By Kira M Newman, Greater Good Magazine, August 8, 2022
In the space between strangers and friends, there are acquaintances. They represent the gray zone of relationships: Does she want to get to know me better? Would I even enjoy spending more time with them? Without any effort, they can easily slide back into “people we used to know.” Or with a little effort, they could become real friends.
Can you know if an acquaintance is worth that effort? Two new studies suggest that when we think about whether to connect with acquaintances, our intuitions are often off. And because of that, we might be missing out on opportunities for happiness and deeper relationships.