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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.

QUESTION

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?

Signed,
Amanda

ANSWER

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,
Irene


Prior blog posts that touch upon having no friends:

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Category: HAVING NO FRIENDS

Comments (2,662)

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  1. Lina Mae says:

    I came across this article and I want to share my story. I’m 37 years old, I have no friends and I’ve learn to accept it. I’ve been single all my life, I am barren (due to an accident that left me sterile), and that’s ok. Even in my hard lonely night, I miss having friends close, being there for me… Nevertheless, I never stop being my own best friend.
    I know and why I’ve lost all my friends, and it’s mainly all my fault. In my past, I did a lot of drugs and partied, never thought much about that effects the drug will have later on in my life. And no, I never stole, never did my friends wrong, but I had no motivation to see myself as anything more than a club person, working in nightclubs.

    Well, all the connection I had, slowly started changing because I was too negative to be around. I hung out with the wrong crowd, and the real friends I did have, not only started distancing themselves from me, they treated me like the way I treated myself. I hated me. When you truly hate yourself, people see it, and no matter how close they are to you, and love you, it takes its toll and they walk away. Then, around 11 years ago (at the same time), I witnessed a horrendous crime, which changed the course of my life. Causing me resurface horrible memories of my own childhood, which changed the entirety of my demeanour.
    The friends I had, lost. The friends I started to make wanted nothing to do with me. I was an outgoing, strong people-person, now 11 year later, I suffer from uncontrollable anxiety, depression, and I isolate myself because of fear of being hurt. And all the treatments they have to treat me, I’m allergic to it. And my fears are accurate because of what I suffer from mentally, no one wants to be around me. And no, it’s not aggressive, it’s just a subconscious waywardness that I can’t control. Not even my own family wants to be around me.

    But, I’ve learned to keep going on and living friend-free life because suicide isn’t an option. And trust me, I’ve tried, and almost succeeded over two years ago. How I stopped ‘trying’ was the last time I realized that even if I succeeded, no one would care. And I mean no one. No one came to visit me when I was the accident that left me barren, not even my own family came, no one called. That night, I sat there holding the razor, and I did cut myself deep, and was looking forward to being at peace. As I sat there bleeding, I realized that if I die in my small bachelor apartment, no one would notice I was dead until my corpse was rotting. And that would be weeks or months before anyone would notice. (I paid my rent a couple of months in advance so, no one would have noticed). And if they did, they wouldn’t care in the first place, dead or alive, so from that the moment I had to start being my own very best everything. I dropped the razor, wrapped up my arm as tight as I could, and tried my best to walk to the pharmacy and brought wound closures. It was hard because I was extremely dizzy, but I did it. I didn’t go to the hospital because the law in my country states, “that attempt to take your life is an offense, and jail sentence,” so I had to be my own doctor.

    During the walk, I realized that ‘yes,’ it is extremely difficult to be here alone, but I’m here for a reason. I don’t know what it is, I can’t give up because no one’s in my life.
    There are things that I can do and celebrate alone. I have been clean for now 10 years, and I couldn’t be happier because I did it for me. I live for me, love me, and accept me.

    (Going off topic) at this time, for all who say they have no friends, “before you say you don’t, look at the people, who are in your life to see if they are there for you.” I have no one: no friends, no relationship, no family, no kids, nothing. I am completely alone. But, that doesn’t stop me from being my everything. I go to movies, I take myself out for dates (as lonely as it seems, and sometimes quite embarrassing) I still do it. Just because life is utterly lonely, doesn’t mean I give up completely.

    Now, I have hope that this era will change, and I will, someday, make and build strong lasting positive friendships with others. But, if that doesn’t happen, I’m not going to stop living for me. So, cheer up and realized you’re still here. make the best of it. Oh, and PS, I hope no one says, “I’m sorry,” there is no need. I’m ok. I just wanted to share my story with others.

  2. SR says:

    Hi,I am 32 and married for 4yrs.All my life, until 26 yrs old i had best friends one after the other.I am an introvert.I was always extremely picky when choosing friends.It was important for me to mentally connect with them.So i never had lots of friends.Just one or two at a time.But for reasons like long distance or jealousy, over the years i have lost them all later.And in my late 20’s my character changed.I found that it was not that easy for me to get really trustworthy and jealousy-free close friends from workplace.My experiences made me very independent.From then on i am comfortable having no close friends.After marriage i became a homemaker.I never tried to make new friends.I have been living in the same community for past 2 years and have made just 5 acquaintances.No one else knows me in my big community. And i am perfectly fine with that.I never feel bored sitting at home.Have lots of hobbies.But the problem is my hubby doesn’t feel it to be normal.Whenever we fight,the friends topic comes up.When i tell him i am without friends by choice,it never gets to him.He says i am anti-social and nobody likes me.He is very hurt that i don’t have friends and see me as a failure.This hurts me.When people take the initiative and come to me, i dont feel interested if not my kind.Am I normal?

  3. Thomas says:

    Presently I have no real friends even when I attempt to establish a relationship is usually just a little chat and then see you later at best. I had PTSD and did not speak for 5 years as a child from extreme violence from my parents so many things happened over the years where would I start and sure you all don’t want a book published here. No girlfriend at present the last real gfriend was about 4 years ago and she was absolutely crazy before that went out with a European women about 15 years older then me I was 30 at the time first gfriend I had and met her while she was on vacation before that no girlfriends and friends were very sparse so yes I’m isolated and its been this way for most of my life so what advice do you have if any?

  4. Jaime says:

    Hello,
    I am 50 years old. I have no real friends. My husband is my best friend. Sometimes, I wish I had female friends to talk with or have coffee with. I am an introvert and I don’t like people acting like being reserved is bad. I am not shy and I speak my mind when asked my opinion. People don’t want to hear a strong opinion when it doesn’t go along with what they are saying or doing. I watch my husband and how he talks to people because people really love talking to him. I have imitated him to a degree the last few times we went on vacation. I thought I would try it out on strangers that I wouldn’t see again.I think the last time we went on vacation I did OK. I am doing a self examination and I am learning to be less judgmental. I didn’t realize how judgmental I was till my daughter said something. She told me I do a fairly good job at pushing people away. I am trying real hard to understand why I do that. I do enjoy being alone at times, but other times I want to be around people. Like many of the people commenting here, I have initiated going out and I have been the DD at many work functions because I don’t drink and my co workers do. No one ever remembers me being there. I am not giving up hope nor am I going to say I am not lovable just because people haven’t discovered how nice I can be. I volunteered for a retreat at my church once and one of the women on the team with me said that she was sorry that they had not taken the time to get to know me. We all had to give speeches to the women who we were giving the retreat for and I guess my speech resonated with some of them. Sometimes, you just have to give people a chance. I will keep trying and I wish the best to everyone on here who is trying too.

  5. Sammy says:

    Hi

    IM 14 and like I have my BESTFRIEND and she’s like the person in the world to me. But I don’t really get my other friends… They decide to backchat about me but then be all 2fAced in front of me… It’s like I’m losing my bestfriend I don’t know how to tell her cause I’m scared if she chooses them over me … What shall I do I’m really scared. She’s my world and without her I don’t know who’d I have to share my feelings with and having great moments with her.

    I feel like they’re taking her away and I don’t want that to happen. Sometimes I go crying trying to avoid them because she’s habimg so much fun with them and it’s like I’m not there. They make her feel so i don’t how to explain its like she don’t care about me. Sometimes when I’m sad I just want her to ask me if I’m ok, hug me i don’t know just something to make me feel as if I’m cared by her. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

    • Darlene says:

      Hi Sammy,

      Hang in there, okay? I suspect your friend values you as much as ever, but I think she’s exploring other people and experiences. That’s normal and okay and doesn’t mean she thinks any less of you.

      I remember that girls your age tend to talk about each other, it seems pretty common :) Don’t take it too seriously, joke it off where you can and don’t let it get you down.

      I wouldn’t avoid your best friend, try to be part of things with these new people, try to enjoy them, too. Also, be open to making other friends and exploring some new experiences of your own. Then you have some great new stuff to talk to your best friend about :)

  6. Jaime says:

    Cathy,

    I am 50 years old. I have no real friends. My husband is my best friend. Sometimes, I wish I had female friends to talk with or have coffee with. I am an introvert and I don’t like people acting like being reserved is bad. I am not shy and I speak my mind when asked my opinion. People don’t want to hear a strong opinion when it doesn’t go along with what they are saying or doing. I watch my husband and how he talks to people because people really love talking to him. I have imitated him to a degree the last few times we went on vacation. I thought I would try it out on strangers that I wouldn’t see again. I am doing a self examination and I am learning to be less judgmental. I didn’t realize how judgmental I was till my daughter said something. She told me I do a fairly good job at pushing people away. I am trying real hard to understand why I do that.

  7. Help!! says:

    I used to be so popular and have so many friends. All the guys liked me and everyone wanted to sit next to me in class and at lunch. I don’t know what happened! It seems like they all hate me now. I didn’t so anything, so why do they hate me so much? Please help me! I need advice.

  8. johan moody says:

    hi, i seem to make people uncomfortable . im a nice person and try to make friends but only come up getting the cold shoulder . i smile make eye contact and try to have conversations , but people seem to still not like me or like being around me . i think i dress pretty good , but truthfully im just trying to learn to socialize for the first time in my life and im 56 with no real social skills , im currently going to school and find people hard to understand , i treat them well and nice , but still no responce and when i inate conversation they just avoid me . have any ideas ?

    • Darlene says:

      Hi Johan,

      It sounds to me like you are unintentionally giving people a message that makes them uncomfortable. If this is happening with a variety of people, in multiple settings then I would say that with some certainty.

      Okay, there are definitely things you can do to improve this (including checking out the tips on this website). But, it would be great to get some feedback to help you identify what it is you may be doing.

      A great way is to talk to a person who knows you and who can be trusted to give you honest, fairly specific and helpful feedback (especially if they themselves are able to make friends). If you don’t know anyone like that, you could try making observations about what exactly is going wrong, is it when you say something? The timing of when you say it?

      Pay close attention to other people’s body language for both negative and positive reactions to what you say and how you say it. Pay attention to your body language as well. Are you making intense eye contact? Are you getting in people’s personal space? Are you asking overly personal questions? Are you yourself really uncomfortable? (very understandable). If you are uncomfortable, your tone of voice and body language will indicate that. Any of those things could cause people to react fairly strongly.

      There are books on the subject, as well, that can really help. I found that by paying attention to what worked and what didn’t I finally learned some social skills. I also got tips by watching how people who are good at this interact with others. It is hard at first, but when you start understanding how to communicate with other people, it gets easier and you start seeing some success fairly quickly.

      All the best to you!

      • johan moody says:

        first , i was once a complete loner , but now im changing , really mostly people wont even come near me and when they see me they try to avoid me or quickly leave when im around them .ive always treated others nice and with kindness , but ur probly right about the message i give off , which is unknown to me im not sure i understand body langauge . but im just starting to learn eye contact , how ever it always seems to people just dont like me , ps ur correct this does happen in all places i go . im am an out going person .

  9. Christopher says:

    Hi,
    I am like amanda. I am 30 years old and I never have had friends in my life. I am a Military Brat and we moved around alot. Out of all the issues you named here are my problems

    *Temperament / Disabilitoes = I am Bipolar, ADD, ADHD, Depression,

    Preference – Are you introverted? When push comes to shove, do you actually prefer being alone rather than spending time with friends?
    ===============================================
    Not a preference, but I NEVER leave the house… I feel like I can do EVERYTHING at home and I cant tell you the last time I left home to go out. =[

    Psychological Issues – Do you have a history of difficulty establishing intimate relationships with others?

    YES.

    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?

    YES

    Situational Obstacles – Do you live in a geographical area where it is particularly difficult to connect with people?

    YES, I live in East Texas… This is a place where people come to retire, golf, and vacation and all the people my age leave right after high school and they NEVER come back unless its a holiday. So I am stuck with people way older than me…. 50s, 60s, 70 and up year olds.

    ================================================================
    And like my family IS SO VERY worried about me because I dont leave home. I NEVER wan to go out to go shopping or out to eat or anythnig I would just rather stay here in my room with my computer, and TV.

    What is wrong with me? how do I fix it?

    My mother wants me to check into a group home and I WONT do it… I feel I would be stripped all rights and have to go to bed at a certain time or this and that. I would rather live independantly. and I am on SSI and I cant afford any normal housing on my own except govt. Again, I would still be alone. I told my mother today that a group home is OUT of the question.

    Thanks,
    Christopher

    [email address removed by moderator to prevent unwanted SPAM]

    • Darlene says:

      Hi Christopher,

      You sound like someone who has some hurdles in your life. I am really sorry to hear that.

      But…you can make your life the very best it can be. I think that’s what your parents are trying to do, urge you out of your comfort zone into a place where you can grow as a person.

      Some of the challenges you are facing are tough enough that it makes sense to get some help with them (if you aren’t already). A group home could be a great way to learn to be with other people, to find out more about yourself and learn to be part of the world. No doubt a scary thought but staying where you are doesn’t seem to be bringing you much happiness either. Maybe this is worth a try?

      All the best to you!

  10. Silk says:

    Friendship causes pain!

    • Darlene says:

      It also causes laughter and joy. :)

    • NikkiM says:

      Friendships does cause pain.You’re right.

    • Cathy says:

      I am 50 now, and I don’t have any friends. I’ve pretty much given up now. I think I don’t have real friends because I won’t go along to get along. I have a set of principles, morals, and values that are at the core of who I am. I won’t compromise them just to “get along” with someone. To be sure, it is a lonely life.

      At one point in my life I just surrendered to the fact that I was unlovable. I even thought God didn’t love me, and if he did, I didn’t know why, because clearly there was something wrong with me. But that’s the day my whole life changed, as far as God is concerned, at least.

      Now, I know that God loves me, and I even have a husband who loves me! But friends and family, nah, they can’t be bothered, too much trouble or something.

      As you can see, I don’t beat around the bush. I’m a direct person in conversation. That’s not to say I can’t play some and be softer in tone. But mostly I’m pretty deep.

      • Darlene says:

        You know Cathy, there is nothing wrong with having morals or opinions. Some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met were strong people who were true to themselves as well and direct.

        But I have also met people who are pretty overt and aggressive in their directness. If you are direct, I think it’s important to pick your battles and to be aware of your audience. Some people will be intimidated by overt directness and honesty. Like you said, softening the message is something you already do sometimes, maybe just look at doing that more often, depending on who you are talking to.

        In my opinion, respecting another person’s sensibilities is not compromising yourself, but may open doors for you with people. After all, you probably wouldn’t bring up tricky subjects like abortion and so on with someone you knew had a strong opinion one way or another, would you?

        Food for thought :)

  11. m says:

    idk about you, but i know some reasons why i don’t have friends, or like really close ones you talk to and live life with everyday…here’s why for me…

    first i don’t really trust people. i’ve had betrayal issues, my parents divorced, aka a history of lack of trust in family. during my childhood i’ve assumed that my mom loved me unconditionally, which may still be true, but she never showed me her feelings. and when i decided for the first time in my life to do something which happened to go against her idea/will/hope of what she wanted me to do, she got really mad, emotional, and deserted me emotionally, so i’ve been hurt emotionally for a really long time. my dad never showed emotions either… so basically i’ve been in an environment where emotions and caring and ‘friendship’ didn’t exist… although i really want to make friends, i always end up screwing up things by being too distant, not showing my emotions, not taking the initiation to start conversations, activities, or just plain screwing up socially like doing things that you really shouldn’t do…you know those awkward social moments or why the fck would i stick a middle finger when it is the time to shake hands firmly…idk, its just lack of common sense, lack of attention and focus and care towards human interactions…

    another reason for me personally is my tendency to get really ‘addicted’ or obsessively compulsive into subjects that interest me to the point i don’t really care for anything or anyone else. it’s a really powerful focusing ability, but the trade off is i ignore and neglect other people around me even when the situation calls for me to help them with things…

    more reasons include my desire to be independent, to be self sufficient, to be able to do everything on my own, and my definition of this is literally doing things alone, although others may interpret independence and self-sufficiency as the capability to share your burdens with others in-order to work together. i find the latter perspective much more beautiful but requires a lot more courage and self humbling to acknowledge personal weakness which for me is very very sensitive.

    see i understand very clearly and probably much more clearly than many other people. i’m an intelligent and a capable being. yet i can’t get past this fundamental fear of … imperfection. the feeling when others don’t acknowledge you is something you could just shrug off. but the feeling that you don’t acknowledge yourself is something so painful personally. but it is this precise feeling that i must accept that i am not as strong as i think i am, and i am not perfect, and that it is ok to fail, it is ok to make mistakes, it is ok to be shitty and everything i do, and therefore it is ok to show your weakness to others…because it is this self humbling acknowledgement that would bring me to desire and need the help/assistance/care of others and therefore the foundation of a friendship.

    i know its hard, and its too easily betrayed which is why i bottle everything up and try to hide and forget it, but from time to time, these feelings creep up and i feel so miserable, and all those mistakes i’ve made in the past swell up and i feel worse than depression, more like on the brink of suicide.

    so what should i do? i’m not sure… but perhaps sharing my feelings is a a place to start. i know its hard,, because of rejection and the act of offering yourself up naked and vulnerable is sort of against instinct… but this is what friendship means, to be naked and truthful about your feelings…

    • m says:

      so after some more thoughts on why i don’t have friends i’ve come to a realization and a conclusion that it is part of a more fundamental flaw in me…

      i’m not honest to myself

      because it is too easy to cheat, to lie, to take the shortcut, to get what i want without putting in the effort, it is too easy to procrastinate

      because when i focus on the results, of achievements, accomplishments, impressing others, fame, money, power, etc. etc. etc. i am not focusing on myself

      and when i focus on myself, i begin to feel what makes me happy, who i am, what i’m all about, what drives me, what the meaning of life is,

      so i guess what i need to do consciously is to proactively remember and be aware of the lies, cheats, shortcuts, and loopholes that i make for myself, many of which are automatic and have became habits, but that’s the challenge, i’ve end up in this hole because i’ve neglected my heart, and it will take persistence, a concerted effort to make honest new life styles, choices, habits that truly reflect my nature.

      that’s what i would do anyway…

      i too often forget and lose focus of this and it takes me a while to re-realize that my focus has to be honest expression of my heart. its difficult when the whole world conspires against me, but that’s how things go…

      also i realize why music artists are so well loved because in order for them to create these amazing hit songs, they really have to be honest about their feelings, and their honesty comes through in their work, and we the listeners appreciate their honesty and feel the wholesome goodness when listening to a melody of honesty…

      i hoped my realizations may be of help for other people…

      • Ogami_Itto says:

        m,

        Have you looked into the possibility that your mother might have Borderline Personality Disorder? That bit about her abandoning you as soon as you rightly began expressing independence is quite revealing.

        The world is full of FAQed up people. FULL of ‘em. I’d say it’s at least 50-50 you’re gonna meet someone who is more messed-up than you, who is ‘putting on’ about how hip they are.

        Another poster here said we all feel pressured to have relationships like they do on the TV shows, Friends, and Sex in the City. Well, TV shows are BS generated by one of the most materialistic, superficial, and corrupt institutions in human history, namely Hollywood. If Hollywood is trying to make the world seem a certain way, it’s a wise cow who breaks from the slaughterhouse-bound herd and runs for dear life in the opposite direction.

        We all could use improvement. The deep core of each and everyone of us is good and fine. However, its hard to stay in touch with our deepest core when we’re in the thick of social interaction. When alone, and ONLY when alone, we get closest to the divine being we are deep inside.

        So, there is nothing wrong with being alone. We can use that time for inner quiet.

      • Darlene says:

        Hi M,

        Thanks for sharing, it gave me things to think about, there is a lot of truth for me in what you wrote.

      • Sandy457 says:

        I think no being honest with ourself is right – because I am not honest with myself I now find myself living in a rural area without family or friends and I have absolutely nothing in common with the people here. I also made the mistake of buying a house that is upside down and I am in debt – a man – a long story – so I can’t even move. I have been here 10 years – I am middle aged and fat – the highlight of my day is feeding my cats and the feral ones outside. It is a shitty life – I am a true cat lady. My health is going down the hill too.

  12. Cindy says:

    I disagree with Cathy who wrote on Nov. 30 about if your not good looking and don’t have much money well I’m very attractive, my husband has money, I don’t have any friends because of jealousy and my family was always mean to me and even meaner when I got married instead of being happy for me. Being attractive is a curse. When I was younger I had no girlfriends because I was thin and pretty. Then every guy I liked NEVER liked me. My life has been nothing but rejection and disappointment. I never get anything I want. I never thought life was going to be like this. If I didn’t have my son, I would definitely end it. I tried to kill myself when I was late 20’s because of no family or friends or career, every guy I liked never liked me, just rejection and disappointment all the time. I really cant wait to die!!

    • Jen says:

      I think you’re just afraid you won’t ever get what you want. That fear is probably blocking it from happening. I can’t say I blame you for feeling that way, but maybe it’ll help if you’re aware of this.

  13. Joanne says:

    I don’t have friends OR family. Talk about being depressed. I think because I’m depressed no one wants to hear it but people just don’t get it. They all have family, parents, sisters, brothers, kids. If these people were in my shoes they would be depressed to. Someone even said it to me once, she said “I’d be depressed to if I didn’t have family or friends”. When I was young, I was very attractive and thin and girls hated me because of this and I had no girl friends at all. I was such a good person too. Then every guy I liked never liked me. Then you wonder why I have severe depression. Now I’m older and have a few acquaintences but I never had family they always were mean to me, I don’t know why. I feel like god hates me. I finally found some one who loves me, even though he’s not exactly what I want but every guy I ever liked never liked me. What am I supposed to do at 50? Be alone with no one? I’d rather be dead!! The only reason I try to get out of bed ever day is for my son. Now he’s going to inherit this lonliness because how my family is. I am waiting to die!!

    • Carol E. says:

      Joanne: I totally understand your situation.
      I have family, we are not close. My daughter has moved 3,000 miles from me. My son is lives close but Iis 37 and busy with work and his own life. I live alone and close to celebrating my 65th birthday. However, I am a young acting and looking for my age. I’m not I. A relationship because I always picked the “wrong one.” I won’t settle for any man in my life though. My friends still woek and most are married with children and grandchildren.
      Suggestions are to join some time of group or new hobby. I guess that is what I’m going to do. Enjoy your 50’s and be happy!

  14. Joanne says:

    I don’t have friends OR family. Talk about being depressed. I think because I’m depressed no one wants to hear it but people just don’t get it. They all have family, parents, sisters, brothers, kids. If these people were in my shoes they would be depressed to. Someone even said it to me once, she said “I’d be depressed to if I didn’t have family or friends”. When I was young, I was very attractive and thin and girls hated me because of this and I had no girl friends at all. I was such a good person too. Then every guy I liked never liked me. Then you wonder why I have severe depression. Now I’m older and have a few acquaintences but I never had family they always were mean to me, I don’t know why. I feel like god hates me. I finally found some one who loves me, even though he’s not exactly what I want but every guy I ever liked never liked me. What am I supposed to do at 50? Be alone with no one? I’d rather be dead!! The only reason I try to get out of bed ever day is for my son. Now he’s going to inherit this lonliness because how my family is. Now he doesn’t have family. Can you believe this fu—– shitty hand I have been dealt? I got a second job, hoping to meet new people and make friends but no one wants to be bothered. I am trying to take up a new hobby, gun shooting, but I need 3 letters or recommendation but have no one to ask. I can’t even get a fu—– hobby! I can’t get anything I want. This has been going on for 50 fu—- years!! 50 fu—— years! It would help if my husband had friends but he’s a non-social workaholic so that’s out. I think god wants me to commit suicide so I go to hell because he hates me so much. I even give to the needy around Christmas but never get anything in return. If I didn’t have my son, I would definitely commit suicide. Take a whole bottle of pills, in the garage with the car running and the door closed, and shoot myself in the head. 1 of these 3 ways has to work!! It sucks being alone all the time. I just want family and friends!! This is not healthy for my son either!! Why does god hate me so much!! And I forgot to mention, I used to have a friend for years but she was so jealous I had to get rid of her, people think were rich because my husband owns a business, my family is jealous, people hate us, I DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS!! Maybe it’s not me but other people?? Ya think?? I hope someone responds back to me. I need to know what the problem is, me or the wrong people in this life?

    • Jen says:

      OMG this has nothing to do with God and everything to do with you. You are the only person worth living for because everyone else will hurt you. Staying alive is your revenge. It’s your power. If you die, they win. Don’t play the victim. Enjoy and indulge on what life does offer you-a nice place to stay, a stiff drink, or a hot meal.

    • Sara.H says:

      I’m in the same situation except I’m single! I have no real friends anymore and people don’t ask to see me. I had heaps of friends at school but it changed in my 20’s. I became very depressed and relied on unhealthy and abusive relationships with men to feel not so alone. Now I’m 32. I feel like I have wasted a decade being isolated. I’m sick of social media and seeing everyone else’s adventures so I try to avoid it. I was severely bullied at school by an older group of girls and at every single job I’ve been bullied terribly. Men just want me for sex and that’s it. I’m very insecure now and nothing like my old self. I used to be outgoing,confident, loving and humorous. My immediate family are all socially awkward and I only really have my mother so I spend quite a bit of time with her. She is single and lonely too and I feel bad for her. I feel like I’m following in her footsteps and I never wanted that for myself. I’m educated and I’m super ambitious but nothing eventuates career-wise and I remain in shitty admin jobs every though I’m capable of so much more. I don’t have anything to show for myself.. I have attempted suicide a few times and I’ve struggled with abusing alcohol for a long time. My mother is convinced all this is because I’m attractive and people are intimidated by me. But I see attractive people I know with wonderful lives and tons of friends. I realise it could be worse, but loneliness is pure torture. I have tried to build relationships but people don’t ‘stick’. I also have to do all the work, which as you know sucks. I have been rejected too much by men, friends and family over the years and I feel like I can’t trust anybody. I just want a friend or two and a partner. That’s it.. I used to want it all.. friends, marriage, career, money, travel etc. But it seems this isn’t in the cards for me. Just writing this seems so pathetic haha. How the hell did I get in this situation? Anyway, the point is you’re not alone. Also, it’s the devil messing with us. Not God. Maybe he wants our souls for a reason. Maybe we are meant to do great things. Who knows! :)

      • Chumach says:

        Sara, have you thought about just picking up and starting over fresh? Sometimes we don’t always grow roots well in the places we live. We find ourselves attached to people, things, and jobs that aren’t going well for us. I wish I could just pick up and move and find a job in a different state and start anew.

        If you have the money and aren’t tied down, why not consider taking on a different job elsewhere? I wonder if hanging around your mother is just going to reinforce the poor behavior you’ve learned from her. If you’re single and ambitious, why not?

        • Sara.H says:

          I replied the other day but looks like it didn’t go through. You are right! I love that idea and I have definitely considered it. I think I need to break away somehow and begin a new life. I definitely want friends and want to meet a new group of people. I have always been a fighter and I don’t give up easy, which can be frustrating at times. I hope I do find a way to meet some lifelong friends. That would be great. Just the little things like planning a dinner and movie or something. I do have a few people I could do that with but it’s not a true friendship. I’d love to be able to have a couple of close mates to call whenever I need them. As I’m sure we all do :)

    • Darlene says:

      Joanne,
      If you have serious feelings of wanting to hurt yourself, you need to talk to your husband and your doctor – NOW! Seriously. There is no hope if you die and your son will spend the rest of his life blaming himself for your death (logical or not, kids just do that).

      There is hope. I have been you, more or less, no family, no friends. My child inherited a very difficult family situation in my family and a Mom with her own problems (me). It is possible to get through this and build the life you want, I know because I’ve done it. It’s up to you to figure it out, though. People here can only offer suggestions and moral support. There are is a lot of great advice in this blog, read it. There are wonderful books and therapists out there, but you have to be ready to make a change in your life.

      You do deserve better than this, that is true, but only you can make that happen. It isn’t a quick fix, either, but you can do it if you truly want to.

      Hang in there!

    • Irene says:

      Joanne,

      Darlene has given you good advice. If you feel severely depressed, you need to get help from a professional.

      And if you feel so despondent that you are thinking about giving up, contact a suicide hotline immediately.

      • A free 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is available to people in crisis (or their loved ones) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are routed to local crisis centers.

      • In the UK or Ireland, Samaritans offers confidential support at 08457 90 90 90.

      Best, Irene

  15. amina says:

    the only friends i have are my family and family friends.
    im stay at home mom. the problem is when ask something form my hubby or speak to my hubby and kids, it seems no one listens or i get the answer no.i feel put down it hurts me and i cry and i feel alone. to be honesty
    i have no one to tell my problems and i cant trust my family friends.they could make fun of me.please need some help.i want to feel happy

    • Darlene says:

      Hi Amina,

      It sounds to me like you have a hard time feeling good about yourself and being confident around other people, including your family. It is important for your own well being and that of your kids that you take care of yourself and find your own happiness.

      There are lots of ways to do that. For someone who feels overwhelmed by trying to fix their situation (or severely depressed) professional help from a therapist can make a huge difference. There are also some great books out there that are intended to help people build their confidence and self esteem, that might appeal to you.

      You sound very sad and alone, even with a family. You may need a little help to get this process started, don’t be afraid to seek it out if that’s what you want, you deserve to find happiness :)

      All the best!

  16. Sera says:

    Hi! I’ve always felt very lonely, I’ve made lots of stupid, immature mistakes over the years and it’s made me lose so many people. Not being talkative doesn’t help either. I have a couple of good friends, but they’re horny guys and I just want some nice girl friends. It really makes me so depressed and I often find myself crying. I’m still young, I should be out enjoying my life, but having useless friends makes this very difficult.

    • David says:

      I feel like that. For some reason I always end up being left out. Sometimes I think the people who know me wouldn’t care if I vanished. I try being positive about developing relationships, but at the end of the day I feel guilt and anger for not being accepted. Things have been like this since I can remember.

      • Jen says:

        I know how you feel, David. I need to work on staying positive too. I can’t help feeling hurt and angry for the way things are right now. I just hope things change for us both.

      • C.j says:

        I feel exactly the same as you guys. I feel ignored, left out, rejected etc. And you know, the moment things take a turn for the worse in your life, the only friends you hear from are your own family. Everyone else is gone.

        • Nina says:

          Count me in guys.. I feel that way too… I can be your friend sera if you like. I’m also having a hard time making friends..

      • sonia says:

        Dear Friends, I understand all of you so well. If you travelled during yor life or you do not luve in the right area you can feel very lonely. I luve far away from the city, in the middle of the country side with my son abd i feel lonely. But i am your friend now and findingbyou it has been great. REGARDS.

        shy,

      • Katharine says:

        I feel the same way…. i don’t have any friend that worries about me . The one that i had for 7 years was gone.. i try to hide my sadness from everyone but it’s so hard to me… when i go home , my family just make that worse.

    • Darlene says:

      I think the reasons why someone would have problems making friends are as individual as each person is. A good starting place is to look at what Irene has written above and in various other areas of her blog and to look honestly at whether what she has written applies to you in some way.

      I find myself in the unexpected position of having gone from been friendless and lonely, to being in a place where I have friends and really feel like I’ve come out the other side. Hopefully, sharing this information is helpful in some way. Am now in the position of having some choices in the people I befriend, which is a first for me. Some of the things I’ve learned is that when people feel friendless, that they may grab on to anyone who comes along, no matter how those people treat them, or how incompatible they may be, that was certainly true for me (I was one of those needy friends).

      I’ve discovered that people who have friends and aren’t struggling with this make conscious (and unconscious) choices about who they want to spend their time with.

      In my case, I chose to spend time with people who have a love for life, who are largely positive and don’t over-burden me with their problems. I don’t mean keeping everything to themselves, I mean minimizing the negative and focusing mostly on the positive. Those people tend to be fun and are just plain enjoyable to be around.

      I think that people do a kind of evaluation with friends; they ask themselves if the positives outweigh the negatives in a friend, do I connect with this person and do we enjoy the same kinds of things.

      It is complicated and I am over-simplifying a lot, but most people only have a certain amount of free time, they are going to chose to be with people they enjoy and who bring something they value to their lives.

      I also believe that most people will not value others who do not value themselves, that is one of many, many reasons that it is so important to work on your self esteem. Doing that allows a person to see whole world in a more positive light and to make sure that they are able to start a relationship with another person as an equal, not as a needy friend. This is not about creating a fake cheery persona, but is about being the most positive you.

      There are certainly cases of people who are just plain being mean to others, especially in high school and the earlier years. Later on, thankfully, most people grow up and aren’t mean, nor do they deliberately exclude others. They just want certain things in friends.

      My two cents. :)

    • sarena says:

      Hi there..it’s seems that you have same problem with me..when we did a stupid mistake all frens that you have will be gone..They just felt we a the worst friend for them..Even your good fren will be gone..this is not called frens ..They are just a Hippocratic..so take it easy ..it’s better be alone then having fren

  17. clement says:

    need a love not a love.

  18. NIKHIL says:

    nice post
    i like it

  19. kate says:

    Hi everybody Ive always attracted strange friends. My oldest best friend married and moved away and I only see her once or twice a year. She visits and I could visit her but things have changed and we dont have the same interests. I had another friend for 15 years but it was hard work. Very two faced and I recently found out she had a fling with my then partner. My problem then became I wanted more than one friend to go out with and I would start a friendship with one person then invite another who asked to tag on then they would not involve me in future events. My best friend for the last couple of years is a man that I have had a bit of a fling with. Now he has decided he needs to look forward to the next chapter in his life. He is a good few years younger than me but I thought we were soulmates. He has decided to move 200 miles away and I am devastated. Not for a romantic desire but just for his friendship as we have been doing things together for two years on a daily basis though recently he cut this down to couple days a week. Its so difficult to find new decent people and I just feel so scared of the future almost panicky. I know I will be able to keep in touch even visit but its not the same and if he moves on romantically the friendship will no doubt be lost.

  20. shruti says:

    I m also facing same kind of problem. I got easily attacted with anyone and when they dump, i feel broken. I am in a reltionship from 3 years. He never makes me feel alone but sometimes i still feel alone when we fights on silly topics. In my college i dont hav a single friend. I always sit alone. No one even talks to me. I tried to talk them but they ignored
    I was suffering from depression due to loneliness. Tell me working tips i can try to solve these problem

    • Lily says:

      Why are you suffering depression? A real question to ask you: are you healthy, or overweight? That could be part of the problems for causes of depression. Just a few days ago there was an article in the news. Part of the way to stay healthy is to be outdoors as often as you can. Being in doors can only be suffocating for the mind and soul.
      My thing is, don’t depend on your guy to make you feel better. You have to make yourself happy and secure. He will leave you for something better if he sees you’re not positive about who you are. Prove you’re a strong individual to yourself first and then to others.

    • C.j says:

      I sometimes drink, cry or eat junk food. But I get how you feel and everything. Maybe try exercise (if you don’t already), that helps lift mood. And get sunshine as well. Do things you might still enjoy (it’s hard when you don’t feel any joy or much of anything in life). If you want, maybe ask the doctor for medication. It sometimes helps. Wish I knew how to help with feeling ignored or lonely, that would help us both. There will be someone out there who values you, even if those people don’t.

  21. Nina says:

    Hi! Glad I found your website. Is there something wrong with me? Last year I have a group of friends whom I met at a short class, we got along just fine. Then 2 days before my birthday I texted them asking if they could come so I could reserve seats for them. The one I’m not close to replied that she was working that time. In the afternoon I texted her again, she replied that I was selfish I only think about myself, that I knew she was working. Etc.. So I decided to remove myself from that group, we’ve been friends for almost 2yrs and they didn’t even tell me that I have an attitude.

    Then last may, this one is my gradeschool classmate then became my close friend. It started when we both had a crush on a guy (married).. then I told the guy that I had a crush on him and the guy also told me that he had a crush on me (I don’t know if it’s true). I told my friend about it and the guy’s answer, she said that the guy told her that I’m not his crush. I’m not sad about that, but what made me pissed off is that why does he have to tell me that in the first place and he knew that I hate liars. My ex-friend told me that she and the guy talked, I’m really mad about it because she was my friend and if the guy said something about me she doesn’t even care to tell me. (I also confronted the guy, to weigh it he or she is telling the truth). She said that its up to me who will believe who. I replied I think I know who was lying (in my mind its the guy). The next day my ex-friend started posting on facebook her first post was new friend new number new life to remove badluck, and posted a long message and the ending was having you as my friend is my worst nightmare. That went on for 5 months, she even made fake accounts to comment on her posts pertaining to me like I’m ugly, I’m a dancer, she even messaged me on facebook using their helper’s name sayimg that I’m a nobody, that I’m diabled etc… (I have spina bifida but I can walk).

    Third friend – we are still friends, we’ve been friends for 10 years, met her through college. I care about her, she knows about what happened to these friends.. but I feel like she doesn’t appreciate me, she listens to my problems, we hang out sometimes.. but sometimes I feel like she’s 50% my friend and 50% not. I’m an introvert so I really don’t have many friends, and I really choose my friends who I get along. There are so many instances the I feel like she doesn’t care or what, like when she got married she knew where we went and told her to text me if they were already in the reception. No text, I’m the one who called her husband to ask where they are and they are already eating when we got there. 2nd, helping her husband to apply for a new job.. She didn’t even text me that he’s husband is no longer interested. Now, even I send her a hundred messages on text she won’t reply, and even on facebook. Her reasons were that facebook didn’t notify her, she can’t view the message.. but she replies to others (business inquiries). And If I give her stuffs, sometimes she doesn’t say thank you which is fine with me, but I really feel that she doesn’t appreciate the thing I do for her and I feel like i’m being used.

    What should I do? Should I avoid her and move on? Is there something wrong with me?

    • Lily says:

      Hi Nina, if I may. You sound pretty young and have a lot on your mind. I think you ought to take a step back from everything and rethink about who you want as a friend. You should choose wisely and take your time doing so. I’ve been suggesting this to most people on this blog, because I’ve done it for myself. I’v joined clubs and organizations. I’ve met interesting people whom I’m not the closest with, but when we meet at the book club and discuss books it makes being with these people all the more fun. There’s more to share and we don’t have to talk or nit-pick about the usual problems such as guys, or who did what to whom? I really believe we need to keep our minds busy with other hobbies and interests.

      • Nina says:

        Thank you so much for the reply.. I’m 27yo. Hehe I would love to try that.. do you think there is something wrong with me? That’s why they are like that with me?

        • Darlene says:

          Hi Nina,
          Like Lily says, sometimes it’s good to step back and think things over. Maybe these are not the kind of people you want in your life.

          Sometimes when a person feels unsure about themselves, they may act in such a way that gives other people the message that they will tolerate being treated with less respect. It’s easy to feel that you don’t deserve better if you don’t feel good about yourself.

          I don’t think that there is anything wrong with you. Maybe think about how you feel about yourself and if you need to, try to work on that. All good things come from feeling good about yourself first. I think Lily made a great suggestion to focus on hobbies you like and allow yourself to enjoy the people you will meet there. Maybe get away from the drama and allow yourself to figure this out.
          All the best!

  22. Caitlin says:

    I’m 18 and I find that my peers steer clear of me. I don’t think I’ve had a friend since 10th grade. It really hurts that I try and I can never make one. I’m not a weirdo, I’m not hideous or unintelligent. Every time I think I’m successful and we arrange a time to hang out, they cancel.

    • Darlene says:

      Hi Caitlin,
      This is a frustrating situation, trying to figure out what is going on with other people. Chances are it isn’t anything big, maybe you are doing some small things to give people a message that you don’t intend to, maybe you are a little unsure of yourself or uncomfortable and that can make other people uncomfortable.

      See if you have any people in your life who can give you some feedback about this, like maybe a trusted family friend. The best person would be a fellow student, but this is little tricky, as lots of people don’t want to get involved in that type of conversation, it makes them uncomfortable. Also, it takes a lot of maturity to look objectively at someone else and actually help them. But maybe you do know someone who fits the bill.

      Another thing you can do, which takes some practice is just trying to notice what approaches work for you and what doesn’t. I don’t mean to change who you are! For example, notice if you are saying things that stop the conversation, or maybe talking about yourself too much, that type of thing. Are you able to relax and enjoy being with some of the other students? If not, think of ways you can relax, by maybe taking the pressure off of yourself?

      Please don’t beat yourself up, just keep your mind open about the possibilities and keep on being yourself, you sound like someone who would be good friend.

      All the best!

    • Lily says:

      Catlin, maybe it’s better they stay away. You don’t need this in your life. Be happy you have your independence to chose what’s best for you. Keep your head up high and eventually someone will migrate to you. How about stop trying so hard to meet friends and be free of them. When we try too hard things don’t come our way. Let things take their course. Don’t worry, someone will find you interesting, and they’ll try to meet with you. In the mean time what are you doing to keep busy? Are you in university, working etc? That should be more than enough to keep you busy.

  23. Kaci Rios says:

    Im 23 stay at home mom. I have no friends because I do not go anywhere to meet any. Im feeling really down about this. My boyfriend has friends who say they’ll pay for him when they go out because moneys been tight. So im left at home by myself. I asked to be included but thats hard with no money to pay for my self. He says those are his friends and if I had friends he would watch the kids for me but he cant help my social life and doesnt know what to tell me… help

    • jeff says:

      He sounds like a [inappropriate language removed by moderator for violation of terms of service]

    • almond says:

      Hi Kaci,
      Do you have special interests or hobbies ?
      A group which has shared interests is a good place to meet people. It doesn’t have to cost money. A website which helps people organize group meetings is meetup. Google it.
      That way one can meet people with shared interests and might make some friends.
      Good luck

    • Darlene says:

      One of the many great things about being a Mom is that you will have a lot of stuff in common with other Moms. Try joining some groups setup for Moms and kids, especially if your kids are really young.

      Good luck!

  24. JT says:

    Hi Everyone, I am new to this blog, I just stumbled upon it today. I think it is very difficult to develop new friendships later in life and in general regardless of age. The irony of social media is that it has made the vast majority of us LESS social! I am 50, self-employed (I work ALONE from home), attractive, intelligent, have many hobbies and interests, but I have no friends to speak of other than a few I chat with on Facebook – which I enjoy, but that is certainly not a substitute for a real, live conversation. I have worked alone for 21 years, and I once had a whole entourage of friends, but because I work such long hours and do not have a regular schedule of 9 to 5, most of my friends got sick of me canceling plans because of deadlines that I had no control over. So those friendships just faded away and I regret allowing that to happen.

    I also moved so much growing up, that I never had a chance to bond with anyone really. While I enjoyed meeting so many different and interesting people, I never had any close friends because it was always so temporary, – I got to the point where I didn’t want to get close to anyone because I didn’t want to go through the heartache of having to say goodbye all the time. So by high school I was very withdrawn.

    I was friendly with a few people I worked with a long time ago, but lost touch with them. Then what do I do? I start my own business which means working alone all day, every day! While I am fiercely independent, a die hard introvert and really enjoy being alone, I am also human. I would give my eye teeth just to have a friend to have lunch with. I have had many relationships over the years, (ugh… I won’t even go there) but I’ve never been married and have no children – on top of that my family is very disjointed and dysfunctional that I even if they didn’t live far away, I really don’t want anything to do with them.

    I never thought I find myself alone at 50. When I was in my 20s and 30s I could write a book about just what I did on the weekends. Now excitement to me is going to the grocery store… LOL.

    So to combat my loneliness, I try to keep myself busy with writing, reading, painting, photography, etc. I have tried to join several groups related to all of these hobbies, but I think that because I spend so much time alone, I have a hard time relating to other people in social situations – at one time, I was quite good at that. Sigh.

    • Lily says:

      JT, isn’t it funny how life is? The direction in which it leads us. You sound pretty outgoing, with a nice personality. It’s unfortunate you got caught up in your work and lost friends. You have such lovely hobbies, do you attend any classes to improve or better your skills? If you do, my suggestion is start with small talk with a mate/s, eventually a good friendship could develop. Just go slow and don’t rush things.

    • Bella says:

      Reading your post is like watching my life. I spend most of my days reading and working. I completely understand and I appreciate you telling your story. It helps to know that I am not the only one in the world that feels that way.

    • Deshawn says:

      I found your post interesting and wanted to say thanks for sharing. When I was very young I recall my mother telling me I wasn’t nothing and I never would be anything. She also never showed me and my three sisters any affection until we became adults. I was 30 something years old the first time she hugged me and told me she loved me but then quickly insulted me saying I had raccoon eyes. My mother’s mother died when my mother was just 8 years old and I don’t know if that might have contributed to her coldness.Anyways because i was under the age of six when my mother told me that I wasn’t nothing and would never be nothing in life I have noticed whenever I find a job I make ever excuse to leave it. I am unemployed and it’s not that I don’t want to work I just become suddenly overwhelmed by what my mother said to me and each time I runaway. I have no friends and I am 49 years old and my life is utterly lonely. I want to breakout of this self-sabotaging behavior. I am the butt end joke of my mother and whoever else knows that I don’t stay on a job for long i hear them making jokes about how long this or that job will last me. It hurts because they think I am lazy and don’t want to work but that is far from the truth. I think the shame and humiliation has kept me from letting would be friends in and my family always says I don’t want any friends but I do i really do but I am scared to and I don’t understand how not to be.

      • Darlene says:

        Hi Deshawn,

        I am so sorry you are in this situation. If it’s possible, or something you feel comfortable with, I think that you may want to consider getting some counselling. It’s pretty tough to move past such powerful negative messages that you’ve been carrying for your whole life without some help. If you can’t afford that, or would prefer not to pursue one-on-one counselling, maybe a support group would be a big help.

        In my experience, if you are able to find a sense of your self and your own worth, it will be a lot easier to connect with people and make those friends you want and deserve.

        All the best!

        • Jen says:

          Deshawn, I’m sorry your mother acted that way. My parents treated me that way too. I still don’t know what I did to be treated with such disrespect, but it’s called verbal abuse. I didn’t know what it was for a long time either. It made me feel pretty stupid, but I couldn’t believe it. Although trust me, it says more about the abuser than it says about you. I know it doesn’t feel that way, but it’s true.

          • Deshawn says:

            Thank you. Yesterday I received a call from my mother and she was really ripping into me with negativity and I told her that she has deeply hurt me and she continued telling me how inconsiderate i am and how I only think about myself. At that point I let her know that those were only her opinion and hers alone for complete strangers have more good to say to me and about me than she does and I hung up the phone knowing that I deserve better and it doesn’t matter if my mother is the one verbally abusing me the point is that she has no right to to mistreat me and continue to get to speak to me. I had to let her go if I am ever going to heal and I chose to heal even if it means I have to let go of my mother.
            And now I feel more empowered then ever.

            • Darlene says:

              Good for you, Deshawn. You do deserve better! Maybe in the future you can revisit your relationship with your Mom, but time will help you figure that out. In the meantime, you have a right to be happy and live the life you want to live.

    • JD says:

      Just browsing the net today and thought I would Google, How do you make friends and this site popped up. I didn’t know that so many people were in the same situation as I am.
      I have had problems making friends almost from day one, more accurately age 6. My situation may be a little different than others, and then again, may not. I was abused quite badly as a child, told that I wasn’t worthy, lovable, ugly, useless and no one would ever love me or want to be a friend with me. In grade school, I did make some friends, sort of. They were all much wealthier than I and would tease me about the old clothes that I wore or that they were too small for me. I hung around with them anyway, because the alternative was being home with my mentally ill abusive mother…so I stayed with my abusive friends instead.
      When I was 12 I met a really funny girl, and we hit it off really well. Rode our bikes around the neighborhood, bought ice-cream, played in the playground and would make ourselves sick on the merry-go-round. She was so silly and we would laugh hystarically at the most stupidest things. I had finally found a friend. Then I got sick, and as testing went on the Dr’s thought I may have Leukemia, my friend was awesome during this whole time, even enduring my mother and her nastiness. My mother was hoping that it was Leukemia and though I would die, as she told me one night when she thought I was sleeping. This friend was the only one who I ever told about what was going on in my home. She was a real friend in a very tough time. However, eight months later, an during an argument that I was having with my mother, my mother shot out a a certain point in the arguement, “and by the way, your friend was murdered last night.” And it was true. My silly little happy friend was dead.
      I kind of went numb for a very long time, still enduring the home environment and the teasing at school. I didn’t really make a friend again until I met my husband. And then after that, I made a friend my first girlfriend after my friend died when I was 35. We were great friends and she was also a very happy person and as sweet as a dove. So caring and thoughtful. She too however didn’t live very long, she died of cancer after knowing her for only five years.
      I have had some other friends along the way, but they all seem to be the far-weather-friend type. The type when your husband loses his job and then your dad dies they suddenly disappear. Not a card o sympathy, not a phone call….nothing. It also seems, that if I do not organize or plan the get together’s, no on else will make the initiative.
      I realize that I have trust issues, stemming of course from my childhood and I am seeing a therapist about these issues. Just this past April I was diagnosed with PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) I keep this diagnosis to just those that need to know about it, basically my family. The PTSD is something that I have been dealing with since childhood, only I didn’t know about it.
      Anyway, I have also moved quite a bit and although the last place I lived in, Victoria BC, I did find some really neat people to hang out with, I kept it to just a fun surface level friendship. And I liked that and had we stayed I feel that a few of the friendships may have become a little stronger. However we did move and the new place I am in now, I don’t know…I mean I want a friend, but maybe no longer believe that it is possible to have another ‘Darlene or Carla.’ I tell myself hat I am happy with my husband and kids and that I don’t need anyone else. There have been a lot of other so called friends that have gone out of their way to hurt or betray me. Not sure if I am up to taking a risk again. Also, I do wonder what I may be projecting that others see that I don’t. I don’t tell other people about my past, I have kept it pretty secret. I don’t know, I guess I feel on some level that I have to protect myself. Anyway, if you have any possible insight I would appreciate it. I am always up to change and growth and I can’t change what I don’t know. Maybe someone will see something that I don’t. Thank you. :)

      • Cat says:

        Wow JD, I read your story and gasped at the level of loss at such a young age. FWIW, you are doing what you can to work through your childhood issues. No insights just a cyber hug ((()))

      • Darlene says:

        Hi JD,
        You’ve had a rough ride, I am so sorry for that. It is especially hard to read about your Mother.

        You know what? Something about the way you write tells me that you are pretty resilient and that you have the strength to take a chance on people again. Your experiences in Victoria sound as if you very much have what it takes to make and keep friends. Maybe this last move was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, for now anyway.

        I would suggest being very kind to yourself. Take it slow and chose good people to gradually open up to. Find things you enjoy doing to feed your soul and bring joy into your life.
        All the best, am rooting for you!

  25. JD says:

    I’m 24,haven’t had a gf,unemployed,short,skinny and still live with my parents.I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t make me depressed.I also have social anxiety and that doesn’t make it any better.However,I feel I want out of this comfort zone so badly.

    • Darlene says:

      Hi JD,
      If you want change badly, then you have the first big hurdle already over. The next steps are to figure out how to make the change. It could mean counselling, support groups, self help books, what have you. Even your family doctor can be a great start, they can often direct you to resources in your area. Maybe you just need a nice roommate for starters, you could ask around to trusted sources like family friends, the church, etc. to see if anyone knows a nice person looking for a roommate.
      Irene posts some great info on this site and many posters have wonderful insight as well. You are young and you don’t have a lifetime of habit to try and change. If you want a different life, go out there and get it!
      All the best to you.

    • Jen says:

      I know how you feel. I knew I had a problem at your age too. Unfortunately I didn’t know how to handle it. I tried self help, psychology, doctors, you name it. You have to force yourself out like Darlene said. It’s only going to get worse if you don’t. I tried though too at your age, and I still ended up this way. Sometimes fate can be cruel, but try not to let others get to you. Smile, be confident, ask for numbers, but don’t get too offended if people reject you because they will. I know it hurts, but it happens to us all. Until you find people who will accept you as a friend or significant other, you just have to keep yourself busy and develop your own hobbies and career. Sometimes it helps to be self centered, since you know for sure you are the only person that will be there for you.

    • C.j says:

      You think you’re bad, I’m the same as you, and I’m almost 29. I’m starting to get out of my comfort zone slowly, but I am still in the same place. Man, when I was 24, I didn’t know what social anxiety was, I knew something was wrong, but I found out a few years later. Now I’m slowly experiencing things for the first time, and feeling like all the things I should’ve experienced but didn’t have put me behind everyone else. I still feel like a kid. I feel like I’ve missed out on things in life too. I absolutely feel your pain (and Jen I feel yours as well!) But just know you’re not alone and it doesnt happen overnight. I’m getting better (and I can walk into some shops and restaurants now with someone else) but it is still painfully slow. I can’t talk on the phone. The important thing is not to put yourself down for what you haven’t achieved or compare yourself to other people. Check this if you want
      http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=40

  26. cathy says:

    i will bet $100M that most of the people here who do not have friends are not that good looking, aren’t especially overly-smart or personable nor have a lot of money. this is not to say they are bad people – they just aren’t considered too worthwhile to hang out with and/or care about. and i’m also not saying that all ugly, poor, average people have no friends – just those who are like somehow always negative and have no vivaciousness or nothing exciting in their lives. along w/ the fact that if you’re like a single person w/ no kids and are 35yo – most everyone knows by then something is “wrong” w/ you – cause you’re not the norm. just get over it and learn to live alone – cause that is all you’re have for the rest of your life. take is from me – & i’m 61yo.

    • Jen says:

      Wow Cathy you just gave us a huge dose of reality! Lol I agree most of us are probably just average people. And we must possess qualities others deem unlikeable for whatever reason. And some of us even prefer loneliness to the rejection that inevitably occurs when we’re around others. People tell us to put a smile on our faces and try to socialize, hoping we can change our circumstances, but most of us are doomed to die alone.

      • Darlene says:

        Hi Jen,
        I would like to apologize for the harshness of my response, below. You do not normally post negative things on this blog.

        My response came from a sense that, yes, people can improve their lives, because I did. It also comes from a place where I have a person I love very much in my life who is really struggling with this as well. I truly believe in this person, but I need to have hope, as it breaks my heart to see this happen to someone I love so much, especially since I am acutely aware of what this person is going through.

        People need hope, they really do. Empathy is important, it really is, but so is a positive message of hope and change. Negativity is so contagious and just makes things worse.

        I hope this makes sense.

        Darlene

        • Jen says:

          Thank you Darlene, your ability to drastically change things gives me hope. People do need hope, even if it’s false hope I guess. It might be just what they need. :)

    • Darlene says:

      Holy smokes you guys!!! Glad I didn’t take the view that it is hopeless when I decided to turn it around. I faced tonnes of rejection and was as lonely as anyone here, plus the sad stuff in my life was having a serious effect on my marriage and child.
      If you’d like brutal honesty, if you have no friends it is because you are doing something to make it that way. Period. Full stop. That doesn’t mean you are a bad person, most people who care enough to post on a blog, or feel sad about their situation are not bad people. I wasn’t. I am not beautiful, nor rich, nor overly smart. But, I was willing to do all the painful, freaking hard work to figure this out. So, am not terribly sympathetic to the defeatist attitude am hearing from some on this blog. You can do with your life as you wish, but I thought this blog was about helping yourself. Sheesh….

      • I actually agree, Darlene says:

        Comments like Cathy’s are made again and again and again. Make no mistake in understanding what I’m about to say, as I’m working on this myself too. The common factor in each of your relationships is YOU. If every single relationship you have goes wrong, then there is something – no matter how minor – YOU are doing for that to happen. This does NOT mean you are a terrible person or not worth knowing. Once you come to realize that it’s important to NOT lose sight of reality and remind yourself that you do DESERVE people around you who care about you as you do them. Then set out to, as Darlene has said, PUT IN THE WORK in CREATING new and HEALTHIER relationships and MAINTAINING them. If you find it way too difficult to do this, if it’s an option for you, consider going into counseling. Work on yourself first then put yourself out there again. Healthy, reciprocal friendships ARE possible and DO exist. You just have to make it for yourself!

    • Speckla Posey says:

      I’m 40, short, skinny, not overly smart, not attractive and I have no friends. I do however have a husband that adores me and an 18 year old son. I was average intelligence and meh looking when he met me 22 years ago… looks mean zero…

    • C.j says:

      Looks and the way you sound can have something to do with it. I know for a fact because of experiences I’ve been through in life and rude comments I have had to deal with (both at school and at work). Some people will act all nice to your face and then make jokes behind your back (especially in a group), and other people will straight up tell you the worst things to your face and wont care in the slightest about how you feel.

      • Jen says:

        Hey CJ, how are you? I’m doing a little better. I’m working part time. My relationships are suffering more than ever though, so maybe not! I notice my family members act differently too when other people are in the picture. I think being abandoned by family is the ultimate betrayal. It’s really almost impossible for me trust anyone if I can’t even do that with those closest to me. I hope you at least still feel loved and supported by your family.

        • C.j says:

          Hey Jen, yeah I am alright I guess. That’s good to hear that you’re doing better. I hope you are feeling better too. And it’s great to hear about the part time work. That is a first step. How are things at work? But I am sorry to hear about your relationships. That makes me sad. :( Why do you think they acted this way? I am so sorry for what happened to you, you are a nice person and good friend here. Yeah, I do feel like that with my family, but sometimes I feel ignored or left out. I don’t know why..

          • Darlene says:

            Hey Jen and CJ.
            Wouldn’t it be great to be a fly on the wall and see what is actually happening in those moments you feel left out? There have been times in my life I would have given anything to understand! But there are some options other than time travel. :)

            You could ask someone you feel closest to in your family for an honest opinion about how you present yourself. There could be a simple explanation, really :) You could just be really, really quiet and people are simply respecting your wish to be less involved (as they may see it). Or, it could be something else. What do you have to lose by asking a trusted family member or family friend?

            I can share that while I was in high school I was so quiet as to be nearly invisible. A few years out of high school, I had come out of my shell a bit and saw a guy I’d gone to school with. He noticed that I was more communicative and shared that he’d just though I wanted to be alone in high school. He didn’t have a bad opinion of me, just though he was respecting my wish to be alone. Go figure…. :)

            It’s complicated. I’ve discovered that communication is like ballroom dancing, you end up stepping on toes and tripping people long before you actually get the rhythm of it. Practice and some feedback could really help, the way I see it, worth a try?

            • C.j says:

              That’s what I think it is Darlene. I’m just not someone who will talk people’s ear off. I enjoy quiet moments. But I’ve asked friends in the past why I wasn’t invited to things or left out of things, and they just said I was so quiet that they forgot about me. Or they wouldn’t answer me. They probably figured, since he’s so quiet, he doesn’t really say much anyway, he’s not exciting enough to have around or they just plain forgot. I’ve even been to fast food restaurants and nightclubs where they forget to serve me.

              Interesting, that’s good that he cleared that up with you. Yeah you are right about that. It is easy to be misunderstood. And the quiet person can be drowned out by people who are too loud.

              • Jen says:

                I’m quiet too, CJ. We seem a lot alike. I can’t believe they forgot to serve you. People are just downright stupid sometimes. I mean, you’re right, they probably just simply forget about us because we’re not loud and obnoxious. Then again, I figured they’re just not afraid of us. Although they’re always so quick to say, “Watch out for the quiet ones.”

                • C.j says:

                  Yeah, we do actually. And yeah that actually did happen. It does make you angry. Especially since my order went cold at Burger King. You just wonder how they can “forget” when they see me standing there. And then someone else will stand right next to me, and they will serve that person straight away! Sometimes I wonder if it’s my appearance that some people don’t like. I’ve often felt like I was invisible. And you are right, there is so much scare bs about quiet people in the news and on tv shows!

    • Cindy says:

      Sorry Cathy, I disagree with you. I’m very attractive, my husband has money and I have no family or friends because of jealousy. Being pretty is a curse. People hate you and it doesn’t matter how good of a person you are. And to top it off, every guy I was interested in never like me. It’s just rejection and dissappointments. That’s how my life has always been. I can’t wait to die and go to heaven. I am really looking forward to it. Anything has got to be better than here. Hopefully I will meet descent people when I die and go to heaven. There aren’t any around here that’s for sure.

  27. Gillian says:

    Stumbled on this blog feeling isolated. I’m a 44 year old woman, single and childless, which does not feel like a great situation.

    I can totally empathise, though if I look objectively, I do have friends; good friends, even. However, I do feel that there is an inherent inequality in those friendships that has got markedly worse as I got older. To some extent, I feel this is inevitable, because I am not, like most of my friends, with kids and husbands who are negotiating a different set of issues from me, but I do weary of the (unspoken) expectation there seems to be in which I orbit their lives, rather more than they interact with mine.

    An example – the ratio of cross country visits to see old friends with kids to their visiting me or meeting up somewhere in between is ridiculous. Like 25 to 0. I have stopped doing this now, because it builds up resentment and makes me feel like I have a half life, like a satellite of other people’s existence. I have also noticed that when I do visit, we pretty much do whatever they would do with family anyway. The same things happen when they occasionally visit. Hence, even when they make the effort, I am fitting in around their needs, and no one is supporting my interests and pursuit – like meeting up to go to the theatre (can’t because of the kids) and such like.

    I actually think a poster above might have hit the nail on the head when they mentioned kindness. IF your default is to be thinking of others and fitting in and being generous because – even if you notice the inequality – you actively don’t want to be mean-spirited, chances are your needs always get overlooked by busy and / or more selfish / self-centred people with not so much time or energy. It isn’t necessarily even deliberate. But it is still taking you for granted. I frequently find I’m the person doing the emergency dash when the crap hits the fan, but not the person who’s top of the list for the ‘fun’ stuff, even though I’m pretty gregarious.

    There’s probably some guilt associated with these friendship inequalities too, which doesn’t help – the few friends I still have are full of ‘we must do x and y’ – and since they don’t want to feel bad about what promises they’ve not kept, they take the easy way out and don’t get in touch so often.

    I have learned to look after myself a lot better, which means protecting myself from feeling used and, frankly, I also don’t hide behind polite excuses quite so much, which doesn’t mean I lose my temper or moan, but I do say, ‘no, I’m not really interested in that, I think I shall take myself off to the theatre. thanks for asking, though.’ Taking all the emotion out of it and doing my own thing has actually improved things a lot in some cases – it took some time, but the odd one or two realised that they hadn’t heard from me in aeons and that I wasn’t part of their lives any more. (I suspect they imagined my life was suddenly more interesting and wanted to know what was behind it!)

    I guess what I’m saying is to look after yourself and your own needs. It’s a sad fact to face sometimes, but nobody else is going to. Don’t look for others to play a role that they haven’t time, energy or inclination for. Accept that you may always have to do a bit more work, but do no more of the work than you feel comfortable with and do it entirely without expectation and resentment – martyrdom is very very off-putting. You have to set the limit with what you’re happy to contribute and how long you’ll take the initiative without some form of reciprocity. But above all, be honest with yourself about what you like to do and what you think is fun and get out and do them – don’t short change yourself by rubbing along with everybody in the hope that’ll make you fit in better. At least you’ll met people with minimum agenda and sharing what you genuinely like. Regular shared activity also helps to allow the friendship to develop at an reasonable pace, which can be good if you are worried that you ‘come on too strong’ or are a bit intense because you are lonely.

    weird thing is, when I travel alone abroad, I don’t find it the slightest bit difficult to get to know people and am perfectly happy speaking whatever language and just being with them. I think it is because I feel very open and relaxed and not quite so conspicuously alone, so am more amenable to just allowing opportunities to unfurl without trying to get anything out of them or control the agenda.

  28. Only Lonely says:

    Irene didn’t do a good job reading the OP’s question. She can’t have a sibling as a friend because she is an only child.
    I too am an only child, 30, married, with not a single friend. I too was dumped by friends 3 times; once I saw I was in a completely one-sided relationship and walked away myself. I once came crawling back to my ex-bestie only to get dumped again a year later. I wasn’t cool enough, and my parents weren’t permissive enough.
    I think being an only child is major in this phenomenon. I was out of sync with my peers from my first day in kindergarten. I was used to taking turns w/grown ups; not having to compete for affection; playing by the rules; not being picked on, made fun of, or left out. Kids w/siblings often treat other kids as their siblings treat them. Most of my dumping friends had mean older siblings. I didn’t expect cruelty from kids and took it very much to heart. I didn’t bounce back and sling mud right back at them.
    I was always looking for acceptance because my peers always seemed more picky about their friends than I was. As a result I ended up with some bad friends.
    Women can be competitive with eachother. They seem to want friends that are pretty/hip/successful enough to not reflect poorly upon them, but they’d still prefer these friends to be a little less pretty/hip/successful than they are. Some of my grown ex-pals sent me letters and e-mails to me apologizing for dumping me. One group of friends evidently dumped me because they were lesbians and thought they couldn’t tell me. People do mean things to protect themselves sometimes.
    Anyway, I totally empathize with the OP. I tried so hard to keep my friends. I used to help my bestie clean her room so we could play after. Crazy huh.
    I thought I treated my friends like sisters, but that’s just it. I didn’t. I don’t know how to be a sister.
    I haven’t tried to make a friend since I left university. I’m introverted yet not. I love public speaking and have a blast talking to strangers about you-name-it at dinner parties. People just don’t gravitate toward me. men didn’t either; I had to pursue my hubby.
    I believe in the absence of a large tight-knit extended family or a family heavily involved in some cultural or religious communitt the lives of only tend to be largely lonely. We have lived slightly different lives than most folks. We onlies think we can relate to them, but we can’t really (and they know it).
    I also wonder if modeling plays a role. Did you watch your parents having healthy friendships when you were growing up? I don’t think I did. My parents had “old friends” that got Christmas cards or who sent invites to weddings or anniversary parties, but that was it. Maybe then I tried to model how my parents interacted with one another and with me when I made friends. I don’t know. However, the canned response up top is probably not going tp help. Yes it is fair to expect your friends to care. A one-sided relationship is downright abusive and bad for your self esteem.
    If I was going to look for new friends I would think outside the box. Don’t go for the types of people you normally do because they aren’t good for you. Maybe find a meet-up or organization involving an interest or hobby of yours you didn’t really share with friends in the past. Maybe you join a D&D group or a local political movement. Whatever might help you feel like you are being a true version of yourself. Then you might attract people for the amazing person you are instead of for the activities you plan and the free meals you make them. People will take advantage of your good nature if they know you will “do” for them. THERE IS NOTHING INHERENTLY WRONG WITH YOU. Internalize that. Be your own friend first.
    Good luck to you. I don’t have much access to potential gal pals these days, but when I do I’ll take my own advice. I’m used to occupying myself, as all onlies are, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

  29. Kjell-Øyvind Hagen says:

    The way I (38 Years old) feel, and I think maybe others feels some similar, is that one of the reasons that there is almost no close friends, is kindness. F.ex if you not play on the feelings to the peoples you know, you will get less exciting and unpopular. I was bullied late in my childhood and in my youth, therefore I know how it is to be hurt. And therefor I absolutely dont want to hurt others, and I am not playing with other feelings.To be popular, I assume you have to know how to be exciting for others. But the balancing edge between play with others feeling and hurting can be a challenge. The book “No more Mr.Niceguy” is about beeing too nice

  30. Gemma says:

    Hello! I too haven’t any friends to hang out with but my hubby and mom. I’m 35 and childfree and most of my friends are moms or pregnant so don’t really have time to hang out. I like hiking, dancing, the theatre, staying in, comedy…glad to meet you all. Great blog

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