How to keep up with acquaintances
Growing up, the connections you make are important so that they can be of help later in life. Making connections or acquaintances isn't that difficult these days, what with Facebook and LinkedIn. Where most people fail is maintaining said network.
You see, just because you know people, doesn't mean they are your "friends". You can't expect them to always have your back, especially when you haven't spoken in a long time. But in order to form an acquaintance that might benefit both parties down the line, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Firstly, don't make a habit out of asking for people's help. If you repeatedly ask help from the same person every few days, it sends out a message that you are taking advantage of them, and nobody wants to feel that way. There are high chances that they'll start avoiding you, and even badmouth you to others, thus bringing down your reputation.
It is of utmost importance to stay in touch with your acquaintances. That is because we all know people who don't contact us at all or acknowledge our existence throughout the year, but when they need some help, they don't hesitate to ask us point blank. Some of them attempt to soften the blow by feigning interest in our whereabouts before asking for a favour, but it's so evident that they don't care that it stings even more. For instance, I personally dislike people who don't contact me ever but pop out of the blue to ask for my help in getting an article published in SHOUT. Don't be these people.
No, you don't have to call your acquaintances or chat with them every day. All you need to do is keep track of them, and like or comment on their Facebook posts every now and then. Maybe share a link or an article with them that might interest them with a simple message, such as, "This reminded me of you." That way, they won't feel that you only seek them when in need. It feels good to be remembered even when not needed.
Subsequently, when someone asks you for help, try to help them to the best of your capacity. Even if it is someone you aren't particularly fond of, an act of kindness can go a long way. In case you aren't able to aid them, refer them to someone else who might be able to. The benefit of introducing people with similar interests is that they are quite likely to return the favour. That is how your network can grow.
Lastly, don't forget to utter the magic words "thank you" when an acquaintance has done you a favour. That's the least you can do to express your gratitude to someone. Add that you owe them one so that they know you really meant it when you thanked them and of course, when they are in need, extend a friendly hand.
On the other hand, if someone you helped in the past is not willing to help you when you are in need, there are two things you can do: either be the bigger person and forget the issue, or start avoiding the person because you don't need them in your life. Either way, don't be like this person.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with people who aren't quite friends can be challenging. Follow the suggestions stated above and you'll be better off at this difficult task, at least for the time being.
Arman R. Khan is an engineer, a caffeine addict, a dreamer and a culture enthusiast who takes life one day at a time. Correspond with him at fb.com/arman.r.khan or [email protected]