• Few or No Friends

Working in a family-owned business makes it hard to make friends

Published: April 13, 2014 | By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
A 20-year-old woman feels that working in a family-owned business impedes her ability to make new friends.



I am twenty years old. Sometimes I wonder what is happening in my life because I literally have no friends.

I have never been popular throughout my life, I have always had between one and three friends maximum but after college they all seemed to disappear. My problem isn’t regarding the amount of friends I want or should have but it’s regarding how to have and make friends because as of now I do not have any, not even one.

The source of this problem is because I do not go to school, and I work full time. At work, there is no opportunity to get closer to colleagues because I work in a family-only business.

Because I do not meet anyone that is not family-related in the office and I don’t go to school, it is very hard to interact with strangers in my daily life. I’d just like to know how I can make friends if my workplace and home life doesn’t allow it.

I believe I am way too young to be friendless and to think I have no bond with anyone else other than my family makes me very sad and unworthy of anything in life. How and what ways would you suggest to make friends based on my daily life situation?

Signed, Nicole


Hi Nicole,

Meeting friends after you’re done with school is a lot more difficult for everyone and you have the additional obstacle of working in a family-owned business. It’s great that you recognize the drawbacks of your situation and want to do something else to expand your friendships.

Since most friendships start out as acquaintances, you’ll have to create other opportunities to meet new people outside of work. Identify activities that you enjoy, and participate in those activities to meet others with similar interests. Your local library and/or bookstore might have a book club. You might try joining a gym, taking an exercise class or taking martial arts lessons. Volunteering is another good avenue for meeting friends with similar values. Your local community college or high school might offer classes on topics like art, photography, foreign languages, or on cooking or learning to knit. Are there neighbors around your age that might want to take a walk with you or go for coffee after work?

Secondly, since your present position limits your ability to make social contacts at work, would you consider exploring other work possibilities?

Lastly, I would examine your own role in your inability to make or keep friendships. Are you being friendly and reaching out to other people? Do you think there are things you could be doing differently with future relationships that you haven’t done in the past? Friendship, like any relationship, is something we learn more about as we mature. We develop skills, sometimes through trial and error, that we may not have had in previous relationships. The more you can identify ways to be a better friend, communicate better, and avoid repeating past mistakes, the healthier your friendships will be going forward. This isn’t unique to you. It’s how we all grow.

Good luck.

Signed, *Amy Feld

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Comments (2)

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  1. besnik says:

    Hello I Can help for that I am 24 years old man …I live in rocky hill nj

  2. Elle says:

    You may want to look up meetup.com and see if there are any events of interest in your neighborhood, like a book club (mentioned above), or mixers, networking events, lunch gatherings, street fairs. THis past summer, I couldn’t find anyone to go to the beach with…as most of my friends (small circle of 3 girls) either don’t care for the beach, or are busy doing other things….well, I looked into this Meetup for people who love going to the beach. I went by myself, and met some very nice people (like 10 of them) and have become closer friends with 2 women, who enjoy going out on the weekends. With the Spring in full bloom, I may even go to some of the organized hikes through Meetup.com I highly recommend it as an avenue towards connecting with friends. Once you do make a few friends and it blossoms, I recommend hosting a nice brunch in your home. Like anything else, friendships do require some work/attention to thrive. And you don’t need a huge circle, just “solid” friends who like you for you.

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