We all have friends, I hope, but did you realize that they are grouped into categories by who they are and what their relationship is to you? Many of these friendships have been cultivated over time – neighbors, grade school classmates or relatives, some connected with you through work and work events, and some from happenstance meet-ups. You then determine the level or category you put them in by building your relationship with them.

An acquaintance is someone you can run into at an event, you know their name and enough to ask what and how they are doing. You can maintain a conversation with them on a business or general level. This might be your bank teller or your grocery clerk.

Your casual friends have interests and activities in common with you. You can chat about your favorite subjects, your kids and work, in a general way. You might have casual friends for a lifetime and keep them in this category. Soccer moms would be a good example of this category.

Your close friends have basic life issues in common with yours. You can depend on these friends to help you move or get a ride when your car breaks down. You can talk about everything and anything with them, and feel comfortable knowing they have your back.

The last category is your intimate friends. Typically no one has more than 6 intimate friends in a lifetime. You share your deepest feelings and secrets with these people. They will be by your side at a moment’s notice during a crisis. They don’t judge you, they don’t question you, but are truly concerned for you, as you are for them. You have total acceptance and unconditional love in this friend.

“Only a true friend would be that truly honest.”
— Shrek