Friend vs. Acquaintance

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Difference between Friend and Acquaintance

A friend is someone you can rely on, someone you trust and are on good terms with. An acquaintance is someone with whom you share personal knowledge of, but are not on as close of terms as with a friend. To become acquainted with someone means you can recognize the person and more than likely know their name, but may not know any other personal information about them. A friend is a person you have feelings of affection toward and have spent enough time with to be trusted with personal information about them.


Work Relationships

A work friend on the other hand is someone you may have met at work, but you also share a personal relationship with him or her outside of work. Work friends are people that you work with and discuss work topics, but also share personal information with them. Work friends are also people that you hang out with outside of work and perhaps even have them over to your home.

A work acquaintance would be a person with whom you work with and have a relationship built strictly upon the confines of your job. There might be a few personal conversations you have with work acquaintances, but for the most part, you discuss work and other types of non-descript topics. Work acquaintances rarely engage in activities outside of work unless in a group situation.

Social Relationships

Friends that you have known for years, perhaps since grade school are tried and true people that you trust and have a very close connection with. Friends that you socialize with on a regular basis might seem like family, and holidays may even be spent in the company of such friends.

Acquaintances that you deal with in social situations are typically friends of your friends that you only know by virtue of that friendship. Social acquaintances might have a closer relationship with you than say, work acquaintances, but are still not as well-known or as personally attached to you as an actual friend.

Family Relationships

A family friend is someone you know because of a family member. Perhaps your significant other's best friend could fall into this category. A family friend is on a closer and more personal level than an acquaintance simply because this person spends so much individual time with you and your family.

A family acquaintance could be someone like an in-law that you are required to spend time with, but with whom you are not comfortable enough with to form a more affectionate bond.

Similarities and Differences

  • While there is a distinct difference between friends and acquaintances, a friendship can often develop on the basis of a simple acquaintanceship.
  • An acquaintance can become a friend over the course of time if certain factors are met and sustained.
  • Normally there are familiar interests and perhaps a common sense of humor that unites two people and forms the bonds of a friendship.
  • Mutual respect and trust are essential elements of a friendship, and the fact that they enjoy each other's company is important.
  • An acquaintance may be forever relegated to the relationship of acquaintance even if you sincerely like the person, but without a personal connection, nothing develops.
  • Facebook friends often include friends but may also include acquaintances.

Which do you have more of?
  • Friend
  • Acquaintance

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