Someone you know socially or through the business world would be called an acquaintance if you don't know them well personally. A good way to determine if someone is a friend or an acquaintance is to ask yourself:
- Have I done things outside of work or school with this person?
- Do I know them on a more personal level than others?
- Have we bonded over an activity or circumstance?
- Would this person consider me a friend?
If you answered no, or are unsure of the answer, chances are the person is just an acquaintance.
An acquaintance can remain a personal or business contact for you or can become a friend at some point. It depends on the relationship and the people involved. You may have some acquaintances you see over and over throughout your life that you never really get to know. However, they are still good people to know because they can connect you to potential friends.
"Am I friends with Jill? No, she's just an acquaintance, although I'd like to get to know her better."