Ever since I was a child, my grandfather raised me to recognize and
appreciate various kinds of friends. There are three different kinds of friends
in this life. I classify them according to how well I know them and how well
they know me. We encounter each of them everyday, whether in school, home, or at
the gym. However, we rarely spend much time actually thinking about and
classifying these people. First, there are the "pest friends"- general
acquaintances. Next, there are "guest friends"- social partners.
Lastly, we have "best friends"- our true friends.

The first type of friend is simply an acquaintance. This means that you
basically only know their name. You might not even remember what they look like
if you go away for a short vacation. Usually, you meet these types of friends in
school, at work, on the bus, in the gym, or anywhere else you might be. You
normally would not mind having a cup of coffee with them, but if anything else
came up, you usually would have no problem parting company. You normally don\'t
miss them when they are elsewhere. It is also this type of friends who give you
the most amount of aggravation. Since most of the time you are placed in a
position where you have to act friendly, such as school or work, you would not
normally tell an acquaintance when he or she is doing something aggravating,
such as tapping the fingers an a table or chewing gum loudly. This is why I call
them "pest friends."

The second category of friends I call "social partners." This is
because they are closer than acquaintances, but no where near as close as a true
friend. Social partners are usually acquaintances who evolve into "guest
friends" through increased extracurricular activities. You know their name,
a little of what they like or dislike, a little of their family history, and
usually have several things in common. As the saying goes, "Birds of a
feather flock together," so too the social partners have to have several
things in common with you. No one is going to want to spend any more time than
necessary with somebody completely opposite and aggravating to him. Keep in
mind, though, that the biggest thing that distinguishes a "best
friend" from a "guest friend" is the fact that "guess
friends" usually don\'t converse about anything substantial or deep, such as
their innermost desires and fears. Usually, "guest friends" toy to
keep the topic of conversation happy and light. They would not open up to you
how they are really feeling. They are still preoccupied with "saving
face." You still do enjoy hanging out with them. But when the going gets
tough, they are not there for you.

The last type of friend is the "best friend." Normally, you know
them the longest. You probably grew up together as children. He or she knows
everything about you. Likewise, you know everything about him or her. They are
basically like family. You would have no problem if they spent the night at your
house. You know each other\'s quirks and habits and can always tell when there is
something wrong. You would not hesitate to share your deepest feelings or
thoughts with them. "A true friend will see you through when others see
that you are through." A true friend has no problem correcting you when you
are wrong, or being stern with you when you are out of line. Likewise, a true
friend will love you like a member of his own family. He will always be there
for you. They are not perfect, but at least they will always look out for you
and never do anything intentionally to hurt you.

On a final note, I would like to take some time to say that we should always
remember keep in mind what kind of a friend we are to other people. Pest, guest,
and best friends surround us all. We should always strive to be the best friends
that we can be. Also, as the saying goes, " You can\'t use your friends and
have them too." We should appreciate and value all friendships that come
into our lives, no matter how deep or superficial. We should always remember
that all best friends started out as just acquaintances.

Category: Social Issues