I think it would be interesting if we all gave what our definition of friend is. That is a huge variable in telling people how many friends you have.
For me, it's easy because I have 4 levels of classification - acquaintance, greater acquaintance, friend, and best friend.
An acquaintance is someone that I know, but they will really only talk to me out of necessity. They are the most numerous and are usually nice, but don't really care what happens to me.
a greater acquaintance is someone that doesn't talk to me simply because they have to. These people are much closer to friends, and a few of them know I am Aspergic. But they lack the care factor, and so wouldn't really help me if it required them to put forth more effort then they want. They are less numerous then acquaintance, but are more easy to remember.
A friend fulfills all the requirements of a greater acquaintance, but with the very important care factor. These are the people that would be willing to go out of their way to make sure I'm happy, even in times when I'm not useful to them. They also may talk to me on a more regular basis, but not always the case. Alot of teachers fall here, along with most family members and 2 students from my school.
A best friend is what it sounds like - the friends that display the best qualities and are the ones most willing to help me with my problems. The title is a bit misleading - it doesn't mean that I can't have more then one. Currently, I have 3 people that fall here.
So how do you guys view friendship and similar relationships?
Joined: 26 May 2009
You have some good points.
For me, I think stranger, acquaintance, friend, good friend.
We already know what a stranger is. To me, the difference between an acquaintance and the basic level of a friendship is both sides having an expectation that it'll continue. At the basic level of friendship, I think of someone that you do things with, talk with, and the expectation of continuity part. Think about this, if there's people in a class that you talk to on a regular basis, but when the semester ends you never talk to each other anymore, they were probably only acquaintances, because there was no expectation of a future/continuity. If there's someone that you talk to/hang out with sometimes in your area, but if you were to disappear off the face of the planet, they'd probably not try to get a hold of you and vice versa, that's probably not friendship. Those people are probably acquaintances. It would have to be a mutual expectation of continuity/future.
At a deeper level, I'd say a good friend is where on both sides there is trust, support, concern, respect, and loyalty.
I'm bad at friendship, but that's what I would think.
Of course some use "friend" to mean someone you're associated with, but as a non-context definition the above is what I think.
Joined: 3 Sep 2009
When I was younger I thought acquaintances were friends.......I didn't really have any "friends". Now I understand that most people who are polite are either strangers or acquaintances.
People who speak to me for no ulterior motive might be between acquaintance and potential friend.
People who reciprocate contact are likely to be "friends".
I'm not good at reciprocating contact.........if someone gives me their phone number, then I give mine..... usually that is as far as it goes as I'm too apprehensive to be the first to call.
If there is a reciprocal communication flow between myself and an other then I view that person as a friend.
If there is the above situation plus caring about eachothers wellbeing then that is a good friendship
I treasure a good friendship very much.
I haven't had much success in friendship from people who are not a bit unusual.
Earlier this year I was in a bad way because I'd been seriously betrayed be someone I thought was a good friend. I found a book
"When Friendship Hurts....how to deal with friends who betray, abandon or wound you". By Jan Yager ...Finch Publishing Sydney Australia 2008
Extremely Helpful in understanding friendships and how to tell if a person is a real friend.A very practical book.
Joined: 8 Jan 2008
Location: Honolulu HI/ Los Angeles CA
I think your right in terms of the technical definition of a friend. A lot of NTs use friend very loosely which often incompasses good acquaintances as well. My guess: since many NTs social network more naturally, they dont think too carefully at the definition of a friend. I know this girl who in looser terms is a "friend". I asked her about her if she had any friends outside of this particular club and she said yes but she dosent know there numbers or know them that well. Those were not technically her friends, more like acquintances. I heard that most people dont have a lot of "real" friends. So whether your aspie or NT, real friends are few and much less common.
That's what kind of got me to ask this question. Compare the current responses to the ones I got from NT's a good while ago.
Each ---- block is a seperate person.
What is a friend?
Is there a difference between an aquantince and a friend? If so, what's the difference?
A friend is someone whom you trust, at the very least anyways. I consider friends whom you can go to in times of need that wont hesistate to help. But thats what i think, people may disagree but hey thats their issue, not mine!
I consider an acquantaince one that you talk to, but thats it. Its similar to a business relationship. They are just people that you talk to
Friends can be many things I think. Like you; I consider you a friend but i never met you though. Or you have friends that always there for you and help you out when you're in need. I think a friend is someone you can trust with out worrying, and like when they come over or when you guys hang out.
There is a difference. An aquantince is someone you see here and there once in a while, and friends are people you known and hang out with and trust. I don't know; would u ask an aquantince to do some things you and your friends do? And if you do, then thats progressing in making an aquantince to a friend i think.
Someone that helps you when you need it. someone you hang out with, talk to, and who doesn't betray you.
Yes. Aquantaince is like you were friends in 4th grade, then went to diff middle school, and drifted apart, then your not really friends or something like that. also another instance: maybe like you talked sometimes in school, do projects toegther, or work together in groups in general.Or friends you only talked to or did school related things.
I'd say that depends on the person you're talking to. I'd say a friend is someone who you have good feelings for, and have those feelings in return. You or they may wonder or question why youre even together, but since youre happy together, it doesnt matter. Generally, if both people make each other happy, and there are no strings attached with consistent meetings between the two people, they are friends in my eyes.
Usually the bond between acquantainces are weak, and meetings between the two are short and infrequent, sometimes there is usually a reason beneficial to the approacher when a meeting is established.
A friend is someone who is willing to be with you through the thick and thin, someone who you are comfortable with, someone who you want to share things with.
Of course, a friend is closer to you, an acquaintance is just someone whom you work with. Again, you can share things with your friends, you know them well, and their presence makes you feel "safe" in a sense and comfortable. An acquaintance, on the other hand is someone who is "just there".
Someone I can trust and enjoy being around. Someone I can laugh with and would be okay sharing myself with.
Yes, an aquantince to me is someone I don't seek out as much as a friend. You are on friendly terms with an aquantince but not as close emtionally as a friend.
A friend is someone you enjoy to interact with on a regular basis.. who has common interests and hobbies as yourself.
acquaintances, you just know them, see them in the hall once in a while, say hi because you have to. you interact with friends way more.
I don't "DEFINE" a friend, but usually its just someone I can talk to, hang around with, have some commonalities, etc.
Yes. An acquantince is someone that like you know of and can hang around with and even talk, but its not someone you talk/hang out with on a daily or frequent basis.
a friend is someone you are comfortable around, someone who you have a level of trust with. not an acquantince. Like "class friends," people you just talk to bc they sit at your table, those are more acquantinces. you wouldnt ask them for advice, or tell them anything really personal
hm, someone you can trust and rely on. because merely KNOWING them, and just randomly talking to them in the hallway isn't really friendship. it's more like being acquaintances
an aqcuaintance is someone who, through time and/or certain events can become a friend, someone you see every day but only talk to about school stuff, like what's on today's homework, etc, and nothing more is just an aqcuaintance. a friend, on the other hand, goes a bit closer to trust.
someone who you're clsoe to, that you can trust,someone you can relate to
an aquaintance is someone you know but you aren't that close to, versus a friend that you are
someone you can trust no matter what
an acquantince is someone that you just prolly say hi to in the hallways and nothing more, but a friend is someone that you hang out with, text, call, basically talk to about anything
While the definitions of NT depend on the amount of times they talk to each other, be around, commonalities, and trust - ours seem to go far more trust and mutual care for each other then any other aspect.
Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Location: Brooklyn NY
So, I define a friendship as follows:
Definition: A friendship is defined as the mutual sharing of common experiences.
The key word there is mutual. To an extent this is about reciprocal behavior, but it is moreso about mutual interest. Person A is equally interested by person B as B is to A. They both want to be together, they both accept the good and the crap of each other, and even the boring becomes an experience when together. Furthermore, I'd actually be comfortable asking a friend to do something, because the risk is balanced by my knowledge that there's a high probability that [s]he would want to do it with me.
We'll call someone an acquaintance if we hang out, but there is no sharing of experiences, or that which exists is not mutual. An acquaintance might hang out with me if there's nobody else left, or they might hang out with me rarely, or there simply are just more interesting people whom the person would rather share common experiences with.
Purely in the friendship category, I define two types of friendships, microscopic and macroscopic. Let's start with macroscopic. Macroscopic friends are those that have several friends and acquaintances in common, AND (this is "logical and" here, so both conditions must be true) we tend to do things as part of a group. Strictly speaking, we're more likely in a group sharing common experiences and hanging out with the entire group than we are hanging out outside the group setting. Microscopic friendships, on the other hand, are just you and the other friend. You may know people in common (and if you don't and if it's a friendship, you always will. Friends like to introduce friends to other friends.) but you rarely, if ever, hang out with them.
It's important to differentiate between the two because I have found that how you reciprocate with macroscopic and microscopic friends is different. As well, macroscopic friendships tend to be far more stable because your experiences are shared among a bunch of people, so there's essentially a big net of experience holding you in. On the other hand, it's not uncommon for microscopic friendships to burst and explode - the experiences are only between you and him/her, so there is no support network holding you together.
It happens that in American society, it's near-impossible for microscopic friendships to exist between the sexes. The stereotypical case is that the girl is into him as a friend, but he sees something more - but even if this is proven to be a cliche (and I state that I cannot do so, this actually seems plausible) the fact that culture expects male/female pairs to be couples (and I can attest to this one) creates a sort of centrifugal force. If suddenly, a microscopic inter-sex friendship starts, I would start looking for the tell-tale clues that it could evolve into a relationship (this I will not define, as I am not certain how, plus it is beyond the scope of the question); however, I find this to be difficult, even.
I've been refining this for almost a year now, and I am certain that more is to come in the next year of social experience.
Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Location: Sarver, PA
Joined: 6 Apr 2007
Where do I start? there are many more "classifications" that you think, quite specific too. That was a hard lesson to learn, but I use it to my advantage now. Really the only friends that you have to go that extra mile for are good friends. Also there is a wrong assumption that you automatically need know whether somebody is a friend or not. When in reality it can take months or years. Personally I treat my martial arts training buddies as exactly that, if someone suggest going for a drink afterward I decline because I don’t want to elevate to drinking buddies.
Joined: 3 Sep 2009
Joined: 16 Sep 2009
acquaintance- someone i may talk to once a week or so. or may sit next to in class and occasionally shoot the breeze or joke with. i wouldnt really hang out with an acquaintance, they dont know much about me, and i dont trust them unless with simple things like remembering to bring back a book i let them borrow or something.
friend- we may get together outside of school. they know things about me, some deeper things, depending on how many of my other friends they know (the more the less info they get). we talk on a regular basis.
good friend- they know a few secrets, can be trusted with some things. we talk almost every day, get together outside of school, and joke pretty freely.
best friend- amazing person. i can tell them anything. we trust each other a lot, and talk whenever possible. they can te know virtually all my secrets and i can trust them with family/crush/friend/personal issues. they trust me the same way.
i am so blessed to have a couple of those.
Joined: 8 Jan 2008
Location: Honolulu HI/ Los Angeles CA
Ok I've come back to this thread a year later. I dont feel like I want to be so concerned about the definition of what a friend is. Because I used to overthink this way to much which would restict my interactions with people because their not friends. I tried so hard to catagorize everyone. Its not good. I used to do this so I could accurately gauge how to act around them and how often I could approach them. Now...I think I have a good enough gauge how to act around people I know whether friends or not. I know to not be afraid to go up to certain people. Though it does help to know who your friends are so you know who to call up and invite to things. I realized I was way to concerned with this and overjudging my relationship with people. I used to do that all the time in highschool. Now days I probably underestimate my relations with people too often as of staying on the safe side. Being overly concerned about this definition just kept me from establishing certain connections that I could have in the past.
Joined: 28 Nov 2010
Location: Planet Earth
1.a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2.a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
3.a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
4.a member of the same nation, party, etc.
5.( initial capital letter ) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.
–verb (used with object)
6.Rare . to befriend.
7.make friends with, to enter into friendly relations with; become a friend to.
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