Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you prefer to have a few very close friends or many acquaintances?

There’s no right or wrong, but many people prefer to have a few close friends!

Some good friends are great, but it’s also great to have more meaningful relationships.

We’re going to show you the wonderful ways that a casual friendship can help you in your life.

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Knowing People Can Help

There’s a NY Times article about the benefits of knowing a lot of different people, and we’ll focus on that today.

The article is called “Why You Need a Network of Low-Stakes, Casual Friendships” by Allie Volpe- May 6, 2019

This article discusses how important it is to have casual friendships. They use the term “weak ties.”

This article brings about a lot of different ideas about friendships, particularly casual ones.

There is great merit to them, and so you want to keep the following ideas in mind.

The Benefits To These More Casual Friendships

There are so many wonderful ways that these relationships can help your life.

Though the deeper and more meaningful friendships are wonderful, these more casual ones have many different benefits to them too.

  • You feel like you are a part of something: It helps to remind you that you’re not alone. You can have relationships with people based on different interests. Also, it’s harder to make close friends as you get older. Therefore these more casual friendships become important as you have less opportunities to make new friends. These casual friendships may help you through various times of your life too.
  • Time matters with these relationships: The article says that if you spend 30 hours with someone, it is considered a “casual friendship.” The article talks about how even being with your hair stylist can add meaning if you see him or her enough times. Basically, you grow your social circle which can help you have an open mind, learn more, network for things like jobs. So while these are more casual types of relationships, they serve a very distinct purpose in your life.
  •  Personal and professional may come together: The idea is that the personal and professional may sometimes come together. The article talks a lot about job hunting and how these networks can help you when you need to find one. So these casual relationships may evolve into something that can help you professionally.
  • You can become more empathetic: You might not realize it, but you can actually learn more about others in these relationships. This helps to make your own life more interesting and also teaches you how to help others in the process.

There are many benefits to having these casual friendships, and these are just a few of the important ones.

So How Do You Make These Relationships?

The article also talks about HOW you can do this, and that’s important to know too.

It’s about what you get out of these relationships, but also how you go about doing it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in trying to build these friendships.

  • Aim to speak to a new person every single week: This gives you the opportunity to be in front of new potential friends. It also takes you outside of your comfort zone a bit too.
  • Be more positive about these interactions: These can be quite enjoyable so don’t be irritated if somebody tries to talk to you. Don’t let these experiences be negative, let them be something positive that benefits you. It’s all about your mindset and approach!
  • Learn by watching others: If you have a very social friend, watch to see how they do it. See how they act and interact with other people. Notice the way that they treat new people. You can get some really helpful lessons out of watching this interaction.
  • Try to shift the conversations from basic ones to deeper: This helps you with creating and maintaining better conversations. It also helps you to turn an acquaintance into a more meaningful friend. You will see how this benefits you and allows you to make connections.

If you keep these tips in mind, it will help you to build more meaningful relationships.

This all helps you with making connections that last too.

How Do You Talk About Them in English?

When it comes to more casual friendships, you may feel unsure of how to talk about them in English.

Yes they are your friends, but they are not on the same level as those you have known for a long time.

Here are a couple ways to talk about these more casual friendships:

  • Acquaintances: L: How do you know her? M: Oh we met at the party, she’s an acquaintance of mine.
  • Friend of a friend: L: How do you know Billy? M: I don’t know him well. He’s a friend of a friend
  • Someone I know from…..: L: Do you know anyone who does hair? I’m looking for a stylist. M: I don’t have anyone I have tried who I can recommend but someone I know from work is a stylist on the weekends. Want me to get you her number? L: Sure!


Don’t brush off possible casual friendships, because there are so many benefits to them.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have your close friends, but making new friends is great too.

You want to be sure to always talk to new people and try to build new relationships because this is a great part of making connections.

It never hurts to have many people you are connected to and a nice support network.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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