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Ask the Friendship Doctor

Why would someone have no friends?

There are a host of reasons why some people have no friends…and it is more common than you might think.


Hi there,

I am so happy to have found your blog! I have a problem that has been ongoing for my entire life, pretty much. I have no friends. Well, let me restate that: I have no friends who keep in touch without me doing all the effort and even then it is spotty! I am 35 years old.

A little history, in case it is applicable to my current problem: in middle school, I had a very close best friend but she dumped me, which was really tough. Then, in high school and into college I had some best friends that I ended up dumping abruptly over the littlest thing, which I have since realized was due to trust issues that I have worked through now. So why can’t I keep friends?

I have a group of three friends whom I have known since I was about 21. They don’t call me or email me really, but if I email and rally everyone for a get together we have fun… but then nothing. And I hear from them that they have gotten together in the meantime. I don’t get it- what is wrong with me?

Around the neighborhood I chat, make meals for the new moms, etc. but then nothing. And the other moms get together without me. I have female cousins who are really great, we have fun when we are together—but they never call or ask me to get together. It always has to be me.

The fact that this is a pattern in all my female friendships troubles me and makes me think that I am doing something wrong, but I don’t know what. I am a caring person and go out of my way to ask people about their lives when I am having conversations. My therapist has said that there is nothing wrong with having to be the one to always initiate a get together, but then I see my others who have a group of close friends who get together and really support each other, and I wonder, why not me?

I am an only child and sometimes just feel very alone. Other times I feel okay with having no friends. But all in all, I wish it were different. Do you have any advice for me?



Hi Amanda,

Ouch! It sounds like you feel like you’re a pariah. It’s impossible to guess why your friendships don’t “stick” and there’s no uptake by others but the problem seems to be a pattern rather than a one-time occurrence—and something you want to change.

Can you self-identify your specific problem (s)? Here are some of the possibilities why people don’t have close reciprocal relationships with friends. I’m sure other readers will add to the list.

Temperament – Are you shy and uncomfortable around people? This can make people around you feel uncomfortable too.

Insecurity - Do you feel like you can’t measure up to the people you want as friends? Are you able to trust other people? These may be barriers that create distance between you and your friends.

Preference – Are you introverted? When push comes to shove, do you actually prefer being alone rather than spending time with friends? Do you think people know this when they’re around you? Or, are you extraordinarily social—so preoccupied with making lots of acquaintances that you lose out on making close friendships?

Psychological Issues – Do you have a history of difficulty establishing intimate relationships with others? Are you uncomfortable with people knowing the real you?

Lack of Experience – Regardless of age, some people lack the skills needed to make and maintain friendships. Do you think you have what it takes to be a good friend?

Situational Obstacles – Do you live in a geographical area where it is particularly difficult to connect with people? This might include living someplace rural where there are few people or because of a history of frequent moves, being someplace where you feel like an outsider.

Disabilities – Do you have a mental or physical disability? Unfortunately, because of stigma, people shun individuals with mental or physical disabilities. In addition, being homebound can limit the opportunity to make friends.

Personality – Is there something about you that others find grating? Are you too needy? Too pushy? Too talkative? Too controlling? Are you fiercely independent—wanting to call all the shots regarding what, when and where? Sometimes, there is something off-putting about a person’s behavior and the individual lacks awareness of the problem.

Communication Style - Do you respond to your friend’s overtures as well as initiate contact? Are you available on line or by phone, depending on your friend’s preferred mode of communication.

Time Management Problems – Do you have a hard time juggling all the responsibilities and demands placed on you? Do you consider making time for friends selfish or frivolous?

Unrealistic expectations – Have you led your friends to believe that you will always do the organizing? Do you have an unrealistic, romanticized notion of friendship? Do you expect all friendships to be perfect and last forever?

Talking to an objective third party is a good way to gain insight into something you can’t figure out about yourself. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a therapist; it could be your spouse, a sibling, or someone else you trust.

Since you are already in therapy, perhaps this list will provide a useful starting point to explore various possibilities with your therapist. I agree that something is amiss given the scenario you have described and your desire for more reciprocal friendships.

Hope this is helpful.

Warm regards,

Prior blog posts that touch upon having no friends:

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Comments (3,430)

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  1. Helena says:

    I lived in the big city for 2 years. I worked in a small office with a bunch of people much older than me and made no friends. Now I work in a big office with a lot of fun, younger people who are mostly new in town and my social calendar is super full (I’ve even made a new “best” friend!).

    Making friends is hard because you need:

    1) To meet people who want to make new friends. People who are in comfortable relationships and living in communities where they grow up aren’t usually looking for new friends. This is what makes friendship trickier as you get older

    2) Repeated accidental contact. With dating you make appointments to get to know each other. With friendship, you need to be in an environment where you meet repeatedly eg. church, work, neighbourhood, school.

    3) somebody has to invite somebody somewhere. With adult friendships, there usually needs to be some kind of defined step between being friendly acquaintances and friendship.

    4) people with common interests. Close friends are very hard to find. Regular friends somewhat easier to find.

    • Darlene says:

      Nice summary Helena! Your point about repeated contact is why joining an activity is so valuable, there is opportunity to see some of the same people over and over. I would add that it seems like for every activity a person joins, over time you will make one or two friends that ‘stick’ and a several other friendly acquaintances. I moved to a new town only a few years ago and that seems to be how it worked for me, anyway. It doesn’t take that long to add up to a really nice social circle.

  2. C.j says:

    Broke up with my online girlfriend of 3 months today. I really feel terrible! The stress and pressure of long distance just makes it so hard. I don’t know if I did the right thing either. We had so much in common. I still love her and doubt I will find anyone like her again. The pain in my chest hasn’t stopped. And I have no one to talk to about how I feel. Feels like I’m dying..

    • Terri says:

      CJ, did you ever meet this girl? Please find a girlfriend where you live that you can actually see, date, get to know. I know it is hard for you to socialize, but until you go out there and put yourself on the line, you won’t get past finding people in the internet and talking via a keyboard. You can only get to know someone to a point online. Ever hear of cat fishing? It’s a big thing right now. How do you even know if the person you think you are in a relationship with the person you believe you are in one with. You said long distance. What do you mean? Have you really met her and can only communicate online because you live far away from each other, or never met at all? Another thing, of course you will find someone else. And you are NOT dying, just sad. Time heals all. Find a girl you can actually have a real relationship with. That might easier said than done, but if you don’t go out and try, it will never happen. You deserve more than a keyboard and computer screen. Have y’all ever even skyped or face timed?

      • C.j says:

        She is the real deal. We’ve shared every detail of our lives, talked on camera etc. I’ve seen photos of her family, friends etc. She knows i am jobless and she has never asked for money. She lives in the philippines, i live in Australia i can even prove it’s not a scam. But im too heartbroken to look at anyone else. I dont want to go through rejection and pain. I can hardly find anyone who is single around here. But i agree i need to get out there more

      • C.j says:

        Will this pain ever go away and can i still be friends with her in future?

        • Terri says:

          Well, the pain will go away. If you’ve talked on camera, and you’ve seen her than good. But why did you have to break up with her if you’re so heartbroken about it? You don’t have to prove anything, except to yourself. There are no single Aussie’s? That’s too bad. I think Australians are my favorite guys, except my b/f of course. LOL. CJ, maybe you should rethink this break up. And if not, you have no choice but to be a big boy, and realize everyone goes through this….everyone and just deal with it, move past it, and start again. It’s really your only choice unless you want to get her back.

          • C.j says:

            Actually thats a lie. We havent talked on camera. We were going to but both were too shy. That was before this happened. I want her back, Terri! I dont know if she would agree. We’ve given it two weeks. The emotional toll that long distance takes on you is massive. I dont know if I can ever go over there either. I cant go on my own. I’ve only traveled like twice in my life. She is so pretty, I’ll never find a girl like that. I feel she is my soul mate because we both have so much in common but I dont know how to make it work. Not really, I’ve tried online dating sites and the only people who talk to me are weirdos. Thanks heaps Terri you are my favourite American too. I think I’ve made a huge mistake. My family keep telling me to forget about her but I cant. I hope she can wait for me or we could meet in the future.

            • Terri says:

              So, question….why would you lie? Were you worried that what I said could be a fact? I worry that if you’ve never seen her, except in pictures, she may not be who you think she is. You need to get confirmation that she’s what you think she is before you get any more invested in this. Watch the american show “Catfish” if you don’t believe me. You can probably you tube it if you don’t get it in Australia. C.J. it’s possible that she’s beautiful and too shy to even skype, but it’s not likely. Take it for what it’s worth, but to me, you should verify she’s who you believe she is before you ever go meet her somewhere far away from home.

              • C.j says:

                She does have Skype. She told me today. I’m really scared and having doubts about everything in my life though. And you know today I signed up to a job recruitment agency, and the guy said he could find me factory work asap if that’s what I want!

                • Terri says:

                  But you didn’t answer my question. You felt the need to mislead at first and when I questioned you on it, you diverted the conversation. To be a friend, you have to learn to be forthright. Having skype isn’t the same as “talking to her on camera”. I still ask, how do you know who you are dealing with if you’ve never seen her. People can be whatever they want on-line.

                  • C.j says:

                    I did answer your question!! I have told you that we shared so much about our lives, and she has literally thousands of photos on facebook and comments from friends and family etc. How would she get those if she was a scammer? We have fought and argued and made up. And she has been upset with me. I dont think a scammer would have this much patience! The only thing that’s missing here is we havent spoken on Skype.

                    • Terri says:

                      I asked you why you felt the need to mislead when you said you talked on camera. You did not answer that. I was just wondering because I think it says something about the level of trust that you have about the whole situation. As far as having photos and comments, etc…..I urge you to watch catfish, the american tv show. You can probably find it on you tube and then tell me it’s not possible for her to be anything other than what she appears. I just was hoping to get you to be a little more cautious before you fall head over heals, but I think it’s too late.

                    • C.j says:

                      Sorry Terri. I lied to you big time. I guess I’m worried that i won’t find anyone at my age. And the unemployment and lack of experience with relationships doesn’t make it any easier either. Been using Tinder but it’s useless.

                    • Terri says:

                      CJ, I just am trying to get you to see that you need to be honest in any relationship. If someone isn’t honest with me, I have zero use for them. I’m very picky about my friends and don’t have time for games. So, first I think you need to always remember to be honest, with yourself (which seems NOT to be a problem) and also, with others. The way I see it is that you are so down on yourself, it’s gonna be hard to climb out of it unless, like Darlene has told you, you take steps (baby steps if necessary) to start trying to open yourself up and take risks. With risks, there is the possibility of failure, but also the possibility of reward. You have to start somewhere and sometime. How old are you exactly, if you feel comfortable telling us? I think you need to get much more positive in order for your life to change. You are very negative now, and negativity breeds negativity and the opposite is true as well.

                    • C.j says:

                      Alright fine, I will try to be completely honest about everything from now on. And maybe I’m lying to myself a lot too because the truth is just painful to handle. I’m dragging this thing out even when I know it’s impossible. You asked how old i am, well i will be 29 soon and that’s why I’m starting to panic and worry constantly. Things haven’t turned out the way I wanted.

                    • Terri says:

                      I don’t know why but I’m not able to reply directly to the comment you just made. Anyway, you are not even 29 yet? The way you talked about your age, I thought you were like in your 40’s or something. C.J., you are still so young. You have time to find the right girl, the right job, the right friends. Lot’s and lot’s of time. Cheer up and lighten up. I don’t think you should be in an on-line, long distance relationship because there is a possibility it will/can go nowhere. You see that I think, but as long as you can say you are in this relationship, you don’t have to go out on a limb and step out of your comfort zone to see what/who is out there that actually would be available for you. That you could actually spend time with, date and get to know on a personal level. If you were my brother/son, I would tell you to end what you know isn’t going to work and go out there and meet people and be positive. You have a lot of time, but time doesn’t stand still and one day you’ll wake up and you’ll be 50 and you don’t want to waste the next 20 years on relationships that go nowhere and a negative attitude that keeps you from enjoying your life. Hope this helps you.

                    • C.j says:

                      Yeah I couldnt reply to your last comment either. I am feeling helpless Terri. You mean it’s not too late to get my life back on track??

                      1. it’s been hard to find the right girl. I’ve hardly met anyone who’s single, most are taken/married. Or if they arent, they have been and dont want to do it again. Also I’m too shy to even talk to women much of the time. I feel like I will say something stupid or they wont like me or think I’m a weirdo. I’ve never been asked out. I’m ashamed of my lack of social life.

                      2. getting a job is hard! I cant compete with 18-21 year olds out of uni or with people who are highly skilled or have more experience than me. Plus I’ve been out of work for a while. And the fear and anxiety and not knowing what to say or what excuse to use just gets to me. I really need to overcome it. My resume is really lacking.

                      3. i have always found it hard to make friends. But I know I could do it if I could get out there and try. I dont know how likeable I am. I feel like maybe they wont like me or they’ll think I’m a weirdo or stupid. Also it’s harder to make friends if you dont have any or much to talk about. When I talk to friends or family by phone or facebook I feel like I’m bothering them. Plus I feel ignored.

        • Darlene says:

          The pain will go away, it will just take some time. I feel for you, I remember the pain of losing someone you love. Just a thought, is there any chance this relationship could work? Maybe some visits to see if you guys are solid in real life?

          • C.j says:

            I am really feeling shattered. I think there is a chance it could work. But I dont know how to make it work. I’ve never traveled much and wouldnt know how (which sucks at my age). I’m really scared. I feel like I need someone to come with me. I think we could be solid in real life. But long distance just takes its toll on you. We’ve given this two weeks. But I dont want to lose her from my life.

            • C.j says:

              Good news! She messaged me tonight and we are talking again!

            • Darlene says:

              Glad to hear it, CJ! I think it would be a huge confidence booster to travel and visit her. But, you should Skype first :) Every little thing you do to help yourself, even if it scares you a bit, makes you grow as a person and does amazing things for your confidence. Go ahead! Skype with her, then, if that goes well, arrange a visit.

              • C.j says:

                I really want to, Darlene. I hate being shy, I really do! I’m really shy and scared to go anywhere. You’re right, I need to do more things that scare me because I need to grow as a person. Today I rang a job agency and that is a first step I guess. I’m afraid this girl wont like me for long or will leave. I posted some good news on Facebook today and no one even read it. Just shows what people think of me.

                • Darlene says:

                  CJ, I know what it feels like to be scared of things…really scared. But how to handle fear ends up being a choice, I found, either face it or it will rule you. You don’t have to face it all at once, you can set smaller goals, then keep building on those. Believe me it works….some situations used to leave me feeling sick and angry with myself and bad about myself. Once I started tackling those fears, they started to go away….and I felt really good about myself.

                  Find a way to work up to skyping with her…give yourself a deadline as to when it will happen, that would be my suggestion. And it is okay to be afraid, that’s just how you feel right now and it’s just fine….but don’t let that fear tell you how to live your life. :)

                  • Darlene says:

                    PS: even if things don’t turn out with your girlfriend, if you tried via Skype, it’s a huge step forward. Give yourself full marks for bravery, okay?

                    Glad to hear about the job…also a step forward! I post lots of things on Facebook no one likes or comments on. Who cares? I post things for my own enjoyment, if others enjoy, too, that’s great, if not…whatever. :)

                    • C.j says:

                      Thanks again, Darlene! You are such a great support here and have helped me so much and I cant be anymore grateful! I will ask this girl to Skype with me when she comes back online.

                      Yeah, well, I dont know if the job agency will get back to me. I sent in my resume and it’s pretty empty to be honest. But my problem is my Facebook is empty with only 7 photos. So if I meet new people and add them on Facebook, they will see I dont have a life and wont even talk to me.

                  • C.j says:

                    Thank you, Darlene. I feel like it already has ruled me. Is there any hope left, Darlene? I don’t have any friends, a job and I’ve never been on a proper date. I’m starting to feel like there’s no hope anymore.

                    And all of that actually worked out for you? How long did it take? And how fearful were you when you started doing it? I was seeing a therapist but she gave up on me. I feel like I have no social skills whatsoever.

                    I don’t know what’s wrong. But this girl seems to be ignoring me tonight. If she doesnt want me anymore, I dont think I will ever find anyone. All of the people I know and cousins are married with kids. No one likes me, Darlene. I have no friends and no one talks to me and that makes me depressed and feel worthless. How do you make friends or have a life when you have no social support to start with and people can see that?

                    • Darlene says:

                      CJ, I would suggest that you start by getting good at something you care about. You mention exercise on this blog, maybe getting a certification through a gym? Get good, really good at something that matters to you. Get outside of your head and focus on things you can become good at.

                      The point of this is to start building your life, building yourself up, from scratch if need be. Do things that help you be a stronger person. Take small chances, build up your courage, create a life resume and things you can talk about. But, do it for you, not just to make friends.

                      In a way, you are standing at a crossroads, with your whole life ahead of you. One choice is to believe in yourself, have faith you can change your life, I hope you chose that road, CJ. I did and while it was hard and bumpy at times, the views just got better and better. :)

                    • Darlene says:

                      As for your question about me, I think I hit bottom, I was so depressed and lonely, I just knew I couldn’t carry on like that anymore. What I figured out for me was that I needed to work on my emotional issues (parental issues) and my social skills. As I progressed over time, good things started to happen and I felt better about myself.

                      Just like bad things build on themselves, so do good things. Once you get the ball rolling, the good things start to build up. You just need to find the right approach for you, is all. I suggested getting good at a skill, because that makes my husband feel great, to get good at something he likes, but you need to find what works for you. However, the way I see it, what is there to lose? :)

      • Anon in LDR says:

        You know, I feel the need to jump in and speak out in defense of LDR’s as someone who is in one and has been in a couple others. I feel like you are giving long distance relationships a bad wrap that they don’t deserve. My previous relationship lasted for 3 years with somewhat frequent visits. My current one is with someone I’ve known for 3 years and we’ve been dating 5 months and have met a few times for 1-2 weeks each time. I understand that Catfishing is a problem, but I think people give it too much credit, especially when it is extremely easily avoided with just a little common sense. I can see how Catfishing would have been more scary back in early 2000’s. But nowadays I don’t think there should be any excuse, if you have internet access you should be able to do webcam sessions and phone calls, you should be able to share plenty of pictures and with a little team effort you should eventually be able to close the distance at some point. To say “find a girl you can have a real relationship with” is extremely close-minded and offensive because it implies that long distance relationships are not “real” relationships. I promise you, the long distance relationships I’ve had have been some of the closest most meaningful relationships I’ve made in my life. They are nothing to be ashamed of.

        • Terri says:

          Well, you are entitled to your opinion and your experiences as am I. I was speaking to C.J. about his situation. He seems quite attached to someone he’s never even seen outside of pictures on a facebook page. I think one needs to be careful in a situation like that. Also, he has no friends. You sound as if you have a normal life and are just in a long distance relationship. You gave no information on your life other than about the LDR, but yet, you are here on this blog. To me, there’s only so far you can go with a LDR unless you close the distance gap. I was in a LDR for 6 months, but eventually I had to move to be with my boyfriend….why….because it wouldn’t have worked unless one of us moved. We were seeing each other every month and that was just too much time, too much money, too much everything. Something had to give if it was to work. We’ve been together 11 years now and everything is great, but had we stayed in the LDR, it might have lasted another 6 months and then it would have been done, because I need to be able to see, go out with and have a normal relationship with my boyfriend, not just interaction over a computer screen or phone. But that’s me and my experience. You have a different one. That’s what makes the world go round.

          • C.j says:

            Wow I gotta say I feel a bit hurt Terri. What you just said about me then and the way you just said it. I might not have friends now, but why did you feel the need to bring that up just then? What did it have to do with anything? And the way you said he/she “has a normal life” I thought was pretty hurtful! I know for a fact that this girl is real right, I’m not going to argue it anymore. I’m tired of being treated like an idiot. But yeah this person does sound like they have it all together. So they probably have a pretty good job, a lot of independence and money to travel quite a bit. As well as people to travel with. Also you never said anything about being in a LDR before.

            • Terri says:

              C.J. All I’ve ever done was tried to give you what I considered good advice. I’m sorry if what I said hurt you but you are always coming on here talking about your life in a way worse way than anything I said. You are so down on yourself all the time and it’s not a normal way to live. I’m sorry if that hurts you. As far as having no friends, that’s what this blog is about. I’ve said I have very few friends by choice. It’s not anything to be ashamed of. And I would never try to hurt you intentionally. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to help you, but if you feel this way, I will stop. As far as never saying anything about being in a long distance relationship….I don’t divulge a whole lot about my own life. It wasn’t pertinent to what we’ve been talking about. First, my relationship is still going on and it was only long distance for 6 months and then I moved to be near him. And second, we met face to face and I knew he was a real person, what he looked like and everything else I needed to know to start a real relationship. That’s hardly what is happening with you. I was concerned about you because after 3 months, you’ve never even skyped. I’m sorry if I upset you. It wasn’t intentional…..but simply in response to that person’s post.

    • Colette says:

      CJ…you may feel awful…I note that you wrote your comment on 22nd March – I really hope that today you are feeling a little better? Sometimes things end for a reason; perhaps there is someone else for you to make freinds with and your online g/f was preventing that? We don’t know but fate has a funny way of doing things. You will be ok…it may take a little time but you will be ok…and hey, I am ‘talking’ to you as are lots of others!

      • C.j says:

        Collette, we are talking again. Both of us tried to break it off but it didnt last. She agreed to talk on Skype or phone chat sometime. We just havent organized it yet. We are both a bit nervous. Haha

  3. CT says:

    Definitely surrounded by xxx and xxx bar none. [EDITED FOR PROFANITY; PLEASE KEEP THIS BOARD CLEAN. THANKS] They do one little thing wrong, simply forgive them, if you do it expect to be isolated one way or another. So sick of the pressure of socializing when we people should just do teamwork on the spot and then go on about their business. There should be no shame in being alone and even wanting to be alone because let’s face it we don’t truly need to be with people that much anyway. There is no need to herd like humans did eons ago.

  4. Anne says:

    Did everyone really have fun? Or are you going by “I had fun so everyone must have had fun too”?
    Are you picky about where to go/what to eat/etc? Do you complain a lot? Or whine a lot? Do you find yourself venting a lot or just being negative when you communicate with friends? Do you plan the entire outing AND THEN invite your friends out? These are just a few reasons why I don’t like hanging out with some people who are not bad people but might be doing something that makes the time spent with them less enjoyable.

    there must be a reason why your friends don’t like hanging out with you. Since this is a pattern, I will ask one them, maybe one of your cousins? That’s really the only way to find out.

  5. Lisa says:

    Jack, you made me smile.

  6. C.j says:

    I feel like I’m pretty isolated. And don’t know how to get out there and overcome my fears of interacting with people.


    “Even when socially isolated people do go out into public and attempt social interactions, the social interactions that succeed — if any — are brief and at least somewhat superficial.”

    I swear, this is what my life is like.

    • Darlene says:

      CJ, I think most initial interactions with people are superficial. People don’t tend to open up until they feel comfortable, that’s true for many people. You may find it easier to get a little closer if you are doing something you really enjoy, something that includes other people. Focussing on something, side by side with like minded people allows a low key, more comfortable place to gradually get to know people. Fewer social expectations that way as well. Maybe worth a shot, I’d you haven’t done this already.

      • C.j says:

        But at least those people dont feel like they have nothing to talk about, or feel like they are ignored, like nothing they say matters. I might do what you said, and try that again. But in some places I found that some people have more in common than me and they end up as best friends and I end up feeling pretty left out. I’ve had friends in the past, and they just ditch me for more interesting people. I’ve been going out with my cousin more lately. And was thinking maybe getting a job again would help me get out of the house instead of being depressed at home.

    • Lovey says:

      I understand what you mean C.J. I’ve gone through bouts of social isolation too. Even if we’re feeling like a space aliens some days, I feel it’s crucial to keep getting out there though, just to keep working on our social skills a little bit.
      Have you ever thought of checking out a local Toastmasters meeting? The people who attend are from all walks of life, and are always welcoming and pleasant. There’s no commitment necessary to check out a meeting for the first time. You will be welcomed as a guest, and can sit in and watch how people help each other in improving their communication skills. Even if it’s not something you choose to pursue, you will meet some nice people and learn some good tips. Just an idea :)

      • C.j says:

        Thank you Lovey. Yeah it hurts doesnt it? I feel like I’ve been in it for a while. I really feel stuck and depressed. I feel like no one could ever like me. When I go out with my cousin lately, people will talk to him or smile at him but wont even look at me, even if I make the first move and talk to them. Someone mentioned Toastmasters to me before, I havent heard of it. But I found out that there is one around here actually. But I dont know if I have the courage to go there. Especially on my own. It would be good if I had someone to go with. I think I’d be pretty nervous I would probably say nothing the whole time. LOL

        • Lovey says:

          Hi CJ, just thinking about what you said about being around your cousin and people not paying any attention to you. That has happened to me before too! What did I do wrong??

          I sat there afterwards feeling terrible and ignored, and then it hit me. I really didn’t have anything in common with that person. Seriously, other than talking about the weather, we were as different as you could get. Not everyone is open to conversing with someone whose life is different than theirs. (birds of a feather flock together, right?). That is a limitation they have, and is no reflection of you. When that happens, we always think we did something wrong, rather than thinking the other person may have been a little rude by ignoring us.

          My husband says I have to speak up more … put out my hand and introduce myself instead of waiting to be addressed. It’s tough when you have a tendency to be shy or have been hurt.
          At least at Toastmasters everyone will come up to you and introduce themselves, you’ll have no choice but to introduce yourself back. lol ;-) It’s a skill we need to get better at.

          The front page of Lifehacker.com today was full of articles on overcoming shyness. The fact that a major online publication is focusing on it means we are not alone.

      • C.j says:

        Lovey, this might sound personal. But just wondering what are some ways you might cope whenever you feel isolated?

        • Lovey says:

          Well CJ, when I’m feeling isolated, I don’t want anything to do with anyone, which only makes things worse. I’ve learned one way to snap out of it is to do something really fun that gives me a shift in my “depressed” thinking. I like to watch old movies – only comedies so I laugh my head off. I make something delicious to eat, maybe do a hobby I like, do some exercise … you get the idea. Doing something enjoyable improves my mood, which helps me to think more positively about being around people.

          Someone once said, if you can’t be happy by yourself, you can’t be happy with people. I’m sure as many people would disagree with that statement as would find it true. It would depend on the individual person and their circumstances for sure. In my case it is true.

          I’m sure you will find what works for you, because you are interested in doing so. Half the battle is deciding to try. :)

  7. Jack Sparrow says:

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

    • joe says:

      kudos!i could not agree more!

    • C.j says:

      Heard that before, but it still good advice!

      • what friends may happen... says:

        It’s like a circle of events sometimes. My low self-esteem made me an easy target for a-holes. Once I realized I had low self-esteem and worked on it (with a license therapist) and felt better than I was better able to avoid or deal with a-holes and people who aren’t really interested in being friends. It made me less of a target and better able to be a friend to myself first and now I’m at the point of reaching out to people and letting others in.

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