The Death of Acquaintance.
I’m not talking about someone distant from you dying (that would be “the death of AN acquaintance”). I’m talking about letting go of acquaintances that no longer serve your needs (for whatever reason), or those acquaintances that require more than their share of maintenance.
“Maintain” comes from the Latin “manu tenere” to “hold in the hand.” We’re not doing much hand-holding these days, are we? The main thing we’re trying to maintain these days is our sanity! And acquaintances don’t always help.
In some ways, it’s a relief to let our acquaintances atrophy. It simplifies life. Reduces stress. But, as our networks shrink, there is some potential collateral damage.
If you’re looking for a job or career change, there’s lots of evidence that weak ties have a bigger impact than strong ties with respect to getting linked with potential employers. So, even though you may not connect in person with acquaintances these days, don’t terminate your LinkedIn account.
Serendipity is less likely to occur on the habitual walk from your bedroom to your home office. It is often in the context of meeting new people in new places or running into someone you haven’t seen in a while that a new opportunity may arise. Go for safe walks in neighborhoods where you might magically run into just the right person who will “gift” you with a new idea.
A flourishing acquaintance can become a fast friend. Beware of starving your “friend funnel.” The next person you meet might end up in your life forever.
Of course, on the other hand, I’m loving more time to write and read, with less small talk, and a whole lot more siesta time.
What’s your relationship with your acquaintances these days, and are you happy with it?