Are you feeling particularly lonely right now because it’s Friday night and you have no friends, no family or simply no one to hang out with?
If you are wondering if you are the only one feeling like this, I assure you, you are not. And if you are wondering what you should do about it, well, you could start by updating your mindset around solitude, find activities that bring you pleasure and ideally serve others, face your problems and solve them, get comfortable with yourself, improve what can be improved about you, and commit to making at least one good friend, that is if making friends is what you want.
My point is, when you have no friends or no one to hang out with at the moment, and feel crappy about it: make lemonade. And it all starts with learning how to get comfortable with yourself.
I know. It’s not the advice you want to hear.
But what do you want to hear? Would you prefer I gave you permission to wallow in self-pity? Actually, you could do that too, but don’t do it for too long because it’s only hurting you.
No, you are not the only one who has no one to hang out with
You are not! There are probably tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of people feeling just as lonely as you and who do not have a single friend to hang out with or talk to at the moment.
People who’ve moved to another city or country for school, work, relationships, or escaping war, and who don’t speak their new country’s language. People who are sick, invalid, old, and alone at home. People who haven’t spoken to another human being in weeks, and that was probably last month at the grocery store.
Reddit’s “Lonely” subreddit has over 200k members, and hundreds of people logged in throughout the day.
All these people you envy and see passing by or enjoying themselves in big groups at your neighborhood park? They are the exception. They are unicorns.
And they probably barely know the people they are hanging out with, or don’t even like them.
Most of us are lonely. 61% of us, to be precise (source: Cigna).
So, no. You are not the only one feeling this way.
Cheer up, you’re… normal?
Everything is an opportunity, even having no one to hang out with
Solitude or being alone is an opportunity. Being with other people is an opportunity. And so is your pain, or your struggles, or your challenges.
Everything that happens to you can be seen as either the end of the world, or an opportunity. It’s all about perspective.
If you focus on what’s “bad”, then you will only see what’s bad. But if you shift your focus and actively look for the potential and the opportunities (or the beauty) in each situation, chances are you will find it.
And trust me, solitude is the perfect opportunity for a lot of things, especially if you are a relatively “healthy”/functioning human being.
Having no one to hang out with is a good opportunity for introspection, writing a book, learning a new language, a new skill, starting a business, improving your health, cooking, writing letters (or emails, if you live in the 21st century), walking, meditating, observing the sky, purchasing a telescope, a microscope, reading, signing up for a class, decluttering, exploring your city by foot, taking up driving lessons, becoming a certified yoga instructor….
Should I go on?
Do you even want to hang out with yourself?
If you don’t want to hang out with yourself, why would anyone want to hang out with you? Why would anyone want to be your friend when even you don’t want to be your friend?
You are the “main”/first friend you have. Perhaps if you tried being a better friend to yourself, you would then be able to be a better friend to others.
Well, that’s what I did. I first realized I was a terrible friend to myself. The things I was telling myself in my head!
I was not only uncomfortable in my own skin but also unbelievably hard on myself, and I was behaving the same way with others. I was awkward and a complete pain in the butt. So, I had to learn to behave differently with myself first, and then it naturally became much easier to do it with others.
- 8 Reasons why you have no friends
- What does it take to love yourself?
- 7 Ways you are sabotaging your relationships
Get to know yourself, it will make hanging out with other people easier
If you are uncomfortable in your skin, people can usually feel it and it likely makes them uncomfortable around you too.
Moreover, if you want to find the right people for you, “your people”, you must know what you want/like/look for.
The right shoe is the shoe that fits your foot. Do you know your foot size?
Start getting to know (and accepting) yourself: get to know your thoughts, your mental habits, what you like, what you dislike, what makes you smile, what makes you sad.
Take that time to improve yourself
Having no one to hang out with can be really hard on your self-esteem. But it can also be the perfect time to reflect on why is it that you have no one to hang out with.
Is it because of your (lack of) social skills? Or perhaps you are good at making new friends, but terrible at maintaining those friendships? Are you too distant? Too needy?
SocialSelf (formerly SocialPro) has a very good article that could help you identify what you might be doing that’s preventing people from wanting to hang out with you.
This is not an opportunity to fall into an endless spiral of self-blame. This is the opportunity to try to identify your shortcomings so that you know what to work on and improve.
There is always something to improve on ourselves. We are a constant work in progress. Like a piece of art in constant evolution.
Work on your masterpiece!
Related article: How to start over in life at 30?
So try not to focus too much on the fact that you have no one to hang out with, and work on your social skills. Ask yourself what you can do with all that time you have now, that can serve you or work to your advantage when you will be around other people?
Work on your social or communication skills, improve your appearance (hygiene, diet, physical exercise), read, learn a new language, join groups or clubs.
Do the things you want to do with others, alone
Don’t stop yourself from doing the things you want to do just because you have no one to hold your hand while you do them.
Related article: Why you are so needy and how to stop?
Chances are when you finally do that thing with someone, they might even ruin the experience for you. Ever done something you were looking forward to, but your friend kept staring at their phone or complaining about their boyfriend the whole time?
But if you do it alone, you might enjoy yourself. You might even find other people who are alone as well, and you hit it off. Yes, it happens: sometimes, people see that you are alone, and they invite you to hang out with them.
They won’t if you act all awkward and stuff, though.
Just be cool. Being alone is not a disease. That’s how you came on this earth, and that’s how you’ll leave it.
Oh, and by the way, no one cares about you so stop being so self-conscious
I know it sounds insensitive. But I say it with love.
You are stopping yourself from eating your sandwich alone in the park, trying zip lining, or having a nice picnic on your own because you are scared of what other people will think about you.
I’ll tell you what they’ll think about you: nothing. Because people don’t think about you that much. That’s why you have no one to hang out with, remember?
Related article: How to stop caring what people think?
Ok, jokes aside. People care about themselves most of the time. They all have their own worries.
And if someone was to make fun of you for eating alone, can we agree that they are jerks? Or do you not see that?
You do know there are jerks on this planet, right? If you don’t, well I have news for you: there are jerks on this planet!
Ok, now that this is out of the way, will you stop yourself from doing something you want to do because of the possibility that a jerk might pass by and say something?
Oh, come on, don’t give them that much power over you.
There are people who care about you, and who will never tell you
Yes, I put this point right after the previous one just to mess with your head.
It does not invalidate my previous argument, though. I meant it: 99,99% of people you see outside don’t even see you or won’t remember you, so do your thing.
But there are people in your life who care about you, but who will never say.
For a very, very long time, I’ve had specific family members I thought about almost daily for years. I was always wondering how they were doing, always talking about them to my friends, journaling about how much I wanted to see them, missed them, the regrets I had, etc. But they were very far away geographically, and I had my own problems to deal with. And I never told them.
Now, I think of my uncle for example, who passed away without me ever telling him how much I loved him.
I’m pretty sure if someone had told him that Suzy (not my name) loved him very much and thought about him daily for over a decade, he would have probably laughed.
So now my question is: do you think I’m the only person on this planet behaving this way?
I don’t think so.
You probably do it too.
So don’t beat yourself up for not having people to hang out with. For all you know, there might be tens of people who think you are the hottest thing since sliced bread, but they are just too scared (or too lazy) to tell you.
Pamper yourself, have fun by yourself… enjoy what you have!
You can wait for other people forever, OR you can start enjoying all the blessings you have in your life right now while you are by yourself.
This means, don’t wait for that “fabulous party” that will never come to wear that awesome dress you’ve been keeping in the back of your closet for 3 years; do spend an hour tonight singing in the bath and for the love of God, Use that 30 $ bath bomb you’ve been saving for “special occasions”! Wear your nice perfume even if you are not seeing anyone “special” today; sleep in your softest and cutest pajamas.
Enjoy yourself, alone!
Don’t wait for other people to make your sad life less sad. What makes you think you will suddenly be more fun to be around just because you finally have someone next to you?
No one wants to be with someone who just waits for life to start happening. Don’t risk them finding you boring. Start practicing now!
- Self-care in bed: 11 Things to do in bed for your mental health
- How to become a more attractive person?
It’s okay to be sad sometimes
Your pain is a signal. If you feel lonely once every 12 months, then perhaps there’s not much to think about.
But if you feel lonely all day every day, even after shifting your focus to more constructive activities and finding joy in them, then perhaps making friends should be your new priority. In this case, make it your new priority.
If you want friends, then actively try to make friends: become an expert on the topic of relationships, read, learn, improve, find a coach, sign up for group activities where you can meet people, join Meet-up, Bumble (they have a BFF section), Couchsurfing hangouts, etc.
Make “making friends” your new focus and put it on your vision board!