Our world really values people with extroverted personalities and social skills. But maybe you feel like you missed the memo on that one. You might be home alone night after night, with no friends, and with no one to call or text. While you might like it that way, it does get lonely… doesn’t it?
If you like yourself and your life the way it is, keep doing you! But if you think that you’d be happier with even one or two friends, keep on reading. In this feature, we’ll cover maybe why you don’t currently have friends and what you can do to expand your social circle.
[Read: 27 fun ways to make new friends and mistakes to avoid + the best social apps]
While you might think that everyone else is a social butterfly and you’re the only one without friends, you’d be surprised! Generally speaking, it actually is relatively normal to have no friends. In fact, a report from 2019 found that about 20% of people have no friends.
And in 2021, another report found that 36% of people feel seriously lonely. So, if you don’t have friends, you’re not the only one.
Some are just not good at meeting people. And others… aren’t. Whether that’s because they’re shy, introverted, socially anxious, or just lack the social skills to make friends. Or all of the above. [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]
Whether or not it’s normal to have no friends is a very individual thing. If you tend to be a loner, then it’s perfectly normal and you might enjoy the fact that you don’t have any friends.
Are you happy with your life or do you feel lonely? Is there a good reason you don’t have any friends? If you aren’t happy, then you should try different things to meet new people.
Isolation is a problem for a lot of people. And that’s because with isolation comes loneliness. See, humans are naturally social creatures, so we’re not really designed to be completely socially isolated. [Read: How to not feel lonely – 30 ways to chase the lonely blues away]
Maybe you don’t have any friends. Maybe you don’t even have one person who you rely on or vent to, and maybe you’re perfectly happy with that. But if you’re feeling lonely and isolated from the world, it can have seriously bad effects on you, including your physical health.
Studies show that loneliness can increase a person’s likelihood of developing dementia, heart disease, stroke, mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and even premature death. So if you’re feeling lonely, it’s not something to take lightly.
While some people might see loneliness as a trivial or childish feeling, it’s actually something we should all take very seriously.
Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out why you have no friends. Everyone is different, so not all of these reasons are going to apply to you. But if you read them and say to yourself, “Oops, that’s me!” then you should start taking a good, long look in the mirror.
With that said, here are some possible reasons you might have no friends. [Read: How to make friends in a new city – 15 ways to feel at home again]
Are you constantly pursuing people to meet you, even when they don’t seem too keen to make time for you? Or, when you meet a friend or a group of friends, do you constantly try to get everyone to stay back, even if it’s very clear that they’re bored stiff?
You come off as too clingy and needy.
Spending time with a new friend may matter a lot to you, but when you try too hard, you could come off as a clingy and annoying person. [Read: Clingy friend – what makes people needy and 22 ways to fix the friendship]
Is the person you’re talking to getting bored? Do you even realize this is the third time they’re looking at their watch?
Just because you think you’re having a fun time doesn’t mean everyone else is. Pay attention to the behavior of people around you when you talk to them. And maybe change the conversation the minute you see others becoming distracted.
[Read: 45 happy ways to keep a conversation going and be a lot of fun to talk to]
And, you read it way too much! You constantly assume the whole world revolves around you.
So, your friend shared a quote on Facebook? Wait, does that have something to do with you? Was there a secret message addressed to you? Is he or she trying to say something to you? Stop!
Stop trying to constantly assume that there’s a hidden agenda or meaning behind everything a friend does or says. It might sound harsh, but not everything is about you. [Read: Losing a friend – 30 ways to face the pain of best friends drifting away]
Do you ever hold back a thought because you think you may sound silly for saying it? And most importantly, do you feel uncomfortable around your friends?
If you do, your body language may be picked up by your friends’ subconscious minds and make them feel uncomfortable and restless around you.
Maybe you don’t have any friends because you speak about things that just don’t interest the people you’re around. And when you do, you just don’t know when to stop. Just because something interests you doesn’t mean the whole world should be fascinated by it! [Read: How to be funny – 28 must-know tips to make everyone love your humor]
Here’s a cue—if a friend listens to what you have to say without making any effort to add their own views, in all probability, they’re just waiting to run away from you.
You’re a toxic friend. Sure, we sound harsh, but maybe you need the harsh truth.
You always leave people in a bad mood, and then you say goodbye, and your friends are happier when you leave than when you’re around.
It could be the things you say, or the choice of words you use to say something, that just makes people want to curl their toes around you.
It’s hard to admit that you might be a toxic friend. But it’s absolutely necessary if you want to change your ways and hold on to friendships. [Read: 34 signs to know how and when to end a friendship that’s toxic and hurting you]
Sometimes, annoying people don’t like you even when you’re really nice, and that’s probably because they have a preconceived notion about who you are.
This could be through rumors or based on your not-so-secret past. You can’t change that, and the effort you’re going to take to make them believe you’re a really nice person is just not worth it. [Read: Critical lessons to deal with judgmental people]
At least, that’s what you think! You argue over the silliest of things. You think an interesting argument is the perfect way to keep a conversation alive. [Read: Bad friends – 25 types of friends you MUST delete right now!]
Do you have the urge to contradict people aggressively over the smallest of things, perhaps to prove them wrong or to make yourself feel better?
When people give up arguments within a minute or two while talking to you, it’s not a case of you making a strong point.
Do you really pay attention to your friends? Or do you just ignore your friends and their calls/texts when you’re having fun with someone else? Do you avoid your friends when you start dating someone new? [Read: People pleaser – 21 signs you’re one and how to stop people pleasing]
You really need to think about this one. You may not realize it, but you may be taking your friends for granted and assuming they’ll always stick around for you, whether you have time for them or not.
You have trust issues and feel threatened each time your friend meets someone new. You subconsciously make it a point to make your friend feel bad for ignoring you or spending time with someone other than you. When you’re jealous, it always shows.
Your friends will absolutely hate being around you, especially when you try to make them feel guilty for meeting or spending time with others instead of you. [Read: 46 secrets to stop being jealous for no reason and learn to live life envy-free]
Did your startup make it big and now you’re really rich all of a sudden? Your old, poorer friends may start ignoring you and think you’re a rich show-off all of a sudden.
That’s because they feel threatened by your new-found success. [Read: How to stop being jealous of someone else’s success]
And in the flip side, if you were a richer person a year ago than you are now, there’s a good chance that your old friends may think lowly of you and bitch about you behind your back.
You’ll be the social pariah because you’re “not good enough for them” anymore! You can’t do anything about it, so just find yourself a few new friends who’ll appreciate you for who you really are. [Read: 36 life lessons to instantly transform your life and draw in happiness]
You’re so fake you make Barbie look real! And everyone around you can see it. You may think you’re very smart and can cover the fact that you’re a liar who says nice things just to get things done.
However, if your friends see through your behavior, you’ll be losing friends like you were squeezing sand in your hands. [Read: 33 secrets to be true to yourself and 15 signs you need to unfake your life!]
You have a lot of expectations of your friends, and voice your displeasure very vocally when they can’t do something for you.
For some reason, you have this notion in your head that friends are out there to help you and it’s your right to ask them for help when you need to get something done.
It probably worked well in your school days, but you can’t really expect friends to make time for the silliest of your whims all the time! [Read: How to make more friends when you’re feeling lonelier than ever]
Are you really trying to meet people, or are you sitting at home waiting for the miracle gods to stir up something for you?
Making friends requires a lot of effort, just like working or making money. The best part about making friends is that it has an exponential effect!
When you make one friend, that person will lead you to two more. Those two will lead you to four more, and so on! [Read: 19 signs of a taker in a relationship and ways a giver can stop being so giving]
No one wants to admit that they are selfish, do they? But maybe you need to take a good long look at yourself.
Do you always want to do things your way? Is your attitude always, “It’s my way or the highway?” This just doesn’t fly with most people. Because how would you feel if you never got anything you want? Exactly.
So, don’t do that to other people. If you do, they won’t want to hang around you. And then you’ll continue having no friends. [Read: Are you selfish in the relationship? 19 signs you’re being a user]
Now, this isn’t something you can change very easily. We are who we are.
Some introverts really do go into hermit mode, and they never contact people. After a while, their more extroverted friends take it personally, or at the very least, give up on them.
It’s not fun having a one-way friendship. You have to give, at least a little, in every relationship. So, try to reach out to people more, and maybe they’ll start coming around again. [Read: 26 social mind tricks to be more outgoing, friendly, and talkative instantly]
There is nothing worse than someone who thinks they can do no wrong. Think about it—do you like people who never take responsibility for their part in something? Of course not! And what’s even worse is if the person blames you.
So, if you’re one of those people who is always dodging responsibility for your actions, or if you’re making up lies to avoid getting caught, then why would someone want to be your friend?
Most people would drop you like a hot potato. [Read: 73 red flag narcissism signs and traits or a narcissist to read them like a book]
Every time you are asked, “Hey, how are you doing?” you always respond with a laundry list of things that are going wrong in your life—no one likes that.
People will eventually get to the point where they can’t stand your negativity. Sure, we all have problems. But do you really need to unload all of yours on your friends? All. The. Time? No, you don’t!
People like being around positive people. So, if you’re a Debbie Downer, then that’s probably why people around you slinked away one by one… until you finally had no friends. [Read: Negative Nancy – what makes one, 18 traits, and ways to deal with their attitude]
Some people just crave attention and drama. They just do. They can’t truly connect with other people because they are too busy getting wrapped up in drama.
But if you’re one of these people, maybe the reason you have no friends is because they just can’t stand your drama anymore—especially if it involves them. [Read: Drama queen alert! Definitive ways to calmly deal with the diva]
Who likes a liar? No one. Obviously, no one knows you’re a liar at first. It might take them a while to notice it. But they eventually will notice, and they’ll ditch you sooner than you can blink.
So, if you have a tendency to lie, ask yourself why you do it. No one likes to be lied to. Try to figure out why you do it, and then maybe you’ll be able to start building meaningful friendships. [Read: How to stop lying, to yourself and others around you]
Don’t get mad about this one, but this is a lot of people’s pet peeves. And we’re not talking 5 or 10 minutes late.
We’re talking about the kind of late where you sit for an hour or two waiting for someone to show up at a restaurant. And then they waltz in with no apology.
Other people’s time is valuable. Don’t be selfish and waste it! If you’re late, then try harder to be on time. It’s rude to keep people waiting, and it could be a reason you have no friends. [Read: Never make someone a priority when you’re only an option – the truth]
The flaky friend is one who makes plans with you and either forgets or bails on you at the last minute. You can never count on them.
You don’t take them seriously when they make plans with you because you know they’ll never follow through.
Why would anyone want to get together with someone they know won’t even show up?
If you are the kind of person who blows up at other people because you take things too seriously and too personally, and then you hold a grudge forever, it would be hard for anyone to stay friends with you.
If you get mad at people for stupid stuff, stop doing that. And if the other person apologizes, accept that apology and don’t hold a grudge.
You don’t want people walking around on eggshells around you. That’s not a real friendship.
If you’re a Debbie Downer, then you’re also an energy vampire. In other words, you suck the life out of people. You pull on their energy so much that they feel drained in your presence.
They don’t feel uplifted and happy, they feel like they have to go recharge their batteries because you just sucked everything out of them.
Now that you know why you don’t have any friends, what are you going to do about it? Are you just going to sit at home and complain about it? You could, but what good would that do? [Read: 33 easy ways to meet new people and widen your social circle effortlessly]
Here are some things you can try:
You might worry about coming over as desperate by asking your current friends if they have any friends you can meet up with, but it’s about how you word it!
Mention that you want to expand your circle and explore new interests, and there’s sure to be someone who knows another person into the same things as you.
Remember, if they’re a good friend, they’re not going to ask why you want to expand your circle anyway!
How do you go about making more friends? By talking and making yourself seem approachable! If you’re in a coffee shop and someone next to you is alone, pluck up the courage to make the first move and start the conversation.
Most of the time, the other person is waiting for you to break the ice because they’re too scared to do it themselves. Go on, be brave! [Read: Why is talking to people so hard and 57 secrets to talk to anyone and charm them]
Just because someone doesn’t seem to be your ‘type of person,’ that shouldn’t stop you from having a conversation! Don’t be closed-minded.
Have a conversation and see if there’s any type of common interest. Even if there isn’t, you might learn something from this person or find a new interest.
By sticking to the same types of people, you’ll never expand your horizons. Life will get a little boring. The best friendship groups cover a range of different personality types and quirks. [Read: 20 secrets to stop being selfish and ways to stop hurting and using others]
The more time you spend on your hobbies and interests, the more you get out and do things with them that may leave you open to meeting other people.
For instance, if you’re into comedy, perhaps you’ll find the confidence to go to an open mic night.
From there, you’ll meet other budding comedians or fans in the audience. [Read: How to be nice – 20 easy tips to make everyone love being around you]
Okay, maybe never is a stretch. But do your best to avoid saying no. By accepting invitations, you’re opening up the possibility of meeting new people and a boost to your social life in general.
Drag yourself off the sofa and go! You can easily meet potential new friends in places you might not realize, such as waiting for a drink at the bar.
If you have people on there that you don’t see generally, why not arrange to meet up? See if you can turn your virtual friendship into a real-life one instead. [Read: How to be a good friend – 49 traits and friend codes that define a real pal]
You probably became friends with this person in the first place because you knew each other in the past, or you have common interests, which are both precursors to great friendships!
Not only will you get a feel-good boost and load up your karma points by doing a good deed, but you will also meet lots of new people who are interested in the same cause as you.
There will be other volunteers there. Perhaps their reason for attending is the same as yours, to meet new people! Even if you don’t meet a potential new buddy, you did a good deed. [Read: Negative thinking – 32 signs and ways to stop and get rid of negative thoughts]
Be the one to make the first move and initiate a conversation with someone in a coffee shop, a bar, or waiting in line for the bus. You could also be the one to suggest meeting up for a coffee chat one day or heading out for a walk. Whatever works for you.
In some cases, make it clear that it’s the friendship you’re after to avoid the other person getting the wrong idea.
It’s all very well and good learning how to make more friends in the first place. But remember that friendship requires work! Remember to talk to this person regularly and socialize!
It’s no good having a few chats and assuming they’re now part of your group. Don’t neglect your new friendship bond and find they’ve started ghosting you. Put in the work!
Some people don’t have friends because they recently moved to a new city and haven’t established new friendships yet. That doesn’t make you unlikable—you’re just new where you are, so it’s normal to have no friends.
When someone lives in the same place their entire life, of course, they’re going to have friends. But if you’ve moved around for most of your life, it’s more difficult to create lasting friendships.
Maybe your parents were in the military or just moved the family around a lot. As a child, you might not have developed the crucial social skills that it takes to cultivate a friendship.
In fact, moving around might have frustrated you so much that you stopped making an effort to meet people because you knew you were going to leave eventually.
Not everyone is a natural “people person.” For some, social skills come easily, but for others, they don’t.
It could be because you’re an introvert or maybe you were home-schooled and never had the opportunity to interact with other people very often.
Whatever the reason, your social skills might need to be worked on. [Read: Social cues – what it is, 22 universal behaviors, and how to respond to them]
You need to learn the art of making small talk, listening, asking questions, and initiating conversation. These skills will help you make new friends because you will come across as friendly and interested in getting to know people.
A lot of people get stuck in their comfort zones. [Read: Powerful steps to break out of your comfort zone]
And there’s nothing wrong with that—unless, of course, you want to make new friends. You’re going to have to step out of what you normally do and be open to meeting new people.
It might be difficult for you to do this. Maybe you’re shy, introverted, and a homebody. Well, that will create a barrier for you to meet new friends.
In fact, you might consciously think you want friends, but perhaps subconsciously you really don’t. [Read: Social anxiety vs. shyness – 37 signs, differences, and ways to overcome them]
You might not even know why you’re not open to meeting new people, so you need to explore that if you want anything to change.
One great way to make new friends is to meet friends of friends. As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.” In other words, if you like someone you’re friends with, it’s likely that you will like their friends too. And then you can add them into your life.
Even if you don’t even have one friend that can introduce you to new people, brainstorm and think of who else you could ask. It’s likely that you have a job, so along with that comes colleagues.
So, ask a colleague to go to lunch or have a drink after work. Or maybe you have a sibling or cousin who has a lot of friends. [Read: Opposite sex friendships – 24 rules, boundaries, and where things go wrong]
Reach out to them and ask to hang out. Tell them that you’re looking to meet new people, and they’ll most likely be more than happy to help you out.
Before the internet, people actually had to go out and meet their friends organically. But now, you have dating apps, social media, and other ways you can use technology to meet people.
In fact, some people have “significant others” that they met online but haven’t even met in person yet!
There are also friend apps that you can use just like dating apps but to find platonic relationships. This is an easy way to match up with someone who has the same interests and personality as you do. [Read: True friendship – 37 real friend traits and what it takes to be a good one]
Unless you work remotely from home, you probably work with people. It doesn’t matter where you work, just start to get to know your colleagues.
It might be uncomfortable for you to strike up conversations with them, but it won’t make them uncomfortable. Most people enjoy talking and getting to know new people. So, you have to just reach out and take a chance.
Ask them how they like their job, where they live, if they have any kids, or what their favorite flavor of ice cream is. [Read: Self-centered people – 40 signs and ways to change yourself or deal with one]
Offer to buy them a coffee, or suggest that the two of you go out to lunch together. Baby steps like this can lead to great and longlasting friendships.
What kinds of things are you interested in doing? Do you like hiking, dogs, yoga, biking, or playing board games? It doesn’t matter what it is, but you should try to join some groups so you can meet like-minded people.
One great place to find groups is Meetup.com. They have groups for everything imaginable under the sun. [Read: 33 truths to overcome regret, deal with our bad choices and learn from it]
All you need to do is to search for whatever interests you and you’ll more than likely be able to find a group that you can join.
But if you’re looking to join other kinds of groups such as a business one, there are plenty of networking groups that you can try as well. Going to meetings and luncheons gives you the opportunity to meet new people you’ll likely get along with.
There are two things that always get the attention of strangers: babies and dogs. You have probably noticed that whenever someone has a cute dog, people will stop, pet the dog, and talk to the owner about it. [Read: Asocial vs. antisocial – the similarities end with the name]
So, if you have a dog, don’t just walk them alone in the woods because you won’t meet anyone that way. Go to a park or downtown in your city where there are a lot of people out and about.
Even if you don’t have a dog, you might consider getting one. Not only is a dog a good companion for you, as you can see, but it can also help you meet people too. It can make striking up a conversation easy.
[Read: Why do I push people away? 37 signs, reasons, and ways to stop pushing]
This was probably not easy to read. But if you want to figure out why you have no friends, then it all starts with examining yourself, changing who you are, and only then, will people want to be around you.
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