1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What to Do If You Have No Friends

When You Don't Have a Friend

By

Woman looking out of window
Dougal Waters/Digital Vision/Getty Images

There may be times in your life when you find yourself entirely without friends. It's rare not to have at least one person you call friend, but it can happen. Having no friends suddenly is different than if you've recently moved to a new city, where your sense of adventure and spirit is high because everything in your world is different.

Reasons for No Friends

There could be any number of reasons you are without friends. Perhaps you pulled away from people because you were going through a rough time. Not everyone is comfortable reaching out to people when they are struggling. Or maybe you felt that a friend betrayed you, and it prompted you to get some distance with all your friends.

Another reason could be that you've chosen friends that aren't right for you. Maybe they continually exclude you or are never around when you want to connect. It's not unusual to have friends like this if you are someone who doesn't make friends easily. You may have spent time in the past with people who really aren't that great for you because you didn't have a lot of friends to begin with.

Before You Make Friends

Many people have experienced a time without friends at some point, and as much it hurts, it's important not to get down about it. Remember, this is a temporary situation. If you want to change your life for the better (and having more friends certainly falls into that category), you have to work at it. Making friends takes effort, and like anything else, the more you do it the easier it will be.

Before you even begin to make friends, however, be sure that you are mentally ready for it. If there are issues you are struggling with that you need professional help to conquer, work on that first. If there are other issues, like busyness, that have prevented you from having friends, you will need to change that in order to connect with people.

A good exercise is to examine the real reasons why you don't have friends. Avoid negative self-talk here (things like "I'm a loser" or "No one likes me"). All kinds of people, from the biggest introvert around to the most gregarious person on the planet, is capable of making friends. Rather than resign yourself to the thought that "nobody likes you," instead take a long look at your life and get realistic about the choices you make. Ask yourself these questions:

  • At work, do I consistently turn people down when they ask if I want to have a drink or go to lunch? (You might be missing opportunities to get to know coworkers who could become friends.)

  • Do I pace a friendship properly, or do I try to make every friendship a best friend type of relationship? (If you act in a desperate manner, it will turn people off who genuinely want to get to know you.)

  • Do I reach out to friends to see how they are doing? (If you're only interested in people when it comes to hanging out, you are missing out on the emotional benefits of friendship. Get to know friends as people first rather than as "someone to hang out with.")

  • Have I joined new groups or classes where I can explore my passion? (If you aren't consistently looking for opportunities to do new things, you won't get a chance to meet new people. The best way to make friends is by taking classes or participating in hobbies where your natural enthusiasm for a subject will automatically attract new friends to you.)

  • Do I spend a lot of time at home when I could be out getting coffee, doing laundry, or working on the computer? (If you're too much of a couch potato, you might simply need to work on seeing more people on a regular basis in order to meet new friends. Another good idea is to log on to websites that can connect you with people.)

Reaching Out to Make Friends

Regardless of the reason, know that you do have the power to make friends. Friendships are available if you use the right approach when it comes to developing new relationships. There are several ways to have more friends, but remember that it does take time. Make an effort each day toward building friendships and soon your life will be filled with them.

 

Stay up to date on the latest Friendship news and learn more about meeting new people, forming friendships, and keeping great pals in your life. Sign up for our free Friendship newsletter today!

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.