According to my dictionary, a friend is defined as a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard. Hmmm. So if you use this as a metric, how many friends would you say that you have? Dozens or a few? From my way of looking at this, I think most folks tend to refer to pretty much anyone they know as a friend. While I know many people at my workplace and church and have been in and around them for years, I don't really consider them my friends. I should think that acquaintance is a much more appropriate term, but I feel this goes beyond mere semantics. I even suspect that some folks would be somewhat wounded by my characterization. But I mean no disrespect.
People who you work with are around you because of your job. While you might be friendly toward them, how many would you hang out with if you were to change employers? I tend to view friendship as more than just the causal "how ya doin'?" relationship with a co-worker or somebody that I chat with about current events in the lobby at church. To me, a friend is:
- someone that I interact with regularly on a very personal level.
- someone who knows me and my crap and accepts me.
- someone who enjoys my company.
- someone that I spend time with socially.