There are many different kinds of friendships and each person has his own way of classifying his friends. The groupings could depend on the level of closeness between the individual and the friend, the proximity of locations, or how often they see each other. I classify my friends depending on how I met them and who they become in my life.
I have my close friends. They are the ones I am in constant contact with, either at work or in school where I befriended them in the first place. I see them regularly thus further strengthening the bond between us. I go to them when I have problems and they also open up to me when they have problems of their own. We hang-out together and share stories and stuff.
There are the friends whom I have to be pleasant to out of necessity rather than sincerity. The friends of my parents and siblings belong to this group. The same goes to my classmates who are not close friends, co-workers, and neighbors. I am friendly with them because I see them often. I am connected to them because I live with family members who are their close friends. I share the same school, workplace and neighborhood with them. Most of the friendships I formed from this group have become real friendships although not with the degree of closeness as my best friends.
Finally, there is what I call the third-degree friends, the friends of friends. When I go to a party with a close friend, for example, he would introduce me to some of his own friends whom I might have never met before. I would be pleasant and exchange “How do you do’s” with them. Sometimes, I would move on after the initial greeting. At other times, I would engage them in conversation, but limiting the topic to general things like their health and the weather.
These classifications I have identified above are not definite. Sometimes very good friends move and drift away and we lose the closeness forged in old times. Meanwhile, the third-degree friend could become a close friend later on. There are no permanent friends in terms of your closeness to them, but the fact is that, friends are important and good to have at all times in life.