• Few or No Friends

Embarrassed at having no friends

Published: June 1, 2012 | Last Updated: January 6, 2016 By | 10 Replies Continue Reading
 No one should feel embarrassed at having no friends.



Glad to find your website. About two years ago I had so many friends that it was great. It was at my last job. But then, hundreds of us got laid off/fired. Only a handful of folks kept their jobs. It was a wonderful company and I miss seeing my friends each day.

Although I try to keep in touch, none of them seem to miss me (I miss them all terribly) or even want to get together. They’ve all moved on, got other jobs, got married, moved away. Also, two long time friends of mine got married and now are no longer interested in hanging out with me. This is embarrassing at my age (52) to be friendless, yikes!

Signed, Becca


Hi Becca,

When a business undergoes mass layoffs like yours, it can create a great deal of chaos for those who are laid off as well as for those who are left behind. Many people may have residual hard feelings for the company and may not want any associations with their former colleagues.

You say that many of your former friends have had significant changes in their lives since they left, including new jobs, new marriages and new homes. Changes like these can be disruptive to friendships although they aren’t necessarily deal-killers. It sounds like you are used to making many of your social connections at your place of employment, which is understandable given the amount of time people you spent there.

You are now in a situation in which you realize you want more friends than you currently have. Given your desire to have more friends, you need to find ways to meet new people—whether it is at another place of employment, your neighborhood, or as part of some other organization. Do things that are interesting to you and maybe you will find some kindred spirits. As you learned in your last job, seeing people daily makes it easier to bond.

Now that the dust has settled, you may also want to try to resurrect some of these old friendships again. With the passage of time, people may have gotten on their feet finally and be more open to reconnecting. For example, you may want to reach out to friends you felt close to who are married or who moved to another town. You may not have the same type of friendships with them that you once had when you saw them day after day but you can develop a different types of friendships.

Most importantly, do not be embarrassed about having no friends! That can pose a tremendous psychological barrier that prevents you from reaching out to others. Remind yourself that there are many people in the same situation who want to find friends as much as you do.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

Other posts about making friends:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    other friendships really are essential. I have a “work friend” I worry about a lot because she doesn’t seem to see the difference. The work-friend really doesn’t have any other friends, and even this work crowd rarely does anything outside of work. Lunches occassionally happen in groups, but this woman misinterprets that as real friendship and then is always confused when relationships don’t continue when people leave the company. The company is struggling now and is likely to lay her off soon, and I fear for what she will face then because I don’t think she will have any real friends.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It might sound cliche but I’ve found FB as a great way to reconnect with friends–both current and those I’ve lost track of. One woman I met only in passing became a much better friend once we became FB "friends."

  3. Anonymous says:

    When I am far away with my friends, or we are all busy at some time although we are near each other, I always remember to keep in touch with them online through facebook (https://www.facebook.com/trint.me), MSN, or skype. No matter what we talk are just simple greetings or some gossips. Also, always keep yourself open to have new friends! – Vincy

  4. Anonymous says:

    Appreciate the observation that in the U.S. there is a need to constantly make new friends because people move a lot geographically as well as socially (job , social status changes and etc).

    Therefore, people in the U.S. need to be more resilient and adaptable–> not to dwell on lost friendships & not to get tired of making new friends.

    I would like to suggest Jabberly mobile app to thefriendship.blog readers, especially those in the U.S.

    It makes it easy to approach new people by starting conversations thru a mobile platform that leverages foursquare checkins; and then moving the conversation from mobile to face-to-face meetings!

    “Make friends where you are”

  5. Anonymous says:

    Most of my friends these days are online, and I’m ok with that. But I do recall the days of working in an office and forming close friendships with those people. Then again, I’ll take being an entrepreneur over working in a cubicle any day of the week.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That’s a fascinating comment on the French patterns of friendship at a time when we’re being bombarded with info and books about how the French do everything better than we do. Happy to hear Americans remain open to new friendships even if we can’t tie scarves worth a damn. — Ruth Pennebaker, http://www.geezersisters.com/

  7. Anonymous says:

    Work friendships do happen because you spend a lot of time there, but other friendships should be cultivated, too. I like to have friends to enjoy different activities with. I have a friend that likes cultural activities, another who enjoys events where our dogs are welcome and still another that likes lectures.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I made friends at the radio station where I worked but lost all but one after leaving the station. I lived in France, where I learned the value of friends. In France, people make friends in childhood and adolescence. They remain friends for life. They also see a lot of extended family. Making new friends is rare. I have discovered, in the USA, that a good way to make friends is through volunteering, as you suggested, doing things that are of interest and you meet like-minded souls.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s always tough to lose friends…but sometimes, it gives us an opportunity to seek out other (new) people where we may not otherwise have done so – and the opportunity for new and better friendships.

  10. Anonymous says:

    a few stray thoughts. those of us who threw ourselves into work for many many years wind up with social lives co-terminus with our jobs. i left mine voluntarily, 4 years ago, having planned the financial and professional parts of the decision to a T but oblivious to how much i would miss the day-to-day contact with other people and how hugely difficult that was to duplicate even doing all the “right” things that irene lists above. it remains my biggest struggle and, at 64, one that pains me deeply, despite being very much a “hermit” and always happy in my own company; never one to do group things very well, because friends are essential in old age. i do not know if my latest plan is a smart one or merely another hope that there’s a magic bullet for this but i am in the early stages of planning a move to a small town —- oddly one with a more active downtown than the suburb where i now live and thus with more ambient street lives, places to go, people to meet. also, it is more diverse, in terms of age, marital status and everything else beside and thus i hope more stimulating. also, small towns are by nature friendlier places that inner ring suburbs populated largely by commuters who moved from the city “for the children.” last, i think forcing myself to make a major life upheaval, not tinkering at the edges, will make me more curious, more sociable and simply force me out into the world. be hugely brave rather than just a little brave. we shall see. and, lest i sound crazy or very very bold, i’m gonna rent first, not sell my house, and see if it works. —- jane gross

Leave a Reply