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Why do some women have such a hard time making friends: Nature or nurture?

Many women write to me perplexed about why they can’t form close friendships. They try new approaches, put themselves in all the right places, see therapists, and read relevant self-help books. They consider themselves interesting, loyal, kind, and friend-worthy people. But for reasons unknown to them, they have a tough time forming the intimate relationships other women seem to have and that they covet for themselves. Many admit to not having even one close friend.

A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology offers some clues as to how both nature (personality) and nurture (experience) impact our friendships. Researchers at the University of Virginia and University of Toronto, Mississauga studied more than 7000 American adults between the ages of 20 and 75 over a period of ten years, looking at the number of times these adults moved during childhood. Their study, like prior ones, showed a link between “residential mobility” and adult well-being: The more times participants moved as children, the poorer the quality of their adult social relationships.

But digging deeper, the researchers found that personality—specifically being introverted or extroverted —could either intensify or buffer the effect of moving to a new town or neighborhood during childhood. The negative impact of more moves during childhood was far greater for introverts compared to extroverts.

“Moving a lot makes it difficult for people to maintain long-term close relationships,” stated Dr. Shigehiro Oishi, the first author of the study, in a press release from the American Psychological Association, “This might not be a serious problem for outgoing people who can make friends quickly and easily. Less outgoing people have a harder time making new friends.”

Families often have to relocate—across town, across the country, or across the globe. Yet, in many cases, their kids and young adolescents haven’t yet built up a bank of friendships or garnered sufficient experience at making new friends and at handling rejection. So the conventional wisdom is to try to minimize moves for the sake of your child, whenever possible, and to move at the end of the academic year. Additionally, parents are advised to monitor and, if necessary, help guide their children’s friendships during the first academic year after a move, which generally is the most difficult.

Moves during childhood affected adult friendships differently because of the unique interplay between nature (personality type, which is determined in part by genes) and nurture (in this case, the moves) for different individuals. That makes the answer to the question of why some women are more successful than others in making friends extremely complex. And this study raises the question of how many other factors come into play that we haven’t even yet considered.

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Category: MAKING FRIENDS

Comments (937)

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  1. Forever Young says:

    My problem is not making friends as I am a kind hearted, easy going, and down to earth person who loves people of all types. I do not discriminate anyone. And no, I am not a selfish person who loves to talk about themselves only. I do not befriend anyone just to use them either. I am a person who loves to enjoy good company. I would say, the only issue is that I hate drama and if I even sense drama I won’t even be a part of that. The article is very true. I moved around a lot over the years and left most of my friends behind although we contact each other through Facebook a lot. And now I made the BIGGEST move of my life in 2013 by moving from the USA to Canada when I got married to a Canadian citizen so there you go. Ladies, enjoy yourselves and the people you do have in your lives right now. Do not force friendships just let it happen naturally. Choose your friends carefully like you did your partner. Friendships are no different than our intimate relationships. Good luck to all of us in finding the right friendships.

  2. Olive says:

    We are in such polarized times where we have been raised, guided, or gotten the impression that we can only “run with our own”. It seems religion, financial status, political belief, as well as family loyalty have polarized American friendships. “If you aren’t just like me with the same everything, I am not supposed to socialize with you.” No one gets to know any one anymore. Instead they make snap judgements, based on very superficial information, and that’s it…you are in or out. I know I don’t make friends that easily as I am honest, and honest works in theory but now in friendships. To many people honesty is a loaded gun with the safety off! If this is how people make friendship decisions then they aren’t worth knowing due to their closed thinking. If you aren’t their kind of sheep, they aren’t interested. I want real people who show their cards.

  3. Wendee says:

    Hello everyone. I am so thankful that I found this blog, it is nice to know that I am not the only woman out there with the same problem. I found this while trying to search for information on how professional women can make friends in male dominated careers. Not quite the same topic, but much more enlightening.
    I turn 35 in a few days, I am married and have three children. I am also in the military. Like many of you, I do not have a lot of spare time, and this has been my excuse for not having a lot of friends. Being active duty, I move around a lot, which again doesn’t contribute to lasting relationships although I do use Facebook to keep in touch with old acquaintances and co-workers. Last of all, I work with mostly men, so I don’t meet a lot of women through work. This is actually a source of contention between my husband (also military) and myself. He makes friends everywhere, but he is into sports and works with all males. I try to make friends with my husband’s friend’s wives, but normally we can just chit chat about kids and never really have a strong connection.
    When I was single I used to have a lot more females friends, but I realize that we were more friends because we had a common goal: going out to meet guys.:-) Now that I am married and older, I don’t keep in touch with them that much plus I have moved a lot with my career.
    I would love to meet women whom I could do activities with like shopping, crafts, having coffee, going to see girly movies (my husband hates those), hiking etc. I am educated, have traveled many places, and overall think I am a very interesting person to talk to. My male co-workers think so as I don’t have a problem meeting males friends at work and feel that I am a well-respected member of my unit, but I never click with the wives of my male coworkers. I have tried play dates with my kids to meet their friends’ parents, but usually parents just drop their kids off and come back to pick them up. The other moms at my kids’ sporting events or birthday parties usually brush me off as well. I have given up with these kinds of things because I don’t have time between work and my children to chase around other people to be friends with. Sometimes it just seems easier and more enjoyable to sit by myself and read a book then try to make friends.
    I am introverted person myself and with three kids (ages 12, 5 & 1) I do enjoy any quiet moments to myself. But I feel sad at times that I don’t have another female friend that I can call when I want to chat and share things with. I don’t have another girlfriend to do girl things with, instead I have to go by myself. My husband is my BFF, but he is deployed right now and I deploy again shortly after he returns. Deployments are long, and it makes it hard to not have another connection with someone else while I am apart from my husband. I am envious of those women who make friends so easily with other females and I wish I knew what it was they did that I don’t. But thank you again for sharing your stories…it is very comforting to know that I am not the only one.

    • Suzie says:

      You sound like an ideal friend to have. :)

      I’ve never been in the military but can definitely relate to having difficulties with other moms. I have one child who is now 13, so I’ve met plenty of parents over the years who have ranged from flaky to borderline abusive. When my daughter was an infant, I had this warm and fuzzy fantasy of meeting some new moms with whom I had a lot in common: they were going to be around my age with one or more children around my daughter’s age, they would work outside the home like me so they could relate to a busy schedule, etc. It really never happened. More often than not, I’ve found that people who seem similar to me in terms of family and work are pretty different personality-wise. My closest friend is married, but not a mom. We met through our husbands, who used to be co-workers, and my daughter just loves her. It doesn’t matter that my friend doesn’t have a child for my daughter to play with- sometimes these “whole package” women really aren’t all that, know what I mean? In your case though, maybe there’s a way you could meet other military moms, especially those who deploy. I would google it for more info.

      (EDITED BY MODERATOR: A NUMBER OF POSTERS HAVE REPORTED BEING SPAMMED AFTER POSTING EMAIL ADDRESSES. TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS ON THE BLOG, JOIN THE FACEBOOK PAGE OF THE FRIENDSHIP BLOG CONNECTION)

      • Wendee says:

        Thank you Suzie! I used to think that when I had children I would be inducted into some secret society of women where I would always have plenty of girlfriends and women to talk to. I do admit, talking about your kids with a women you just met is the equivalent of a man talking about sports to another man he doesn’t know.  I have seen my husband do that plenty of times at my work functions.
        I tried googling information about women in the military connecting with other women and through my searches I came across this blog. I actually couldn’t find much on military women connecting with others. Mostly I came up with articles about jealousy and tension between the wives of servicemen and their female coworkers. I don’t like getting involved in that drama… I live off-base for a reason. 
        Deployments are a big issue. I just came back from a deployment a few months ago and I will be leaving again next year. It is so lonely. You are missing your family and kids, and then its even harder to make connections deployed when there are so few women and you have to be careful which ones you associate with.
        Thank you again for the reply. Your comment about similarity in terms of family but different personalities really stood out to me. I probably need to stop trying to look for “another me” in terms of friends.

        • JAM says:

          Awesome. I too was looking for close girl friendships and thought it would come into place after having children. I had to stop looking for another me as well and do my best to accept the ocean of uniqueness that each person is. However, I will say it is hard to have expectations in friendship, b/c many people are self centered and lie when it is convenient. So we do our best to find good friends and help our kids find good friends. It is very hard…we put it in God’s hands.

        • Suzie says:

          I tried to list my e-mail address earlier, but it didn’t take. Maybe it will this way: [[email protected]].

          Not to beat a dead horse (lol!), but I tell you: “non-mom” friends are the best! They don’t generally care if you breast-feed or bottle-feed, if you work or stay home, etc. I just find them (or at least *my* best friend) less judgemental and more easygoing. I’m the type of person that craves “easy breezy” and avoids drama like the plague.

          Good luck to you (Wendee) and to everyone else! :)

        • Suzie says:

          [EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED BY MODERATOR: Previous posters have complained of getting SPAM mail after leaving their email addresses. If you want to connect with someone via email, please sign up for The Friendship Blog Connection on Facebook: http://www.thefriendshipblog.com/something-new-check-out-friendship-blog-connection-facebook/ I tried leaving my e-mail address earlier- maybe it will take this time: .

          Good luck Wendee and everyone else! :)

    • MomOf3 says:

      I stumbled upon this post and it resonated with me so much, especially this:

      “I used to think that when I had children I would be inducted into some secret society of women where I would always have plenty of girlfriends and women to talk to.”

      I thought very much the same thing! Little did I know that being a mom would make me more isolated than ever, and many of the super-close longtime friendships I had always treasured would start fading away in the wake of our newly busy schedules.

      I too have plenty of friends/acquaintances, but no one with whom I have a really special connection. Working from home makes it even worse, because I don’t even have co-workers to mingle with. I am not military and can’t imagine the rigors of having your husband deployed, but my husband is not very social, which makes meeting people more difficult.

      Anyway, I know it’s not the same as having an in-person friend you can have coffee with, but if any of you ladies want to commiserate, feel free to email me at

      [EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED BY MODERATOR: Previous posters have complained of getting SPAM mail after leaving their email addresses. If you want to connect with someone via email, please sign up for The Friendship Blog Connection on Facebook: http://www.thefriendshipblog.com/something-new-check-out-friendship-blog-connection-facebook/ I tried leaving my e-mail address earlier- maybe it will take this time: .

      • StepMomof4 says:

        Hi Momof3-

        I can completely relate to you 100%. Although my kiddos are step-kids, they are still my kids! My husband and I are raising them as if they were “our” kids and he most always refers to them as our kids.

        Anyways, I thought when I became a mom that all of the sudden I would meet a whole bunch of moms and become best friends! That was me living in a bubble. That is so not the case. I also work from home 4 days a week and work in an office about 1 1/2 hour away from home 1 day a week. I get a little bit of socialization there, but the ladies who work there are a lot older and we just don’t have anything in common. I have tried to make friends but I live in the country and it is so hard meeting people.

        My husband is social but he doesn’t hang out with anyone from work really. We don’t go out with other couples or even hang out with other couples. I have tried to be-friend his co-workers wives but that just proved to be a disaster in all!

        Anyways, I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone and that there is someone out there who feels the same way you do.

  4. autumn says:

    Im 31 and still dont have friends. Ive had this issue my whole life. i grew up in a sheltered christian abusive divorced home. got kicked out at 15 for just standing up to my mother and moved in with my father who lived in the backyard of his parents in a tent. my sister and i moved in the back yard with our own tents. then we got kicked out of there reasons unknown and moved in with my dads friends. this kept going on with a few of friends as well as my own. but for the last ten years ive lived with my husband and the trend keeps going. everyone likes me at first and then they hate me. i have no clue as to why or how or what i did to cause such a drastic change. in a deaf community as well as a hearing community as i am deaf its all the same. the christian churches rejected me and all ive ever done was do everything to please people and be the best i can be. for me its sad and a mystery. i am lonley. my husband says i need to get out more. im poor and live in a second story duplex. i have three kids. i dont even have the fucking time to go out. lol im not a christian anymore for alot of reasons but one of em being christians have let me down as well. im trying to start new and fresh but the results are still the same. im trying to change for me now. for my kids. im a mess but now i accept thats okay. im also human and thats okay. mistakes happen and thats okay. maybe its my time to not have friends so i can work on myself. but sometimes i wonder if i will ever meet just one real friend..just one. im not greedy or wanting of much…says a poor wife and mom. lol but a simple thing as having a friend i can cry with, laugh with, be angry with, be happy with would be a blessing in the skies. i had one once but she even gave me a cold shoulder. no one ever tells me why they just do. i have a lot of questions and suspicions. maybe its just me. maybe im more damaged than i realized and this i have also understood. all i know is it would be nice to have someone who isnt a husband but just a reliable faithful loyal friend. i sound pathetic. but just like everyone there is always something they long for. i got a happy but challenging marriage, three healthy kids and a full life. now im ready to move and add other missing factors. all i can do is shrug my shoulders and get back to being mom and wife. and thats that.

  5. Kris says:

    Aside from a few life-long friends I don’t have many and honestly, I don’t have the desire to go out of my way to make new friendships. That may seem harsh but seriously, at this point in my life I don’t have time to spark up new relationships. I’m the type of person that has many people that I enjoy talking with and that I honestly like but I don’t consider them true friends. Perhaps they are “friends” but I would never call upon them if I was in a bind or needed someone to confide in. Being a wife, taking care of my children and our home consumes so much energy it’s almost impossible for me to form an attachment. The ones I do consider friends. however, are the most amazing people in the world and I know I can count on them always. I’m very grateful they’re in my life. I suppose I choose quality over quantity.

    • Wendee says:

      I agree that its between my family and work obligations there is isn’t much time left over for forming new attachments. I normally choose to spend my free time doing something with my husband and kids instead of trying to find new social connections. If I had life long friends that I could call up and talk to occasionally, I think that would be OK with me too. I don’t need friends either to help me out in tough times, I have a lots of family and we are all pretty close. I could rely on my in-laws as much as my own family.

      But sometimes you argue with your spouse, or have an issue with your kids that your husband just doesn’t understand, etc. It would be nice to have another female connection that I could share this with. I can do small talk with mediocre acquaintances all day long, but there really isn’t anyone whom I could call to share private details of my life.

  6. Ella says:

    Hi, I’m 23, I’ve always had a problem with keeping friendship. I usually make the first move or effort to go out go out or to meet up etc. It usually sounds like they are willing to meet up but then they never answer my texts or anything of some sort. So plans are kept on hold. The only person I have and has loved me through out is my boyfriend, he’s my bestest friend. . My family are distant, mostly mum she’s always wanted me to get everything right whether how I look, education, hygiene but she’s never there emotionally, so Yes I’m left with zero female friends. I have a degree in fashion and I love working hard. But unfortunately every time I meet nice ppl along the way, they always seem to slip away. It’s been like this for years almost like a pattern and till this day I dont to understand why it’s happening, sometimes I can’t even go out to enjoy the sunshine at the park just looking at my phone wondering why I haven’t recieved any texts or some sort.

    • Gia says:

      I can relate! The same thing happens here I am ready to go out have fun then boom nothing! I am like okay.. what is the deal. are you in Florida? cause I live in St Petersburg Florida.

  7. Cynthia says:

    I am 31 and I haven’t really had any close friends since I left high school.

    I have had alot of aquaintainces and well I never had problems getting boyfriends. I am actually married at the moment. But i often felt awkward about not really having much friends outside my boyfriend or husband. I felt like a freak. Because if I broke up with my boyfriend I would get really sad because I wouldn’t really have anyone to talk to about it.

    I just don’t know what to do.

    Everyone tells me they think I am a really nice person but somehow I just don’t have alot of friends.

    Yes I am down to earth and introverted but I can be chatty if I have to.

    I am married. I had to be outgoing to meat my husband.

    I just feel like people only want to be your friends if they can get something from you. I feel like there are very few people nowadays who value just meeting for a coffee or lunch . I feel like most people I have met they just want superficial relationships and I am not that kind of person so they find me boring. Everyone just seems to be looking for excitement and if you can’t give it to them they don’t want to be your friend.

    Also I am just not into facebook or any social media. I find it boring. Whereas I feel like alot of people my age think it is weird if you don’t want to broadcast your life on social media. I could really care less.

    I have always been accused of being too quiet. I still don’t know what that means. Why would you dislike someone because they are quiet.

    I even had a colleague once that told me she hates quiet not realising she was offending me when she said that ( it was my second day at work). That automatically made me feel like I could never be friends with her so I never bothered to make friends with her.

    I just feel like in order to have alot of friends you have to be something other that you are not. You have to be with it. Following what the mainstream is doing or what is cool or people label you as weird. You cannot really have a fixed set of standards you have to be very flexible and often compromise your values. That is not me. I don’t want to compromise values, especially my religious values. So often I find that asians make good friends because they society tends to based on very strong values stemming from religion. I am not asian but it is funny some of my best friends in life have been asian.

    One way I have proved this is because I am quiet I have often been ignored by people who consider themselves to be cool . However all of a sudden when they realise I have a more exciting life than them/ what they want e.g I travel alot etc they all of a sudden want to be my friend. It is so fake. I have experienced this so many times.People always assume quiet = boring.

    I just think the world is full of a lot of fake people that only interested in you for what you can do for them and if you don’t show what you can offer up front and always putting on a show they are not interested in you. They just see you as boring.

    I don’t know if I will ever have alot of friends. Maybe some people are just destined to be loners.

    But sometimes I wish I could have a good group of friends but I find it very difficult. I just find with women there is always bitchiness and jealousy to some degree.

    I have a few friends but even then there is one in particular that annoys me from time to time. She is full of jealousy. If you have something she doesn’t have she insults you and sees nothing wrong with it but yet she considers me her friend.

    I am not a jealous person. I avoid it completely. I actually dislike it when people openly say they are jealous of others. I find it a real turn off and a sign of immaturity. Nowadays it is cool to alwyas be saying ” I am so jealous “. I can’t stand it when people say this. It is so shallow and empty.

    Maybe I am hyper-sensitive. My ex-boyfriend before my husband told me something I would never forget. He said I think you are a really lovely person but you don’t allow people to get to know you.

    Maybe I am too closed. I just don’t know what to do.

    Sometimes I feel like I see the world also different to everyone else. People have often told me I am very mature for my age and make very deep comments. Maybe it is too much for people sometimes.

    I often think I am so sensitive that if someone insults me once then I will just give up on wanting to be friends with that person.

    I really don’t know. I have a few friends but never really had a best friend or really close gang of friends except for when I was in highschool. I just don’t understand it. It makes me sad sometimes but I just try to keep positive.

    I think i just set very high standards when it comes to my friendships. You should genuinely care about your friends. A true friend speaks the truth. I couldn’t just hang out with someone for fun knowing they are making bad decisions for their life. That is not a true friend. But I feel like nowadays people define a true friend as someone who goes along with anything they want to do even if it is destructive. That is not a true friend in my books.

    It may have something to do with the fact that I don’t have a close relationship with my mother. My mother was always very distant and generally never really bonded with her children on an emotional level. She was physically present but she never made an attempt to bond with us emotionally growing up. As a result I have a very close relationship with my father but not so good with my mother. I can go for months without speaking to my mother but I can’t go a couple days without speaking to my father.

    As a result I have always found that I am very comfortable around guys but not around women. I never am 100 percent comfortable around women. I just find that with guys things are more chilled out. With women there is always some kind of jealousy or rivalry and I just don’t want to have to deal with it sometimes.

    I even have a so-called friend once who stopped being my friend when I met my husband. It was as though she was jealous that I was in a serious relationship and she was. I tried very hard to keep contact with her but she distanced herself from me. At one point she even told me that she was going out with the girls but it was for single people only. That hurt me alot. I don’t understand why women have to be like this.

    Oh well. It is only because I am religious that I can deal with this but it makes me sad sometimes. Especially as my family is quite broken up as well it makes me lonely.

    For the time being I at least have my husband and a few friends all over the world (yes i have moved around alot too) that I keep in touch with and a couple acquaintances locally but I wish I had a deep close friendship. I don’t know if it will ever happen but I won’t give up. I just want to be myself.

    I just like really down to earth people. I don’t want to be judged because I am not following what everyone else is doing.

    Oh well…..

    • Allison says:

      Hi Cynthia! Its as if I wrote your comment as I am the same age as you, I too do not have that closeness as I would like with my mother, do not trust women and I befriend men alot more easily(and feel more comfortable around). I believe I have a hyper-sensitivity to my surroundings and people-I can sense tension alot and like to distance myself from those that make me feel that way and it so happens to be women I feel like that around! Also, I am always very paranoid around other women-my mother included-feeling as though I have to be perfect or if I wear a hidious outfit or put on a little weight, I will be talked about or I can sense people looking at me differently. As well, all these things are paired with my introversion.

      Alot of the times I feel down in the dumps because as my boyfriend has alot of friends since highschool that he stays in contact with, I feel like I have to measure up to that. When the weekends come, he always wants to do something with his friends and I often do not want to because the women who hang with his circle of friends gossip about everybody and after making attempts to talk with them, they almost just pretend like I am not there and carry on with their little clique. I feel so uncomfortable around these people that alot of the times I will tell my boyfriend I am not in the mood to go out, dont want to drink or I just want to stay home. But at the same time, when I am home by myself, all I do is think about how much of a loser I am who has no real friends-well, one true friend really and some friends that I wouldnt consider close, but I can call up from time to time. I have been betrayed by alot of female friends in the past that I dont trust any female-I wont let anyone in anymore.

      I am sick of living this way. I want to change and to get out there and make new friends and I think a great way to start would be chatting with you if you wanted to be friends with me :)

      Thanks,

      Allison

      • Cynthia says:

        Ha. you just need to be positive. It is okay to have these feelings but don’t take it out on others.

        Just be positive. I think eventually we will always find one or two people we like hanging out it.

        Ha. sure we can be friends but I don’t live in the US. I live in the Caribbean :) x.

    • Nancy says:

      Hi Cynthia,
      Wow! Everything you wrote I can relate to it is as if you wrote it for my behalf. I am 37 years old and am married as well I believe married women should be friends with other married women. That being said let’s be friends! :-) what city do you live in?

      Nancy :-)

      • Cynthia says:

        Yeah. I think as hard as you try. It is better for married women to be friends with other married women.

        I guess you are just both seeking different things. But is still think if it is a genuine friendship they can still be your friends although you are married. I just don’t know why some women think you don’t want to be their friend anymore.

        Ha we can be friends but I live in the CAribbean not in the US haha !!.

    • Star says:

      i’m quoting with this women is stating in her comment on friendship. she appears to like honest real down to earth people and that’s me. I’m keeping it real as I write. i’m reading her comment like who is this women? lol she sounds and thinks like me. I could have written her comment. I really like her spirit even though we never met. i’m able to read others vibrations through words, in person vibes etc. I like her style & i’m her personality precisely on the money. I wish there were more women in my neighborhood or town like her. it’s crazy how I feel alone like her. i’m outgoing but I can be introverted when I need some me time. which is normal for people to do. I try to be sensible with women of all ages. but I’ve found in my experience that some women no matter age are very immature or ignorant by nature. doing what society is doing is a form of ignorance. being yourself helps enlighten yourself & destiny. why would you want to go or be what everyone else is? that’s not normal lol i’m sorry that’s sad & disturbed. it’s like one doesn’t have an identity. it looks like a energy vampire leeching on people. it’s like hey just be you and relax it’s normal to be quiet or whatever. hell I love my peace & quiet and i’m a musician and dancer. I wish I can get to know this women i’m commenting about. hopefully if she isn’t shy she can give me a shout of hello. and maybe we can be pen pals online lol just keep doing you sweet heart. you’re unique one of a kind. god bless with a smile :)

    • Wendee says:

      I think a lot of women are more comfortable making friends with guys than with other girls. I work with mostly men and I do notice that they act differently than women when it comes to social settings. Men can easily socialize and “hang out” with other men easily. But women don’t. We are so much more “clickish” and judgmental of each other. I would be far more nervous trying to socialize in a room full of women I don’t know versus a room full of men.

  8. April says:

    I agree with Kathryn who posted on here. I am an introverted person, have always been quiet since I was five years old….but I have always made friends with guys. Even at the age of five my best friend was a boy. Later on in life, I realized that I wanted to make strong friendships with women and, for whatever reason, I have always felt a struggle. For the most part, I am heavily into music and have always found that I could bond with guys over that type of thing. Living where I am and the age that I am, it’s now difficult more than ever because women my age are married, have kids, etc. and have other priorities and interests that don’t exactly click with mine. I’m not on Facebook or Google Plus because I have unfortunately found social network sites to be a breeding ground for unnecessary drama….and even when I WAS on Facebook, I would try and post about upcoming art events or concerts or even movies that sparked my interest to see if anyone else would care to view or discuss – and it was like I was basically just posting things for myself on there. I’m somewhat introverted and find it difficult to just go up to complete strangers and introduce myself. I know that I have to get out of my “comfortable zone” and throw myself out there but I just don’t even know where to begin.

  9. Buster S says:

    Dear Ladies,
    I think if you look through a half glass of water, you might say
    ok? But if You visualize nothing but a reflection staring back at
    You then you will see your answer? The glass may be half full
    of water but You seeing Yourself is the best part Your BEAUTY
    it’s hard to have people generalize You if NOT accept You for
    who You are? Believe me I know when I see someone who’s an
    introvert or extrovert what difference does it make? We are only
    human and an Option “Made to Order” for here or to go? So add
    just enough sunshine to YOURSELFS are you will always bloom

  10. Sara says:

    Hi everyone. (I’m a different ‘Sara’ than the one who posted earlier in this thread, btw). Anyway, I have had a constant problem of being able to make friends, from the time I started school until now (I’m 37). At first, it was because I was shy. Eventually, I grew out of my shyness and many people in my life were surprised to find I do, in fact, have a sense of humor. Since then, I have had no real problem talking to people, say, at my job, which deals a lot with the public. I have had people tell me I am friendly, so I feel good about that.

    The issue is that I still don’t know how to make friends. I will occasionally invite people for coffee, and they never follow through. (I worry about appearing too needy, so I don’t push it by constantly messaging them or trying to set a time. I used to be blatantly needy in the past and it freaked people out, but I realize that now and have stopped that behavior).

    Anyway, the last friend I had dumped me unexpectedly; I can see in retrospect that she was a narcissist and I was her passive ‘audience’.

    Today, I’m still basically introverted (but friendly) and maybe what I really want is another introverted friend. I don’t really desire ‘buddies’–I’m not into the bar scene, or casual get-togethers: I want to discuss ideas, thoughts, goals, common interests, life in general. I’m a homebody, but when I do go out, I prefer one-on-one conversations in coffee shops, and that sort of thing. Maybe more people in my life are just looking for casual friendships, and since introverts are, well, introverted –they’re not ‘out there’, actively seeking out social situations.

    Otherwise, I can’t account for my constant failure at making –let alone maintaining–friendships. Even my one and only sibling (my sister) told me last year that she wants to stop exchanging holiday gifts (and not for lack of money on her part, I should add. It was more an issue of, “I never know what to get you, so let’s just stop.”). We used to be close as kids, but as adults, are vastly different people with different interests and value systems. In addition to the ‘no gifts’ thing, she doesn’t send cards, either (she used to; a couple of years ago, she made me a beautiful homemade card, which I have kept in my scrapbook).

    I don’t know what changed in 24 months’ time: I obviously no longer send her gifts, but I do still send her cards, because I figure it’s the least I can do, and she still thanks me for them. As for her social life, she hangs out with church friends on occasion, but never invites me to her house (we’re about 20 minutes away) and refuses to ever join me for a coffee or lunch somewhere (once recently when our cousins invited us to a Starbucks near their home over Christmas, my sister said, “This is /so/ not my scene; coffee shops are full of pretentious, intellectual snobs”. (!)

    I’m sad that this strange aversion to me has extended to my family, as well. My parents-in-law also have a weird vibe around me: They rarely look me in the eye when they talk to me, but constantly engage my husband (their son) with their undivided attention. My siblings-in-law are equally skittish around me, if not completely avoidant. Despite this, I do have no outright social anxiety around people; I enjoy one-on-one conversations and getting to know others. But yet, this invisible force field of ‘she’s weird; stay away’ seems to follow me to this day.

    • Dani says:

      Hi Sara,

      I just wanted to say that it sounds you are a very sensitive person who is deeply affected by others’ behavior — I can be that way, and certainly my daughter is, so I can relate. I have to tell you that I very much relate to feeling unembraced by inlays. My inlaws are from the NYC/New Jersey area and I grew up in the midwest — my husband and I met in college in the midwest. I have never truly felt welcomed by them and I believe it’s related to their arrogance about the region they come from and believing that I should feel lucky to have married into a NY family. Well, I don’t, and that probably shows. My point is that you simply can’t take the behavior of others personally, especially when they are self-absorbed and dismissive. I have been affected for years, and now I’m at the point where I rarely talk to my mother-in-law on the phone because her conversations are so one-sided and I question whether I really exist to her.
      Why put up with that anymore? Well, I don’t. Anyway, stay strong. The right person/people will come along. Join a book club, a church group, etc., and you will find people eager for deeper conversation. It can be hard, but it’s out there!

    • Kathryn says:

      Actually, from my point of view, I find in general women are more difficult to make friends with. When a woman says “I only have male friends” oftentimes it isn’t sexist, just that they haven’t found the right women to hang out with. Case in point, I have a cousin whom I rang recently and she usually never rings back but rang me whilst I was out. I said can you call back later and never heard from her again. Another friend I played in a band with but had to travel and was always kept waiting around for her, then she disappeared for 5 months. Another seemed to see just about everyone as being a narcissist and when I disagreed with her I was promptly dumped. Another so called friend stole my husband and never denied it when called.on it (still does not deny it to this day). My own mother has almost no interest in what I do unless it is to feed malicious inter-familial gossip. Having said that she doesn’t give a toss about family.
      Men can be screwed up too.in their own way, but what makes a lot of women sosuper super screwed up?? Because it doesn’t actually make me want to be friends with them. It’s like it’s all such a big effort for them and when you do actually make plans to do things and turn up they give you a look as though they’d rather you weren’t there (yes, “that” look – coupled with a bored sounding voice). I think, for heaven’s sake! I’ve got better things to do!

    • Jen says:

      My inlaws have largely been skittish and distant as well. My sister in law is very proud, competitive, materialstic, and hot tempered. I am cooperative, mild, spiritual, and artistic – we could not be more different. I drive her bananas. I also drive some of my other inlaws bananas just being who I am. I have cultivated a strong relationship with God – a love affair really, which is what I believe He wants from us as His children. No other person can really give us all we need. A great place to start is to develop more self love based on the love God gives us, a healthy relationship with Christ, and openness to connecting to others, knowing it can happen anytime. When we try to keep our hearts open, we are more likely to be genuine and once in awhile find a good friend. Life is full of so much randomness and chance, we have to be willing to try and try again. I focus a lot on my immediate family, nurturing them. I also continue to introduce myself and branch out to make new friends as well as maintain old ones. However, everyone is so busy and on different schedules, etc. that it does take a lot of thinking, planning, trying, and trying again to keep a social life going. For all the work I put into it, it seems like such small fruits come of it. There are days when I’d love to quit trying! But I know I have to put the effort in to stay connected. However, if jealousy and rivalry start rearing their ugly heads, I have to go. I hate to say it, but I have had to leave a few groups in my lifetime b/c the bitchiness was overwhelming. We had to choose loneliness at times and them pray and offer our social lives over to God. We asked God to help us and guide us to some good friends. We have made some and I stay far away from the abusive, narcissistic, user, jealous whatever drama stuff. Even so, we’re going to get hurt, left, or rejected sometimes. So I try to pick my heart up off the floor and keep going.

  11. Nicole says:

    Hi there everyone. I have read the stories on here and I have to say I am floored. The similarities are astounding between what I went through growing up. I too moved around a lot as a kid. My parents divorced early (when I was 5) and my dad raised me so we moved a lot due to a single parent income. He could not afford a house so we mostly lived in apartments. He was very strict and would not allow me to have any friends because I had to take care of my brother who was 3 years younger. I would make one or two friends and before we became more than acquaintances we were moving again due to rent rising or my dad disagreeing with the landlord.

    I am now 33 years old and have lived in many different states due to a broken home and a bad relationship with my family. I have a difficult time finding friends that don’t want to just use me because I am empathetic and want to help everyone around me, I tend to attract people with psychological disorders. They always end up screwing me over somehow or betraying my friendship and I am starting to wonder if it is something wrong with me.

    I had 3 best friends of 7 years one of them, the closest one, died last year of an overdose. I am still devastated over that, she was not only my friend but the only family I had. We called each other sisters and told each other I love you before we hung up. I still cry a lot and I feel it has made me afraid to let others in. My other friend talked behind my back and ruined the friendship I had with the third friend and then completely stopped talking to me as well. I have lived in a new state for 3 years now and have only made a few acquaintances, mostly with flaky people that never seem to want to follow through with plans.

    Sorry it is so long, I too have been very lonely for a true friend, someone I can talk to. I have a fiance who is very kind and supportive but he can’t provide the kind of relationship I lost with my best friend.

    • Lyn says:

      Nicole, I feel like everyone is finding similarities in not having friends because of some things, a trend I am noticing. I am noticing that a lot of girls who have been writing, come from bad home life’s, or divorced parents, use to be able to make friends easily and now have trouble, have chosen a boyfriend over friends and some of the guys are abusive, also a lot are depressed, lonely, have anxiety or find themselves introverted. I come from a divorced family, not having a father growing up, I found I made friends just fine actually all the way up until a few years after I graduated High School. I did choose a boyfriend, a lot of my friends moved away to go to College and I got pregnant at 22. I am now 24 and have no true friends. I have one friend who lives 4 hours away we keep in touch over the phone which is nice time to time. I had one very close friend who was like a sister but lost her to a bad drug addiction and she is not the type of girl who you would think that about. I can honestly say I’ve never had a friend like her, we would share clothes, talk about our painful home life’s together, share things and keep them between just us, she was the kind of friend who would have a facial and movie night with me at my house and we would laugh for hours. We were inseparable, we met at the age of 6 and stayed close until the age of 21. I don’t know how she is or if she’s even dead, drugs overtook her life so badly. I moved away from the area we grew up in. After I moved to a big city I found it hard to meet other girls. They were all partying college girls. With not common interest. I can say this I think it is hard to find a true friend, and I think you both have to have a “soul” connection. I am not sounding weird or trying to be weird but it’s just like you want in a guy, a boyfriend or husband you can find that connection in a friend. Someone when you just meet them you CLICK* it’s just friends that’s how me and my friend were and I’ve never found that in anyone else but yet I havnt really tried looking. I am so busy with my son that I hardly have time for anything else. I do think it’s bad to isolate yourself though. ALL women need a friend. Every women on here sounds like she does have something to contribute to a friendship sometimes we want someone to pursue us first but sometimes we need to pursue them instead. Sometimes a little courage is all it takes because they may be like anyone else on here we often times don’t think about what other may be going through either. I hope that anyone who is depressed can seek out help for it, maybe even medication. I had to take medication for mine for awhile and it got me out of a rut. I find that being positive is the way to go. You are all good enough and don’t you ever forget it!!!! Picking abusibe men is a good place to start turning our lives around. I hope that you all know you don’t have to be with guys like that. You deserve the best treatment and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise please. It is so important that we start believing in ourselves and installing the qualities that maybe our parents didn’t do for us as children but it is never to late to learn, grow and take action. I wish you all the best!!! Xoxo

  12. Mourningfriend says:

    I’ve been really depressed lately because my BFF for over 20 years never initiates seeing me. We’ve seen each other once this year and that was by my doing. Recently she listed on FaceBook numerous friends of hers that she has spent time with. The last couple of times I’ve tried to set something up with her, she agrees on a day and then I don’t hear from her. I don’t get it. I’ve got to say, I’m feeling pretty jealous of her other friends. She didn’t have all of them in her life until she lost a lot of weight and started teaching Zumba. I’ve been there all along. She used to call me her BFF, but she hasn’t called me that for a year now. Seems like now she’s dropped me for friends that do Zumba with her. I don’t understand why. I’m really heartbroken and feeling pretty lonely.

    This isn’t the first time this has happened to me either. I’m always the one to initiate any get togethers with other friends. I’m longing for one or two true friends that invite me over, text or call on a regular basis.

    • Bella says:

      I am so sorry for your situation. It looks like the dynamics of your friendship with your BFF has changed.The best advice is to get out there and join some groups and make new friends. It’s hard because loosing a BFF is painful and the sense of lost is similar to a death. In a way, it’s the death of a close friendship. I’m not sure why this happens but sometimes people change and their interests and outlook changes so they leave behind all the parts of themselves that remind them of who they used to be. She’s moved on and you have to do the same. I wish you well in your journey.

      • MournIngfriend says:

        Bella,
        Thank you for your words of advice! Everything you said really made me think. I’ve been losing sleep over this loss, but just need to move on like you said. I think you’re right that I need to join some groups to make new friends. I tend to spend all of my attention and energy on my husband and kids (I’m a stay-at-home Mom) and rarely do anything for myself. It doesn’t help that I’m an introvert either. Although I’m not shy, so will talk to others and eventually open up to them.
        Thanks, again!!

  13. tabitha says:

    I’ve moved around a lot in my adult years and it does affect your ability to maintain friendships. I’ve met some wonderful women over the years, but since I’ve moved yet again, they are too far to see very often. I’m not a “phone” person at all, hate talking on the phone so really, if you’re not on Facebook it’s hard to stay in touch. I think the Meetup.com groups are very helpful in finding local people with mutal interests. I am not the most outgoing person, but not terribly shy either. Once I’ve met someone a few times, I can usually have a nice conversation with them. I can’t say I have any really really close friends at this point, but working towards it. I did meet one woman friend via Craigslist. It seems like a long shot, but we’ve been friends now two years and she’s a really fun person.

    • Sara says:

      I understand where you are coming from. I don’t feel the need to make new friends, but grieve for the ones I’ve left behind. I feel like they all have a part of me.
      I can’t understand why my old friendships have ended. I just can’t bring myself to invest in new ones. I just feel like I am feeling sorrow for so many things: loss of youth (I am now 47), never having had real love from a man, lack of friendships and such. No one can match the excitement and shared experiences of old friends. I just can’t figure out some parts of life anymore.

      • Connie Wilson says:

        Hello Sara…
        I am 62 years old and I could have written what you wrote. My life mirrors it to a T. I wished I had some answers for you.. all I can do is empathize with you.

  14. carol says:

    Nice to actually see that I am not alone in my struggle to find good friends with common interests. It would be nice if this website had at least what state you live in. It is fine to read that other people struggle finding friends, but how does this help to actually connect with anyone? Does anyone on here live in the Twin Cities metro area in MN? I am not one to divulge my personal info on a blog, so if there are any women looking for new friendships please reply.

  15. Debra says:

    Here’s my story. I was an extremely shy child and didn’t approach other children as I had no idea how to. They approached me and I accepted even though some of those kids were nasty to me. I’ve been the same way most of my life even though I’ve become much more outgoing over the years. Because of shyness, a mother who doubted herself and worried about how others saw her (a mindset I picked up)along with siblings who were much older (12 & 15 years)and who were critical and negative towards me, I had very low self esteem. I had friends who put me down, a husband who hit me and various boyfriends who weren’t good enough for me. At 56 y.o., I only have six friends, am single and live by myself. Over the years I let the negative, critical friendships go. I choose not to have friends who can’t be nice to me. Two friends I met by placing an advertisement in the local paper. We’ve been friends for about 7 years now and they’re lovely people. My best friend’s my last boyfriend. He had cancer several years ago and I dread that something will happen to him for I’d be completely lost without him. Making friends at this age is really difficult. Facebook makes me feel lonely at times when I see all my friends (who are really old workmates I never see face to face) doing things with their real friends. At my last job (of 7 years) I didn’t work with anyone in my department that I really wanted to be friends with. The neighbours around me keep to themselves – which is good because it’s quiet. Trying to make friends with people in relationships is basically impossible. And I can’t be bothered going out and making the first approach and all the small talk. So, what do you do?

    • Debra says:

      I forgot to add that I no longer have a relationship with my sister because she’s just plain nasty and my brother died two years ago. I don’t have a relationship with any relatives as I was never close to them growing up and my sister’s adult sons don’t bother to contact me and vice versa. Even though I have six friends, I really only see three on a regular basis as the others have busy lives and my best friend lives 100 kilometres/62 miles away. I’m not complaining, just adding my story to all of yours. I’m lucky to have friends but I would like a couple more close friends. If the local paper still ran the Friends column, I would advertise again but they don’t.

      • sagar basnet says:

        dear debra,
        I heard your story and felt sad .
        I am a 17 years old boy ,may be not having all those experience of yours. But I never felt difficulties in making friends. As you said you have facebook friends, I also have many. when I chat with them I don’t feel lonely, moreover I enjoy chatting with them. To feel good while chatting u should start with interesting topic.
        I say “friend” word is a synonymous to the word “fun”. If you are friends you are to support one another in need indeed.
        People generally feel shy when they think the way they present themselves to other is not well conducted. But in fact no one knows who thinks what so it is very important to have self confidence.

        I hope this words of 17 years boy will be helpful to you.
        warm regards

      • tanja says:

        Hi Debra, I wanted to share a saying I heard: I would rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies, referring to friendships.

        I think having 6 friends is pretty darn good. I am 35, married with two small children. I feel very lonely at times, I don’t have any real friends. I know two girls still from high school and we get together once a year in July, but I don’t really talk to them on a personal level. I have two friends that live in my area but we are only friends because of our kids, we hardly get together just for us and they don’t know each other. I have a twin, which I am off again on again close to but not really. We are also close but mainly for our kids. They are all two years apart of one another, so everything is just about the kids it seems.

        6 Friends is pretty good.

    • andrea says:

      I feel the same way.
      It is extremely difficult for me to make friends, I barely have any. Usually it is me who looks for people to do stuff but if I do not pic up the phone no one will even remember that I exist.
      My birthday was last week. Not a single person remembered it was my birthday, except my husband and my children.
      Facebook makes me feel lonelier than ever and the iphone does too. Never a message, never a call and I see people around me with tons of messages and constantly on the phone.
      SADNESS GALORE

      • Debra says:

        Happy Birthday for last week, Andrea. I hope all the wishes you made will come true for you.

        Facebook can make me feel lonelier too when I photos shared of friends with all their friends and/or families having wonderful times together.

        I deliberately change my way of thinking when I start feeling ‘down’ about things to being grateful about what I do have and concentrating on Now. I know from experience that once I start caring less about those things that concern me, Life has a way of sending me wonderful things.

      • Honey143 says:

        I have the exact same problem. Only when I finally speak up and let those people know how they have been treating me, rather than admit that they haven’t put in any effort in a long while, they get defensive, ignore me completely or try to make it seem like I shouldn’t feel that way. If I don’t coordinate something with others or approach them first, I wont hear from them until I do. They also don’t hesitate to contact me if something in thier life isn’t right. I always listened with compassion, however, the moment I try to add that things haven’t been ok with me either, they act uninterested and continue on with thier story. I feel so unappreciated and worthless. I also never had a supportive family I could turn to and talk about this if I needed. I have a hubby but he is always working and the type of person who doesn’t know how to react to another person who is hurting and needs some words of encouragement. In fact,he’s too cowardly to speak up for me or have my back when mutual friends have made me feel this way. I’ve tried making new friends just about everywhere I go but they might only meet up with me once to do something only if I plan it and even if I know they had a good time, I wont hear back from them again unless I initiate the dialog. I’ve always been a kind, reliable loyal and non judgmental friend so I never understood why.

        • rella says:

          This is my story!! I have to add I really am not only a great friend but super fun and loyal!! I don’t mean to sound like I am bragging about myself but someone has to mention my good qualities. Anyway, it is so weird as I have gathering everyone seems to be have so much fun and not only come back but ask for my next party dates. However, if I do not have anything to offer anyone such as parties, it’s like crickets! that is so crappy and not only hurts my feelings but makes me more angry as I share my story. Honestly, I am clean, professional, somewhat attractive and fun. Sometimes I wonder if people are embarrassed of me or what?? but I could not seriously imagine why? I think we have to remember we are dealing with others who may have other issues us loyal, goodhearted, friendly and outgoing people do not get at all and take personally. Maybe it is not personal, but that is hard to believe since it tends to come from every direction:(

      • Andrea says:

        Hi Andrea,
        I was reading your comment and it was like I was reading about me, and I am Andrea aswell.

      • Fran says:

        Andrea, think about this: all those people you see on the phone — they are talking to their husband/wife, children (adult or younger), or extended family like sister/brother. AND — there are lots of people who have ‘friends’, who they don’t want to be friends with, simply so that they don’t want to be alone. There are people who go to church simply because they want to belong to a community. Few people these days are just loaded with real friends.

        • Dani says:

          I totally agree. I think we selectively remember the people we know with big friendship circles, when most people don’t have that. I have met several people over the years who busy themselves with family issues and don’t focus much on non-family relationships. I grew up without close extended family, so I’m not being pulled into big family events like so many I know in my community.

          I have avoided looking at certain friends’ pages on Facebook for the same reason — I don’t enjoy hearing about their fantastic social lives. But I am not the kind of person who brags or shares my social activities. It’s not my style.

          • Fran says:

            I wonder how much of their fantastic social lives is real.

            IF we’ve grown up in the same city/town, IF we have a large family, IF we have a large extended family, THEN we probably have fantastic social lives. But then — there are problems that go with living in a city/town where ‘everybody knows your name’.

            I live in NM (for now). Recently I met a woman (and her mother and her children — three generations), and they’ve been in the same small town for 5 generations! The children are going to the exact same school the great-grandmother did — one child is even in the same classroom this year! And these two women talked openly and honestly about the good AND the bad things about being in the same town ALL THEIR LIVES. Good thing: everyone is like family. Bad thing: Gossip that runs rampant.

            I also visited a town recently — and almost fell over. I met two women — both in their early 70s — and they have not only known each other since pre-kindergarten but one woman is married to the other woman’s brother! They three of them remember going to kindergarten together! OMG. :-)

            But I don’t want to live in a town/city of 10,000 or 20,000 or even 100,000. It’s too small for me — in so many ways. And yet — all these people seemed happy and secure — and I envied them. But not enough to move to a small town/city.

          • Lois says:

            Hey Dani, i certainly understand where you are coming from. This site and the stories of people and no friendship mirrors me in many ways. I actually deleted my FB page because i got tired of hearing the stories of others i know having so much fun with there new friends. it made me feel worst than i had already been feeling. Like you said in your post about not the kind of person who shares or brags about your social activities, thats not me either…i wouldnt share information on FB either because its not my style either. Im 49 and seems i cant find any friends. Its been this way since i was in elementary school. i was and still am an Introvert. i used to watch other kids run around laughing and playing have fun while i was alone wishing it was me. This went on in middle school as well even getting worse when i became the victim of bullying. i used to go home crying all the time. Then in high school no friends as well. I had a girl who pretend to be my friend just to get rides to the club. I knew she wasnt my real friend. Now im married with 1 daughter and still i have no friends. everytime i meet someone and talk to them, they will respond, but it never goes any further. i enjoy being with my husband, but sometimes you just want that 1 girlfriend who you can talk to who will understand girl things, lol. My mom died some yrs ago, seems like i lost everything dear to me. i feel so lonely and defeated sometimes, only GOD knows this pain. my one and only sister is a jerk, so i had to cut her off. the remaining of my sibling are males and they are totally lost, so thats most of my story, SORRY this was so lonnng, but i needed to get it out there. BTW: i live in GA so i would love hear from others who would like to communicate if my story intrigue you..

            • Jen says:

              Lois,

              I’m in my 40′s also, tho I am up in Indiana. I had to stop keeping in touch w/ my sister just a couple years ago. After 40 years of painful patience while she constantly found ways to put me down, compete for attention, etc. I always hoped it would go away, she’d grow out of it, but it was as bad as ever through our 20′s and 30′s. So I politely explained how these things hurt me very much and that I just couldn’t come around anymore. My brother is “lost” also. We were a military family growing up, so no lifelong childhood buddies either. I don’t know if I’m an introvert,extrovert, or shy b/c moving all the time I had to be outgoing to make friends. And I did. Then my heart broke every time I had to leave them. My mom used to tell me it would get better when I grew up, and that people behave better when they became adults. Well, I can tell you after meeting hundreds of people over the years as an adult through work, church, clubs, etc. that many, many adults do not behave any better than children. And aside from that, many adults are not trustworthy, committed to a friendship, or even bother to remember what’s going on in someone else’s life let alone what they themselves had for breakfast that day. I would love to have some close, kind, committed friends. I have a couple of those. However, it is hard to rely on anything in this world, other than God and ourselves. Anyway, nice chatting and I hope things work out for you.

  16. Linda says:

    I found this site while searching for answers on friendship and I am glad I did. I don’t feel quite so odd after reading some posts and the article.
    I grew up with a widowed mother, she had moved to USA on her own so family wasn’t around.
    In school I had few friends this was just the way it was. As I grew up the friendship issue stayed the same pretty much. I went down the wrong path trying to impress the wrong people.
    Later I married and we had a good life, raised our kids but he did not have many friends. Now he has passed away and I am alone. The kids are grown and off living their lives and have built good friendships so at least we didn’t screw them up too.
    I have volunteered, taken classes, joined in on work get togethers and even meet a former group of co-workers monthly but that is it.
    Nothing has really stuck, I don’t see anyone for months at a time when I am not working. People I thought were on the path of friendship from the classes or volunteering activities just disappear. Until now I was ok with that but since my husband is gone I feel lonely and now I just don’t what else to do. Sorry if I rambled on.

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Linda,

      I hope things will get better for you soon. I am sorry to hear that your husband passed away. You must miss him in so many ways.

      Think about joining or signing up for MeetUp.com. There is meet up for the movies, meetup for book clubs, and so on. This might help. also, continue to look into volunteering perhaps at a hospital, where ppl would love to have your company, or in senior citizens home. It’s tough, but you can do it. Who knows what’s around the next corner.

      Yes, I agree that moving a lot when you are young makes it more difficult to start and hold onto friendships. I had moved 9 times by the time I was 21 years old, including different countries. I also tend towards introversion, so that’s another factor. sometimes, I have to push myself to meet other ppl as friends. Also, I comfort myself in recognizing that not all friendships are wonderful. Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side of the hill.

      All the best to you, Linda from Lauren.

      • Fran says:

        I have gone the Meetup route. Didn’t work for me. Altho’ I must admit I liked the coffee group(s) and the knitting group(s). Still — nothing stuck. I think part of the problem is that I’m so introverted and so ‘intellectual’. It’s hard to find people with whom I have a lot in common. Sigh. I’m 65, and I do not want to hear only about grandkids, health (or, rather, lack of it), and the latest cruise taken. I don’t know what it is, but older people seem to be SO boring. (Sorry. I know I must sound like a snob. Well, sigh, maybe I am one.)

        • tanja says:

          I never found meet up groups to work for me as well. I am 35, raising two small kids. I live in an area that is small and so all meet up groups was quite a fair drive and in the next bigger city over than mine. I only have a car two days a week as I share with my husband. We went to one meet up group years ago, when my son was 3 and not many people showed up. I still talk to one couple, but not often.

          My best bet was to just go to the park and see if I met anyone. I have two friendships in my small suburban city, that I have kept for two years, but mainly because of our kids. I met them at the park. I also have enrolled my son in a lot of activities in hopes that we could meet people but everything has been fleeting so far.

          When it comes time to get a job for me, I worry because I do not really have any contacts, as I am not a social person. The only people I talk to are my husband and sister. And my sister, it is a forced relationship, I would not be friends with her if we were not related.

          So, I am not quite sure about meet up routes myself. I would say volunteer somewhere. My mom met one of her best friends EVER when she went back to school at an older age. She took a psychology course at the university. She also met up with her high school boyfriend at the age of 57 and moved back to Germany to live with him. Now my mom is 65 and her partner is 70. It is weird how life works at times. Good luck.

        • Mary G says:

          Hi Fran .. I don’t really have advice per se — I just wanted to pipe in as I seem to have the same ” issue” as you … I like to pay attention to the world & politics & study orthomolecular nutrition ( I’m 50) & all the women my age talk about their vacations & house reno’s shopping trips etc…I raised 2 kids as a single mom & feel like I kinda messed up in that I devoted myself to their needs 100% & now i feel like a fish out of water …my situation & interests are so very different from the other women around me & they do seem kinda shallow & yes boring! I don’t think that is snobby …it just recognizes different interests?

        • Betty says:

          Oh boy Fran. I hear you loud and clear. It’s tough being lonely, but for me it’s worse being around people who bore me to death. I have come to realize that friendship for me is rare and I am delighted when I meet someone who I feel a connection with. I don’t think that’s being elitist, rather, it’s just reality.

        • Sharon says:

          Fran I totally agree …… tried the meet up route and didn’t feel comfortable with total strangers. I felt NO connection ….. I’m 65 also and people only want to complain OR talk about their grand children ……. totally boring! Would be nice to find someone to connect with ….. I live in Maryland!

  17. Stacey says:

    I think this answer is different for each individual. For me I noticed that my life is not balanced. I don’t feel my time goes equally to all the areas that I care to exist. I put more effort into my partner than myself it seems. There is no way I will feel the drive to make something happen with a friend on a regular basis if I feel so attached to my other relationships. I do desperately want a closer friend circle, but when I try this it has never worked in the past because I have never handled the balance aspect well…or so I am made to feel by my partner. I am not sure what to do except for last night I decided not to wait around any longer to take action. I am going to be proactive with friends and my relationship, get off this blog and go do something about it :-)

    • Elizabeth says:

      Good for you! I feel the same way. Now I just have to figure out what to do. I am 41 and it’s hard to make friends at this age, especially as an introvert. Where do you live? We lonely people could meet up and make a group. I have been in a religious community for a long time and can’t get close the women as I am not as religious as they are. I prefer to think of myself as a good and kind person.

    • Fran says:

      We’ve ALL been trying to do something about it, Stacey. I greatly doubt that any of us get up in the morning, sit in front of the computer, read and re-read the posts on this blog and then go back to bed at night. The problem is: whatever we have been doing in the past is not working for a lot of us. And we don’t understand why. This blog isn’t a place to cry and whine — it’s a place to help each other. I know I feel better just knowing that I’m not the only one with this problem. That doesn’t mean I — and a lot of other posters — am not trying to do something positive about it.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Women don’t want any friends because they don’t know how to be friends with themselves. SOOOOOOOOO. The few of women who DO know how to be internally loving and kind are fed to society as “weak” “unhappy” or disadvantaged. And Men use women that are happy because they know who is in and who is out. So the majority of us suffer day in and day out psychologically so we can be put in a mental institution and get in debt and not have any emotional security to make the United States government happy and eliminate the majority of good people in todays’ world. The truth that no longer hurts me.

    • Paula says:

      I have to agree with you. I’ve had the same problem my entire life. Wish I had at least one close friend. It just feels like nobody wants to be my friend. I’m in my mid forties and I feel soooooo alone.

      • Bella says:

        Me too Paula. I have not enjoyed good friendships since college. It’s hard to connect with other woman and I don’t know why. Why are some women so cruel?

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Jennifer, Paula, Josie and Bella and others,

      Yes, I agree that it’s tough to make and keep friends. Personally, I had moved about nine times by the time I was 21 years old, including other countries; and other factors from my childhood were part of it.

      Yes, Jennifer, I agree about what you said about kind women being viewed as week…this of course is not true, but unfortunately, it’s a fairly common perception, albeit, a really distorted perception.

      Many of the world’s heroes and heroines have been kind AND brave. In fact, often acts of bravery are based on kindness and compassion for others.

      Because of my childhood, I decided (even as a child) that I would be the opposite; I would be kind and compassionate and caring to others. Then much to my shock, a long-time female friend (almost a bestie)told me contemptuously that I was weak!!!! I had shown her, and many others, so much kindness, and consideration, and here she was judging me and raising her voice to me and telling me (in front of others) that “You’re WEAK!!!” That was the last of a long string of mean, negative things that she had done to me. She is no longer a friend at all, and will never be again.

      I realized a little later that I had actually subconsciously been repeating patterns from my childhood, and picking the wrong friends.It’s complicated, but I was trying to reach a happy ending, so to speak, by picking difficult people as friends who subconsciously reminded me of those who raised me and made my childhood a misery. Anyway, this therapy helped me, but there will always be mean-spirited people there who actually take a delight in hurting others, and in so doing, “prove” to themselves that they are “tough/admirable” in their distorted view.

      Now I don’t open up to ppl so much, and I look at others with a more realistic eye. I also enjoy my own company, and my supportive husband, and my precious daughter. I enjoy art, reading and all of my interests, and if a friendly and decent person comes into my life as a friend, then great, but I am more aware of mean-spirited nature in others, and I don’t tolerate it for one minute now.

      Yes, it’s very true that some ppl view kindness as weakness, but I bet if they were drowning, they would appreciate kindness alright if someone rescued them from the sea. Then they wouldn’t be saying that kindness is equal to weakness! (Or maybe not, who knows with them!)

      Now I think the main thing is to be discerning about the company you keep, have certain standards that you don’t lower. Recognize any form of abusive treatment from your friends, call them out on it and end the “friendship” if necessary.

      Bottom line, I think now is to enjoy your own company, enjoy your own interests, enjoy your family , if you have a good family; and don’t be taken in by the popular media with movies and TV sit-coms showing everybody being surrounded by great friends who are always at the coffee shop or each others houses. After high school and college, life is not always like that.

      Also, it is thought that up to 50% of the general population are introverts, to some degree or other. So many ppl are content with their own company much of the time, or with amenable, friendly family members.

      So enjoy your own company, and when you go out and about , chat to people in stores, in restaurants, libraries, etc, and be a happy- go-lucky as you can be. But always be aware of those mean-spirited ppl, and remember , you can’t change them…only they can change themselves (preferably with therapy, over a long period of time, and then only if they really want to, and if they are committed to change.

      All the best to all of you. Lauren

      • Bella says:

        Thank you Lauren. I grew up in a similar situation. I was the family scapegoat, hated and dispised by all members and extended members. I chose friends who were abusive because that was all I knew. I attracted those types because of low self esteem. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’ve moved on. Thanks for sharing. It helps!

  19. Josie says:

    Hi all, I feel stupid for posting this, but I guess I need to get it off my chest. I haven’t had a good friendship since I was 10. I am now 30. I wasn’t allowed to have friends as a child (that’s a whole different story), and as an adult I have moved a lot. Beyond that, I am rather introverted (probably because I wasn’t able to make connections with people as a child). Once I meet someone I warm up pretty fast, but I seem to find it impossible to meet anyone. It doesn’t help that I am self-employed, and I am very new to the town I live in. I am a good friend; I am loyal, not a user, have my life together pretty well, and I genuinely care about people. I just don’t know what the problem is. I am beginning to wonder if I am just that unlikeable. Anyway, I know this is stupid, but as I said I just need to get it off my chest.

    • Cheri says:

      No, it’s not stupid. I have had a similar situation most of my life. I moved several times as a child, just across town but when you are a child it may as well be across the globe!
      One of the things that I have noticed as I’ve gotten older, I’m 48, is that women don’t make friends as easy as men do. Women are catty and can be jealous. Men, for the most part, take each other as pretty much as equals. They can be an attorney or a ditch digger, handsome or plain and paunchy, men don’t care.
      I consider myself a very nice person and I warm up to people very quickly but I have only had about three close friends my entire life. None of which are close to me now.
      I am very confused about how other women seem to have close friends. Even at work, the other women get together after hours and never even ask me. I don’t believe that I’m “different” or “odd”, in fact I believe that most people would consider me intelligent and quick witted.
      Well, that does feel better to get that off of my chest!!

      • Imagi says:

        Cheri,

        You sound just like me. I am pretty good with one on one friendships and had a reasonably good friend groups in college, but after that it has been a drought.
        And it is usually brought on by a woman who is very jealous and manages to create a rift between me and the rest of the team.

        Just like you, I know I am not “different” or “odd”; we are smarter than the average women which is why we attract their jealousies. It is a sad truth. The way I have learnt to cope with it, is to make small talk with people around. It may not lead to lasting relationships, but you will at least have another woman to talk to.

        All I want to say to all the woman here, is as long as you are making genuine efforts at friendship, and have something positive to offer, you are good. Don’t let the world tell you wrong things about yourself. Look for friends ,not a shoulder to cry on — you need people to share a good time and have fun, initially at least until a strong bond is made. No body likes a cling on.

        Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Don’t stop trying.. Who knows your best friend my not be born yet, or is in kindergarten or high school.. get the drift :-)

      • Karen says:

        I agree with you Cheri, I am 44 and the few close friends I have ever had have been predominately male. I have always wondered what was wrong with me, do I embarrass women with my behaviour/personality when I am around them, am I a fashion dag, am I too loud, not feminine enough, oh the list goes on. I also consider myself as a good person, and do anything for my friends, but really when I sit back and think, they are just acquaintances. I am not invited to their house, or on outings, the one close friend only comes to my place, as though to be seen with me in public would a humiliation to them. I am a loner, I have accepted that I guess, and am about to end the one close friendship I have because I feel like I am being used..a friend of convenience when this person has no one else around. We need to be strong, keep our self esteem, it is a judgmental, cruel world. Women can be the worst back stabbers in the world,who needs that anyway!

        • Elizabeth says:

          I live in Washington State. You may be reading into your friends behavior with your own negative thinking, “as though to be seen with me in public would be a humiliation to them.” You are worth knowing and worth having as a friend. Just remember that. You don’t need friends to make you feel valuable. You need to love yourself. I have had that problem most of my life. Now, I love my personality and even my imperfect body, because it is who I am.

        • Jen says:

          Lois,

          I’m in my 40′s also, tho I am up in Indiana. I had to stop keeping in touch w/ my sister just a couple years ago. After 40 years of painful patience while she constantly found ways to put me down, compete for attention, etc. I always hoped it would go away, she’d grow out of it, but it was as bad as ever through our 20′s and 30′s. So I politely explained how these things hurt me very much and that I just couldn’t come around anymore. My brother is “lost” also. We were a military family growing up, so no lifelong childhood buddies either. I don’t know if I’m an introvert,extrovert, or shy b/c moving all the time I had to be outgoing to make friends. And I did. Then my heart broke every time I had to leave them. My mom used to tell me it would get better when I grew up, and that people behave better when they became adults. Well, I can tell you after meeting hundreds of people over the years as an adult through work, church, clubs, etc. that many, many adults do not behave any better than children. And aside from that, many adults are not trustworthy, committed to a friendship, or even bother to remember what’s going on in someone else’s life let alone what they themselves had for breakfast that day. I would love to have some close, kind, committed friends. I have a couple of those. However, it is hard to rely on anything in this world, other than God and ourselves. Anyway, nice chatting and I hope things work out for you.

        • Jen says:

          If I had a nickle for every time I was a friend of convenience, temporarily someone’s crutch! I have learned to differentiate that from true friendship. Now I can be intentional about choosing to be a shoulder to cry on for awhile or not and for how long I am willing to do that – because that is really ministry work, not give-and-take friendship. I also look for healthy given-and-take relationships, which are certainly harder to find and maintain. So many people seem to be looking for comfort, crutches, escapes, a building up of their esteem, but are not interested or capable of good friendship. We need to be our own best friends first and reach out as we are able.

        • Jen says:

          Karen,
          If I had a nickle for every time I was a friend of convenience, temporarily someone’s crutch! I have learned to differentiate that from true friendship. Now I can be intentional about choosing to be a shoulder to cry on for awhile or not and for how long I am willing to do that – because that is really ministry work, not give-and-take friendship. I also look for healthy given-and-take relationships, which are certainly harder to find and maintain. So many people seem to be looking for comfort, crutches, escapes, a building up of their esteem, but are not interested or capable of good friendship. We need to be our own best friends first and reach out as we are able.

        • Jen says:

          Karen,
          If I had a nickle for every time I was a friend of convenience, or temporarily someone’s crutch! I have learned to differentiate that from true friendship. Now I can be intentional about choosing to be a shoulder to cry on for awhile or not and for how long I am willing to do that – because that is really ministry work, not give-and-take friendship. I also look for healthy given-and-take relationships, which are certainly harder to find and maintain. So many people seem to be looking for comfort, crutches, escapes, a building up of their esteem, but are not interested or capable of good friendship. We need to be our own best friends first and reach out as we are able.

          • Jen says:

            I am so sorry for the duplicates! My computer kept timing out, not submitting so I’d resubmit, then it would say it was a duplicate, etc. etc. Anyway, looks like all my attempts finally made it in at once and I don’t see a way to delete the extras. Sorry – Jen

    • Suzel says:

      Josie, I hope things are better for you now. If not, you can always email me! We can be email pals! =) I’m okay with that really!

  20. Sheila says:

    Angie. I have had a real hard time making friends as a child and adult. It seems so hard to find a good friend that I sometimes give up. I am not in favor of social events. I love to read, hike, travel, exercise; but, there is no one around me that is into what I like. I keep trying. Hang in there.

    • Suzel says:

      Sheila, have you tried meetup.com? That’s a really good website for things that you enjoy and also you may be able to find common interest at the people in groups that you join there. I hope you will visit that website. I think it would help you. Worth it to have a look at.

  21. I moved around a fair bit during childhood, too. You put the roots down, make friends only to be uprooted and transplanted elsewhere.

    I think there were other issues besides moving around during childhood that caused me to come to grief when trying to make friends and one of these was my ‘nature.’ I was too docile and passive just accepting the people life sent drifting my way. When I was 35 I did a hard reset in life and ended up rewiring my mind to the point that my nature changed for the better. Here are some of the important things I discovered.

    * Reach out beyond the natural boundaries of your life to others. If the kind of friends you desire are in short supply at school, work or church look further a field. Go to new social groups or events and meet new people. When it comes to living on a higher strata of satisfying and rewarding friendships you’re not meant to wander through life wearing horse blinders and only traversing an incredibly narrow strip of life.

    * Consider what your interests and passions are and find people in those areas. Common ground determines to a certain degree how much time you spend with a friend and how often you meet up. It’s more important than I originally thought.

    * Some people just don’t realize that the scale of their friendship endeavor is just not enough to get the results they desire. I took my friendship efforts to a whole new level and by that I mean several notches.

    * For those who have difficulty finding decent friendships dwell on this beneficial question, “How am I responsible for my friendship situation?” I found it very enlightening and beneficial.

    * We are all stewards of the social slots in our lives. When friends prove unresponsive, chronically passive, apathetic or indifferent it’s time to seriously consider giving their social slot to someone else. Not doing so may inhibit good friends from entering our lives. Social slots are not meant to be filled with super glue. They are meant to be teflon coated.

    Andrew Burgon
    Project Fellowship

  22. Carol says:

    HI,
    I had friends growing up but as I got older; I seem to have less and less. I was also interested in arts, literature, fashion, writing, reading, etc. and I am an only child. I did ask someone a few years ago why never called me for social gatherings. They said that I was independent and they felt I didn’t need people around as much as they did. Plus they felt I had a hard time relating to groups of people and various conversations. My problem with that is the age group situation. I was hanging around people who wither either too old or too young for my age. I am in my 40′s. Also those who are married with kids. I am single and do not have children. I would suggest like myself, finding people with common interest in your own age group.

    • Grayson says:

      I really relate to your share, Carol, and so many shares in this thread. I’m in my late 40s, single, no children. I have many interests – arts, music, literature, photography, hiking, birding, and have struggled to meet friends I really connect with and enjoy. I’ve tried local singles groups to meet female and male friends and just found it difficult to “break in” to the group. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I started a singles group and made an effort to calendar activities that catered to men and women and the group didn’t ever get off the ground. I make an effort to be interested versus interesting, but then I seem to attract incessant talkers. I’ve met people who don’t hesitate to back out at the last minute. I end up going to many things alone. When I try new things I am extroverted in that I engage others. I am an introvert at heart. Too much social time with people exhausts me and I find I need alone time to regroup and recharge. I’m in a new state and town now and I am stepping up my efforts to meet friends. It’s not easy. It helps to read that I’m not alone in my struggle. Thanks for the topic.

  23. Carol says:

    HI,
    I had friends growing up but as I got older; I seem to have less and less. I was also interested in arts, literature, fashion, writing, reading, etc. and I am an only child. I did ask someone a few years ago why never called me for social gatherings. They said that I was independent and they felt I didn’t need people around as much as they did. Plus they felt I had a hard time relating to groups of people and various conversations. My problem with that is the age group situation. I was hanging around people who wither either too old or too young for my age. I am in my 40s. Also those who are married with kids. I am single and do not have children. I would suggest like myself, finding people with common interest in your own age group.

  24. nene says:

    Hi .
    i have been alone since my childhood and to this day i wish my mother to hug and love me but that may not happen .I was different from other kids
    very observant ,artistic ,intelligent .the kids were not interested in theories ,books , painting ,astronomy etc i was good and better than other kids of my age .My father used to encourage me but mother never believed in me .she still says u r good for nothing who will marry or like u a rotten piece .
    I think one can have 1 or 2 good friends who really care in life time .i think at least for me men can be good friends too .i have few friends who are men and why not if someone cares for u as a friend .
    life has taught me not to take things people too seriously go with the rythum {english is not my first language }.
    Dont criticize other,or comment on someones private life .dont advise if not asked for .Dont correct others manners or speech be comfortable and dont be suspicious .
    Besides i know i am very sensitive .I run away from people who admire me like me ,i seek people who are rude .i have tried reason with myself why and now i try to see myself differently ,treat people differently .
    i also understand my mother had a difficult life .she got married when she ws 15 and my father 17 her in laws were very abusive and harsh .
    so i forgave her long ago but she has not changed at all .but She does not says nasty things and gives me respect as a person now .which is okay

    • jenx says:

      nene, where are you from? your experience sounds similar to mine. I moved a lot as a child — 3 states, 7 schools before I was 10 yrs old, so that seems to be a deep seated issue. I also find the drama that people bring around here –every one knows eachother, small town etc. very off putting. I too have always been observant, artistic, passionate about literature and writing, and have had a harder time relating to people in adulthood.

      • Angie says:

        Hi Jenx, Nene
        I have also had a hard time making friends more so as an adult I have similar interest as you. When I was a child I seemed to have more friends. I think it maybe because I have a hard time trusting females it maybe associated with my feelings for my mother. I want friends but its like something just holds me back and I hold back.

  25. nene says:

    Hi .
    i have been alone since my childhood and to this day i wish my mother to hug and love me but that may not happen .I was different from other kids
    very observant ,artistic ,intelligent .the kids were not interested in theories ,books , painting ,astronomy etc i was good and better than other kids of my age .My father used to encourage me but mother never believed in me .she still says u r good for nothing who will marry or like u a rotten piece .
    I think one can have 1 or 2 good friends who really care in life time .i think at least for me men can be good friends too .i have few friends who are men and why not if someone cares for u as a friend .
    life has taught me not to take things people too seriously go with the rythum {english is not my first language }.
    Dont criticize other,or comment on someones private life .dont advise if not asked for .Dont correct others manners or speech be comfortable and dont be suspicious .
    Besides i know i am very sensitive .I run away from people who admire me like me ,i seek people who are rude .i have tried reason with myself why and now i try to see myself differently ,treat people differently .
    i also understand my mother had a difficult life .she got married when she ws 15 and my father 17 her in laws were very abusive and harsh .
    so i forgave her long ago but she has not changed at all . She does not says nasty things and gives me respect as a person now .

    • Nene
      I’m a little jealous because I myself can see myself in your shoes or life. My parents were never supportive in anything I did so 40 yrs later my relationships are overbearing I tend to intimidate most because of my knowledge an in the way my thought pattern is so when you say something to person in church or at the store most either fear you or afraid or just run away so I know how you feel an I understand what you are dealing with I can not give you any advice but only to an. ear for encouragement

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