You might have noticed that over time you’ve lost many of the people you’ve called friends, one by one friends contact you less until you’re left with no-one. You might now notice that you have no friends. So what do you do? You might not have made any friends since you were a kid and you could be lonely.
This is something we all experience at some point in life and for some people it really does hurt, particularly if you don’t make friends easily such as those with social anxiety. You might have gone through life with few or no friends and that can feel like it’s unfair.
We are by our very nature social beings, there might be the odd exception where you hate having friends but for the majority of us we all want to be liked and have friends to do things with.
They are a symbol of familiarity and safety. They’re who we turn to for comfort and to experience new things.
Friends are really important for our mental health and they allow us to enjoy life.
If you feel like you have no or little friends this article is for you. We will examine the reasons why you might not have many friends and ways you can find some more friends.
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND WHY YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS
There are a whole load of reasons why you might not habe many friends and they’re not necessarily your fault.
So here are a few reasons:
- You have social anxiety: Social anxiety is an extreme feeling of discomfort when exposed to social situations. It can be extremely difficult to cope when in these situations and impeded your ability to make new friends or talk to people.
- You’ve had few opportunities: If you’re anything like me then you probably didn’t have many friends growing up and even then I really don’t do a lot to actually meet people in day-day life. Sometimes life doesn’t offer a lot of opportunity.
- You’re an introvert: Maybe you just prefer to not go out and do things. I do not personally enjoy going out and meeting people and that probably means I won’t make friends. I prefer spending my time alone and with my thoughts. That doesn’t mean I don’t want friends though but it doesn’t make it easier. It could just mean you want one or two good friends and that’s okay too.
- You don’t have many common interests: It seems logical that if you enjoy things that not many other people like then you won’t have as many opportunities to make like-minded people.
- You’re not sure how to make friends: Making friends isn’t as easy as many people would believe. For some it comes naturally and everything works right, for others not so much. A lot of these skills are learnt in our childhood and if you didn’t get these skills then it can make finding friends much harder.
STEP 2: MEETING NEW FRIENDS
Getting yourself out there and meeting new friends may seem daunting at first and that’s totally normal. But how do you actually find new friends? Like where do you go. Well I’m here to show you how.
Do Things You Enjoy
Even if you’re not necessarily making friends at the time. It’s important for our mental health that we continue to do things we enjoy. Not only does this make it easier to bond when you do make friends, it also prevents you spiralling further into mental health decline.
It’s really important to stick to the things we love otherwise we can start to lose our individuality and become boring.
VOLUNTEERING WITH THE COMMUNITY
You might have heard this one before but getting out into the community and volunteering can be one of the best places to meet new people.
Start by finding something you enjoy, this could be wildlife or helping with the community, anything you want really. There are lots of people who volunteer their time and it’s a great way to meet new people.
Chances are you will meet similar and like-minded people who you can connect with.
On top of this they are also a great way to boost your mental health in general.
JOIN CLUBS OR SOCIAL EVENTS
This is another great one because it should be a place where you can meet people who like the same things you do.
If you’re a student many student unions have dozens of clubs you can join. These are great fun and definitely worth trying out.
If you’re not a student there are still lots of things you can do. This could be a gym class, or anything you like.
They don’t necessarily have to be wholly related to your interests, they could be something you are curious about or something you want to learn.
These are great because you’ll be going on a regular basis and have long enough to actually get to know people.
Meetup is a good website there’s lot’s of activities from all over the world available there.
BE ACTIVE IN ONLINE COMMUNITIES
There are lots of groups on Facebook, Reddit, and others. Find groups that interest you and that seem to be active.
If you’re a gamer there are loads of groups where you can meet new people and play a few games together. The beauty of this is that you can be anywhere in the world since it’s mostly all online.
There are lots of people looking for people to play on Steam, in an in-game chat, or through an online forum.
Communities in general are a great way to interact with people who like the same things you do.
REKINDLE OLD FRIENDSHIPS
Sometimes we lose friends for whatever reason, we move away and drift apart from eachother. One great way to make friends is to rekindle your long lost friendships.
Hit them up on social media, ask to hang out or do something together. What’s the worst they could say? No?
They’d probably appreciate the invitation and appreciate you getting back in touch.
STEP 3: KEEPING FRIENDSHIPS
Now that you have a few ideas as to how to find new friends what do you do to keep them as your friends.
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do and you just end up drifting apart and that’s life but what can you do.
- Spend time with your friends: Meet up regularly and do things together. To maintain a healthy friendship you need to consistently do things together.
- Listen to them: Like relationships, friendships need nurturing, people need to feel like you care about them. Don’ show up late to things and be a good friend.
- Communicate frequently: Frequent communication is critical to a healthy friendship, make sure you stay in touch to show you’re still interested in them.