For most people, friendship seems to come easy; for some of us, making a single friend can feel like an entire endeavor.
Social media can be your worst enemy if you find it difficult making friends—evidence of gatherings, parties, and friends going out and just having a good time is all around.
Eventually, you end up thinking the problem is with you, and that might just be the case. Or maybe you’re just not putting yourself out there enough.
Here are 17 helpful tips if you have you no friends anymore:
1) You’re Not Alone:
We’d like to think that everyone has a good friend they can call on when they are in need, but that’s simply not true.
Seniors, in particular, find themselves at a stage in their life when their friends have since passed on, and perhaps they’ve been moved from their long-time home to a homecare program or facility.
Young adults, who have just moved from a small town to a big city to start their life might also suffer from this same loneliness.
Ironically, as alone as they feel, they are not alone in how they feel.
So remember that you’re not weird for having no friends. It’s a common issue that a lot of people go through at some point in their lives.
2) Recognize That You Are Worth Loving:
Even if you don’t have anyone in your life, believing that you are worthy of such attention and love is a great way to stay positive.
It’s easy to let things kind of fall apart when nobody is watching, and loneliness is tough to deal with no matter who are.
But understand this:
You are worthy of someone’s attention and love, despite not having it at the moment. All humans are. Just the fact you’re reading this article shows that you value social connection and compassion, and anyone that values such things is worth loving in their own right.
I’m sure you’ve loved and liked in the past, so there’s no reason that it can’t happen again.
(If you’re looking to dive deep into self-love techniques, check out Hack Spirit’s eBook on the Art of Mindfulness here)
3) Are You Standing in the Way of Potential New Friendships?
The first and biggest reason why you might not be making any friends is you. You might wonder, “Why would I block myself from making new friends?”
While you might not be knowingly stopping yourself from befriending new people, it could be the little voices inside of you doing all the dirty work.
There are certain actions and behaviors that we acquire and which manifest at the subconscious level; these things that we do without even knowing that we’re doing them.
And some of these behaviors could be turning people off from becoming your friends.
For example, you might have been raised as an independent individual, meaning you lack the basic desires to be around people that others have.
Or maybe you’ve been let down by one too many people in your life, so now you don’t let others come too close without disrupting the relationship right at the start.
The solution is to keep a better eye on yourself.
Observe your actions and responses, and critically ask yourself if you could be behaving more positively.
4) Are You Giving Off a Bad Vibe?
Most people actually like making new friends. But there needs to be a certain prerequisite: they need to know that you want to be their friend as well.
If you come off too cold, distant, or even uninterested, you might be making people think that you don’t want to be their friend, thus discouraging them from developing a relationship with you.
And you could be giving this vibe off without even knowing it. Everything from the way you talk, your level of interest, to your body language can make people feel like you want to or don’t want to be their friend.
Just look at yourself and ask: “Would I want to be friends with me?”
5) Do You Have Sufficient Social Skills?
Making friends might come naturally to some, but if you struggle to make new friends in college or at work, then the problem might be a lack of social skills.
For example—do you often engage in small talk, or are you the type to respond with short and blunt answers that lead to no conversation?
Do you accept meaningless invitations to go out and have an after-work drink, or do you decline every single time?
These might be simple and small things, but few relationships start with a bang. Most relationships start with a simple “Hello”.
6) Turn To Your Interests:
What better way to make friends than to ensure that you have some personal common ground with them?
Think about the things that interest you. Movies? Books? Sports? The more niche, the better.
If you have no friends in college or at work, it might be because the people that you’re forced to spend time with on a daily basis aren’t interested in the same things that you are.
This is common at these kinds of places because you’re not brought together based on a common interest.
So, what can you do?
Find the next convention related to your interest, or even better, join an online forum that talks about it.
These are great ways to meet new people who are interested in similar things that you are.
(If you’re looking for a structured, easy-to-follow framework to help you find your purpose in life and achieve your goals, check our eBook on how to be your own life coach here).
7) What Are Your Goals?
In the same vein, you may as well get out there and start working on some of your goals.
While many things in life are more fun when there are two people plugging away at things, solo projects are often the source of much inspiration and motivation for people.
For example, if you have always wanted to run but never had the time, now might be a good time to start working toward that goal.
What’s more, if you really don’t want to go it alone, you can join a running group and achieve two goals: learn to run and meet new people.
By putting yourself out there – which is sometimes scary, we know – you can not only learn to love yourself more through physical activity and goal setting but as mentioned above, you can see that other people share the same interests you do and that’s a great place to start a friendship.
8) Don’t Force Something That Isn’t Working:
You might find someone or a group of friends that you think fit your criteria for friendship perfectly.
The thing is, friendship is a two-way street; if both parties aren’t feeling it, it’s not going to happen.
So if you’ve been struggling to befriend someone over the last few weeks, it might not be your fault; it might just be because they aren’t interested. So it might be time to let go.
9) Find That ‘Deeper Connection’:
Friendship should be more about finding people you can comfortably drink with at the bar. You need to find people who truly “get you”.
Developing that deeper connection isn’t easy, but over the long-term, these are the connections that will last with you for life.
10) Introduce Friends to Each Other:
After you’ve made a few friends, it might be a good idea to start making your own social circle. How do you do that?
Introduce your different friends to each other. Find a common ground where they can bond—it can be anything as simple as a joke or as complicated as a niche interest—and let the magic happen itself.
But remember: don’t force it. If it doesn’t work out, then you can try again with someone else.
11) Quality, Not Quantity:
Don’t obsess over numbers. Who cares if you only have one or two friends?
Some people have hundreds of friends, but no one who would stand by them through the toughest times.
It’s not about making tons of friends; it’s about making good friends.
12) Online Is Fun, But Don’t Make It Your Whole World:
It’s easy to turn to your computer, download an online game or join an online community, and call the people there your friends.
And hey, it’s 2018: of course you can make friends online. But don’t limit yourself to online friendships.
Just because you have online friends doesn’t mean it’s time to abandon your offline life.
13) Learn to Love Your Alone Time:
If you don’t like being alone, try to find ways to enjoy it. Pick up a book, go to the movies, order some take out, take yourself shopping, go on a road trip, listen to your favourite music.
Being alone is hard for a lot of people because we are conditioned to believe that entertainment is something that should happen in pairs or groups.
As children, we were told to go play with strangers and make friends and to not sit in our rooms by ourselves all day.
So we’ve been taught from an early age that we are not our best source of entertainment.
Of course, if you spend any length of time with yourself you’ll come to find out that you are not bad company at all and you might even find that you like hanging out with yourself.
Plus, nobody is going to tell you to turn the music down.
14) Show Up More Often:
Want people to like you? Show up when you say you will show up. That means going to the parties you’ve been invited to, and that means washing your hair and putting on something nice.
It’s not that people will like you more if you are clean, although, that helps, they will like that you made an effort to show up as your best self. It’ll help get people’s attention.
Think of it like dating: you don’t want to be hanging around with someone who looks unwashed and unloved, so why would someone want to hang around with you if you look like that?
(To learn how to take responsibility for all your challenges in life, check out our guide to taking responsibility here)
15) Write it Out:
If you find yourself with copious amounts of time on your hands and you are feeling alone, write about it.
Don’t let those feelings fester inside you. It’s important to recognize them and name them.
Doing so will make you feel in control of your life. It sucks to feel lonely, but it also sucks to feel lonely and feel like you have no control over the situation.
Unless you live on a deserted island, you do have control.
Writing and journaling about your thoughts and feelings will help you see that things are not as bad as you originally thought and who knows what might come from a little writing session!
16) Take a Class:
There is power in numbers and when you build in commonality through taking a class, you automatically have something you can talk about outside the class.
Ask a fellow student or colleague to join you for coffee after the class to talk about the thing you are making, doing, eating, selling – whatever it is. When you’ve got an in, use it.
17) Start a Book Club:
If you don’t like reading, this one might be tough, but if you have neighbors and you can read, well, you are in for a treat!
Book clubs are all the rage and people love coming together to talk about what they got out of a certain book or character.
If you run a business, you can start a book club for business books. If you like cooking, you can try a recipe club.
Get creative and invite everyone you know – ask them to bring someone you don’t know and you’ll double your extended reach instantly!
18) Give a Compliment:
Tell someone you like their shirt, shoes, car, hair, face. Don’t be shy. People are so weighed down with life these days that we rarely look up from our phones.
Wouldn’t it be nice if when we did look up, someone was smiling at us telling us how great our hair looks? You could be that person.
Don’t be weird about it, but be nice about it. Being nice to people gets you a long way in life and can help you grow your circle of friends easier and faster than just staring at your phone.
19) Do the Math:
If you want to really technical, you could set a target for how many new friends you would like to have: maybe you just moved to a new city and you have exactly zero friends.
So figure out how many people you would like to be able to enjoy in your life, and think about how much time you have to dedicate to these people, and set about finding people to fill the role of friend.
20) Smile More:
With everyone looking at their phones and not the people in front of them, this might be harder than you realize but look for the people who are also looking for people to smile at and smile at them.
There are other adults out there that are looking for someone to be friends with, too. You don’t have to do all the work – you just have to meet them halfway.
21) Ask for a Referral:
You can take friend-finding to a whole other level by asking your existing friends to hook you up with their friends.
This is especially effective if you are moving to a new city and don’t know anyone.
22) Knock on doors:
Now, this might not work in big cities, but if you live in a small town or find yourself uprooted from the city and in need of friends, you might try to knock on your neighbor’s doors and introduce yourself.
Wild idea, right?
But it’s how the kids do it, and it’s working for them. Say hello, tell them where you are from, that you just moved to the area and that you are looking to meet some new people.
It might feel weird at first, but your neighbors might really appreciate that you took the time to introduce yourself. Nobody does it anymore!
23) Don’t Let Yourself Stay Stuck:
If meeting people is what you really want to do, get out and go meet people. They aren’t going to be able to find you tucked under the covers in your bedroom watching Netflix.
That’s just not how the world works.
And if you feel like nobody is going to want to hang out with you, go somewhere where lots of people are hanging out alone, like the park, and see how people can enjoy their own company.
Getting out of the house is a great first step in opening yourself up to the possibility of friendship. It’s perfectly okay to want a friend.
But you need to be able to be found by potential friends. Recognize these behaviors and patterns in yourself and start working to put them to bed.
And if you’re looking for specific techniques to improve all aspects of your daily living, including your relationships, emotional resilience and state of mind, check out my new eBook on the no-nonsense guide to using Buddhism and eastern philosophy here.
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