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MOTM May 2011
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We all have acquaintances and friends. More of one than the other, I'd assume. What does it mean to you when a person is an acquaintance vs. friend vs. best friend? What does it take to get from one level to the other with you? Also, rather than just discuss what we expect from those around us, what do you do for your acquaintances, friends, and best friends?

Where does family fit into that?

There's no right or wrong answer. SWMBO and I view this very differently and I'm just curious: What do YOU think about the topic?
 
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Very good question!

There are really three kinds of 'strains' that any person can follow, depending on a few things.

The strains are family members, males, and females.

Male friends have a couple of stages.

There's acquaintance, where I know of you, we've talked a few times... maybe we are in the same class together, and have passed a piece of paper to each other or something. There's no real trust, or connection built between us.

Then there are friends. We interact more frequently. Maybe you're a friend of one of my friends, and ipso facto you're my friend. We occasionally do things together, and are learning about each other. I might stop and say hello to you when you walk by. I wouldn't trust you enough to do anything but common, courteous things.

Then there are good friends. We interact daily, work on assignments together, or work together. We know a lot about each other, and there is some level of trust between us. There's mutual respect. I would say hello to you if I saw you, for sure. I trust you enough to lend you one of my most valuable possessions, such as books.

Then there are best friends. We are constantly talking to each other via text message, planning events together. We know all about each other, and have inside jokes. You get to see the 'real' me. Iceman melts. I would wake up in the middle of the night to save you if your car breaks down.

For females, it's largely the same as for the males, but there's a stage that ranges from good friends to best friends. It's called the girlfriend stage. The major difference? You get to have sex with me. You get to see my emotional side. (The MOST valuable thing to me. MUCH much greater than my books.)

Then there's the wife stage above it, but I haven't explored that stage. So, I can't really tell you about it. I imagine it's like the girlfriend stage, and the family stage mixed together. I am sure this will become very important to me when it happens.

Family... I do anything for them. They see the real me, and can read it. It's very hard to describe. It's the most important stage of all.

I'm sure there is another stage for my kids, and my brother's kids, but I haven't any experience with that either. I am sure they will be up at the top of the ladder, though.

Hmm... That's all I have for now. Hope this helps.
 

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I only know one person who I feel I can confide in, where if I visit them I feel at home in their house.

I have an acquaintance that I've called a friend most of my life. After 35 years it's gotten to the point I can hardly believe a word he says and it's getting worse.

I used to think if a person lied to me they either thought I was so stupid I wouldn't know the difference or they were just so slick I'd believe anything they said. I've come to the conclusion there's a third option, that they don't know truth from fantasy. I've watched the progression where he tells an increasingly varying story over time till the truth is so twisted it bares little resemblance to what really happened and he actually believes that's the way it went down. I think in certain situations he can't handle the truth and by twisting it to his favor is the only way he can live with himself.

I've recently decided to wash my hands of the whole situation, and our supposed "friendship". Over the past couple years I've confronted him a couple times when it's so obvious he's lying. He become very defensive but never admits he's been caught in the lie and after a few months we're back to speaking.

Now I find myself in the same situation again. I've always let it slide in the end, and the last couple times I've chewed him out unmercifully to get it off my chest before moving past that point, but our relation has suffered beyond repair. I couldn't hold back from calling him a f'ing liar and don't know how many times I can be expected to forgive and forget when I know it will happen again.

Pardon my rant...
 
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Caius did a really good job explaining the basic levels I seem to have as well. In high school I had most of my classes with the same people and knew all of them very well but would hardly have classified most of them as more than friends. I have four "best" friends and several friends I keep decent contact with from before going off to college. However, this past year I really started to branch out at school just by connecting quickly with a few people who were able to bring me out of my shell. Being with one extrovert in particular allowed me to meet a lot of people that I may never have met without a little push from him. It makes a huge difference being with people who want to be at school and who are paying to be there as opposed to high school where everyone was forced to be there and you have to deal with a lot of pointless issues.

With my friendships going from one level to another really depends on comfort with the other person. Am I comfortable with talking with them in class? Stopping to talk when I see you around? Studying together? Movies? Or, with my best friends it gets to the point that I have little issue having very intense conversations, dropping some of my guard. With these varying degrees of comfort there is usually some dependence on shared interests that can really open a lot of doors. If we're bonding over topics that are something I'm well-versed in (or being taught by them) then I have more confidence and want to learn more about them. When I'm at a point that I want to do things for the other person (other than just basic courtesies) and know they'd be willing to do the same for me I see the value of that relationship and allow myself some vulnerability in letting them in.

As far as my family goes we have always been really close. We're all completely ourselves which can be great, but a nightmare as well. My sister and I are particularly bad about taking out our frustrations from other things on one another. Half the time it's like we read each other's minds and we use that to hit the weak points in one another's armor. Despite this we can also share more with each other than we could with most others. We are only two years apart so we aren't like siblings who grew up 5+ years apart that almost seem to be rasied by a different set of parents. Because of this we have very similar sets of memories and experiences that shape us in similar ways, despite my ISTJ to her ESFP (which, of course, has it's own issue, lol).

While my family certainly consists of friendships, the relationships are completely different than those of all my other friendships...from friends to best friends. It's hard to even compare the two...I grow in completely different ways with both sets of relationships. Family and best friends who I truly love put me in a place that can leave me frustrated with myself at times for showing my flaws, but as I get older I'm learning to embrace those things, move on, and appreciate the good that comes with opening myself up to others.
 
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Bleh...sorry, double posted, and probably overlooking a delete option completely. =\
 

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We all have acquaintances and friends. More of one than the other, I'd assume. What does it mean to you when a person is an acquaintance vs. friend vs. best friend? What does it take to get from one level to the other with you? Also, rather than just discuss what we expect from those around us, what do you do for your acquaintances, friends, and best friends?

Where does family fit into that?

There's no right or wrong answer. SWMBO and I view this very differently and I'm just curious: What do YOU think about the topic?
When a person is an acquaintance, they don't really mean anything to me. I'll always greet them if I exchange looks with them or talk with them if they want to, but I don't value them much further. I have no impact on their lives and neither do they on mine.

When it's a friend it's someone whom I've spent more time with and getting to know for more than just the shallow appearance. They don't necessarily have to share anything deep - they just have to acknowledge my existence and have a little interest in what I do. If I haven't been to an event or done anything else than the source of acquaintance, I can't call them friends.

A best friend would be someone I could share anything with and just be myself in any situation. I can't explain it much more thoroughly as the last "best" friend I had was like 8 years ago. I have good friends which I spend time with regularly, but I can't seem to connect to a further level with any of them.

Family is one thing that'll always be there for me - at least my parents. They are rarely what I seek for excitement, but rather someone I can put all of my trust in and expect them to care about it. I don't know if I have any friend who'd stand up for me like my family would.

I have a hard time describing what it'll take to get from one level to another. Sometimes it comes naturally with shared interests, but apart from that I think I'm letting people advance on their own. Besides, I don't have the ability to take them further, so the only advancements are those that come naturally.

What I do for them? For my closer friends I try to do something with them every once in a while. I don't have a big need for social contact, so it's kept at a level where I'm comfortable myself and I know they can't think I'm rushing it. I'd probably do anything asked of me for these people - I just don't think they know I would, and I don't know how to show it. I think saying "I'm here if you need to talk" would be kind of cheesy coming from me, because I'm known to be sarcastic most of the time and besides, I can't relate much to the problems of others if they're caused by emotion.

For my friends I don't do anything else than try and make them comfortable whenever I'm with them, give them my attention and share a thing or two. For acquaintances I just greet, listen and talk about simple things if they want to.
 

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We all have acquaintances and friends. More of one than the other, I'd assume. What does it mean to you when a person is an acquaintance vs. friend vs. best friend? What does it take to get from one level to the other with you? Also, rather than just discuss what we expect from those around us, what do you do for your acquaintances, friends, and best friends?

Where does family fit into that?

There's no right or wrong answer. SWMBO and I view this very differently and I'm just curious: What do YOU think about the topic?
well i dont really have any friends. at least i dont think so. what an 18 year old would call a friend is probably alot different from what a 13 year old would call a friend. and thats the last time i remember having friends. there are people im familiar with. i get the 'sup' nod now and then. i eat lunch with some people. but i don't there is anyone i'd really call a friend. and im fine with that.
 

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We all have acquaintances and friends. More of one than the other, I'd assume. What does it mean to you when a person is an acquaintance vs. friend vs. best friend? What does it take to get from one level to the other with you? Also, rather than just discuss what we expect from those around us, what do you do for your acquaintances, friends, and best friends?

Where does family fit into that?

There's no right or wrong answer. SWMBO and I view this very differently and I'm just curious: What do YOU think about the topic?
For an acquaintance I don't go out of my way to see them or really care too much about them. I know they exist, they know I exist and we get along but we don't make plans to hang out. If we're both in the same place it's coincidence and we may exchange pleasantries.

For friend...I'm not entirely sure... Possibly because at this point in my life I don't have any. I have 1 best friend and a few people I would consider acquaintances.

A best friend is someone I would do just about anything for and trust with most information about myself and allow myself to be less guarded with. They may even get to see that I have emotions and am not a robot if they stick around long enough. I also tend to ask my best friend for advice about things (even though I rarely actually use it).

This is a somewhat difficult series of questions to answer, Niss. I don't think I know enough about myself to really know or maybe I don't hang out with people enough to know? Haven't seen any acquaintances/friends/best friends for about a month or so.
 

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We all have acquaintances and friends. More of one than the other, I'd assume. What does it mean to you when a person is an acquaintance vs. friend vs. best friend? What does it take to get from one level to the other with you? Also, rather than just discuss what we expect from those around us, what do you do for your acquaintances, friends, and best friends?

Where does family fit into that?

There's no right or wrong answer. SWMBO and I view this very differently and I'm just curious: What do YOU think about the topic?

I have friends to do with various parts of my life. For example, friends from where I used to work. Friends to do with my music/ band activities, friends in the classic car club that I'm a member of. I have made friends with the neighbours as I live in a nice road. I also have friends at the classic car restoration course I'm on. Two of the fellow students there, as well as being interested in restoring classic cars, are also keen rock music fans. Some friends I may not see for years but when we do catch up- are still friends. I class friends as opposed to acquaintances as people I have known for a fairly long time (years) and with whom i get on well and see on a fairly regular basis.

I don't have a "best friend" as such, that sort of stuff is for kids, or possibly women. Men don't tend to get that emotionally close to friends. I guess, as an adult, one's best friend is one's girlfriend/wife/ SO/SWMBO.

Oddly, Niss, one of my friends who i have known for years (share interests in cars, music, used to work at the same place, AND have other friends in common) refers to his wife as "She WHo Must Be Obeyed"! :laughing:
 

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They may even get to see that I have emotions and am not a robot if they stick around long enough.
Very true, and while I realize that some people think we're killjoys, there are times that I wonder if I have an anti-people repelling magnet hidden inside of me somewhere.

Only slightly OT, I finally said more than "thanks, have a nice day" to the cashier at Arby's over the weekend. She (like me) has a lot of tattoos and piercings, and out of the blue, I told her I thought it was great that some employers in our little podunk pretend wannabe city are starting to get with the program and realize it's 2010, not 1950. No one was behind me, so she proceeded to ask me about my septum piercing while waiting for my food to be prepared. I told her about it, and recommended the place that I go to, to have work done. Once my food was ready, I told her, "See you next time!"

Success at last :laughing: :happy: :crazy:
 

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Sorry, but UGH, I don't like piercings! And I don't see the point in tatoos!

Just personal preference but I will never get any piercings or Tattoos.
That's quite alright; our differences is what makes us all unique.
I promise not to hold it against you :tongue:
 
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