Do you think you have no friends? For most people developing friendships come naturally, while for others making even one new friend can seem like the greatest challenge. If you feel lonely and find it hard to make or keep a friend, then this guide is exactly for you.
Why You Have No Friends
What do you exactly mean when you say “I have no friends”? We all have friends. Whether you can count on them in your hour of need or not, that’s a different question. But we all have acquaintances we interact with on a daily basis. However, when we lack meaningful and authentic connections with others, it can lead to serious loneliness. So the actual question here is why you don’t have any close friends. Even though you may frequently or occasionally hang out with a group of people you know, you have no one you can personally spend quality time with. Although you may have fun and go out with your so-called “friends”, you can never truly share anything personal with them. So the reality of not having a real friend is complicated and you need to evaluate your situation clearly before coming to any conclusion. If there is someone you can talk to but you hesitate to open up, then try to connect with them more on a one-on-one basis.
The thing about friendship is it takes effort to build and maintain. However, if you seriously have no friends you can feel emotionally connected with, then here are a few probable and underlying reasons –
Being shy can often be an obstacle in meeting new people and building connections. When you’re shy it can be difficult for you to introduce yourself to others or start conversations with strangers. Moreover, being in a group of people you barely know can make you feel uncomfortable and plan your exit ASAP. Studies have shown that shy individuals have problems with social interactions. Research also indicates that shyness is associated with a preference for solitude and depression due to a lack of “friend support.” One study has even found that shyness is related to a negative self-bias, self-derogatory thinking and public self-consciousness leading to anxiousness and inhibition. No wonder shy people have difficulty making friends.
To be precise, social anxiety. It is the fear of anxiety of being in social situations where you may or may not be judged by others. “People with social anxiety disorder fear that they will say or do (involuntarily or otherwise) something that they think will be humiliating or embarrassing (such as blushing, sweating, shaking, looking anxious, or appearing boring, stupid or incompetent),” explain researchers. As a result, they try to avoid situations that may trigger their anxiety. Unfortunately, this can prevent you from meeting new people, interacting with individuals you find interesting and building friendships. Most of us experience some degree of anxiety while interacting with new people as we are all afraid of being judged or rejected. However, when we allow our anxiety to control our thoughts and emotions, it can stop us from making friends.
Although this may be related to shyness, introversion is a personality type, whereas shyness is a tendency or a trait. Introverts typically do not enjoy meaningless social interactions, prefer solitude and feel overstimulated easily in social settings. As a result, they prefer to be alone or have one on one interactions. However, it can be really difficult for them to build meaningful relationships as they often take time to open up. Research has found introverts are seemingly uninterested in unproductive social interaction, but they also experience “higher positive affect following social situations compared to non-social situations.” According to a 2009 study, two introverted friends may delay talking about their feelings. However, one 2020 study found that “introverts with high social engagement have higher self-esteem than introverts with low social engagement.”