Why Do I Have No Friends? 5 Reasons Why You Don't Have the Social Group You're Craving

Updated on April 30, 2018
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After seeing many friends (or himself) seduced by love, only to crash and burn afterwards, Jorge writes advice based on his observations.

Sometimes mountains are better friends than people, tbh.
Sometimes mountains are better friends than people, tbh.

Why Do You Have No Friends?

Do you ever wonder why you seem to have no friends? Does it feel like the world outside of you is this distant place and you're encased in a bubble? Does there even seem to be a wall between you and the people you see every day?

If you're reading this, you probably aren't in a complete, 100% social vacuum. You probably do hang around other people, perhaps at work or at school. You probably have a family, and for some people, these connections can be a bit like friendships.

But of course, it's different when you hang out with people who don't owe you any of their time and merely want to be around you for the company. In that case, if you feel socially alienated, you might be wondering what it is that you're doing wrong that makes it hard for you to make and retain real friends.

Let's take a look at some of the reasons why you may be socially holding yourself back:

1) You aren't putting yourself "out there" enough.

The first and most obvious reason why you might have no friends is simply the fact that you're not seeking them out. People are usually shyer than they seem, and most people don't want to make the first move. Naturally, this leads to a situation where someone who could potentially be really good friends with you is too afraid to come up to you, and you're also too hesitant to introduce yourself.

How many times have you noticed someone that you like at work, in class, or even in other random places, and thought to yourself, "They look interesting...but, nah, I don't want to bother them. They look busy. It would be socially awkward to just walk up to them."

Basically, if you want a lot of friends—or sometimes even just one—you're going to have to take the responsibility to make the first move. After the first few friends that you make, making more gets easier anyway, since you'll have started building a social group. One friend introduces you to another, and then another, and so on.

2) You might be allergic to vulnerability.

Let's say that you can make a few superficial acquaintances, but you can never get much deeper than that. It seems like you're reaching for a real human connection, but everyone seems far away.

In that case, sometimes the problem is that you're not willing to be vulnerable enough with people. You have too many walls built up to protect yourself. This may seem a bit strange, and you might say to yourself, "How can I safely bring down my walls if I don't trust someone yet?"

Exactly! It's kind of a catch-22. You feel unsafe being your 100% true self and baring your soul around people, but it's exactly this vulnerability that allows you to get close to people at all.

You might notice that many other people are also scared of being vulnerable. They may put up a front or keep you at a distance. It's so common that a lot of people view it as "normal."

One of the quickest ways to break that wall of ice, though, is to take the initiative and be vulnerable yourself. Don't try to impress people or hide your flaws. I know, it's hard--but if you want to attract people who will like you for who you truly are, then you have to be yourself around them. Otherwise, you'll just attract an array of superficial acquaintances who are not your real friends.

At first, that critical voice inside your mind might say, "What if you show people your true self and nobody likes you?!"

Usually, this fear is irrational, though. Trust me, somebody, somewhere is going to like you. What people don't like are emotional walls and phoniness.

Weirdly enough, the more you practice being your authentic self, the more you will find people will actually like you, regardless of what shape that authentic self-takes. Even if they may not agree with the things you say and do on a surface level, people will slowly realize that they can be "real" with you because you are similarly authentic with them.

This trait is rare enough (and valued enough) that you'll have little trouble making friends after awhile.

Oftentimes, people pull friends from their work or school circle. You need to put in a little extra time and vulnerability if you want these to blossom into deeper friendships, though.
Oftentimes, people pull friends from their work or school circle. You need to put in a little extra time and vulnerability if you want these to blossom into deeper friendships, though.

3) You may be radiating negativity without realizing it.

Another issue you may not realize is an actual issue is how you bond with people. Think back to the last conversation you had, or the one before, or even the one before that.

Was it mostly negative? Did you complain about something and then wait for the other person to agree? If they didn't agree, did it make you feel a little weird? Did you like them less or feel like they liked you less?

You might not even notice that the things you talk about are negative. Did you bond with a coworker over your shared dislike towards your boss? Whenever you get together with a classmate, do you complain about how expensive tuition is? Do you complain about how you can't find a decent man/woman, and all the good ones are taken? Do you complain about how society was built to favor everyone except some group you happen to be a part of? Do you complain about the weather?

This is all negative talk. Negative talk is usually pointless, too, since there's often literally nothing you can do to change the thing you're complaining about. (For instance, unless you're going to call up Thor, god of thunder, and personally ask him about his reasons, the weather is unlikely to change.)

Even if you're very negative, though, lots of times you can still make friends. They'll just usually be crappy friends that you'll have a hard time getting close to. You'll repulse all the people who want to have positive, honest connections because those people usually don't want to hear you moaning and complaining about every little thing.

So if you've thought about it, and realize that the only things you ever talk about with people are negative and not constructive at all, then resolve to change! Friends or not, it's not good for you to be negative. It drains you of your energy in ways you may have not even noticed if you've had very negative thinking patterns all your life.

It may be hard to change these ingrained patterns at first, but there are definitely some techniques. The Internet has your back! Google some guided meditations for negative thinking patterns. You might also consider taking up a meditation practice since it can not only help you be more conscious of your thoughts, it can also help you gain more confidence and live a more authentic life in general.

4) You're unintentionally pushing people away.

Is it possible that deep down inside, in the depths of your soul, in the pit of despair, in the core of your being, you're actually kind of scared of getting close to people? If so, there may be things that you're unconsciously doing to push them away.

Maybe you start getting a little closer to an acquaintance, but then you're like, "Oh my gosh, this person called me last night and totally spilled their guts about their ex-partner/their job/their dead dog to me. I can't handle that."

Maybe you start becoming friends with someone of the opposite sex, and even though they haven't said or done anything that's an overt come-on, you start seeing "signs" of their "creepiness" everywhere and decide to put some distance between you.

Maybe you want to have a good friend, but the people whom you start to get to know inevitably say something "offensive" that throws you off and makes you never want to see them again. Where have all the good people gone?

If you have to ask that question, then the answer is that they're probably not immediately around you because you may have pushed them away.

5) The people around you are simply not compatible enough.

Finally, the answer could be much less complicated and much simpler.

You could just be a person who is a bit on the odd side (I can relate; so am I), and so you have trouble finding people who can understand your point of view. This is a bit harder to fix, but it's certainly fixable.

Consider relocating. Seriously. You may think to yourself, "People are the same all over," and that is true to an extent, but it's also true that people are greatly influenced by their culture, to the point that they become blind to it. Chances are, so are you. You may not realize how different people can be outside of where you live. If you really have trouble finding people that you can relate to, it could be that you honestly cannot relate to the culture that you're living in.

In that case, try traveling around. Sometimes you'll only need to travel to a different city to find a place that has the kind of vibe you're looking for. Other times, you may need to consider a different country with a vastly different set of values.

For example, if you are one of those minorities who falls under the LGBT+ umbrella, then you probably won't have much fun in a small town. LGBT folks are not very common statistically, and they tend to congregate in large metropolitan areas, so you'll probably feel lonely and have a hard time finding people who will relate to you.

So if you are an LGBTer or some other similar minority, I highly, HIGHLY recommend moving to a major city. If your entire country is hostile towards your kind, then obviously, I recommend fleeing if you can. Your environment can make a huge difference. A bad environment where you can't be open and honest about yourself enough to make close friends will stunt your emotional growth.

This doesn't just go for folks on this spectrum, either. Anybody who has uncommon traits can greatly benefit from going somewhere where people don't care about what you are or what you do.

You can make friends! It can just take time and a willingness to change your approach.
You can make friends! It can just take time and a willingness to change your approach.

Go easy on yourself.

Look, there's nothing wrong with you. Really! You can make friends just the way you are and you don't need to impress anybody.

In fact, the inward changes you make to yourself are more important. In other words, what are you doing to help yourself evolve into a state that is even closer to your true self?

In the end, that's how you make friendships that last: by being authentically, unapologetically yourself (which is admittedly harder than it seems).

Your Friendship Pool

How many friends do you have right now?

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Why You Have No Friends

Why do you think you have "no friends" (if you have none)?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Jorge Vamos

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