Levels of Friendship

by Nina

From The Daily Post:  How many friends can a person have? How many good or close friends do you think a person can have?  What happens if they try to maintain more than that? Is there a fixed number, or are there things a person can do to be connected to more people?  What about social networks like Facebook and Twitter?

I think that the number of close friendships a person can have depends on the person and how they define friendships.  Some people are able to maintain large circles of friends and some aren’t.  I’m not the type of person that can maintain a large group of friends.  I think my quiet nature and the fact that I like to spend a lot of time alone prohibits me from having a large circle of friends and I’m fine with that.  I’m happy with the intimacy that comes from only knowing a small group of people.  When it comes to how close I may be to someone, there are “levels of closeness” that I would use to describe my relationships with others.

The people who I am closest to are the people who are a part of my inner circle and they include my immediate family and my two best friends.  These people are the closest relationships that I have and the ones that I value the most.  When it comes to my two best friends, I’m extremely lucky to have these two people in my life.  We’ve known each other since childhood and there is a level of comfort and understanding that I have with them that I don’t have with any of my other friends.  There is a bond that goes beyond words and I don’t have to explain myself to them and they don’t have to explain themselves to me.  We just know.

The second level of closeness would be my friends.  I probably have about 25 – 30 people who I consider my friends.  My relationship with each friend is different and there are some friends that I’m more closer to than others.  An interesting fact is that besides my two best friends, I really don’t have many friends from my childhood.  The majority of my friends are people who I met in college and after college.

The next level is acquaintances.  These are people who I’m friendly towards or that I see on a daily basis but I’m not close to nor do I consider them friends.  As a rule, the people I work with are acquaintances.  I’ve learned the hard way that “work friendships” aren’t always a good idea.

The final level would be strangers and these are people who I have no relationship with at all.  That doesn’t mean that a stranger can never become an acquaintance or a friend.  One of the best things in life is meeting someone you don’t know and possibly building a friendship with that person.

When it comes to social networks, I only use Facebook for friends and family.  All of the people who are my friends on Facebook are people who I know and that I talk to.  As you can imagine, I have a very low number of Facebook friends.  with Twitter, I’m more open about who I follow and who follows me.  I mostly use it to let others know when I’ve posted something to my blogs.

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