Fernando is a millennial university student who writes real articles for real people.
To understand why you don't have good friends, it’s important to know what a friend is. Life doesn’t suck, and friends are everywhere if you’re willing to give it a go! You can’t call everyone your good friend, but it's important to understand what a good friend is and isn't.
Why You Feel Like You Have No Good Friends
- You don't know how to distinguish fake good friends from real good friends.
- You can't see your good friends for who they are.
- You don't understand what an acquaintance is.
- You push your good friends away.
- You don't know how to make connections.
- You keep the wrong people around.
- You don't know how to have fun.
- You aren't making an effort to expand your social circles.
Read on for a more in-depth look at the reasons why you feel like you have no good friends you can count on.
1. You Don’t Recognize a Fake Good Friend When You See One
Perhaps you’ve met someone new at a library. You’re eagerly trying to hang out with this person. But it’s not happening. Perhaps you’re not a priority to your new friend.
For some, this scenario could be playing on and on for years, and the situation doesn’t get any better. You thought this person was a good friend. But, in the end, this person was just an acquaintance.
You’ve hurt your feelings trying to chase this person around and whatnot. You’ve invested too many feelings into this good friendship. Why?
Sometimes, people are just being nice, and want to be a "good friend" that simply exists– floating around your social circles without actually wanting a part of it.
Why do friends like these exist? And, are they even good friends to begin with? Or rather, what do they want from you? I’d reckon these fake good friends of yours simply want to benefit from the good friendship while not being willing to reciprocate the benefits. They want to feed off of you and not give.
Fake good friends are not good friends. It's no wonder you feel like you have no friends.
2. You Can’t Recognize Your Good Friends for What They Are
Who is in your circle? Do you consider them your good friends? If not, why are they in your circle?
If you’re the type of person that has this all figured out, good for you. But, believe it or not, there are many out there that haven’t figured it out. Some people have a few acquaintances floating in their inner social circles. So, the greater question is: if you feel this person is your good friend, is the feeling mutual?
It’s possible that your good friend might not like you. Or, rather, you might just be overthinking it. You need to identify your good friends for what they are. But you also need a plan; if you can’t figure out who your real good friends are, how are you going to differentiate them from their fake counterparts?
3. You Keep Telling Yourself That You Have No Good Friends
For some people, it’s common to say, “I have no friends”. This is not true. In life, we don’t walk parallel to everyone else. We constantly intersect with others. You’re bound to bump into people on the daily.
Acknowledging that you’re alone is a fools’ gambit. It’s detrimental to your health and it makes your good friends question you. You’re cheating yourself out of a good social life.
It’s fine to feel alone sometimes, but you shouldn't think you are alone. Perhaps you’re tired of your good friends, or you simply need a break. You might even need to expand your circles.
But, in most cases, you might be confusing your good friends for real good friends. Either way, you’re pushing your good friends farther and farther away from you when you constantly say, “I have no good friends”.
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4. You Don’t Understand What an Acquaintance Is
We run into people all the time. We can be quick to call each other good friends. But, are we really good friends?
We often confuse good friends and acquaintances. An acquaintance is someone you have just met and casually know (hence the term ‘acquainted’). An acquaintance is a social construct we as a society have made to further classify the people around us. When you think of good friendship as a binary identity—that is, people are either your good friends or not—knowing what an acquaintance is important.
People aren’t born acquaintances—we simply place a label on them as so. It’s an important distinction. An acquaintance is a person you wouldn’t deem a friend. A stranger, per se. If you have an acquaintance, you’re still trying to figure this person out. Or, perhaps this person just didn’t cut it to become a fully-fledged friend and you’d like to keep your distance.
You typically shouldn’t break an arm and a leg for an acquaintance. Understand that acquaintances are not good friends, and keep boundaries in place. If you request something from someone you’re acquainted with, they’ll more than likely think you’re weird—or feel suffocated. Ouch.
5. You Don’t Know How to Make Connections
In a friendship:
- You are there for your good friend.
- Your good friend is there for you.
In an acquaintanceship, at least one of the following must be true:
- You're there for that person and that person isn’t there for you.
- That person is there for you and you aren't there for that person.
- Both parties are not there for each other.
- One person benefits from the other and the other doesn't benefit at all.
So, you can’t make connections with people. It happens, and it’s not uncommon. But there are disadvantages to not knowing how to make effective connections.
- You can’t make connections with newly acquainted people.
- These newly acquainted people cannot get promoted to a friend.
This is a cyclic problem. For one, if you can’t connect with people, you can’t acquaint with people, and if you can’t connect with acquaintances, you can’t make good friends.
Remember, a good friend is a person that you share a mutually beneficial connection with. If you can’t do that, how on earth are you going to become friends with this person?
6. You’re Not Managing Your Circles Correctly
If you’ve just met a person, you decide where to go from there. You have the last say on your behalf. After all, it takes two to tango.
Everyone’s different. Perhaps you enjoy being alone, or you enjoy being around others. Same goes for the people around you—they have their own preferences.
How you feel about someone is a personal thing. Don’t let it get in the way of your social circles. After all, social circles are constantly evolving, and they do impact our lives. Having a good support system is always important.
When choosing who you keep in your social circles, make a wise decision—but don’t overthink it. Nobody is perfect. People make mistakes. But, be receptive of the errors of others and make good judgment calls. Don’t lose a good friend because you couldn’t recognize him or her as such.
You either feel it or you don’t—you’ll know if you like a person enough to be good friends with them. However, remember to take not labels so seriously! They’re a social construct.
7. You Don’t Know How to Have Fun
We all enjoy having good friends. It’s great to have allies. There is fun in numbers. But have you ever been the party pooper?
Let's say your good friends are out and invite you to a local bar, but you’re too busy doing other things or you simply don’t want to go out. Ouch. So they find another friend to go with them instead.
Later, your good friends go to try out this new restaurant, and they invite you along. . .but you’d rather stay home and watch Netflix. I suppose that’s fine—right?
Fun never ends when you have the right good friends. Every night is different. Friendships are spontaneous. But are you as fun as your good friends? Are you pleasant to be around? How often do you bail on your good friends?
Sometimes, it’s easy to not want to go out. It’s easy to want to stay at home and bail out on your good friends. But it’s essential that you don’t become a party pooper. Your good friends are there for you and they want to see you at the club. I know you have a paper that needs to be done by this weekend. But your friends have feelings, too.
Count your blessings. If your good friends have chosen to invite you and keep you around, they want to see you. Don’t give them a reason to question you. Who knows—perhaps they’ll come up with their own conclusions and end up reading this article, just like you.
8. You’re Not Expanding Your Circles
When you lose a good friend or two from your circle because they moved far, far away, don’t forget to drag another one in there. As soon as you’re ready, meet new people! Move past your roots. If a plant can do it, so can you!
Don’t just stop making good friends at your roots. Make a base underneath the soil. Then, climb up! Eventually, your past will support you on your way up. That’s how successful people are made (along with hard work).
Good friends aren't forever. They come and go. But you can always make another one. When one walks out, bring another one in. Or, bring a lot of them in and watch the building grow. Most importantly, don’t wait until all your good friends are gone to finally start looking for new good friends. You can't do it overnight.
Manage your good friendships however you’d like. Don’t tell yourself that you won’t be able to find good friends. They’re everywhere, and they’re waiting for people like you to bring them to the party. After all, all of your good friends were once strangers. So go talk to someone new!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Ferny Vise