It’s not that I had “no friends” per se. It’s more that I felt like I (no longer) had deep, meaningful friendships. Somehow, along the way, I had lost (or let go) most of the ‘real’ friends I had, and I wasn’t sure how I got there.
I did have (very few) people around me, I just didn’t feel comfortable calling them my “friends”. And that’s because they weren’t. They didn’t truly know me, and I was battling that growing feeling that if I were to die today, NO ONE could even pretend to know me well enough to speak about me at my funeral.
And the thought of being remembered as someone I was not was driving me nuts! That, and the constant, heart-wrenching feeling of deep, deep loneliness, and sadness.
So, I embarked on a long healing journey, which included my relationships, and it led to a few realizations that I’ll be sharing here. Mainly, that having no friends had (has) a lot to do with authenticity, or the lack thereof in my case.
But maybe you are in the same situation right now?
If yes, here are 8 reasons that might explain why you have no friends
You don’t know how to maintain a friendship
Maybe you have no friends because you don’t know (or you forgot) what it takes to maintain a friendship.
Honestly, making friends and keeping friends are two different things that require wildly different skill sets.
Making new friends, in a way, is about your seduction skills; it’s like a dance. Keeping friends on the other hand feels more like “work”: it requires time, attention, “sacrifice”, patience, and above all, consistency.
You are not magically going to remain friends with someone for the next 30 years, just because you are friends now.
I think one thing I did in the past was to take my most valuable friendships for granted.
And, well, these friendships slowly died.
You have moved a lot
Maybe you have no real friends simply because you have moved a lot.
People take for granted how much growing up, and living as an adult, in the same country is a blessing. And one of the ways this is a blessing is the stability it provides which allows you to have continuity in your friendships and other relationships.
I’ve had to say goodbye to dear friends so many times, it’s one of the main reasons why I had no friends in the end. Not necessarily because of the distance, per se, but also because of the pain of having to say goodbye over and over again to people I love. I could no longer take it and just did not want to go through it anymore.
I mean, why have friends if it’s to get your heart broken every time? Might as well not have friends, right?
Well… turns out, it’s actually more painful (in the long term) to close your heart to people. The pain of loneliness, over time, can kill you. Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved, they say. Well, “they” were right about that.
You don’t think you are worthy of someone else’s friendship, love, and affection
One of the reasons that could explain why you have no friends right now is because you close yourself to the world. And you do that because you don’t understand why anyone would want to be friends with you.
And so, rather than go through the pain of having someone you care about tell you they don’t like you, you prefer to close yourself up to friendships and avoid this possibility at all cost.
This gives you an illusion of control. And at least that way, you can’t get hurt… (or so you think).
You have no friends because you don’t love yourself
This time in my life when I had virtually no friends coincides with a period where I truly disliked everything about myself. I didn’t love myself so I could not, for the life of me, understand why anyone would want to be friends with me.
I actually felt so much hatred for myself for so long, it’s a miracle that I was able to move past this.
Being able to accept other people’s love is not as easy as it seems. It’s hard to open up to someone else’s love when you constantly feel shame, disgust, or hate towards yourself.
And so, you self-sabotage, to protect yourself. Human beings are complex creatures.
But once you are able to truly love and accept yourself, and become your own best friend, it becomes easier to make and keep your friends.
- The Art of solitude: 16 tips for when you hate being alone
- What does it take to love yourself?
- How can you love your body when you don’t like your looks?
You wear a mask
You don’t have any friends because you don’t want people to know you. The real you. And so, you push your friends away, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Maybe you are ashamed of who you are and don’t fully accept yourself? Or maybe, you don’t even know who you are and have not yet made it a priority to get to know yourself.
No matter the reason, if being around people and keeping friends feels like work to you, it may partly be because you are not yourself around them and spend a great deal of energy pretending.
Related post: 7 Ways you are sabotaging your relationships
You put your romantic relationships above your friendships
I let a romantic relationship come between me and all the people I loved, including my friends.
I used to think that it was normal to sacrifice everything in the name of love.
What a load of crap. Do you know what happens when you sacrifice everything and kill your own support system for a person you’ve only known a year?? When that person leaves, you are all alone.
You have no friends because you are depressed
The truth is, I no longer had any friends because I was severely depressed, and had been for years. And, ironically, I had no friends to help me and support me through that horrible phase.
Disclaimer: I only share my personal experience here regarding my own mental (and physical) health journey. The information contained on this blog is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other medical experts regarding your health. Thank you!
Just the thought of getting to know new people when you are a shell of a person and can barely function is torture.
Depression makes you lose interest in most activities. You constantly battle feelings of worthless, guilt, and you keep fixating on your past failures and mistakes. This leads you to be stuck in a never-ending spiral of self-blame (Mayo Clinic).
If that’s you, no wonder you have no friends!
Depression is hard but it’s treatable. Go find professional help! And once you feel better, you can start making new friends again.
- 26 Habits that helped me overcome depression without medication
- Get rid of depression and anxiety now by facing your problems
It’s not all your fault
If you have no friends, it’s probably not all your fault.
I like to look at things from a “take ownership for your life” point of view, because it’s empowering and because there is absolutely no point in casting blames.
However, friendship is a two-way thing. There is very little chance that it’s 100% your fault if you have no friends. Also, your circumstances matter tremendously.
Maybe you’ve had to move many times, maybe you’ve had health issues, maybe you were in an abusive relationship, or maybe you just didn’t know what it took to keep your friends and had to learn the hard way…?
If you have no friends and want to change that, do take the time to assess the circumstances that led to you having no friends… and then change them.
Now, your turn. Do you struggle with loneliness? Do you believe it will always be this way?
- How do you make new friends when you are all grown-up?
- How do you build more meaningful relationships?