The word ‘acquaintance’ is not strange. But like most people, I knew the word ‘friend’ first. So, just for clarity, let’s define them.
An acquaintance as defined by Lexico is "a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend". So, acquaintances come from different sources; a colleague at work, from church or mosque, a friendly neighbour, or picture someone who lives on the same street with you and maybe boards the same public transport as you.
Now, let's delve into friends. This is easy being the opposite of an acquaintance. Lexico defined it as "a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations ". I mean this is someone we know and whom we maybe share life secrets.
So, here is the real gist. Way back in secondary school, people would assume who my friends were based on the people that are always around me. I would always get weird reactions every time I disagreed and say someone was not my friend. I understood them though. You see, I'm an extrovert; the jovial, happy go lucky kid with lots of 'friends' and that was all they saw, but for me and for almost two decades, I had my definition of friendship. To me, my friend is one who knows me on so many levels, one I could count on and most importantly trust. But most of the 'friends' around me then were those I knew so well but who knew so little about me. So, they were not really my friends, I decided. And as soon as I learnt the word, 'acquaintance', I knew that was the category most of them fit.
However, in the past year, I have learnt better. Now, I know that my definition of friendship was not perfect at all. Friendship has to be mutual, intentional and it must have a positive influence. Acquaintances are important as well; for companionship, for networking and sometimes, positive influence too.
So, I’m challenging you to redefine your relationships, decide who is best as a friend and who is best as an acquaintance, and draw a line. Believe me, it's necessary to have both, but it's absolutely important to have a well-defined 'inner' circle.
P.S: Love and Light Always