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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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  1. Jenny says:

    I liked the article, and it applies– military brat and natural introvert. But.. I’ve actually always had a difficult time making friends. I’m in a course right now with social butterflies (yes, I’m misplaced, long story of torturing myself and it’s for a job), more than 20 women and 3 gay men, and not one really wants to be friends with me. I usually find at least one friend, but after 3 weeks, I not one. More than half seem to enjoy talking to me when I stand next to them but not beyond that. I was taking it really personally– and who wouldn’t– I must be “off.” About a week ago, I started being a little nicer to myself, it’s been a rough life. No family connection, can’t maintain a relationship (my choice, I’ve been broken up with exactly zero times). I’m proud, independent and lonely. Grateful for the few women I meet and connect with. Wish others were more open! Someone mentioned a struggle to continue with life this way, and it’s so true. My own grandmother died alone, and I feel I’m headed that way, too. :/

    • Sinead says:

      Oh please don’t think that way there is always hope

      • Nadine says:

        Hi ladies, first off I want to say WOW, this forum is amazing! It is comforting to know how many women feel similar to how I have/do. There are so many of us commenting!

        A little about myself:

        So I grew up being cut from a different cloth, right from the get go. My parents wanted two children only, and took action to achieve that, but they got three (I’m going to try to keep this short as I can I swear).

        I was always different from the norm. I found enjoyment in weird activities, and always took a long time to grow out of things, even to this day. I also was highly introverted and would keep to myself more than make an effort to hang out with other kids. My own family ostracized and isolated me because I was different than my other two siblings. My father got so irritated with me at one point that he would refer to me as, ‘the other one.’ Also, I think because they only wanted two kids, subconsciously, I believe my parents rejected my overall presence, (whatever their reasons were) and so I grew up highly neglected and misunderstood, and very troubled. Today, this is what’s called NCS in Psychology, which does cross over into adulthood. I won’t go too much more into detail about this as I believe what ever was cannot be changed, I live to grow, as that is what Everyone is meant to do everyday, Grow!

        I wanted to say, for those who feel bitter/jaded by others judging/bullying you, I’ve been there. I have felt what it is like to be stomped on so much that you get to the point of CRAZY lol and lash out at anyone who tried to talk to you. Think of a cat clawing at your feet! Or to experience that look from others, as if you are an alien (for some reason, that one got to me the most). I also can relate to those who have felt like they have been cold and naked in the dark. Or perhaps screaming inside and no one can hear you.

        BBTW For Irene specifically: This is a fantastic blog, good job!

        Where I am heading towards presently:

        Still introverted, still weird (I like to think in a good way) lol. Still that little girl who never grows up, trying to find herself-find harmony. Ladies there is so much opportunity available given the godliness of the internet that everyone has yet to discover. Lately I have been doing a lot of reading on different perspectives, ways of thinking, as well as different ways of living. The surface has just been scratched, but the more I wonder, the more fascinated I become with the amount of diversity available, and readily accessible. There is no better time in history than now, from my point of view, to find who you are. Life is beautiful!

        To finish off my thought, I will leave you all with a message someone I know always beaming with positivity, has said:

        “Don’t allow the memory of the past or the uncertainty of the future to stop you from loving right NOW.” -Miranda

  2. Archana Mulay says:

    I am an Indian woman, doing job. I was working in a software testing project where there was a team of 4 girls, including me. I tried to be friendly with all of them, however all of them were hostile to me. I thought I should give them some time to understand me, so irrespective of their hostility I continued to be good to them. However, nothing changed even after 2 years. That has left such a bad feeling with me. I am now working on another project. As I read in an article, I always try to think about good people, expect positive things to happen and keep myself persistent in thinking that I am going to have many good friend. However at times, I really feel sad that despite of my try for so long, I haven’t been able to make friends. I have a very close friend(girl) thankfully….but with such a good nature I have(helpful, being happy for others success) I wish I should have many friends.

    • Joe Music says:

      hello everyone,

      Wish there were an answer. I am a man, write music and poetry. Now trying to get a television show going I created. I love gatherings of people.

      I love deep talks, finding out why you value what you value. I am kind and caring, it is my true nature. It is my experience that fewer people are interested in anything but their own needs. I think about others often during the day. I returned from Louisiana recently and felt like I was in heaven. Most people looked into my eyes and talked with me, women held me and kissed me.
      Back in California now is like walking in an emotional

      I have various interests, photography, cooking, behavior, conversation, history, cultures.

      Except for my soul love, ( she is beyond dreams )
      I have no friends. Peiple that are suspicious repulse me, since friendship requires being present to know one another. So I try to cope with all my love going nowhere, except for my love. We love one another sacredly, but dear friends out there I have never met remember, we did not create the people who choose indifference or apathy, we must self renew from within
      and find ways to see beauty absent others. It would not be my choice, being without friends, it would be wonderful if WE all could gather and nurture each other.
      American people have changed since Carole King’s song, “You’ve Got a Friend. ” I live near her and often wonder why people choose distance over closeness.

      May love surround you…..

      • Marianne says:

        I agree that location makes a big difference. I am from the Midwest and people were more trusting there and there was much more diversity. I have found it is very difficult to make close friends in the Denver area!! Not sure why — many people — the young ones — 30’s and 40’s particularly — are very COMPETITIVE here, financially, physically, etc., maybe that’s why? Many transplants too –without much family. And I also think people move here to “get away” from family! A woman I met (from the South) I was talking to said people here look at her like she’s an annoyance if she tries to talk to a stranger

        • Lynn says:

          Hi Lynn,
          I’m from the Midwest, too, and have been living in the South for 25 years. About the woman you met from the South–I find it interesting as people here look at me like an annoyance even after all this time!
          It’s difficult to live in an area that doesn’t accept you since you’re not native. I’m never asked as a woman what my work is…just “Who are my people?”, “How many children do I have”, and “What church do I go to?” Once I say I’m not originally from here, have no children, and do not belong to a church, people turn around and walk away. It has been very lonely, yet I have to live here right now.

          • Lynn says:

            It was to read “Hi Marianne”.

            • Marianne says:

              I’m not a church-goer myself. I think the key is to join things that you have in common with others. I am looking into some volunteer opportunities right now that I’ve always wanted to do. I think when people just “try to make random friends,” if there is nothing in common they share that binds them, the friendships don’t really last. So, maybe I just answered my own problem.

      • Heidi says:

        I, also, have my husband to whom I am a very close friend and with whom I have a great time. We laugh alot. We have five kids, out of town but fairly close – we all get along. Other than that, nada! It’s hostile out there. At my age, more than 60, I am looking for courtesy and some basic civility I lost reputation, early friendships and all family members when younger due to a psychopath in my family who held the central position. I was unable to replace them or to feel relaxed enough to trust people again.I have wandered to other cities and states to live and we enjoyed these things immensely. Like you, I write-fictiion in my case. Who knows? Part of it is me, I know. I enjoy people and parties, but don’t like the petty or infighting side of what passes for socializing.Just being polite and giving a smile to people is very nice! Why not? Keep it superficial and friendly.

    • Francesca says:

      I often come back to this website to reassure myself that I am not alone in this frustrating friendship business. One year ago I joined a women’s club in a northern California suburb.It is very typical of the women’s clubs here as they are all made up of small cliques of women that don’t accept any new people into their circle. Dispite doing all the “right things” (don’t have bad breath, make certain I’m friendly and cooperative, keep my conversations similar to their, as well as my appearance), I’ve made certain I “fit in” but still only one or two women bother to say hello and have a conversation. What is the secret to being accepted????

      • Cintia says:

        OMG I am also living in Northern California! *Waves* and you are so right! I moved here about 9 years ago and it is almost impossible to be accepted by any of the women’s groups (cliques)here…unless you were born and raised here. They will be polite and all but never more, I have tried everything so I totally feel for ya :( If there is a right way to make friends here I have no idea what it is lol! And so got myself a little chihuahua and continue to do community events and hope, good luck to you.

      • Heidi says:

        Francesca, If you find out, bottle it! You will make a million. My observation: people go for the lowest common denominator. They may want to feel a bit snobbish toward those they superficially appear to follow. I know a falling down alcoholic who is mean, outrageous and has multiple sex partners – the other women in her group idolize her – they don’t live that way! Why don’t you try picking your nose?

  3. Whitby says:

    I just wanted to say that I am very glad that I found this blog, and this post in particular. I was actually looking online for advice about how to get over a friendship that ended, and happily stumbled across this blog and this post. Like many of the people posting here, I am a real introvert; I spent most of my childhood moving, and since I live in the US, sometimes I feel like a loser oddball (seriously – is it just me, or does a lot of the psychology reporting in the US suggest that if one is not out socializing multiple times per week, one will end up depressed, demented, and dead in an apartment surrounded by old newspapers with cats eating one’s eyeballs?). My “problem” (and I’m not sure it is a problem): I have a couple of good friends, and I am close to family members, but they all love 2000 miles away! And I find that I do better that way … I need lots of distance in order to maintain friendships. Getting together with someone once a month would be too much for me. I also have a very time-consuming job in a very dysfunctional office, so pursuing friendships with co-workers is out (in fact, I have slowly disengaged from social relations with colleagues). I have always been introverted, but it has become “worse” in the past few years, especially after some serious issues occurred at work, and a family member was diagnosed with a serious illness. I just became a lot less interested in boring, shallow chit-chat (usually about work issues), and a lot less interested in discussing my personal life with the people I worked with. I don’t know if I will ever return to my more extroverted self – sometimes I can’t recognize my younger self. In fact, I think I used to rely on alcohol in order to make that extroverted self appear – and since I can’t drink anymore, the introversion has won out!

    • Kathy Grandson says:

      Hi, I believe you’ll want to know what I have to say to all of you dear women. But first, just look at who I am. You will be surprise.

      I’m an extroverted young women. I’m 22 and with the same wonderful guy for 4 years now. At school I’m often at the top, my academics skills are great and I won many prizes (maths, sciences, etc.). I don’t really have a hard time finding a job since I know how to present myself pretty well. I think I’m beautiful, even if sometimes I don’t feel like it. I have an excellent relationship with my mother (my only family) even if it was not always like that in the past. I know I am an interesting person, I have great imagination and I’m not scared to talk about whatever is on my mind. I also know that I can listen to others well, be supportive and happy when someone has success in whatever is it that he/she is doing. I am a social person, I like to meet people and I love inviting people at home to cook them a meal. I look strong, sure of myself and I express myself very clearly.

      My problem is, I don’t have any friends. Not almost, not a little one in case I need someone, NO ONE. And God knows I am really trying hard to get some. You see, what I said earlier about me, even if it’s true, it doesn’t please anybody. Especially other women. You could easily say that is because I’m imbued with myself. That I believe that I’m perfect and that is why nobody wants to be with me.

      But here’s the thing: I am not confident about myself. I always think (and not so quietly) that I am not enough, that what I’m doing is not good enough, that I should be more like this or more like that. I am never satisfied with myself, always believing that I am not worthy of anything and anyone. I feel so often stupid that I don’t even understand why some people can be jealous of me. It’s a complete non sense to me.

      Every single time I met a girl, I try to be supportive, to listen to her, make her feel right, to do the absolute opposite of what other girls did to me. When I am trying to get a friend, it is for the purpose of being a friend. I want something real, not something that you throw away when you simply feel like it. I never pretend being happy to see someone when it is not the case.

      Yet, every single girl friend I tried to have just spit on me like I was garbage. They lied to me, tried to makes me look like a fool in front of other people, used me. At the start I always thought they would be good to me, that they appreciated me, because that is what I wanted to be for them. It was always a friendship that was not in a group of person. Just her and me.

      At the end, the same thing always happen: they try to make me feel that our friendship was only in my head. They change. Radically. One day they tell me I’m a good friend to them, we go out, they come to my home, respond very quickly at their phone when I talk to them, we talk about our emotions, they are happy to help me if I need explications for an homework or something like that. And the other day they stop answering my texts, they say I misunderstood them when they actually invited me somewhere, they suddenly don’t remember my invitation that they still accepted like one day ago, they tell me they prefer keeping for them whatever thing that make them feel sad, they now don’t have any time to help me with any homework they told me they will help me with…

      I always thought it was my fault.
      That it was surely something I did, something I said.
      That they change towards me because I should have been more cautious towards them.
      Those girls, they never said to me what is it that I have done to them to make them change like that. There has never been a big story, like something about our boyfriend, or I don’t know whatever gossip story. Nothing. One day I see in their eyes they are happy to see me, the other I see that I’m the last person they want to see. And there is no turning back. Even if I try to stick with them and forgive, they just continue to lie and disrespect me.

      After a long, long, long period trying to figure out what I did that make them like that, I realized that I wasn’t asking myself the right question. Those girls didn’t act like that because of me. They did that because that is who they are. You know, if I don’t like you, I don’t talk to you. I don’t start lying. So, what’s the point in forgiving? I have nothing to forgive them, because the way they are do not concerns me. It’s sad, in a way I would have prefer to be able to do something about it. But since I understand that lying and pretending were things they were actually choosing to do, I also did my choices.

      Maybe they were jealous of me because I didn’t let them know enough how vulnerable I can be.
      That whatever success they believe I had, I don’t always feel like it is really mine. I am not different from them in how I feel. But I will certainly be different from them in how I react to those feelings.

      I know I’m not perfect, but dear God, I believe I should start to love myself anyway and feeling that I am enough, for real. I am SICK of feeling ashamed, SICK of feeling that I should hide my success, SICK of feeling that anybody has better reason than me to be happy.

      And I don’t know what is the problem of those girls who don’t want to be honest and respectful towards me, but screw them. If I have only one mistake to admit, is that I don’t love myself enough. Maybe if I respect me more, others will do the same. I don’t know if it will really works, but I will sure try. Of course I would love to have some real girl friends, but not at the price of disrespect. I prefer to be alone than fooling myself. It is not my fault if those girls are jealous of me, they just had to do something great with their life! I am confident that one day I will be able to have at least one real girl friend and hell I will be proud. In the meantime, I’ll just try to prepare myself for that day. I am worthy, and I’m sure we are all. We just have to be better to ourselves.

      • Mary says:

        As a fifty plus year old I can tell you that you are not the problem. You sound like someone who has (or had hopefully these people who hurt you did’t ruin it) healthy self esteem. And you have looks on top of it. You’re above them maturity and wisdom wise and they know that. Instead of appreciating that they want to bring you down because they recognize they dont measure up, even though you would gladly share what you have and they dont with them and be humble enough to recognize the good in them that they don’t. It’s lonely being good sometimes dont’ let them destroy your goodness and self esteem. I didn’t and still suffer.

        • Jacklyn says:

          Same here…. Thought I was alone in this one.

        • aceiota says:

          Yeah it is hard to be good, but be good because it’s good to be good. If you believe in universe, souls and after life… what will be remembered is always the good your consciousness participated in… and it will reward your true self.

      • Tina says:

        Hi, I can understand, it is quite probable that those girls are just jealous of you. My whole life I felt quite the opposite, I grew up being the fat kid in the class, and the only girls who would befriend me were the ones who had no other choices but me, and I often felt like they did not really appreciate me even though I honestly felt I could be a good friend to them. Either that, or I would befriend girls who took a superior attitude towards me and I felt they used me to feel more important.
        When I lost weight at the age of 15, the two girls I was friends with started taking a colder attitude towards me and one of them actually told me years later, after I gained weight again, that she felt threatened by me when I got thinner. So I honestly think the sad thing is this society pits women against one another because women are valued mainly due to how attractive they are and not personality or spiritual values, like courage, loyalty, honesty and all that.
        Most of my life actually I felt women who are honest and decent are treated like suckers by most women, since most women are taught they have to be conniving and manipulative in order to be successful.
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      • Andrea says:

        Wow, I really connected with your post. I wish I could run into people like you in real life, because you seem really interested in building friendships.

        I’ve moved more times than I can count in my life, and my parents never talked to me and my siblings about the move. It was just, “pack your stuff!” in a rather unconscientious way. I’ve always had difficulty making friends, however. I was told I was very adorable growing up, and was called beautiful as I grew older, but I found this didn’t help me earn friends at all (not that I hoped it would). I didn’t dress to impress, I remained myself, I was very shy and thoughtful, I thought deeply, and I always cared enough about others feelings to somehow always avoid conflict. I also don’t show my unhappiness to other people. Not because it doesn’t exist, but because I don’t want to bring them, or myself, down. I can only get by with determination when I keep myself happy as much as possible. I guess it might have to do with my parent’s rule on not crying when I was growing up, though. I was yelled at if I pouted or acted sad, so maybe I kept that discipline as an adult?

        I try talking to other woman, such when I’d excitedly talk about something we seem to both be interested in, but they’d usually give me this disorientated look and walk away. It confuses me. When women, especially friends, are together, and so are more brave and honest, they clearly ignore what I say and avoid looking at me. Men only occasionally do this if they seem to be having a “macho” moment of appearing as intelligent and capable as they can be, but even then they’re not that bad. When women do this, it sometimes comes of as a complete lack of respect and obvious disdain for me. It does make me sad and also a little disappointed. I’ve always been kind and tried to be thoughtful towards them. People say I appear intelligent, so I wouldn’t think it’d have to do with that. It comes of as shallow, to be honest. After getting to know some of these women, it seems their interests are more for show than any real interest, sadly. For example, some women go to the same gym because their friends go there, despite what they say, or some women attend a class because their crush is there, and so on.

        It’s also probably my fault. I’m a person deeply interested in the world and other people, and also to do things I’ve wanted to do, but it seems most people, especially women, aren’t. My interest in the world never seems to fade, no matter how many punches it takes. Many women just don’t seem to like to look past the small things in their daily lives. I’m always thinking about my general purpose in life and my big dreams, which may seem strange to some women?

        After thinking about it for a while, I wonder if most women don’t actually want friendships, but it develops while they look for other women to “use.” Someone to complain to, a guy to receive special attention from, a woman who’s rich or popular in order to build their own popularity, someone to gossip with, etc. I don’t have those things to offer, and if I do, I don’t show them. I avoid gossip, because I think it’s wrong, for example. I have strong moral values as well. I try to gain friendships by kindness and showing my own interests, but that doesn’t go far for me.

        Then again, I’ve gotten so scared of making friendships with women that I’ve begun avoiding them unconsciously, such as my mind going blank when making conversation, or acting overly nervous around a women who seems interested in getting to know me.

        I’ve met woman who seemed interested in friendship, only to try to drop me in a purposely emotionally hurtful way. I’ve gotten so used to sensing this that I’m not hurt when this happens, but focus my energy back on myself and my own life, in order for the woman to not take any sick pleasure in any hurt.

        I could never emotionally hurt someone for my own enjoyment unless they were one of the most awful people in the world, so it makes me wonder how most women see other women.

        Growing up, I was usually okay with making friends with someone if we were one on one, but once they got with a group, they acted in this herd manner that immediately stood out to me the first time I saw it. Even from a young age, I automatically noticed how different people acted in a crowd, and I didn’t like it at all. I even began avoiding being in a large group of friends if I could help it, and suddenly being with many other people made all the girls want to appear impressive. It still bothers me to this day, although I don’t see this happen much at all as an adult. I have a feeling that most women I meet still do this in private with their friends. Why else would they constantly want to dress super pretty and have the nicest, newest material possessions?

        It feels like many women are just on “show” at all times. I wonder if they’re happier that way?

        • Marie says:

          I can really relate to this! I would meet women and have interesting conversations with them and feel energized. However, if I meet these same women again, randomly or somewhere else, or ask to meet up with them for a coffee they would ignore me. They would even look away when I would greet them, and coming from an Asian background, I consider that overwhelmingly rude.
          I’m not ugly or stupid and I always try to show care and compassion for women to let them know that I am open to friendship. I ask them about their experiences and share mine as well and always try maintain the balance between being open but not desperate.
          My inability to make girlfriends kills my self-esteem. I can make great friends with men but often I have to struggle to make it clear that I have purely friendly intentions. But the sort of proximity one gets when friends with someone of the same gender is very specific and can rarely be replaced!

          It’s very soothing to see that many women go through this. I wish we could all meet and have great conversations about all sorts of things without having to worry about being judged or misunderstood!

      • Natalie says:

        I’m so glad I came across this, as a 23 year old female with very few girl friends (if any) I was beginning to feel at a loss and now I realise I’m not alone. It’s a horrible feeling but now I feel a little better. Thankyou.

      • Stephanie says:

        Dear Kathy,

        Your letter made me cry. I have lived your life to a tee but am 50 years old and still living it.
        As this blog stated I moved a lot…17 schools before I was 15. I never thought I was pretty but everyone around me says otherwise. I look like I’m in my early 30’s even now. I have no family left as of 20 years ago and was divorced early at 24 with 3 children. They are grown and very independent and thankfully successful. So I have an empty house. They spend most holidays with their Dad as he has a large family and I have no family to offer the same type of celebration. Most holidays I spend alone with a glass of wine and my 2 cats. Pathetic I know.
        I have a few girl acquaintances but they make it clear when we finally do speak how busy their lives are. So many times I have made a girl friend that I support and am there for, making sure I do not ask a lot of our friendship but they always pull away eventually and do not call or contact me. It is always me contacting them. I eventually stop reaching out as it hurts.
        I am an executive and successful at work but would never think to get together with a co-worker in case the same thing happened. I have become afraid of becoming close to any girl as a friend as they always hurt me in the end with gossip or rejection. It hurts. I cry many times at night. I could go on dates with men as I am asked out but I have no desire to do that if the man is not someone I would want an eventual relationship with.
        I thank you for your honesty. It helps just to know there is someone out there who understands how hurtful and lonely it is without a close female friend. I always believed that if you want a friend be what you want first to them but that has not seemed to work.

        Confused by it all,

        • Joe Music says:

          Dear Stefanie,

          There is a book called “The End of Self-Help” by an author named Brenner.
          There are some really good things about all of us that I find truthful and beneficial.

          i was raised that life is shared with others. All this love, very few others. Take care and be kind to yourself.


      • christie says:

        I so get you. I have the same problem. I can’t seem to connect with other women or friends. I seem to always attract the wrong people. I’m 30. I’ve always had this problem. I feel like people are so fucking judgmental. Like if you say one wrong thing or anything slightly off the beaten path or anything odd that suddenly poof! you are x’d out of the friendship running.
        growing up no matter how hard I tried, I always had maybe one good friend at a time and then no one else.
        but now as an adult, I don’t seem to have those friends or any one good friend at all. I know tons of people. I take acting classes. I feel like I should have a million friends, yet unless someone is a scene partner and forced to work with me, I can’t even get a single classmate to hang out outside of school or even practice scenes with. Everyone is always busy, no one wants to connect. No one wants to have any sort of social interaction that doesn’t involve drinking.
        I do drink but I’m trying to cut down and keep costs low. And I also want interactions that don’t involve just drinks.
        I meet someone, we maybe hang out like once, we talk , seem to have a great time and then they never call again, they never text, they maybe like something on facebook but nothing else. If I do happen to get someone to hang out, it’s because I’ve gone out of my way to call them, text them, follow up on date and time.
        I have one friend that when we were both overweight, and were hiking buddies, she wanted to hang out and get together every week, now suddenly, she has a boyfriend , pushed me off to a distance completely. The thing is that it’s been a one way friendship before that, I felt things slipping.
        It was like,she would tell me little snippets and small details about her personal life but keep me at a distance. I was never the go to confidant and I felt like why not?! Why am I not good enough? I am a good listener, I am fun and I am a quality person.
        then with her I tested things. I stopped texting and calling all together. and of course we went a month without any contact because she didn’t bother to call or text me and it was like, wtf????! I guess I wasn’t a priority friend to her. I was a D list friend.
        now I feel so frustrated because I just can’t connect no matter what. in a group of people I seem to disappear and even though I’m outgoing, no one seems to feel comfortable around me. Im not weird looking. I’m pretty average. I don’t dress slutty or overly conservative. I don’t wear strange clothes. I feel so put down and I’m tired of the one way friendships and trying to connect.
        maybe it’s just fucking Vancouver. People are so cold and shitty here. drone like maybe .
        I feel like I will never have a gaggle of girlfriends or even a true bestie…

        • Ana says:

          Hi Christie,

          It’s not Vancouver, I live in nyc. Over 13 million people in Manhattan and I don’t have a single person in my life that I would genuinely consider a friend. I found this website because of this, a problem that I’ve been dealing with for a long time but one which has definitely gotten worse in my 20s. It’s heartbreaking really. I recently got married and had no one to even have in my bridal party or bachelorette party. I invited people to my bach party and no one showed up. It was actually one of the worse nights of my life, I still cry about it when i remember it. It’s just so incredibly lonely. I read everyone’s stories here and wonder why can’t we all meet people like each other in the real world. Why can’t we look at each other as women and say, I like you, I’d like to be friends. And then just be friends and treat each other with kindness and respect. Wth has happened to the world? I don’t know why everyone is so mean, so selfish. We live amongst each other in complete isolation, sorrounded by so many but always alone. I don’t know what to tell you to make you feel better, I don’t know what to tell myself. But I wanted to write you to tell you, you are not alone and wish you good luck and send you lots of positive energy.

          • Joe Music says:

            Hi Ana,
            Two years ago, we had a beautiful Christmas party, with many different types of people and cultures, hoping we might find someone to be friends with. All the people were people I met here and there, the food was incredible, champagne, one neighbor brought a vintage car and I took pictures of people with the car.
            One couple invited us to dinner, but that was it.
            I was stunned by the coldness. I’ve been backstage with Cher, hung out with all kinds of people, have so many interests.
            I give up on people, it ain’t me. It still is kind of strange, since I love gatherings and fun and dancing. # You can hang on to people, but I hope you will see, they are the people that they want to be. # I write music and wrote that line when I was 17. Peace and love :)

      • Katie says:

        Hi Kathy,

        Firstly let me just say, wow this was just as if I were reading my own thoughts, I can absolutely relate to you 100%. I am a 22 (soon to be 23 in less than a week) year old female with not one single, solitary female friend. I am an only child and moved around constantly through my childhood, which I didn’t mind at the time, sure I changed schools more than others but I always made friends quickly (well so I thought). My mum is a single mother and I couldn’t of asked for a better mum and friend to raised by, she is the most loving and caring woman I have ever met and she struggles with the same issues as me, not having any close girlfriend. My mum is certainly not shy nor quiet (unlike me I am a little more of a introvert but once I am comfortable good luck shutting me up) ) she is bubbly, outgoing, super friendly and would do anything for the people she cares about and yet she still struggles to have friends.

        Throughout primary school I had good girlfriends and would get invited to birthdays and events on a regular basis. Once I got to high school things changed. The first 2 years I was still close with my primary school friends as well as meeting some new friends along the way. It was when I got to year 10 that it all went downhill, my best friend of about 4 years completely ditched me for her new boyfriend, at first I was soo happy for her as I knew how much she liked this guy so I made an effort to become his friend too so we could all hangout. It was great for s month or so then she stopped answering my calls and texts and starting avoiding me completely at school and always had some excuse as to why I didn’t hear from her. I persisted for quite some time to maintain our friendship but it was a one way street I was getting nothing in return expect being stood up. I let it go as it was only dragging me down and tried to make new friends at school and outside of school, the same things would continue to happen we were great fiends for a few months, hanging out on weekends, going to the beach,movies and helping each other with assessments and then it would suddenly stop, I would stop hearing from them and being invited to hangout on weekends, they would no longer reply to my texts or social media messages and it was back to square 1, friendless, again.

        I have my flaws and all of us beautiful women do but I am always that loving, caring, loyal, compassionate friend that gets chewed up and spat out and I just can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Not once have I ever treated a friend as badly as I have ever been treated, but I pick myself up, dust myself off and move on to the next chapter of my life. Many Times I have tried to fix the friendship of my so called ‘friends’ that have treated me this way and everything is back to normal for the intrum and then it’s back to getting used and abused. I just don’t get it!

        I feel the same as you Kathy, it is me? It is something I’ve said or done? It must be if people keep treating me the way they do.

        I left school about 6 years ago now and still have a lot of school ‘friends’ on social media. A lot of these girls are all still really close and I am frequently seeing updates of the holidays they have been on, music festivals and so even travelling the world together. Once upon I time I was as close with these girls as they are now and yet today they have absolutely nothing to do with me. I have tried on multiple occasions to reach out and get in contact with them and arrange to catch up, we organise a time and day to meet and when it gets to the day they cancel last minute, this has happened more times than I can count. Why?? I offer to pick them up and drive them home, even pay for their lunch or the entire day yet they still don’t want to hang out with me.

        I am getting to the point where I am started to feel why bother anymore? It always the same result. Is it them? Is it me? The only semi-logical explanation I can come up with is as you mentioned Kathy, they must be jealous. I have always been told I am stunning, beautiful, gorgeous blah blah blah, personally I have low self-esteem so I do struggle to see this a little (as I am getting older I am becoming more and more confident and starting to see my beaty, inside and out) but the point is I don’t act like s stuck up bitch because I don’t see it so why on earth be jealous of me? I have always thought my friends were far prettier than myself, it was never a competition I just assumed I would of lost if it was. So why then be jealous or dislike someone for their looks when they cannot see their beauty in the first place.
        What a pathetic explanation I have come to but honestly what else can it be??

        I am soo relived I stumbled across this site for years I thought I was alone and a loser for having no friend. I wish we could all be friends and help each other out .

        Sorry for the rant I think it has been brewing a long time and I don’t really have anyone to share it with. If anyone needs a shoulder to lean on or just someone to listen my arms and ears are always open.

        Have a lovely day you beautiful, strong women!

        • Amber says:

          Hi Katie
          I also have the same trouble with making friends.
          I used to have a few close friends but over the last few years everything is different they have nasty and selfish attitudes and every time i try and talk to them i’m treated like i don’t exist or when they have social gatherings they invite their other friends but not me. I’m left wondering what other people have that i don’t have. It hurts. I just want a few gfs to have silly gossip with and casual drinks but i don’t think that will happen. It doesn’t help that most people around my age are mothers so it makes it even more difficult. But thats enough of my problems and happy birthday

        • Kathy Grandson says:

          Hello Katie! (And all of you dear women.)

          I will try an explanation here.
          Don’t know if it’s worth anything.
          You will be the judge of that.

          It will looks very weird, and maybe you will believe I invented it all, but I swear I’m just trying to be honest with you.

          Here’s my point :
          I believe women do not love themselves enough.
          I firmly believe that MOST of women, anywhere in the world, feel like they are not equal to men. In a serious way, I believe every single woman in the world will born feeling like they are inferior. The complete society, history, market, every thing, will lead a woman believing what many people want her to believe, meaning she’s not a complete real person.

          Yes, okay, what’s the point?

          The point is, I DO NOT FEEL LIKE THAT AT ALL.

          I feel like I am emancipated.
          That I am strong.
          That I have value.
          That I am NOT inferior.
          In fact, I really feel like there is a place for me in this world and that I don’t have to beg for it.
          I know how to affirm myself.
          I know what I am worth.
          I know how to say shut up to a man. REAL THING.

          It can looks stupid, but my point is about jealousy. Women who do not respect me and all of these false friends I had, I think it has something to do with what I am talking.

          Of course you will be jealous of me if you did not emancipated yourself by yourself.
          I understand many grils don’t know how to do it, that they have problems (like maybe their families, their father, and so on).

          But I had those problems too.
          And they didn’t stop me.
          So here’s why they are jealous of me.
          I am stronger than them.
          It’s easy to see.
          It’s easy to feel.
          And it is not because I believe I am better than them.
          It is because I really believe I am equal to anybody, I DO NOT FEEL INFERIOR IN ANY WAY.
          Not because I never felt inferior, but because I really dedicated myself to be better for myself.

          Of course sometimes I feel like shit.
          But each time I pass over it. Even if it’s not always easy. (Rarely is.)
          At the end, I know who I really am.

          That’s the problem with those girls.
          They don’t know what I’m talking about.
          They don’t understand they have to stand up for themselves.
          So of course they believe I act like I do because I believe I’m better than them!
          Anybody is a competition, because they want to emancipated themselves, but they don’t how the EDITED BY MODERATOR do that. When they see a girl that did something they are INCAPABLE to do, they see that like an attack.

          I believe the way I am is so sincerely great, I look so much like I am not an inferior person, they can’t believe it.

          I believe it’s sad. Really.
          I don’t judge them, I really understand it’s not easy. Really, it’s okay if they have an hard time doing that.
          I’d like to help them emancipated themselves.
          But I can’t do that. No one can.
          They have to do it by themselves.

          So really, now I think about all the girls who weren’t nice toward me.
          Those girls believed, probably unconsciously, that the words of a man has more worth than those of a woman.
          That a woman should follow a way to be and to think, because that is what their family is asking them to do.
          The way they are, they way they see themselves, is the only thing they know is acceptable.
          So they believe I play them.

          Think about it.
          You will see that the only girl friends those girls have, are exactly like that.
          You will discover that the way you think about yourself, is not a ‘woman’ way. It’s more like something neutral. Or I don’t know how to describe it. But it is certainly not a girly way, even if I can find some feminity in it.

          I don’t always remember myself I’m a woman.
          I see myself like a person, not like a woman.
          I don’t believe I SHOULD have kids, even if I WANT some.
          I don’t believe people should tell me what to do.
          I don’t believe I’m inferior.
          I don’t believe anybody but me knows what’s best for me.

          That is the real problem.

          Other girls feel like I don’t want to share with them the only thing they really know.
          Can you understand that?
          Because, there is no way we don’t feel like them, we’re all girls, don’t we?
          There is no way it can be true that a girl doesn’t feel what they’va always been feeling and that they don’t know how to get rid of.


          Well, it’s simple.
          It’s better than survival.
          Better than simply emancipating ourselves.

          It is called self respect, self esteem.


          It is not that we are so much more powerful than you. Or stronger.
          It is not that we have a better environment.
          Or that our parents loved us more.

          WE CHOOSE OKAY?

          So eum, well, thanks for your time and have a nice day.

          – Kathy

          Please do not use profanity on this blog. I realize that you feel “passionate” but your language needs to be respectful of yourself and others. Thanks for your cooperation! Irene

        • Kathy Grandson says:

          Well, just to specify :

          When I say ‘YOU’ I don’t mean ‘YOU KATIE’.

          I believe you are a part of the ‘WE’.

          So euh, don’t get confuse into believing I pretend you are different than me. I strongly believe we’re the same.

          The ‘YOU’ is referring to the girls that make us feel bad.

          So eum, sorry if there was any confusion. Sometimes I can become really passionate.

          See ya!

          – Kathy

  4. linnietea says:

    I’m retired,medically from the UsArmy(a misdiagnosed issue 40 yrs ago). in 2011,I was correctly diagnosed w GRAVES disease(hyperthyroidism) however,all the previous yrs instead of simply refilling my thyroid script,I was called crazy,psychotic and sent to psychiatry,no one wanted to believe me. Nonetheless,after all these years I Was telling the truth.
    my issue Now: I don’t know how to integrate with society as a “normal” person,all my life was stolen now I’m 62,no family,friends not even neighbors will engage me,everyone thinks I’m crazy. my sister told people I was crazy to BEWARE of me,but never did she mind stealing from me. she’s now dying but still curses me. our parents are deceased.
    no one but veterans seem to understand,I’m Vietnam Era veteran.

    • Laurel Pogue says:

      You know, I was tempted to advise some helpful suggestions, then I realized, we are all the blind leading the blind. If any of us knew how to make friends, we wouldn’t be writing here, would we? This blog helped me realize there are other women with the same problem, some comfort I guess. I went to United Way once to get a volunteer job. I had always, always been able to find work. I waited tables throughout high school and college, I’m an accountant and legal secretary. But I couldn’t find a job. I hadn’t realized how tied up my self confidence, etc was in being able to work. The volunteer job they got me was a life saver. I worked in a community police station as a receptionist about 10 hours a week. I taught them how to use office software, how to make labels, etc. I was suddenly a hero, I was useful and helping people. I think my change in attitude and self confidence helped me find a job after that.

  5. Tera says:

    I moved around many times as a kid (at least 20 times between 8 States), and I have great difficulty finding friends. I find I have little in common with other women and even when I do it’s difficult to find anything to talk about. Being a homeschooling mom of several kids seems to make it difficult to find time to connect to other moms, and the homeschooling moms don’t seem to have much in common with me. It can be very lonely.

    • Alma says:

      I was home-schooled for 7 years (from age 8 – 15) with my older brother and younger sister while my family moved from city to city across Western Canada for my dad’s job. When I went back to school at 15, obviously not the best time for reinsertion, I made girlfriends who weren’t good for me and let them go upon graduation. After that, I made a good friend at work, but eventually that fell to pieces when I started moving with my ex from town to town as he completed his graduate studies. My own bachelor’s degree was completed at 5 different schools because of that, and I made one friend out of all those years.

      The experience I have had the most since childhood is girls or women saying, “Yeah, we should go out sometime,” or “Message me and we’ll meet up”, et cetera, and when I do they either don’t respond or they give me an excuse.

      This is even happening now at age 30 when I met a woman my age from my hometown (we’re both from Vancouver living in Montreal) who pursued my friendship in my baby group. She said several times during the meeting that she and I should exchange numbers and “hang out”, and even walked with me to the bus stop afterwards. To be honest, I had my doubts about us being close friends, because she had had a pretty rosy life (upper middle-class nuclear family, popular sorority girl in university, husband is a professional skier from a family of lawyers)and didn’t seem to talk about anything of substance, like Alexandra says. For her, life is “awesome”. I love life, but I certainly don’t see it as simply as that. During our walk she asked what I studied and the conversation turned to feminism and female identity, my major. She had some conventional responses to my points, but most of what I said seemed to fly over her head and gradually I could feel her stiffening. I “poked” her on the meetup website a few days after, and didn’t hear back. At the time I didn’t know how that whole thing worked, maybe it didn’t go through, so a week after that when she didn’t come again to the baby group I sent her a short message saying we could meet for coffee. She never answered and now when I go the Meetup website I see her attending all the other baby/mama events except the ones I go to. She probably thinks I latched onto her, when really I was just responding to her advances.

      And even at my age, this whole experience was absolutely crushing. I felt exactly the same as when I was 12, and kids in my neighborhood didn’t stay friends with me because I was home-schooled and new in town. I felt like a freak, even though my boss, my partner and my family constantly reassure me I am smart, intelligent, et cetera (I have difficulty believing them, sometimes). Did she pick up on my lack of self-esteem and find me to be a loser? Or did my so-called “intelligence” intimidate her? Why do women do this? Why not just say nothing and leave it at that? Why pretend?

      • Whitby says:

        Alma, here’s what I saw in your post: you think about life, she doesn’t. Some people just aren’t that thoughtful – especially about gender – and they like it that way. I suspect that you made her feel less intelligent – and that’s not your fault.

        I have to say that I have learned a lot from this website. And one of the things I’ve learned is that people have very different expectations about friendship. Some of us want one type of conversation (probably more substantial and authentic), and others just want to hang out and have a good time (and I don’t mean to denigrate the second choice, even though my persona preference is for the first). Increasingly, I wonder if we all shouldn’t tattoo our preferences on our foreheads – a lot of heartache (especially for the sensitive introverts) could be avoided.

  6. Alexandra says:

    Just wanted to pipe in about one thing I’ve noticed when it comes to female friendships – often, the women with the most friends are the most boring. I tend to have relatively few close friends and rarely have a clique of my own, and I think that’s partially because I value deeper connections with people. Clique-y women, meanwhile, do not. When I meet women who are part of cliques, I find that they tend to be very surface-level people – it’s really hard to have any conversation of substance with them, and it can feel like pulling teeth talking to them.

    It makes you wonder if maybe boring people seek out cliques because they feel as though they are nothing alone and/or can’t entertain themselves alone. I always think I want to be part of a big friend group, but then when I meet women who are (including members of the sorority I was in in college), I find that they’re very empty inside.

    What’s interesting is I rarely have trouble connecting with men, but women can be pretty difficult – at least the type of woman who has a big group of friends. Also, men tend to not connect well with those types of women, either, even if the women are attractive.

    Sometimes I wonder if women are just designed to not seek out “packs” as much as men are. Men seem to effortlessly make groups of friends (perhaps partially because their conversations tend to be more surface-level), whereas it almost seems unnatural with women.

    Of course, I haven’t even touched on the whole competition/jealousy issue that often occurs among female friends. I’ve had lots of women not be nice to me because they see me as a threat with respect to men, and I think that’s just silly. Again, it proves my hypothesis that women aren’t designed to want to be friends with each other as much as men are; rather, many view each other as competition.

    • Laurel Pogue says:

      I have learned from post about cliques, thank you. I believe you are intuitive about this. I was never in cliques in high school. I was befriended by a woman as an adult who turned out to be the head of the clique. I am very independent and tend to be a leader. That she called all the shots and expected the rest of us to follow along made it feel immature and what I observed in high school.
      I have had major problems with women perceiving me as a threat or competition with men, even when I am married. I have never cheated on any man, I would never dream of interfering in someone else’s relationship and never have. I resent being judged solely on looks and so unfairly. That does make me shy about initiating friendships with women. Many times when I do try to initiate a friendship and they are not interested, my husband has said, “they weren’t looking for a friend, honey.”
      I believe that is the biggest reason there are not more women in supervisory, presidential, ceo, etc positions because the, well, here is a quote I heard, I believe is too true. “women are like crabs, none of them get to the top because the others keep pulling them down”. Maybe you have never seen a crab pot, but that is exactly what happens. Very sad. I have realized the very few girlfriends I do or have had, are very attractive physically, very smart, secure and independent. So I consider myself fortunate that they are my friends and maybe there just aren’t alot of secure women that are happy with who they are out there.

    • Anne says:


      I am a 25 year old female and I have the same problem of not being able to make close friends or any girl friends. In my field of work there are not a lot of girls and I try to avoid them most of the time. Lacking the deep feminine connection that I cannot derive from my female friends I tried to evaluate why it was so hard for me to make friends with females.

      Firstly, I had some really horrible experiences with friends when I was young. I was often bullied, ostracized from the group of girl friends or simply disrespected. At least I used to feel like the other girls were not showing me any respect and I believe any relationship that lacks mutual respect is hard to survive. So, this always discouraged me from approaching the girls thinking that I have inherent issues towards the females.

      Secondly, I also realized that it could be my jealousy and insecurity that is preventing me from making girl friends. I was inconfident and suffered from lower self esteem starting from middle school all until University and have not been able to get rid of completely. :/ I also used to openly criticize myself which I see now as one of the reasons why people did not want to be friends with me. Of course noone wants to be around the one that is always exuding negative energy. And also, seeing the girls(who were still my friends) achieve much more in their academics and other fields and seeing that they had a lot of good friends always made me bitter that I was the lesser achiever among them. I developed a really unhealthy competition against these women. This fueled by my jealousy made me construct walls from the secure stable women and find some comfort among the laid-back men.

      This continued and I was soon left with only some high school girl friends who were hundreds of miles awaay in another country. I feel lonely and long for that female connection and the feeling of having a best friend.

      So, right now I am surfing the internet and collecting tips to how to start making friends. And also doing some soul searching of myself. After all, you need to realize first, no what you want and then work on it. This time I am going to free myself of jealousy and insecurity and lower self esteem and go make friends patiently. :)

      • sallyCalifornia says:

        i like your post, and ya know what- i’m going to do just as you suggest, research & soul search. blind leading the blind here, but here are my two cents, maybe keep in mind that there will never be a completely clean slate for us as people, so don’t be too hard on yourself when and if you fall short of your goals. just pick yourself up from where you fell fat on your face, learn the ins-and-outs of what caused it, and take what you learn into your next attempt. never stop picking yourself up off of the ground! thank you for your insight, i feel like i learned something new from reading your post.

    • CountryBoy says:

      Women are more emotional thinkers, men move on quicker on emotional subjects. I here from many women they rather talk to men. For men in general it is the same they rather talk to a women about emotional things. Things can get tricky when talking about emotional subject to the opposite sexes special if they are married. If it stays with one conversation it is OK but if it continuous it can run deeper with all the problems it brings. When men make friends they do it on a surface-level women tend to want deeper emotional friendship. You can even see this in this “friendship blog”. More women than men. I just run in to this blog a couple of days ago and it is interesting to follow some of the subjects.

  7. Eddie Bole says:

    I tend to find that I get along better with married women, as I don’t feel so anxious with them. When I know they are single, then I get nervy as I feel they are judging me, etc. I also really like Asian woman, as they tend to accept me for who I am.
    Loving yourself and feeling confident is something I have struggled with most of my life. I have always looked after my elderly folks, so I tend to neglect my own needs for friendship and companionship. Frustrating!!! Hmmm.

    • elje says:

      I am very much like you all here.
      Nice to have found this blog.
      reading your comments I feel a bit relieved that I am not the only one.

  8. Pat K says:

    Dear All, I found a link to 11 most introverted countries in the world. http://lonerwolf.com/most-introverted-countries-in-the-world/

    Interesting bit of reading. I have come to accept the fact that I do like being with my husband, kids, son-in-law and grand-daughter. It is so fulfilling. I do socialize but very rarely. I feel more relaxed now than I have ever been after accepting the fact that I really do like the way things are.

    I love reading this blog though, it has helped me look at things differently and accept me for what I am.

    Thank you all so much. I will continue reading and putting in my 2-cents worth from time to time. My wish for all of you is that you have a splendid every day

    • Lanie says:

      Hi Pat K.,
      I loved the link about introverted countries. To me, Denmark seems the most ideal. Not only is it an introverted country, but it always ranks as one of the happiest, if not THE happiest country in the world. I think you summed it up when you said that you are so much more relaxed now that you have accepted who you are.
      When we are allowed to just ‘be’ ourselves that’s when we can be our happiest.

      Several years ago, I attended a wedding for my uncle over in England and was so excited to just take everything in and soak up the experience. Now, I really didn’t know anybody at the time, even though they were all close relatives, this was our first meeting. One of my uncles (not the one getting married), was peeved that I was ‘too quiet’ as he put it. He kept asking me over and over, why I was so quiet and then said to the crowd, “you know, you really need to watch out for those quiet ones.”
      It was the strangest thing, because clearly, I was not the only introverted person there, but it really made me so uncomfortable that I ended up having to quickly down a few drinks to loosen up and then I forced myself to engage in cocktail conversation with strangers. Sadly, when I think back to that trip, that’s what pops in my mind…not so much the other wonderful things.

      I’ve thought about his behavior and the only thing I can think of is that he was projecting his anger at me because of something that happened with another quiet person, or he had an ‘idea’ of how Americans should be (extroverted and gregarious) and I didn’t fit the mold.

      I really liked the ‘cactus’ description of an introvert. I think that’s right on! I also heard another one a while back that said that introverts were like rechargeable batteries, while extroverts are more like solar panels. :)

    • Tami says:

      Hello, how do I sign up to make comments? Seems I can only reply.


      • Erin says:

        Tami, I just discovered you don’t need to sign up (hello lovely forum admin – a bit more info on this would be helfpul for newbies as I searched for ages looking where to login before realising I could post without joining).
        If you want to post a new thread just go to the main forum page and scroll to the bottom. I think that’s how I did it. Perhaps others can clarify.

    • elje says:

      I am very much like you all here.
      Nice to have found this blog.
      reading your comments I feel a bit relieved that I am not the only one.

    • CountryBoy says:

      45 years ago I travelled all of them as a truck driver. All those countries are sociable cultures. Living now in North America I find the USA the least socializing country. If you compare the Canadians against the USA or the Mexicans the USA there is a big culture shock.
      And still everyone wants to go to America (USA) even I when I was young. It seems in the USA everybody is on his own. While in the European Countries mentioned there are better social programs to avoid poverty like we see in North America. So anyone has comments let them hear…..

  9. Lanie says:

    Hello All,
    It’s nice to read some of these comments and feel a kinship. I have no friends, but sadly, that’s by choice. I find it hard to meet people that I have anything in common with, and at 45, it’s probably not going to get any easier. I have always been a very good listener, but I find that it’s hard to meet people that care to listen to me. The conversation is always one-sided. I admit that I also love to talk about unusual things like astrology, numerology, religion, politics, and what can we do to make this world a better place? Granted, I am not always talking about these things, but I do conversations that have some depth. I just don’t do well with surfacy conversations and don’t care about what brand purse I’m carrying (which is never any name brand) or where I bought my shirt. I am an admitted introvert and really love spending time thinking about things. The hard thing, though, is I have a 6 year old daughter who loves to spend time with her friends, as she should. Of course, these days, kids don’t go outside and just play as they did when we grew up, there has to be playdates which involve adults getting together too. These playdates just kill me. I don’t show it, of course. I just smile and try to keep the conversation light, which is how these moms like it. For some reason, after each playdate, I am exhausted and feel like total crap. I wish it could be different…I wish I was more like these moms and just be satisfied with the light and fluffy. Thankfully, my husband is so much like me and we talk about everything. I guess he really is my only true friend.

    • Pat K says:

      Wow I am so very glad to have found this blog. I am from another country, speak excellent English without a heavy accent. I too have been unable to make any friends. I even belonged to a Bible study group for over 10 years and they excluded me from most of the fun things they did. The only ones I was included in were when it was as couples which included my husband. At 56 I feel lonely and saddened. I can even go to parties that my husband’s friends invite us too and no one talks to me. I mean no one talks to me. I will try to engage in a conversation and soon as they have responded they will make an excuse and leave me. I don’t have bad breath, am clean, not unattractive or weird looking. I don’t do what I call foo foo chit chat but I do try to. My husband thinks it is because I am such a prude lol, meaning that I don’t do the whole getting drunk, profanity and dirty jokes. Well I feel insulted by that whole scene. I was an only child and I don’t want to have a whole bunch of friends but just a couple. The ones I do attract though are usually weird or possessive as mentioned by other ladies here. I am currently friends with one that is very insecure as she goes on and on about her looks and has nothing to talk about except clothes, nails, her hair, and how good she looks. And I mean literally she does say that she is so cute and young looking.

      Why can’t all of us who belong or write on this blog start a little group of our own in whichever state or town so we can reach out to others like us.

      I am not wanting to socialize every weekend but just every other weekend. Just to have a good friend to talk to that is close by. Someone who loves hanging out at things like the museum, opera, movies even, and other little things. Potlucks etc. I live in Colorado and it is strange but I have invited many people to our home and they do come but only 1 out of the many has ever invited us back to their home. And they come to every potluck we have just to eat and talk amongst themselves. So I dropped that Bible study group and moved on.

      HELP Me please someone, tell me honestly what I am doing wrong. I welcome the criticism.

      • Laura says:

        I don’t have an answer but want to tell you sound like a really lovely person. Maybe you’re looking at the wrong type of people? Since you like museums, have you thought of volunterring at one? That would put you in contact with others who enjoy them.

      • Lanie says:

        Hi Pat K.,
        I think volunteering is a good idea too. You can also try meetup.com and create a group of your own with similar interests. I attempted to create one for introverts in my hometown and several people joined but no one committed to meeting up. It’s hard to get introverts to socialize…even with each other!! :)

        • Laura says:

          That is funny!!!

        • Pat K says:

          Thank you Lanie,

          I believe that introverts such as myself just want to meet up with others but not weekly or even bi-weekly. Once a month is about all we can do. I was not sure I was a introvert until I took a personality test and it surprised me but I guess I really am one as I would pick a book or good movie over a party.

          How do I leave comments without having to enter my name and email each time? HELP :)

          • Lanie says:

            Pat K.,
            I don’t know about the name and email thing. Mine automatically prefills with my info.
            Yes, I definitely agree with the once a month meet up. That’s about all I can do too. I’ve often wondered though if it would be different meeting up with people I really had something in common with. Sometimes it feels like work having to get together with others, and I don’t like feeling that way.
            That’s good that you know what your temperament is. In this society, sometimes introverts get a bad reputation and are seen as aloof and uncaring…and that’s not true. It’s just that we get overstimulated too quickly and need that down time. I’ve heard that there are countries that really value introverts, like Japan and Finland. Would be neat to visit those places!

      • Pat K says:


        Thank you Laura for a great idea. I will keep that in mind. I did receive another suggestion via email to start a Meetup.com and I am seriously looking into that.

        The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.
        Robert Baden-Powell

      • SC says:

        Some reasons are we dont like a group of too many friends together, boring, introverts etc. I tried like you too even be more caring,sincere towards them but still have difficulty making/retaining friends for the past so many years. Well at least I tried my best.. I don’t even have 1 best friend!By the way, I am 38 yo. Nevetheless, I still wish you all the best in life :)

      • sallyCalifornia says:

        bind leading the blind here, but sometimes i suspect that the key to making and maintaining friendships are letting go of our self-ownership for a little while. just thinking about it makes me feel like a cat with its hairs-on-end, but now i’m beginning to suspect that if i want to make friendships, i wi have do begin to actively try to bend into whichever crowd i’m in. obviously, so long as it’s not something abusive or destructive.

        i think we introverts covet self-leadership, but that may be the very reason why we are all so alone. we don’t want to fit in, and so we fit in nowhere. i feel like it’s high-school all over again, but maybe, life is like high-school from the time we’re 15 to the time we’re on our deathbeds.

        try dressing like them, copying their body language, and doing what thy’re doing. it’s the only way, i’m beginning to suspect. on some level, i’m considering the possibility that losing self-ownership for a three hour social gathering might be worth having a few people to not be so alone with.
        “when in rome, do as the romans do”
        “get in where you fit in”

    • Diana says:

      My husband has become my almost only friend, but I’m bringing him down. We recently moved to what I consider an isolated area of Washington State from Southern California. He’s doing great, talks to all the neighborhood guys, has found construction work and is socially and physically healthy. I have tried to continue running, no biking because the roads aren’t safe, no exercise or healthily living lifestyle or even in my age group women. I tried meet ups but the are all located about an hour drive away. I’m so miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the person who has kept in touch with high school friends or people from my home town in NJ, where I grew up, but I did have groups of exercise/activity people that I could do things with…I walk around the neighborhood here, talk to the 80yr old neighbors, two women are in my age group but both work far away and don’t seem to need or want to do anything with me. BTW, I’m 49 and feel like I’m dying slowing…

      • Lanie says:

        My heart goes out to you. It is hard moving to a new place and trying to find friends, and it does seem harder as we get older. Being in a remote area doesn’t help either. Based on your comment of feeling like your dying slowly, it sounds like you are feeling depressed. I want to ask you a straight up question…what are you passionate about? We all need to have meaning in our life and to feel inspired. Are you working right now? BTW, 49 is the new 30! :)

        PS: I’m from Jersey too, Piscataway, and I don’t keep in touch with anyone either since I left the state almost 20 years ago.

        • Diana says:

          Thank you for your kind words. I’m a nurse, but no, I stopped working before we moved. My husband had a stoke before we moved, he’s fine, but prior to that we planned to try to retire on the beach in Mexico because it would be cheaper. Anyway, that plan changed. So I applied and was hired at a local hospital here, but after a few hours of orientation, I decided I couldn’t go back ten years in my career and work as a floor nurse for twelve hours. I don’t want to knock the nurses that fill that role, but it’s just not for me. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in amazing hospitals in fulfilling roles. I do hope for an interview later this week in a larger, more advanced hospital 2 hours away. I’ll figure out the commute later. So it’s a little brighter now that spring is here. I’m gardening now, so don’t miss the lack of friends. Having friends really does require devoting time and energy. Why is it that guys have such an easy time? My guess is that they don’t require so much constant contact. We used to drive from the Vinland area to High Point to go camping that would be about as close as I’ve been to Piscataway!

          • Lanie says:

            Hi Diana,
            Yeah, I think you’re right on about guys not needing that constant contact, and, they don’t need the ‘intimacy’ that women need in a relationship. We want to be able to share our thoughts and feelings with our friends. Guys could care less!
            Friends do require a lot of time and energy..some moreso than others. I find now that I’m older, I am so picky about who I spend my time with. I made a friend a few months ago in our neighborhood and our children got along great, but I noticed that whenever we talked, she was checked out and just wanted to talk about herself. She also still loves to party, which is not my scene anymore, and she also likes women, which I don’t have a problem with, but she keeps trying to pressure me into exploring other options…with her! Needless to say, I’m a little uncomfortable with her coming onto me so much, so I started to distance myself. So now, I’m back to being friendless again..but that’s ok.
            I was going to ask about the weather in WA and if you feel it is affecting your mood? I am definitely affected by weather, which is why I live in FL. Now that it’s getting nicer and you’re gardening, you may start to feel better.
            I’m sorry to hear about your husband, and I don’t blame you for not wanting to go backwards in your career. I do think that a 2 hour commute is way too far to do everyday…but that’s me! I had a former co-worker who tried to do 2 hours one way and she lasted 2 months before deciding to rent an efficiency close to her work, and then she would go home on the weekends. That may be an option for you to think about?
            My husband and I also talk about retiring in another country. We watch International Househunters all the time and envision ourselves as ex-pats living abroad! :)
            I have been to High Point too, for hiking. I used to love exploring that old hotel that is up there near the lake. My first husband and I used to hike all over Jersey, and the Appalachian Trail, and we used to canoe and camp on the Delaware a lot. That is one thing I do miss about Jersey.

            • Diana says:

              I think if I get the job, we would get a small travel trailer and I would stay for two or three days, go to the gym or do yoga or something that I’m missing here. Warm sunshine=happiness. My brother lives in Naples, Fla, nice place to visit, but busy, like California, but with an East coast edge! Isn’t it great that even with NJ being the most populated state for it’s size, there are enclaves of peace and quiet to camp and canoe? crazy that some of the most beautiful, serene spots are hidden there. How is it that some people never outgrow partying? Your comments about your friend made me laugh. When I moved from NJ to CA I didn’t know anything about anything and was always the last to know. Now, some of the best friends I’ve had were gay, mostly because they were active and not bound by traditional restrictive relationships, I guess. No one ever asked me to change sides, you should be flattered!

              • Lanie says:

                Sorry for the late reply. I was out of town visiting my mom for mother’s day and forgot my laptop!
                Yes, I am flattered that she asked me to change sides, lol, but I’m happy with what I got. 😉
                That’s funny that most of your friends turned out to be gay…I’ve often wondered about some of mine too. One person in particular who I dated for about 2 years in high school. He was never interested in sex, although we got along great.
                Yoga sounds awesome! I joined Planet Fitness around New Years and only used it twice. Ugh! I just don’t like the vibe there but was sucked in by their great $10 a month membership. I’ve always loved yoga but the classes around here are so expensive and we are on a tight budget.

    • Gracie says:

      LOL–Lanie, when I read your post, I thought that I had written it myself. A person once told me that I do not know a single stranger–yet, why do I feel left out? It’s super easy for me to talk to strangers, but maintaining conversations with people over a longer period of time is frustrating because I don’t know what to talk about, and when I ask questions to get the other person to talk, I was told I make people uncomfortable.

      • Lanie says:

        Hi Gracie,
        I think it’s so cool that you ask questions to get other people to talk. So many people don’t do that, in fact, they just ramble on about themselves and real ‘surfacy’ stuff.
        Maintaining conversations is tough, and I think our society is become almost impaired at doing it because we don’t do as much face-to-face time as we used to. Everything is text, email, social media, etc. Even at the my old job, my boss sat 10 feet away from me and we would just IM if we needed to talk. How weird is that? lol!

    • Daina says:

      I think I’m a lot like you. Not only am I an introvert, but I can ‘read’ people, and it turns me off so many of them. Little in common; I prefer my own little inner world and dealing with other moms and facing their cliques at my daughter’s activities is an ordeal for me, even though I do not show it. But, I do not wish I was like other moms; I can’t, and I won’t. I would rather remain true to myself.

      • Lanie says:

        Hi Daina,
        You sound like me…an introvert AND a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). Dr. Elaine Aron coined the term to describe people who are very in-tune with their environment and have a heightened nervous system. She has a great book called The Highly Sensitive Person and The Highly Sensitive Child that I would definitely recommend. Here is an article that talks about it too:


        As you mentioned, getting together with the mom cliques is tough, and I also have wished that I was more like ‘them’ too..because it would be easier. But like you said, that is not who we are. It took me a long time to accept my introverted, highly sensitive self. Now I just try to see the positives…like being more introspective and creative. :)

        • Daina says:

          Lanie, thank you for this link. I am going to check it out. There are some days when one just hurts and when we remember what we are it makes it a little bit easier.
          Does anyone else just hurt sometimes because they were never part of an in-group right from grade school? Always felt a little different? But refused to compromise one’s self to be part of that crowd?

          • Lanie says:

            Yes, absolutely. Things that happen in childhood can make a huge impact on our self-esteem, and we carry them even into our adulthood.
            I was talking to some folks on another forum about bullying and how it effects them even now when they are in their 40’s and 50’s.
            Things that happen to us when we are young can be devastating because it happens during the stage at which our brain is not yet capable of protecting itself.

            Criticism at that stage isconsidered a personal failure..and shunning or being excluded falls into that category.

            We all want to be accepted for who we are, and we all want to fit in, but being different is often vilified.

            I read an article not too long ago about ‘popular kids’ and how to be popular you truly have to ‘not’ be yourself, because you will not be accepted if you voice any opinion that does not go along with the majority. Can you imagine that, having to go along with everything even if it went against what you believed?

            I think as an adult looking back, I would have had way more regrets doing that then being shunned or bullied for just being myself.

    • Pat K says:

      Lanie, you sound so much like me and at 58 I too realize that I will not find anyone that shares my interests easily. My ex-Bible study ladies found me too overwhelming I am sure. I too find that people love to talk to me about themselves but don’t really care to listen to what I have to say and interrupt a lot so I have given up on real conversations. I do have to say in defense of the ladies during playdates I believe that they keep it light to make sure no one gets hurt or offended. It is the same at work, I don’t talk about anything really because it can cause hurt feelings, offense and/or tempers to flare. I keep it to just about food as I have no ideas about hair or makeup. My best friends are my husband and my daughters and now soon-to-be daughter-in-law. We get along very well and that is enough for me.

      • Diana says:

        I noticed when I am around my daughters and sister we all talk at the same time and frequently interrupt each other, none seem to mind and eventually we complete a discussion, or any at the same time. Since moving, I realize I have to slow down my thoughts and work at listening and not speaking. I don’t mean to be rude but do realize that it comes across that way. So, please be patient with us interruptors, some of us are trying to control that bad habit! Life moved so fast for me when I was a kid I never considered whether I fit in or not, I was just go go go. Now things are moving a it slower and everything is so retrospective, it was easier to be young, now I’m trying to be so careful, it’s awkward. Keep writing ladies, I feel like this really helps!! Besides, no one can interrupt when typing! Thanks, Diana.

      • Lanie says:

        Pat K.,
        I think that is great insight about the ladies at the playdates. I’m sure that’s why they keep things light. I actually have a playdate to attend with my daughter later today. I’ll keep your advice in mind while I’m there!

        I can totally relate to the interrupting. I do get frustrated because I feel like the person I’m talking to doesn’t care what I have to say, but I also understand (like Diana mentioned) that it’s not intentional. A lot of times, they just want to relate to you and if you say something that they can grab onto, they will run with the conversation…and run you over! 😉

        My sister has the gift of the gab and I’ve just accepted that I’m primarily the listener and she’s the talker. It is so healing for people to just be ‘heard’…which is why sometimes you have to write about it if you can’t speak it. 😉

      • Dani says:

        Your comment about being a good listener and finding so many conversations one-sided really hit home with me. I have one almost 11-yr old daughter and have realized that I seem to shy away from forming close relationships with her friends’ mothers. My closer friends are typically mothers, but have older or younger children and don’t live in our school district. I find so many parents to be competitive and attention-seeking with their own children…they’d much rather talk than listen. Their kids are either gifted or special needs, but always requiring special attention. My friends are more supportive because their kids aren’t in competition with mine. I recall my mother’s attitude on this issue…she was never one to brag publicly about us and found others’ tendency to do this to be annoying. She’d say “they’re just kids!” I am as a rule not an attention-seeker and find myself being out-talked by these moms who are frustrated their children haven’t gotten special treatment for something or want to report achievements to me. Facebook only makes it worse.

        • Lanie says:

          Hi Dani,
          When I read your post, I had to laugh!! I just had this discussion with my husband the other day about a neighbor friend of mine who is constantly telling me how special her children are. She keeps mentioning that her daughter is being tested for gifted and that her son is very advanced for his age and how it is because she home schooled them at 8 months old. I’m like seriously?! 8 months old??! What I have found with people like her is that they are usually overcompensating with their children because of something they feel bad about within themselves. At first it bugged me, and my comment to her was “ALL” children are gifted, and that is something I truly believe. Then I just let it go and let her brag because I know that she feels bad about a lot of things she’s done in her past and is still doing, but believes that at least she is a good mom..which she is.

          I am not an attention seeker either. In fact, I avoid it like the plague! But I am trying to be more open minded and less judgmental about people that are different. In the past, I have not been so good about that, maybe because I feel like us quiet people are often judged too harshly. Being quiet or introverted is often vilified and was even being considered to be included in the latest DSM-5 as a contributing factor to personality disorders. Thank goodness they rethought that stupid idea! Introverts truly get a raw deal and I think that is why we tend to hide a little bit, to avoid some of the judgment that we intuitively feel before anyone else does.

        • Andrea says:

          I find it especially nefarious that these women are using the lives that they should love and care for the most (their children) as competition tools. Yuck! I’m so glad you two are not like that. My mother wasn’t always the best, but I never forgot how she saw me as lovable just the way I was, and would keep our accomplishments out of adult conversations, unless it was with a family member, or if someone specifically asked.

    • Azalea says:

      I’m glad others have similar experiences . . My husband is my only true and best friend. Still, I feel lonely for female friendships, and don’t understand why it’s so hard for me.

      • Lanie says:

        I’ve wondered that too, but now I realize that a lot of it is by ‘choice’ for me as to why I don’t have many female friendships. Being a good friend requires some work, and a lot of times I personally don’t want to invest the time and energy into it…especially if the relationship is just so-so…and I mean for both of us because I’m not everyone’s cup of tea either. I am a little intense and deep and some people are put off by that. Everyone has different ideas of what friendships should look like…some are fine with just lots of acquaintances that you have just a casual relationship with, while others, like myself, want deep meaningful friendships where you can share all your dirty laundry and not feel judged. I find that the latter is a much harder to find..especially as we get older because we are so busy and don’t always makes time.

        • Diana says:

          So it does seem like whether we have friends or not is at least in part our choice. People are always telling me so and so runs, you should run together. I run to quiet my mind, the aloneness is how it works. I have run with groups and its ok, you pass more miles and gab about anything without noticing being tired. I think walking is best to get to know someone, even someone you already know. I recently went for a long walk with my daughter in the woods and we talked about everything. It seemed safe and without distractions, other than birds and wildlife to look at or talk about when we needed a safe topic. I had a similar experience with my younger daughter hiking in the desert, walking and talking is a safe meeting ground. People should maybe date on walks instead of at bars! I see ladies in my neighborhood walking every morning, I wonder if I would have anything in common with them? I sure do enjoy reading this post. Do any of you girls walk?

          • Lanie says:

            Hi Diana,
            I walk almost every day. Before my daughter started Summer break this past week, my husband and I walked every day at lunch time. Now, we have to walk separately since she is home. Like you, I enjoy it both ways…with people or without. I am able to do a lot of thinking time when I walk alone. I never wear ear buds or listen to music. I want to hear nature and my own internal conversations. We have a walking trail next to our home that’s used quite a bit and I am always amazed at how many folks have ear buds in and don’t make eye contact with you when you are trying to say hello. They can’t even muster up a simple wave or a smile. I make a game of it and try to predict who is going to ignore me or who is going to say hello. I know it’s silly, but I love analyzing human nature.
            I also read a cool article on walking barefoot and how beneficial it is for you. It’s called grounding or earthing. Here is the article if anyone is interested:


            • diana says:

              Thank you. I glanced at the article. I go barefoot sometimes, usually out of laziness to find and put on my shoes!

        • Azalea says:


          I know what you mean by wanting deep and meaningful (and trustworthy) relationships because I want the same. Luckily, a work relationship I have with my favorite coworker is starting to develop into a friendship. We have so many things in common. It’s possible that women (and men) have friendship challenges simply because of personality type. Mine is INFP and “highly sensitive person”, and I bond with very few people, so I am very happy to be buddying to someone I like a lot at work, and a few others online, buy and sell websites for example where I email back and forth sometimes.

          It is alright that you want to hold out for a better quality friendship . . you deserve and your personality type probably needs it.

          • Lanie says:

            Hi Azalea,
            I need to take that Myers-Brigg test and see where I fall too. I am also highly sensitive and so is my husband and my daughter. We’re a fun bunch, for sure!!

            That’s great you found someone at work that you get along with so well. Some of my closest relationships were with people I worked with and that made the job so much better too. What I noticed is that the more stressful the job, the better the relationships. I watched a TED talk yesterday about stress and it said that the more stress we have, the more human contact we seek because of the release of oxytocin. We seek comfort during stressful times…usually in the form of venting! 😉

    • Dani says:

      Your comment about being a good listener and finding so many conversations one-sided really hit home with me. I have one almost 11-yr old daughter and have realized that I seem to shy away from forming close relationships with her friends’ mothers. My closer friends are typically mothers, but have older or younger children and don’t live in our school district. I find so many parents to be competitive and attention-seeking with their own children…they’d much rather talk than listen. Their kids are either gifted or special needs, but always requiring special attention. My friends are more supportive because their kids aren’t in competition with mine. I recall my mother’s attitude on this issue…she was never one to brag publicly about us and found others’ tendency to do this to be annoying. She’d say “they’re just kids!” I am as a rule not an attention-seeker and find myself being out-talked by these moms who are frustrated their children haven’t gotten special treatment for something or want to report achievements to me. Facebook only makes it worse.

    • Alexandra says:

      I commented just now (see down below :)) about the same type of thing. With women, at least clique-y women, I find they often talk about really surface-level, boring things. I have the hardest time making conversation with them. If that makes me “weird,” so be it. I’d rather have a personality than be a sheep like all of them. I am single right now, but, like you, I find it much more rewarding to share a connection with a boyfriend/significant other. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.

      I feel for you, though. I’m only 24, so I don’t have children, but I’m hoping when I’m at your stage I luck out and my kids have some really great, interesting women as moms! haha

      There are women who I really do click with, but it’s somewhat rare. I typically click more with highly educated and independent women. Clique-y, surface-level women can be very nice people, but it’s just hard for me to form any kind of connection – always has been. What’s odd to me is it’s those women who have all the friends and are seemingly normal and well-liked.

      • Alexandra says:

        When I said “see below” for my comment, I meant to say “see above.” :) Looks like the newest ones are at the top. :)

    • Tracy says:

      I can relate, Lanie! I have always had a hard time making friends as I am pretty shy and introverted. I was like the kids mentioned in this article who moved around alot while growing up. After having my first baby, my husband said I would probably find it easier to make friends with other women who also had kids but alas, I have found it very difficult. I feel so bad for my kids (5 yr daughter & 9 yr son) because they enjoy the play dates, but I absolutely dread them. It would be different if I connected with the other moms. My kids are always wanting to invite kids over to play and I feel so bad because I keep putting them off. My husband is the only one I feel comfortable having deep discussions with but sometimes I still wish I had a close female companion. It seems is so hard to make close friends and at 44 I don’t see it ever happening!

  10. cindy says:

    Wow the moving at young age is so relevant to me. I moved alot when I was younger and have always been quiet and shy. When I was very little (2/3) I moved from US to MX .. I had a lot of friends there. 10 and 13 year olds played with me because I had lots of toys and lived in a nice house my parents built. I was happy there. Then my parents moved back to US. BIG CHANGE. I couldn’t speak english I went to preschool and it was awful. I couldn’t understand anything and I was so shy and it was awful remembering it. I began to understand judging and could feel the kids judging me that I couldn’t speak english. Through the first years of elementary I advanced my english speaking skills but was still shy. I made friends then, my parents are very sociable (my mom) and my dad too but he’s quieter. At church and parties I made friends. Then we moved again in 1st grade. I had many friends in my school and in the new school I was shy. These kids buillied me. They called me a copier and it made me even MORE quiet and shy. AWFUL. Then I moved BACK in 3rd grade to my old school, by this time I was a painfully shy, quiet ridden kid outside my family. my parents never had enough money to put me in activities or anything. I was so shy, some girls tried to befriend me in 7th grade and I ignored them because of how quiet i was. I then became friends with these weird outcasts who were not anything like me. Thankfully by 8th grade I had good friends who were like me but the shy me never reached out to them during the summer and I fell back to no socialzing at the begining of highschool. I am doing better now as a junior but I still never hang out with friends and only have two close friends its really sad. I think the moving and bullying i encountered 1 and 4 grade made me the awkward shy person i am today. I wish i could change this but i don’t think i can :/ sorry if this has a ton of misspellings … I never really opened up about this before x

    • Jane says:

      I moved over eight times before I was 11. It was extremely difficult. I then moved over 20 times before I finally had a home. Where my husband is. :). The moving was traumatic because my parents lives were constantly in flux. They were always concerned with themselves, and showed no interest in me or my emotions. ( unless I disobeyed. Then I was belted). The only happiness I found was in reading, nature, music, and movies. I found some great people along the way. It’s been difficult. Some days I still curl up in a ball and cry. I am afraid to go out. It’s painful. However, I’m starting to be thankful for my weirdo life. I’m able to see the world and life a little differently. I’m proud of who I am. I love my family. I will fight the loneliness with thankfulness. Hopefully the fear of people and relationships will dissipate Bif it doesn’t, I guess I’ll try to be proud of me, and live the way I know I should. Morally and honestly and authentic.

  11. vee says:

    Hi, I have the same issue and lately I have noticed it more or paid more attention. I don’t have any girl friends. To be Honest I don’t understand why either, I am kind and caring. I am a single mom and I am very independent. I am very honest and maybe my honesty has gotten them upset but I don’t like to lie to them, I like speaking the truth because I want the same from them. My guy friend told me the reason girls don’t like me is because I am attractive, I am fit and most girls get jealous of that. I always try to motivate my friends in going to the gym with them and compliment them when they look good but they always ignore me.

    • martha howard says:

      I am sooo glad to see that other women have the same problem–I thought I was the only woman in the world that did not have friends- I am 56. I was very shy and introverted as a child and was brutally teased. I truly like people but always get nervous when they get too close. The women at work socialize together, and it makes me so sad to be excluded. They are nice to me and include me in conversation, but never invite me to go with them when they socialize outside work. I am usually a quiet person and have a hard time keeping conversation going. after so many years of rejection, I prefer the company of my cat and my husband. I wish I could make friends, I feel like a freak for being a loner.

      • Darlene says:

        Hi Martha,

        I’m not as sure about what may be happening with vee, but I am fairly sure about you. It seems clear, from what you’ve written, that your shyness has put a barrier between yourself no others. They obviously like you, but likely don’t invite you to do things because they sense your discomfort.

        It’s hard to change that, but it can be done. You may have some self confidence issues to a point that it may be worth considering seeing a therapist. I’ve done that and it can be very helpful. The idea is to find ways to improve your self confidence, so that you are more comfortable with yourself and with different situations. At the same time, you can try reaching out to these ladies in small ways, like asking a few of them to go for a coffee break with you and then trying to relax and enjoy being with them. You sound like a nice, likeable person, with a little help and effort on your part, this situation can improve for you. Best of luck!

        • Bronwen says:

          Hi I am also in my 50s and marthas story sounds very much like mine. I am very shy and an artist who is somewhat unconventional. I also get very nervous when people get too close to me and I think it is due to past rejection. ironically, once I started to accept the fact that maybe I am just too different from most people that I gained confidence. I am joining an artist studio in hopes of finding other women who experience life in a different way. I am lonely, but would rather be alone than be hurt again.

      • Meg says:

        But what happens when you feel like your relationship with your husband is falling apart? My husband has been my best friend for 26 years. Now that we are nearing the “empty nest” time of our lives, we’re finding ourselves incompatible. I wish I had a close friend to talk to about these things. I have a sister, but we are like enemies. I keep all this bottled up inside of me. Its like I’m longing to talk to someone about this, but then I don’t want people to know that I’m having marriage trouble. I’ve found comfort in reading all the posts to this site. I was feeling I was a loner in this world. I didn’t move a lot as a child, I moved a lot in my 20 year military career. I now teach middle school and most of the teachers are young enough to be my son or daughter … I don’t fit in. I love teaching, though. The kids are like my new kids since mine are growing up and moving out. I realize I’m rambling. I teach math, not language arts. Ha!

        • Laura says:

          You may find the empty nest time a pleasant surprise. Our 30 year marriage experienced a renaissance of sorts when our kids went off to college last Fall. We found ourselves feeling like newlyweds again. It has been so much fun!

        • JAM says:

          I have always been artistic and literary. However, we did move a lot when I was a kid. I didn’t realize it at the time b/c for a long time, making friends was natural. But after moving again and again, I had to start forcing myself to keep making friends to avoid being lonely, and grew weary of always being the “new girl” or the stranger, hoping to be accepted. By high school I belonged to two social groups, but I just didn’t enjoy their ridiculous company. I told myself I did, and that I needed them. But looking back, I was so miserable . These groups stole stop signs, hitchhiked, made out with strange boys they met at the beach, said really obnoxious and stupid things, etc. I tried to laugh and be a friend, but on the inside, I was afraid to do the things they did. By my junior year they were doing drugs. By my senior year I was not hanging around with them, just a couple of individual friends. In college I had to basically start over, trying to find nice girls to be friends with. I even joined a sorority. These girls were not nice. They were overly concerned with their appearance, accomplishments, boyfriends, and befriending and becoming enemies with girls every week or so (alliances always changing). And I was so stressed and anxious by this stuff by my junior year in college, it was affecting my whole life. I focused more on finishing school, rather than friends. Then went to grad school, got a job and concentrated on fostering relationships with my aunt and uncle who were in the same profession as I (librarians). Then met my husband. His friends were fun to hang around with b/c they laughed and joked a lot. His relatives were a different story. They are high stress, screaming, arguing, perfectionists, etc. No wonder my hubs is so quiet and nonconfrontational! And my side of the family in which I come from, we had a couple that were mean bullies. I was well trained growing up to tip toe around them, be the emotional grown up, never confront them, do what they wanted, etc. When I left in my 20’s, I was determined to find balance and be neither an abuser nor let others abuse me. I spent many years thinking, studying, practicing healthier behaviors. I am a very healthy, happy person and do not visit them much, if at all. They are high, high stress and very mean on a regular basis. No thanks. Anyway, I got to talking too much about myself. I’ve met many many people in my life, old and young, and many different kinds of people around the world. So many people are wayward, have poor morals (esp. when young), are very self centered, etc. It is hard in general to find kind, giving people that are also well balanced and don’t get too clingy or jealous and don’t get too careless and self-centered. After many close as well as superficial friendships, knowing many healthy and unhealthy people, I have come to a few conclusions in my own life. Once you are married and have children they naturally become “level 1” and friendships become “level 2” or lower relationships. It’s the way society is generally organized. Do what makes your heart sing. Nurture some friendships, both light, serious, deep, and superficial, with different kinds of people. Let people come and go, it’s the only way b/c we cannot hold on and choke them. Friendships change b/c people are constantly growing, changing, being influenced,etc. So just like you can’t recapture a previous event, photo, moment, etc. in the exact same way ever again, you cannot recapture a person you saw last week, last month, last year ever again – they will be altered in some way the next time you see them. Have some steady things in your life that you can control, like when you get up each day, what you eat, how and when you exercise, etc. But accept that most of what life gives you will be a series of surprises, both subtle and supersize. We have a measure of control, esp. over some details in our lives. But a great deal is not up to us, including friendships. We can influence much more than we can control. If your friends are into things that are truly immoral or dangerous or criminal, and you want to stay friends with them, let them know you care about them, but will never support destructive choices. If you have a great friend now and are afraid of losing him or her, remember nothing stays static or the same, and they won’t even be the same person (at least in small ways) as the years pass), so you are trying to hold water in your hands. Let things change, grow, and surprise you. Be there in small, thoughtful, and sometimes big ways for friends when you can. But remember that people are made up of millions of factors that affect their health, lifestyle, choices, likes, dislikes, values, opinions, interests and there are too many factors for us to actually lasso and tame them. People will be who they are and need the space and respect to do that. Don’t pine over that great feeling you had having a best friend all through your elementary school years, or in college, etc. Yes, grieve what is lost, then smile and move on. You have the power to keep stepping, running, and flying – so keep going. It’s great to have something to hold on to, to depend on and we can really long for that. But you will change over time as well, and that Bible study or yoga class or daily walk, etc. that you’ve been doing with this or that friend for 2+ years may suddenly not be what you need anymore and you may really wish to shake your life up for awhile. That doesn’t make you a bad friend or an awful person, just a growing person, with changing needs. It’s like being on the sea. The sea’s tide, horizons, weather, creatures, etc. are ever changing, as will the boat ride you are taking through life. Don’t hold on too much to things that were. Good things can come again if you are open to them. Learn to love your own company and that of your family’s the most. Be your very best friend. Take amazingly good, kind, sweet, happy care of yourself. It will make you so much happier and a better friend when someone comes along. Sometimes we’ll get hurt. But not too much if we have good, healthy boundaries and we are honest about them. Everyone really needs to walk a solo journey through life. Enjoy your company, and that of others that share your path for awhile. Every bit is enriching.

        • JAM says:

          And Meg, specifically,
          Just wanted to say a couple things. Look around and see if there are any other teachers or staff that you can strike up conversations with. My hubs is a teacher and sometimes they like to blow off steam and have fun laughing and talking about the ups and downs of teaching together over coffee, etc. Anyone to meet at the officer’s club, etc?

          My husband and I are not really that compatible or similar either. We are in the thick of several children at the moment, but once they are gone, I know we’ll have a lot more time together. I realized that because my hubs and I have very different perspectives and opinions about things, it’s best for us to be a little more independent of each other. We are busy with a lot of cares and duties during the week. Then on Fridays or Saturdays we like to go out for a drink or coffee or something for just an hour or two and chat and catch up, because we have missed each other!! We like to go for a walk together on the weekends. I try to keep it light, and at the same time, mix other things in so we don’t get too much in each other’s faces, for lack of a better phrase. Regarding you and your husband, you might consider a marriage retreat (there are many faith based retreats and probably secular ones, found easily on the Web), or strike up a sport together such as tennis, etc. that you can do without talking too much about the serious stuff of life or getting into a disagreement, etc. Even just go to a local festival, theater, etc. If your problems are more serious than different personalities or overcoming the challenge of finding hobbies to do together, try to find counseling or another way to gravitate toward each other. If he is seriously dysfunctional or abusive in some way, maybe get help before giving up. Just some thoughts and best wishes for you and your marriage and great happiness. Peace, JAM

    • Darlene says:

      Vee, I gave this a bit of thought. Not sure what’s going on, but suspect you are rubbing some of the women you meet the wrong way. I am not a very mainstream woman and I can’t relate to a lot of women (nor they to me) so I ended up needing to find people I could relate to more. That turned out to be other independent women. Maybe you just need to find your people, people who would enjoy your independence and respect your honesty.

      I would also suggest treading very, very lightly about motivating others to go to the gym….that would be a very touchy subject for most ladies out there. :)

    • girl123 says:

      I’m sorry you have to deal with that. I could have written your post, and it makes me sad.

    • sallyCalifornia says:

      i think one thing that i’ve noticed about myself is that i put a ot of expectations on one or two people, in the sense that, i expect to get al of my needs met by those same people, and in reality- i’ve just begun to understand- that this is an unrealistic expectation of mine. instead of approaching my SO and expecting him to go out and love being fit and outdoorsy with me, i’ve begun finding just one or two eople with whom i am super-fit & outdoorsy with, and yet with whom i’m always surface-evel with. this allows me to be with my bestie and significant other without expecting them to be someone other than who they really are. i get my needs met in more than one place, and yet, i still have the “real” and honest relationships that i need to satisfy the soul. i guss what i’m saying is, that we introverts have to begin seeing relationships with a differnt lens and reaizing that not everyone friend we make needs to satisfy each interest and be 100% compatible. just hang out with different people in order to expore different interests, and yet, always come back to your tr9ue relationships- ready to realize that no one person wil ever satisfy all of our interests.

  12. rafa says:

    It is amazing how hard it is to get a woman attention and interest in a conversation, is almost impossible to establish a friendship with them, I’m talking about woman in the US in general even woman from another nationalities that are living here for some time. I’m a 50 year old latino male I go to bars, the gym, the restaurants, at the office, on the street, I tried to be friendly and start conversations, very few woman say a word or 2, I feel they always think I’m after something else, I just sincerely want to have a chat and get know them a little be . I consider myself clean, decent, considerate, respectful and average. I usually do NOT write on this forum but is kind of frustrating dealing with US woman.

    • Tom says:

      I disagree, women are for the most part happy to talk. Perhaps it is your approach or the setting. It is easy to pick the people “on a mission” and do not want to talk versus those who would be interested in conversation. I have better conversations with women than men.

  13. LaTrice says:

    When I was growing up, I didn’t have a difficult time making friends. The most challenging would be to keep my inner circle-even though I was judged based on my physical appearance. Because of those judgments, the actions of others had made me feel extremely insecure about myself.

    I knew that I wasn’t like everyone else, and I had to learn how to embrace myself as an individual-which took some getting used to. Not only did I had to learn on how to be my own best friend, I needed to accept myself for who I am. Just because I didn’t have a closet full clothes and shoes, I didn’t frequent the hair salon on a regular basis, and I was constantly wearing my hair in a ponytail, the actions of others didn’t justify how poorly I was treated. Their behavior was atrocious, and it wasn’t something that I should have to tolerate. I decided to change my inner circle of friends, and get rid of those that refuse to support me-due to their own selfish reasons. Honestly, my efforts had made a HUGE difference!!

    Friendship is something that can’t be taken for granted, but it’s important to love, respect, accept, and support each other-no matter the differences. It feels good knowing that I’m surrounded by those that love me to the moon and back, and I will continue to cherish those friendships for the rest of my life.

    • Darlene says:

      I really like your message, LaTrice. You found your people and refused to be friends with others who weren’t treating you well. You also made friends with yourself…great message. :)

      • LaTrice says:

        Thank you, Darlene. It took a while for me to accept myself for who I am as a human being, so I had to learn how to embrace my own individuality. I feel that there’s no need for anyone to try so hard to be someone’s friend, so why bother begging?

    • Cristina says:

      Bravo! LaTrice. It sounds like you are not “beggar” but what if instead one is a “beggar”, in this case one cannot choose friends Any advice?

      • LaTrice says:

        Friends shouldn’t “beg” you to be a part of your life, as well as begging to be your friend. If they really love and care about you, they would take the initiative to get to know you as an individual. Actions will have to speak WAY louder than words, so allow their actions to speak for themselves. Be yourself, and embrace your individuality. There’s no one like you on this planet.

        Be friends with those that not only like you for who you are, but will accept the differences about you. I’m talking about those who are supportive, and positive people. They’re going to encourage you to be your best, and to bring out the best in you. They will NOT judge you based on your overall appearance. For those that are negative, stay away from them, and their energy will bring you down.

        I hope that my answer helped you, Cristina.

        • monika says:

          Cristina, you are so correct, I believe women are very judgemental and quite critual towards each other and I put it all down to sheer envy and jealousy. Over the years I never take note of people that much in terms of what they think of me and the reason for that is that I don’t allow anyone to put me down or I don’t need one’s approval to do things. i just get up and do things and get things done and get my life sorted out while my friends having partners and husband and kids are struggling. They never ask me how I manage all on my own but yet their first remarks is that I am lucky, no, my life was never a lucky one but a very HARD one, full of obstacles and disappointments pain and sheer sorrows. They were never there to support me, not even a phone call. I made the effort in sending txts or ringing them to find out if they are ok. Sometimes I rang their house and was told they are just going through the door. They never return my calls, in the end I embrace myself as an individual, change my number and continuing living my life with the thoughts that I may not have close friends but such is life. I rather to be alone than to be unhappy with fake people around me.

          • Neeta says:

            Wow..you are so strong. I have a very hard time forming relationships with women and I feel I try so hard. When I was in the corporate world they would often gang up against me. Never invite me to drinks after work. It was so weird. I am sort of quite and introverted but very intelligent and know a little about many things. The feelings of rejection I feel are difficult to deal with. If only I could just giggle and laugh and be that glowing personality I see them as. In any case I was touched by your comment and could relate. I too have had a difficult life and sometimes I wish I was “happy go lucky”..Ok ..I off to be alone.

  14. arlene says:

    I have read much of what you have to say. I am friendly, outgoing, and have many positions including interior decorator, real estate agent and psychic. We can go from A to Z on any topic.

    When puberty hit, I realized friendship was down hill. Boys came first, getting ready for boys came first, sitting by the phone waiting for boys came first, and should your friend get dumped, well the friendship was on the go again until another boy came along. It is a lonely time.

    When I was in my thirties, I discovered that boys were now replaced with housework, housework and more housework seem to come first. As my husband was a travelling salesperson and was off a few days every week, I was often sitting alone at home with my daughter because there was no one available. Even the woman next door told me I could use her pool but she was too behind in her work to come and join me. Obsessive cleaning.

    Now in my sixties, nothing has changed. ALL THINGS COME BEFORE FRIENDSHIP, except now it is still the obsessive housework, the grandkids, the retired husband, the adult kids moving back home, etc. and as a divorced woman, with no grandkids, life is lonely. Woman ask me all the time to give them a call, and I do, but it is between Housework Project A and B, basically a small window and the whole time they are not present, they are worrying about if they get home on time, did they miss a call. They were better off to stay home.

    BASICALLY, I think women do not value friendship. They talk about it, see therapists about it, read books about it, even put ads on Kijiji, but given the opportunity to take action, they muck it up every time. I would love a female friend, but the dribs and drabs they offer are not worth pursuing. I too agree, men have the right idea, YES I CAN MAKE IT, NO I CAN’T…not a big song and dance that I have to wait and see just in case the dog gets a cold, or the fridge stops running.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Arleen, I totally agree with what you’ve said and thank you for articulating my feelings exactly. I grew up in the same house at the same schools until I left home at 18, pregnant to move in with my boyfriend. I was so glad to be out on my own as there were issues of violence and abuse I couldn’t wait to be away from. What I didn’t realize back then was that these issues can manifest themselves in any relationship with people that have various personality disorders (of which I knew nothing about). I’m now 44, divorced 5 years ago and have not a good friend in the world. I say good friend because I mean a friend whose willing to give you the time of day. I have found throughout my adult life the only people that actively seek out friendship & make the effort to build a relationship have turned out to have major personality flaws & their motivation for establishing the friendship wasn’t genuine by that I mean they had an agenda. So because I’ve been hurt in many friendships, by family and in relationships I’ve now decided to cut people off who exhibit these traits that I’m so good at spotting now, and only try to establish a connection with like minded people. Well so far I can say it’s a good thing I don’t mind my own company and the TV is…well, effectively my best friend, that is until I find a real one. Good luck & I hope you find the love & friendship you truly deserve. :-)

      • Dani says:

        Hi Elizabeth,
        I hope you keep trying to find the friends you deserve. I, too, have ended friendships because I felt exploited, dumped on, overlooked for people who had “more to offer,” etc. But I feel that I do have a small group of loyal, worthy friends now. I think it is very normal and healthy to decide that some people simply aren’t worth it, despite how much they want you to believe they are and claim you’ve hurt them by establishing boundaries. I wish relationships were simpler a lot of the time. I’ve also come to accept as an adult that the big cluster of friends I had during my high school and college years simply aren’t typical for most adults. We have too many competing obligations, including our families, and they are the ones who deserve the most attention anyway. Anyway, keep your standards high, but allow people to make mistakes in friendship, too. We all let each other down sometimes.

    • LaTrice says:

      I have to agree with you, Arlene because not too many women value friendships today. Although I can’t speak for everyone, I feel that some women would use, manipulate, and abuse those are trying to be supportive of them. Add disrespect, overstepping boundaries, jealousy, and control to the mix. The results will be catastrophic!!

      I’m thankful to have my best friend, and my closest girlfriends in my life today. It’s difficult to find good friends in this day and age. I don’t friendships for granted, and it will ALWAYS be something that I can cherish for the rest of my life. :-)

      • Rosanna Mitchell says:

        I completely agree with you Latrice I have friends whom I cherish both male and female. But I think in some instances women not always but sometimes can be very nasty to other women I don’t really know why. Jealousy and control does seem to be a big factor. I had a friend who I knew for over 10 years we where very good friends al of a sudden she started to try and control my life telling me what to do etc. I had started a relationship with someone and she did not like it at all. And if I didn’t dance to her tune she became very nasty with abusive comments. I warned her if it didn’t stop our friendship would cease. I become very anxious and started to experience panic attacks. Meantime my so called friend got in with another group of women and dropped me like a ton of bricks. I was upset at first but I then thought I am better off without this person. I now have two lovely friends whom I cherish no nastiness just great times together. Don’t put up with abusive relationships with other women live is to short lots of nice friends out there I found some myself.

        • LaTrice says:

          I don’t understand why women have to be so mean and nasty towards each other. It seems that some women don’t know how to be supportive and respectful of each other’s goals-especially when someone doesn’t know how to be a friend.

          You did the right thing, by standing up for yourself, Rosanna. Although I don’t know your former friend at all, she seems very insecure and controlling. Her negative energy and attitude can weigh you down, so her dropping you like a hot potato is good news. She did you a HUGE favor!!

          I’m glad that you were able to be surrounded by friends who are good to you.

  15. Chloe says:

    Darlene and Tanya, thank you so much for your replies! You are both so kind to take the time out to write the above.
    It is so nice to know I’m not alone. Last night I bought two books on amazon on your advice Darlene. I also read up on social skills and one thing I read was that it’s hard to not like someone who smiles, it said to smile at someone every hour, I’ve smiled at everyone today and had a great day, I feel like something so small has made a big difference in a small space of time. The thing is I think I do find it easy to get excited and for change to happen, it just never seems to stick, so I’m going to try my best to be positive, smile, forgive myself and love myself. I think you may have hit the nail on the head both of you. I think I need to find a way to like and love myself, with more time and more things I enjoy and hopefully the rest will start to follow, sounds simple doesn’t it! Ha
    I do have a beautiful daughter and a loving husband who is also my best friend so I am very lucky, I just want to enjoy my life for a change and not be bogged down with this crap anymore.
    Onwards and upwards, I’m glad to have met you both, what a brilliant blog and wonderful people

    • Darlene says:

      Something tells me you will be just fine Chloe! It isn’t easy, but if you keep working at it, slowly but surely things change. When I have a “setback” now, which doesn’t happen very often anymore, I do something meaningful to remind myself why the world is a wonderful place…it works!

      All the best to you and your wonderful family

  16. Chloe says:

    Thank you so much for your reply and your advice Darlene, you are an angel..
    I did work with a therapist a few years ago but since I’ve worked with a couple of life coaches.
    They help for a while but then the horrible feelings of self hatred and feeling sick with myself come back, feels like a broken record just playing over and over. I agree that I do need to learn to like myself and to learn some social skills. I love reading books and get really excited when I read different strategies and learn more about how we work. I just need something to stick! I’ve read about telling yourself you love yourself in the mirror every day, I just need to keep doing it, I guess I have been looking for a quick fix! I have this thing which is kicking in now from my childhood telling me I don’t know how to start helping myself, my mums voice is in my head telling me I am stupid and thick! Which kind of makes me freeze if that makes sense.
    I honestly hope I can get somewhere for once, I keep taking steps backwards, there must be a way out. At work I make an effort, always say hi etc, they all just seem to get on better with each other, a girl who sits in my pod is much quieter than me and even she gets asked to lunch etc, the arrange lunches without asking me, not that I’m desperate to go but it would be nice to be asked. I just feel like I’m an outsider.

    • Darlene says:

      You sound like a sweetheart, Chloe! But if you don’t believe it, others will have a hard time seeing that. Everyone thinks differently, but the idea I gave, working on and succeeding at something challenging is a powerful way to silence those voices of self doubt. The idea is that It should be something that is hard for you to do, either technically (say like oil paintings) or physically, like learning to ski, or even emotionally, like giving a voice to your feelings to someone in your life (for this one you may want some professional guidance for it to be safe and effective). I am an outdoorsy type, yet was fearful of heights…so I set it as a goal to push a little out of my comfort zone on the ski hill and master that before pushing again. It creates a sense of competence, of value….those negative voices just can’t argue with that!

      It takes awhile to create a new habit, of any kind, they say it takes 6 weeks to change a bad habit, by doing something consistently better instead. Maybe put together a plan, where that time is devoted to building yourself up. That could mean, for example, avoiding negative influences (bye mom for a little bit? :), signing up for kayaking courses (or some such challenging activity), group therapy geared to building you up, etc. I realize you have obligations, but your free time could be devoted to you for a set period of time….and countering the negative messages. Maybe you just need a real, serious jump start, then you can keep working on this at a less intense pace, so it sticks. You may need to schedule some time regularly for the rest of you life to keep you on track, but even if you do, the payback is worth it, in my opinion. :)

      This is tough, Chloe and it is pretty crummy to feel this way, I get that, I really do. But I feel very confident in saying that if you want this, you can do it :)

    • tanja says:

      Hi Chloe, I could have written this post. I have not gotten help. For some reason, people can tell when you lack confidence and may not want to be around long. My sister says she can see it in me and I don’t always know how it comes across. It may help to focus on some positive things such as you have a husband that loves you. It is like the quote in the little prince “to forget a friend is sad. Not everyone has had a friend.” I tend to count my blessings when I feel sad and think about the people I do have in my life. One being my husband, that is my best friend. In spite of all that, negative thoughts can still creep up. How is your relationship with your mom now? My mom would say the same things at times. I try to think of it that she grew up in a different time. Her intentions are good, but when it comes to giving me advice on raising my own children, she has no clue. She did best as she could given her circumstances at the time. Keeping this in mind, helps me still have a relationship with her and try to be more empathetic and understanding to her situation. My mom did not have it easy. So, now being 36, it is my job to work on my confidence and not my mother’s. It is my responsibility to try to get out of these self deprecating moments by taking a walk, practicing in the mirror as you mentioned or doing a hobby such as painting or taking time away from technology all together to read my kids a story, point to pictures, make a game with them or simple watch elmo with my youngest. Your right, though that negative thoughts will still creep in, but the point is to minimize how often it happens Sometimes, around the time of the month, it is the worst and I cry and cry and cry. You need to be forgiving with yourself as well and allow yourself to cry tears and then say that is okay, tomorrow is another day or there will be a next moment in that day that could pick up, That moment wasn’t so good, but next moment will be better. Nothing wrong with having a good cry either. It helps rejuvenate and feel like you can move on to something else. Another thought is to ask your husband to cuddle, I sometimes have my husband just hold me for a long time and I feel better to start doing things I am supposed to such as resume, paying attention to my kids. It also helps to organize an outing once a week whether it be an art class or a coffee date with a girlfriend or a playdate if you have kids, or join a group, volunteer somewhere once a week. I try to tell myself these things and there are still some weeks that are pretty bad, but the weeks that are good I pat myself on the back. Hope it gets better and thank you for writing your post, I don’t feel so alone now.

    • Sue says:

      Hi Chloe, you mentioned that you feel like your mom is still like a voice bringing your self-image down,etc. Something that has helped me so much is the work of Peter Gerlach at sfhelp.org where he breaks down the therapy called IFS- Inner Family Systems. Discovered by Richard Schwartz not long ago, it is a phenomenonal idea that has helped me understand my negative thoughts or “self-talk” about myself or my shortcomings. Before discovering my “inner family,” I just put-up with terrible shame over any little thing I thought I had done wrong or had irrational fears etc. Now, however, I have a method of quickly discovering why I’m feeling or thinking such untrue things about myself, and getting my True Self – the wise part we all have inside – back in control and back to feeling clear, optimistic, compassionate and curious.

  17. Sandra says:

    Funny, the women I see with many ‘friends’ tend to not always be the nicest people. Often times, its about what you HAVE and your experiences I.e. cottage, shalet, trips, etc. Not really because you’re a great friend. We live in a very materialistic society and the closer to the big city you are, the worse it is. Sometimes its better to be true to yourself and have 1 true friend then follow these types of women and have 1000 pretentious friends. Be strong and keep reaching out.

    • Ann says:

      Something about what you say rings very, very true!

      And if you feel compelled somehow to not be your “true” self, then you have to wonder what person the people you call friends are friends with?

      In any case, life is way too short for (true) “frenemies” (imho).

      • Daina says:

        Agreed, Sandra. It is also very difficult when other women are always claiming besties and it’s almost like you are not allowed to be friends with someone for that reason. I would have thought that women in their 40s would have outgrown such selfish and insecure behaviour but I guess not.

    • sallyCalifornia says:

      very true sandra, but sometimes, i find myself wishing that i knew how to do it- because it feels like it’s almost a survival skill. i’m tired of being incredibly cruelly and then dumped like a sack-of-bricks, i wish that i knew how to socialize like they do so that i could keep my place in places where my place needs to be kept, like work, roommates, hobbies, etc. it would be nice to be able to switch it on or off when the time came. wish there was some wisdom floating around as to how to interact on their eve- however shallow and empty it is- because, let’s face it, being able to switch that skill on would save so many of us hyper-sensitive introvert women the heartache and headache.

  18. lb says:

    Women over analyze EVERYTHING. And I mean everything and that makes a horrible combination when you get two or three women together. I’ve noticed that men can get together on a whim, or invite their best friend over the day of. Women always have to think about whether the house is clean, do I have food and drinks for company , do I have a baby sitter,etc. etc. All things comes first before friendships. What we don’t realize is that most of that stuff doesn’t mean anything when it comes to friendships. I’ve had a situation where my boyfriend had planned a surprise dinner party for me. Three weeks in advance he invited all of our “couple’s” friends and many of our single friends. Most of the men showed up, and only one female came. These are common friends not just mine or his. He told me that the females all sent lengthy emails every single week saying things like,,,, I may,,depending on this and that and this and that, what attire,,should we bring anything, is it formal or informal and then at the last minute would say they CAN’T come. All the guys said definitively yes or no. He told me out right, he doesn’t know how I deal with them. The one thing I disagree with on most of these comments is that friendships don’t “JUST” happen. Just like marriages, you have to work on a friendship, you have to invest in a friendship. If the cleanliness of a house is more important than having a good friend over to talk, then guess what you are most likely not going to meet with your girlfriend much. We need to value the intimacy of a friendship more than our obsession with analyzing.

    • Darlene says:

      You are right lb, I smiled when I read your post! We women do make our own lives more complicated for ourselves. Men are smarter about these things, think

  19. Jenell says:

    No mention of asperger’s?

  20. karen15 says:


    I have read most of these replies. And here is my input. What we have is what has been given to us from nature and from nurture. My mother nurtured me to be a ‘ghost’ and not a person of interest – i was the cleaner, the counsellor, the one who should be hidden, the one who did not need to be defended. my brother kept telling me i was adopted. and my father was off making money. my grandmother loved my brother – gave him everything but made me work for it. it was easier to hide then participate in the family. i was made a joke of consistently by my brother. my mother never went that issues – she thought it was sibling interaction. though she never had that when she was growing up. and basically she was ignored. i truly believe that my family had an enormous impact on me.

    nature – was i shy to begin with? I don’t believe any one is shy, i believe some are more introvert but can be loved out of that and i certainly wasn’t. it kept me in my place. I am a large woman – i passionately would rather be small but that will never happen. certainly experiences when i was very very young left profound scars. they are only coming to light

    the journey – my personality was reinforced by my ex husband who interacted well in the beginning when it was just him. the children came and he started to drift because my attention was on the children and that made him angry. he was playing around for years. If he had waited, he could have had a great long marriage but he got angry, he abandoned the family and was nasty about it. sort of like my brother…

    so now i fear relationships but yet i want someone to help me through this. friendships take time and many times they are false because they say one thing and do the opposite. everyone that i seem to know is looking out for themselves and do not really look at who actually might be suffering. i have asked to join things when i have been in real need but have been refused so it keeps hitting in the gut-

    but i will carry on after i have run it through my brain for about 2 days because i know that i am a worthy person and i can do things differently.
    it is my choice.

    • Lauren says:

      Yes, you are a worthy person Karen.I am sorry about your childhood. You were treated badly and you did not deserve that at all. YOu made a good point about nature or nurture. Yes, when it is nature AND nurture, the outcome can be so much more painful. You were treated badly, AND you were a sensitive child. That made it doubly difficult for you. As grown ups, we often tend to unconsciously repeat patterns from childhood.

      Have you ever thought of speaking to a therapist? This may be helpful, but if it is not possible, then do some research and reading yourself. There is a lot of good and helpful info on the internet and there is a good book entitled “Codependence …The Dance of Wounded Souls” by Robert Burney. It may be helpful to you.

      I wish you all the best,

    • Janie says:

      Karen, I agree with you totally. I too was a ghost & my 2 brothers seemed to be more important. My mother didn’t seem to like me & my dad was in the bars & not home till they divorced when I was young. I think the ghost will be with us till the day we die. I had years & years of therapy & it seemed to only make me angry about how I was treated. I don’t feel I got better permanently. I think the pain is embedded in us through out our adulthood & all the therapy in the world won’t change us. I love how some people think that is the end all answer to this pain. I had a horrible marriage that failed & an 18 year relationship that ended in his death. I have 2 boys that really don’t give a crap about me. I think I know why people move to Florida, not for the weather. Anyways I refuse to run away & don’t plan on any new friendships in the near future. I will keep shopping at thrift stores, riding my bike, gardening, going to festivals alone, fireworks alone, grocery shopping alone, walking my dog alone, crafting alone, etc. I never thought I would end up so alone in my senior years but here I am all Alone!

  21. Darlene says:

    Glad to have found this website, there are a lot of insights here.
    After reading these posts, I thought that I should give back to those here and share my journey….I was moved from place to place a lot as a child, my family life was full of stress, chaos and strife. Most of my energy was used up in coping with my family and trying to survive. I had few friends and no resources left over to learn how to make friends. Over the years, I had a few friends here and there, but struggled with loneliness and isolation. I am happily married, but felt like I needed more connections in my life.
    So….in my early 30’s I began trying to learn how to talk to people, by putting myself in positions at work and other places to be with other people, to observe what works for others, to try new things to get along. I’m not talking about being someone I am not, I’m talking about learning about how to connect and give myself a chance to become part of things. I chose people I felt were decent people, that’s critical and tried to open up a bit and to trust (very hard for me, as I can’t even trust my own parents). Slowly, with some therapy, gentle self evalutation (what works, what doesn’t) I discovered the person I should have always been. I am actually quite funny and likeable! Who knew?!? People like me, after all these years. Still a bit of a shock to realize that.
    Basically, I learned to like myself and to realize that I deserve good friends, then I learned how to communicate that to people. It isn’t about being someone you aren’t, or being fake, or anything of the sort. It’s about being yourself and having the tools and skills to connect with others. As hard as this journey has been, I wouldn’t go back for anything.
    All the best,

    • Jen says:

      Beautiful story Darlene! Ours are very similar! And so great of you to share how effective a path of therapy and gentle self awareness can be. It took me many winding years to realize that learning social skills is an avenue for my authentic self, and is not “being fake” at all. Very affirming and inspiring. Best wishes on your life journey!

    • Chloe says:

      Wow, that’s amazing, I would love to achieve this myself.
      I only got moved twice during my childhood but I too am a sensitive person. My brother went to boarding school and I didn’t, so we were treated differently, my mum says that they did what they thought was best for us both which i’m sure is true but now me and my brother don’t have a relationship, I adore him but I don’t think he is that bothered about me. also I had friends when I was little at primary school, but the older I have got the harder I have found it, at the moment I don’t really feel like I have any friends, a couple of people I see occasionally but I feel very lonely, especially when my husband has lots of good friends, I feel awkward in social situations, I try so hard to be friendly and interested in others but it just seems to be the same pattern over and over, I don’t think I have ever really known how to make friends. I just never feel like I fit in, which at the age of 37 is a bit too long I think. Darlene I would really appreciate some advice, I feel so bad about myself, almost sick with myself sometimes as I feel so flawed. I don’t know whether its me, my upbringing etc etc. i also had commitment phobia and worked with a therapist and go through it, my husband thinks it could be something to do with that? I so want to move on from this, I’ve had it for too long. any advice any of you can give me I would be so grateful.

      thanks so much Chloe xxx

      • Darlene says:

        Chloe, I was only a little younger than you when I began to figure this out. It can be done, seriously :). I doubt there is anything wrong with you that learning to like yourself and learning some social skills wouldn’t help.

        Thrilled that you are working with a therapist! From my own experiences and reading other stories on this blog, it doesn’t seem unusual to have trust or commitment issues, either. My suggestions would be:

        Look in the mirror and forgive yourself…you are a fine person with tonnes of potential.
        Find things to do that challenge you and that you enjoy, mastering something challenging does amazing things for your self esteem.
        Read…read and read…books that will help you understand yourself, maybe your therapist can suggest some. Books are meant to get you thinking, no one book has all the answers, but for me, each book I read gave me another piece of the my puzzle.
        Stop looking at how many friends you have or don’t have. Instead, put yourself in a position to simply enjoy chatting with others, no agenda other than to learn to relax and enjoy. I did this with some nice folks at work, to work on my social skills. If you feel that this area is lacking in your life, there are books to help with social skills for adults too.
        Watch your husband and get clues from his successes, men and women aren’t exactly the same, but he has mastered some things, you can learn from this and apply it in your own way.
        Be patient and kind with yourself.

        Every single bit of progress will slowly build, you will fail here and there, but if you are open, those experiences also teach valuable lessons, especially if you look at them as lessons, rather than something to feel down on yourself about.

        I hope this isn’t too preachy, but I believe that anyone can improve their social situation and be happier about that part of your life, I really do. The effort is so worth it, I look back and am deeply thankful that I dug in and figured this out.
        All the best to you!!

        • Chloe says:

          Hi Darlene,

          Having a set back :( I don’t belive I can do this, I have tried so many things so many times. I had such a good few days but then my mum was to nice, I had a few rows with my husband and some people at work were weird, all these things have got me feeling really bad about myself again. No wonder I don’t have many friends, I’m so up and down. I don’t really respect myself so why would anyone else. I feel sick at myself, I just wish there was something that could actually help, not just for a few days or weeks. Anyway sorry for the not very positive message, feeling quite low :(

          • Darlene says:

            Chloe, I cant tell you how many setbacks I had over the years. It’s okay, really and I mean really :). So, it sounds like a few things have knocked you off balance, tested the fledgling self confidence you have and you feel bad again.

            It’s going to happen, over and over and all you’ll want to do is crawl in your hole and give up. Don’t! Instead, soothe yourself by having something nice happen, while you feel this way. Walk the dog, play with your daughter, read a funny book, watch a funny movie. Then, when you feel a bit better, learn from what happened. What exactly happened and why exactly did it knock you off balance. What button did it push? Understanding and awareness is key to mastering some coping skills.

            Over time, you will need these skills less and less, because you will have a more stable sense of worth.. I used to experience pretty much the exact thing, feeling good because some good things were going on, then bad because some bad stuff happened. The key is to figure out why the external world has too much control of you, as it did me. One book I can suggest is codependent no more. I can get the exact title if that isn’t enough. Really helped me with this part of my problem.

            You can do this, Chloe, but it is going to be challenging at times…exhilarating at others. Hang in there, okay?

          • Darlene says:

            Hi Chloe,

            I hope you are okay, I know how hard things can be sometimes.

            Thinking of you.

  22. Edna says:

    I can’t count the number of times my family moved when I was a child, and I know I went to at least 12 schools before grade 9. I’m also an introvert. I tend to appreciate deep, close one-on-one friendships; I’m not much for a ‘girl’s night out’, in fact, I don’t know what I would do if in that situation. Anyway, ten years ago I moved with my husband for his job, and I have been lonely and sad ever since. I work outside the home, and I’m not afraid to join new clubs or to talk to strangers. I’m pleasant–funny, even, and it seems that people want to be my friend. I get invited out often. But I don’t connect to anyone that I meet, so eventually, the calling, the texting, and the emailing from these wonderful women stop. I’m not sure what to do, because, like I said above, I feel lonely and sad almost daily. I want friends, but I don’t want the ‘lightness’ of a casual friendship. I want to feel a connection like I use to have, but I think as you get older, your friendships change and becomes lunch, the gym, dinner etc. You don’t have the deep conversations anymore. BTW- thank you for your site and article. :)

    • Kay Geeguardia says:

      Friendship is like dating. Very rarely, you can skip all the superficial “light” stuff and move directly to intimacy and have that work out. More often, you need to “date” first and build up to more intimate friendships. Like you, I’m an introvert but I can muster extroversion when I’m motivated to. I suggest you put on your most extroverted self and make the effort to go to the events, be part of the activities, and then plan your follow up with the women who interest you most. Be the one to suggest and invite, give it time, and see what grows.

  23. Jen says:

    This is for Islandgirl,

    Hi! I am writing back to your most recent message on my email, but didn’t see it on the blog. So I just hit “respond” and hopefully you will get this….

    Perhaps your area has a higher cost of living? I can’t remember if you mentioned where you live. The midwest in the United States is not too bad. But you are right, it is a BIG challenge! We cook a lot from scratch, hardly EVER shop (!) and when I do, almost everything is used, from Goodwill or Salvation Army or yard sales (except unders and shoes). And nobody knows the difference as long as our clothes are clean LOL. We also get used cars and are blessed that my hubbie can walk to work if/when the car breaks down. The kids have tons of used toys, games, books, etc. We get used bikes from yard sales, etc. The only time it gets really stressful is if a necessary appliance breaks down and sometimes with medical bills. We are so grateful for all we have and don’t need to live like Martha Stewart. ha ha Hope you are getting along o.k. Best wishes.

    • Islandgirl says:

      Hi Jen,

      I’m still trying to figure out how to get around in this site. I don’t know what you mean that you didn’t see my reply on the blog? I see it.

      I do live in a high-cost area. I no longer teach as I’m on disability for chronic illness and chronic pain.

      I’m super impressed with how well you’re doing with managing your family finances and lifestyle, and I’m glad it’s easier for you to do that in the midwest. The other thing is, because of my health issues, I have a lot of expenses that I can’t control.

      I sure do miss teaching though. I love kids. I taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades at a public school. What do you teach?


  24. Karen says:

    I’ve read a number of your comments about the challenge of making and keeping friends and this blog inspired me to start up a meetup group here in Auckland, New Zealand for women wanting to make new friends.
    In less than 2 weeks the group has grown to 82 so there is certainly a need out there.
    A group of 12 of us met for the first time last Saturday at a local cafe and it was great. There’s been lots of positive feedback.
    If you haven’t heard of it meetup.com is a worldwide organisation where people can meet others with similar interests. You can find a group and join it or start up your own if you like.
    Best wishes

  25. Islandgirl says:

    Throughout my life, I’ve had friends at times, and at other times, I’ve had to go it alone. I think this is normal and natural given human nature and the changing seasons of our lives. This forum really makes me think more about my past friendships and when I could have been a better friend to others, and why so many of my friendships came to an end. I can see myself in so many of the stories here.

    One thing that sometimes happened to me that might help explain why some of you feel baffled about being left out, is that I have had friends whom I’ve gotten close to, who didn’t want me to be friends with anyone else but them. I know that sounds like elementary school stuff, but believe me, some women are still that way even as adults. Sometimes I chose to drop friends who imposed that kind of ownership on me, but other times, I chose to stay friends with the person, and I would be distant with everyone else.

    Personally, I don’t play games like this with people, but I had no problem accepting the fact that others do, and if I wanted to be their friend, that was the stipulation.

    I think this is why I understand when established friends won’t let me in. It’s human nature….

    “You say why? why? Tell them that it’s human nature. Why? Why? do they do me that way?” – Michael Jackson

    Now I’m chronically ill and in constant chronic pain and I can’t have normal friendships anymore, except for a few email buddies who are in a similar situation. It’s too bad, but that’s just part of life, I guess. For one thing, I’m up all night and I sleep all day, and that’s just one of the reasons I don’t fit in with the mainstream and can’t maintain a friendship in the real world.

    It has been interesting to me to see the same social dynamics play out on the forums I’ve joined for my illnesses. We usually never even knew what each other looked like and yet the same social crap played out over and over again, and that has really made me think. I guess this is just the way people are. Human nature. Heh.

    I’ve gotten solace from reading about Sister Wendy. She’s the nun who taught about art on PBS. Google her interviews, or check her out on YouTube, if you’re interested. Try typing ‘Sister Wendy living alone’ into Google. She seems to have being alone down to an art. I find her to be very inspirational. Maybe her story will help others here too.

    I hope those of you who want friendships will find them soon.

    • Jen says:


      You are right, there are people who get very possessive. I had a couple of friends like that in the course of my life and I felt very choked. I totally understand the human nature there, when we find something we like or that’s good, we want to hang on to it and don’t want it taken away. Friendship just really can’t be that, b/c we can’t control others and make them our emotional or phsychological prisoners for our own sense of safety. Friendship by it’s very nature (I believe) is fragile and unpredictable. True friendship is sometimes wounding, sometimes gratifying and above all, is NOT for sissies (insult not intended). So we arm ourselves with a sense of humor, we comfort ourselves when people leave or betray us, we remember we are the only ultimate “steady” in our lives. Even spouses can be hurtful and leave us, as many have experienced. I am in a place in my life where the wounds piled up and got to be too much, so I stepped back. Some solitude has been great, but too much has been lonely and a pain in the rear end. So I am praying and trying to go where the Lord leads me. I am very sorry for your suffering. I suffered for 9 years b/c of mold in our house. We thought we got it all about 6 years ago, b/c we did a remediation and couldn’t find anymore. But after these past 6 more years of suffering horribly, we FINALLY figured out it was just too high of a level of mold for me and was making me terribly ill (the rest of my family has been fine). All it took was putting a few dehumidifiers in our house, which we just recently did, so I am coming out of it and feeling better, praise God!! I feel like a million after years of deteriorating health, and thinking I wasn’t going to make it thru. I hope your situation improves!! I appreciate the “pen pals” here. Thank you for your insights and wisdom. God bless you!!!!

      • Islandgirl says:

        Hi Jen,

        Thanks for your reply. What you’ve written about friendship here really helps me and rings true to me. I’m sorry to hear you’re going through similar circumstances too. You seem to have gained a lot of wisdom from your experiences and I admire that.

        I’m so glad you were able to identify that mold was at the root of your health issue and that you were able to get to remedy it with humidifiers. That’s awesome. Isn’t it amazing that some folks react that way to mold, when others in the same household have no problem with it? I’ve heard about many others with that same issue. I don’t think they knew to try humidifiers though, that’s good to know.

        Thanks so much for your support, too. :)

      • Nathalie says:

        Jen, you worded such a complicated concept so eloquently and simply. Thank you. It really does seem to boil down to what you describe and I resonate with. Personally, I don’t push or force anything. I believe the right people will appear in my life at the right time, as I will appear for them in theirs’. I witness way to many people fill their lives with empty friendships in hopes of obliterating loneliness, when really, only we can do that. I’ve recently realized: Love yourself, be your own fried….the rest will fall into place…

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