Rethink It With Ben Friends or Acquaintances? You need to understand the difference

You have to know when to move on. You have to constantly check if what you’re currently doing will take you to where you want to go and make the necessary changes needed.

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Friends or Acquaintances? You need to understand the difference play

Friends or Acquaintances? You need to understand the difference

(MG Africa)
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What are friends for? Nothing but inconveniences”. This was the unofficial slogan of my 'squad' back then in my Unical days. Simple and silly but very true. Friends are a needful inconvenience, they ask for favours at the most inconvenient time and expect to have their desires met.

But isn't that what friendship is all about, asking for and receiving favours while having fun and comforting each other in between? The problem is lots of people mistake acquaintances for friends, so they feel abandoned when those acquaintances ‘desert’ them in their time of need.

Simply put friends just love each other. It's a sort of connection that transcends a lifetime. This bond can develop from the experiences you both shared or just happen.  You don't have to the same hobbies, see each other regularly or keep in touch.

A group of friends play (Jiji)


While an acquaintance is someone you achieve a particular goal with. Simple yet very confusing because you spend more time with acquaintances than with friends. They are your course mates, colleagues, church members, drinking buddies etc., so it’s quite easy to mistake them for friends.

For instance when I used to smoke that good ish, I made a lot of acquaintances I mistook for friends. People who always called me up to hangout suddenly stopped calling because I stopped getting high. We still hailed and were friendly when we bumped into each other but our mutual goal no longer existed so the relationship died naturally.

So if you are a stockbroker, you’re going to acquaint yourself with other stockbrokers. You’re going to hang out, party and invite each other to your children’s birthday parties. Now while one or two them may later become very good friends, they are basically acquaintances.

Acquaintances are important if you want to be successful in your chosen career. In fact one of the major reason people don't get to achieve their goals is the people they acquaint themselves with. If you want to be a successful blogger, you should not spend most of your time with aspiring medical doctors, even if your best friend is one of them.

You’ll end up wasting precious years of your life. If you want to excel in a particular profession, then you need to acquaint yourself with people in that profession. Like my brother told me years ago when he saw the wrong choices I was making “20 friends do not roll for 20 years.”

ALSO READ: Rethink it with Ben: The Nigerian Police is not a friend

When you stay stuck with a particular set of acquaintances you mistake for friends, for example the neighbourhood buddies you grew up with, you end up doing the same things you all have been doing for years. What happens is you get stuck in a particular phase of life you should have outgrown, it was good at a particular time but now it's gone from stale to putrid. In my case, we’ll get high in the morning, sleep it off at noon, repeat the process in the evening and chase some skirt in between.

You have to know when to move on. You have to constantly check if what you’re currently doing will take you to where you want to go and make the necessary changes needed. “Do not be afraid to change acquaintances as your priority change.”

Don't try to force them to come with you or wait for them to see things your way, simply move on. And also do not be offended if a friend or acquaintance stops hanging out or calling. They have the right to pursue their dreams, even if that dream might not include you.

Female friends play (Black Like Moi)

A friend always want what’s best for their friend. So if truly that person is your friend don't grumble, don't try to hold them back, allow them seek greener pastures even without you, encourage them to go after their dreams, to make the best of their life and be encouraged by their exploits rather than be dismayed by them.

While they do theirs do yours, because the truth of the matter is, you are each other’s connections. When you are rightly placed you can be of more value to your friend than when you’re broke and insignificant.

An acquaintance helps you succeed in whatever path you choose to follow while a friend comforts, supports, and backs you up when needed. Acquaintances come and go but friends are for a lifetime. Friends are borne of love, acquaintances are chosen, so choose wisely.

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