and do things you otherwise wouldn’t. Tagging along on a night of their kind of fun can be a real eye opener of what you’ve been missing.
It’s easy to get caught up in a routine with your friends. You go to the same bars, eat at the same places… you know, you have all your usual haunts. But when you toss an acquaintance into the mix, you could end up at a totally fantastic place you’ve never been to (or even heard of.)
4. They’re Great Connectors
Networking is a powerful thing. After awhile there’s only so many people your close friends can introduce you to. Having multiple acquaintances opens you to a world of people you don’t yet know.
I have met some of the best friends, clients and connections through acquaintances. They don’t have to know you too in depth to see who you are and what you do, and match you to others they feel who fit you.
5. They Have Unbiased Opinions
They don’t know the whole story, frankly they don’t need to, and they aren’t bound to what they “should” say. Your best friends are there for you when you need them, whether it be to vent or ask advice. But because you know them so well, you can usually peg what they’re going to say to you before they say it. Everyone has the sugar coater friend and if you’re lucky you have someone who is brutally honest with you, but an acquaintance can provide the kind of unbiased advice you might really need or a perspective you never thought of.
Because they aren’t emotionally invested in you, and haven’t heard the story or background 10,000 times, they can offer the kind of opinion you can take for face value. They aren’t necessarily concerned with making you feel better as they are with seeing a solution to your problem.
Don’t write off acquaintances just because you don’t see them everyday, have inside jokes, or weekly heart-to-hearts. They just might turn out to be the best friend you don’t actually have.
How do you feel about acquaintances?
Image credit: Shutterstock
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