People who have many acquaintances but few close friends usually have these 7 traits

I can count on one hand the people in this world that I feel really close to. The ones I can share my deepest thoughts with, and who accept me for who I am.

I think it’s normal to have only a select number of close friendships. But some people have countless so-called “friends”.

In reality, they’re more like acquaintances, because the connection lacks any real depth.

It’s not a bad thing to know plenty of people. It can be a testament to strong social skills as we’re about to discover.

In certain circumstances though, it can be a red flag if pretty much everyone around you is just a casual connection.

People who have many acquaintances but few close friends often exhibit certain telltale traits.

Let’s take a look at what this reveals about them.

1) They’re social butterflies

These people are generally very comfortable in social situations.

They have to be.

Having extensive acquaintances means they’re probably able to strike up conversations with anyone, anywhere.

That’s an admirable quality.

As someone who finds small talk painful, I know what an asset it is to be able to feel confident casually chatting to new people.

That’s why people with lots of contacts clearly have a knack for social interaction.

Often, they can be the life of the party, captivating the attention of those around them.

This charm and social ease draws people towards them, leading to the creation of a wide network.

2) They’re probably extroverts who enjoy being around others

If you’re the type of person who knows everyone, chances are you’re an extrovert.

By their very nature, extroverts are more motivated to seek out external stimulation.

So they love engaging with others, and so generally seek people out. That’s certainly not to say that many extroverts don’t also cultivate close friendships.

But extroverts are more likely to have the emotional and mental bandwidth to juggle lots of people at once.

Introverts on the other hand have far fewer social connections and prefer to interact much less frequently.

That’s because the way they process information means they can often get overwhelmed having to keep tabs on too many people.

3) They’re always busy

If you’ve got a lot of acquaintances that you spend time with, chances are you have to spread yourself more thinly.

But sometimes our closer friendship network dwindles simply because life gets in the way. We grow up, form relationships, and perhaps have kids.

Real life is time-consuming.

When you are one busy bee, having some acquaintances you can call up casually from time to time can feel like the easy option.

It’s a low-commitment way of hanging out and having a social life.

That’s why people who only have time for acquaintances might be career-oriented or have various hobbies that occupy most of their time.

Their packed schedules make it difficult to maintain close relationships.

So they prefer the convenience of keeping things casual over the emotional investment required by anything more.

4) They may not feel comfortable being alone

In some respects, those who know lots of people can appear very confident in themselves.

They have no problem putting themselves out there and getting to know lots of people. 

But dig a little deeper and all may not be what it seems.

In some instances, the reason for their jam-packed contact book may well be because they hate the thought of being alone.

They always need someone to call up, chat with, or hang out with.

Of course, loneliness is something we all want to avoid, but not being able to enjoy your own company is something different.

5) They can be trying to fill a void

As we’ve just seen, often that void is a gap in their social life. But it can often be an internal void as well as an external one.

They may be looking to others for validation because without it they are unable to feel good about themselves. In this way, it could point to some low self-esteem.

They are seeking popularity, but in the process, they aim for quantity rather than quality.

It makes them feel good to have lots of followers on social media, even if they barely know them.

They are proud that they are on first-name terms with so many folks, even if the relationship doesn’t go very deep.

6) They don’t always open up enough and show people the real them

It’s not always intentional, but putting on a pretense can be a defense mechanism when vulnerability feels too scary.

We’re always told how we should simply be ourselves, but it’s not always easy to do.

It’s natural to fear the judgment of others. So we inadvertently wear masks to shield ourselves.

We want to show our best sides so that everyone will like us, but in the process, we can end up faking or being inauthentic.

When very few people see the real you, it’s harder to move past the acquaintance level and truly get to know someone.

There’s no getting around it, close friendships demand opening yourself up to intimacy.

7) They might struggle with true intimacy

Sometimes having loads of shallow relationships but very few close ones is born out of being an emotionally guarded person.

They keep their connections cordial and uncomplicated. Their conversations mostly revolve around general topics, avoiding personal or intimate discussions.

This helps them to keep others at a safe distance.

When you have a fear of intimacy, you’re often scared of being rejected or abandoned. And that can drive you to keep people at arm’s length.

That’s why someone may have a lot of acquaintances to avoid the risk of being hurt. It’s a defense mechanism that helps them maintain control over their social interactions.

They might have a hard time opening up to people, even those they really like and want to know better.

Keeping their cards close to their chest protects them, but it also prevents them from forming meaningful relationships.

Quality matters more than quantity

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a wide circle of acquaintances. As we’ve seen, it can happen for lots of reasons, some good and some bad.

For many people, knowing a lot of people offers them a sense of community and belonging.

But you will probably start to feel lonely and misunderstood when your only connections are superficial ones.

If you had a party, you may be able to fill a 100-person guestlist in a heartbeat.

But at the end of the day, what matters more is if you have just 1 person you can call when you are feeling down and out.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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