Friends are the people that will be with you every step of the way. They will be there for the good and bad times and will bring joy to your life. Acquaintances are other people in your life. They are people you only have small talk with and who are “just there” in your life. One thing I have learned through finishing high school and nearing the end of the college, is that only my true friends are the ones I still see today and will continue to see the rest of my life. Of the rest of the people, the overwhelming majority have vanished. The reason for this is because my friends and I have happily put forth effort to keep seeing each other and blocking out time to spend together. Acquaintances don’t make the extra effort to fit you in in their life and you probably don’t either. So, spending your time effectively with others comes down to evaluating the people in your life and realizing who is going to be there years from now. Whoever will be there down the road is who you should spend your time with and prioritize.

Acquaintances come in many shapes and forms. They can be classmates, coworkers, neighbors, teammates, fellow club members, or whatever it is you do that causes you to be around them. True friendships are neglected when one side chooses to continually prioritize these acquaintances over their friends. The thing to remember is that acquaintances tend to disappear once a certain phase ends in your life, but friends do not. True friends will be there when you need them, they will be there when things turn south, and they will be the people at your wedding. If you are ever in doubt of a person you know will be in your life in the future, ask yourself, “Would I invite them to my wedding?” If the answer is a definite no, then realize that you have more important relationships to prioritize. The acquaintances won’t be there when you are in need, only your friends will.

I know if I was given a week to live, I would only be spending it with my family and closest friends. I wouldn’t call up the popular kids or people that could enhance my social status. When you realize you only have time for the important things, you realize those acquaintances don’t bring any true happiness or fulfilment into your life. I would call up the people that are my best friends who bring joy to me. The key is to live this way always. Always make your friends and family the priority and the acquaintances secondary. Most encounters with acquaintances are filler in your life. That time is not remembered or cherished, it is just time spent. Time spent without reason is lost time. So, if given the opportunity between spending quality time with friends or acquaintances that might enhance your life in a non-wholesome way, choose the friends. Acquaintances come and go, friends don’t.

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
― Oprah Winfrey

The acquaintances will use you for what they can get from you. The lifelong friends will be there to help when you move out and when the girlfriend/boyfriend dumps you.

Activity

Think about the people in your life who you call your friends. Whoever has or who you know would be there when you need them most are your real friends. Reach out to them and come up with a plan to spend time with them. You’ll be happy you did.

 

 

Exercise 6

 

Who do I spend time with?

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______________________________________________

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Who are my real friends?

______________________________

______________________________

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______________________________

______________________________

______________________________

 

Action Plan (How can I spend more time with my real friends?):

________________________________________________

________________________________________________

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