We acknowledge and often talk about the importance of friendship. As humans, we need some degree of love and comfort in order to enjoy a fulfilling life. Friends are a core component of that; they will be there for you when you need them the most. They will be there to celebrate your success and will be there to console you during your dark times. They are the ones you can feel vulnerable around and share your secrets. They always look out for your best interest. They hold you accountable and make sure you are always the best version of yourself. They have the ability to motivate and inspire you reach your goals.
But sometimes we run into people who have the appearance of being your friend. They smile all the time, they joke and laugh with you, only when it is convenient. But when things are not going well and they are getting what they want, they disappear. You cannot be vulnerable with them; you always have to put on a mask to hide your true self whether it is online or in real life. You have no interest in socializing with them on your free time. They do not look out for your best interest they only look out for themselves. They often try to manipulate you for their own selfish goals. You have a tendency to compete with them on everything. They have the ability to make you feel worthless and anxious.
Those are not your friends. Those are your acquaintances.
It isn't easy being able to tell the difference between a real friend and an acquaintance. Especially at first glance.
As for me, whenever I was going through a rough patch, I would feel vulnerable and reach to anyone who was willing to listen. Many times I ran into the bad crowd; the ones who had nothing going on in their lives and wanted someone to join them in their misery. Instead of helping me up back on my feet, they wanted to pull me down to their level. After being disappointed so many times, I eventually wised up and started to be more choosy about my company. Experience has been a great teacher.
I feel that I needed to type this because with mental illness on the rise, people need to be able to distinguish between friends and acquaintances in order to protect their mental well being. More often than not, the typical guy/girl has hundreds of acquaintances and a handful of friends. They do not have energy and resources to appease both their acquaintances and friends and only one is going to reward you for your efforts. The thing is that acquaintances come and go as they please and when they leave, nothing of significant value was lost. Friends are the ones that you want to invest your time with for the aforementioned reasons.
We don't live forever, so make the most out of your time by spending it with the people who care.
Thanks for reading!