General Question

The_Inquisitor's avatar

WHEN do YOU consider somebody your friend?

Asked by The_Inquisitor (3155points) October 24th, 2009

I asked a question already concerning this, but I guess I did not word it the right way and thus got answers that I did not expect.

WHEN do you consider somebody your friend? And when I say ‘friend’, I don’t mean somebody who has seen them in their worse and still stays back to help, nor am I asking who ‘true friends’ are at all.

Ex1) Somebody you talk to everyday in class about a lot of personal things.. Are they your friend, or just some random person to talk to in class and share stuff?

Ex2) Somebody you always talk to at work, also share personal stuff about life but don’t hang out out of work.

Ex3) Somebody you worked with on a group project and got in some good conversations about personal topics

Ex1,2 and 3, friend or acquaintance?!

From the above, sometimes people only think of the person they share things with to be a mere acquaintance, or somebody to talk to. When do you actually consider somebody your friend? And what if you’re unsure that they don’t consider you as a friend in return?

I don’t know if it’s just me who thinks this way, so I want to see other people’s point of views. Please leave your thoughts!

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23 Answers

Sarcasm's avatar

I wouldn’t call someone a friend until we’ve hung out [for purely social purposes; not school projects] a few times.

Typically though, if that person in question had a previous “role” in my life before becoming a friend, I would call them by that role instead of friend. Example being, my housemates. They’re awesome guys, fun to hang out with, but I won’t refer to them as friends, only housemates, because I lived with them before we had any kind of bond.

Samurai's avatar

I don’t consider people friends or not friends, just people I know or don’t who I could care less or more about. More like acquaintances. I might call someone a friend just to be kind though.

J0E's avatar

I call people I talk to daily friends but they aren’t an actual friend until I hang out with them outside of that setting.

jrpowell's avatar

It like asking when you are in love. It is fucking stupid to try to define it.

You just know. THERE ISN’T A METRIC.

Aethelwine's avatar

When I care about them.

milla101's avatar

A friend is a friend once they give you a million dollars.

DominicX's avatar

Friends are people whom I spend ample time with and whom I want to spend more time with. Friends are those whom I feel comfortable being myself around and those whom I feel like I can tell more to that I would to other people. Before that happens, I consider them to be just an acquaintance.

Your examples seem to me acquaintances on their way to becoming friends. You’re telling them personal things, but you don’t really hang out with them. That’s only half of the criteria for me.

nzigler's avatar

I knew someone who used to say, ‘A friend is someone you can call in the middle of the night when you need help burying a body’.

Turns out he was actually a pretty crummy friend.

Let me assert, a friend is someone you can go without seeing for a year or so, run into them and pick right back up as if really no time had passed at all.

DominicX's avatar


I always hated that stupid analogy; I’m not going to be a fucking accessory to murder.

milla101's avatar

Seriously though, @Sarcasm has nailed it.

gemiwing's avatar

Friend is someone I hang out with outside of those situations- just for fun. Plus, the info-sharing has to be two sided. If it’s just them spilling their guts, or just me, then it isn’t a friendship- that’s more like a therapist.

arnbev959's avatar

All three examples would be “friends” for me… but more likely those examples wouldn’t show up in my life.

I wouldn’t share personal things with mere acquaintances, so if I were doing so, the person would be considered a friend. I usually only talk about unimportant things with people at school or work, (unless, of course, they are a friend.)

Although I don’t have to hang out with someone outside of a place like school in order to consider them a friend, I can’t think of any examples from my life of people who I consider friends who I have never done anything with outside of school.

nzigler's avatar

@DominicX agreed. A good friend is one that doesn’t put you in that position.

Axemusica's avatar

Everyone’s my friend. unless they’re the douchebag that doesn’t know how to push the long pedal to the right when the light turns green.

nxknxk's avatar

Be friendly to many, make friends of few?
If I had to pick from your list I’d go with the first example as being nearest my personal conception of friendship; communication is important to me.
So is novelty, meaning a real friend is not going to agree with me on everything (my best friend was the first person to tell me I was wrong to believe a god exists). I should be learning from this person, and hopefully I should be teaching him something, too.
Which implies reciprocation and answers your last question. Especially in my earlier years of middle school and in my freshman year of college I made the mistake of investing too much, emotionally, in people who did not want to reciprocate the same kind of friendship. I find it hard to trust people now and some of my better friends, or people in whom I have more interest, are those I have met online. I don’t know whether that’s pathetic, but that’s the way it is.

wildpotato's avatar

When I look around and realize that all I’ve been doing for the past month or so has been hanging out with this one person or group of people, then I know that we’re friends.

nebule's avatar

I was about to write…when I can trust them to treat me with the respect I deserve…but that would seriously call into question some of my friendships and has now given me much food for thought… so that’s what I would like, but in reality it is probably more like…when they want to meet up again…hmmm

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I would consider all of your examples to be acquaintances.

mary84's avatar

Ex 1,2 & 3; all acquaintances. A friend to me is someone you make an effort to (and who makes an effort themselves) to hang out and keep in touch outside work/school etc. An acquaintance is someone you talk to & catch up with whenever you see them or bump into them randomly, but don’t make an effort to actively keep in touch with and/or arrange to meet up&hang out outside work etc. When both you and the other person actively makes an effort to meet up (not just once, at least two or three times) I’d call them a friend.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

Friends are the people you turn to when your family is of no help

The_Inquisitor's avatar

I see, I’ve read all of these comments and they really got me into thinking more on this topic, and it’s felt like I knew the answer, but just needed it to be said out loud. And I agree with those who said meeting up with them again more than once out of the situation in which they usually see each other or met. :P

tiffyandthewall's avatar

if i like them and they seem to be fond of me, and we talk pretty regularly, i consider the person a friend. maybe a casual friend, but a friend, sure.
it’s really up to you though. i don’t think there’s any official standards on that kinda thing.

irocktheworld's avatar

If they are nice to me and friendly.If we have the same things in common.If they are nice and caring.Ohh! And if they are funny maybe..:)

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