I have lots of friends. Hundreds if you count the collection I have accumulated on Facebook. But how many of them are real friends? And what exactly does it mean to have a “true” friend?
These are some of the questions a young Sydney woman was asking herself when she looked at the people around her. Mobinah Ahmad developed a “friendship and acquaintance theory” to help her identify who were her true friends and who were merely people she kind of knew.
Shockingly, she discovered she had many acquaintances but only one true friend.
So what made her arrive at that conclusion?
When developing her theory, Mobinah broke her relationships down into six categories and discovered there was only one person who truly fit the bill.
Here are the different categories of ‘friendship’ she identified, as reported by the ABC:
Someone you know by name only, and they know your name.
Acquaintance Level 1
Someone you know of through mutual friends/acquaintances. You may have met at a social event, and run into each other every now and then. You have “convenient interactions”, which are not planned.
Acquaintance Level 2
You have known each other for a while, possibly worked together or raised children alongside one another. You usually meet up in groups, rarely one-on-one. If this person needed help, you would actively help them as much as you could. However, you can only really talk to this person one-on-one for 20 minutes, any longer than that is a chore.
Acquaintance Level 3
You have a significant connection with this person and care about them. You have some meaningful conversations. You don’t see each other very often, however, just occasionally, and meetings are planned.
This is someone you wish you were friends with (as defined below); you would like to spend more time with them to develop a proper friendship.
You and your friend love each other mutually and you care immensely about every aspect of their life, including their relationships. You care about their opinions, thoughts, fears and ideas, and can easily share your own thoughts and opinions. This person will notice when you are upset without being told.
You share mutual respect and admiration, and see/talk to each other regularly. You can initiate a meaningful conversation with them at any time. Both of you are committed to working on the friendship to keep it going.
Do you agree with the definition of a friend here? How many true friends do you have? Give them a shoutout here!