But don’t feel alone, and don’t feel ashamed. Many millions of people like you are lonely and want friendship. And we are here to help you with this short, informative article that gives you strategies for finding true friendship.
Some people still brag about having over a thousand Twitter followers of Facebook “friends” as though it were 2009. In reality, they most likely have seven actual friends. To start your quest to have a healthy social life, all you need is one. Some people maintain dozens of “friendships’ but feel empty inside, though they’d never tell you that. So that begs the question…
What is Friendship?
People don’t become friends by magic. They first become acquaintances. If those acquaintances enjoy hanging out with each other, they often become friends.
Friendships are usually formed around mutual interests and hobbies. Write a five-item inventory of your favorite things to do in your free time. Do you enjoy video games? Maybe you love writing, hiking, or fixing cars. Even if you have a truly obscure hobby, there’s someone in the world who shares your interest.
Fortunately, we live in the era of the internet. If you live in a remote area, you can always join a -safe- chat room. Chatrooms have a reputation for being a place for people to expose themselves. But some are places where poeple. Places like Reddit and Discord are great places to talk to people who share interests and even develop acquaintances. Always follow safety precautions when meeting up with people for the first time.
Now that you’ve set up your baseline of what a friendship is, we’ll quickly describe habits you can change to get one.
Address Why You Have No Friends
You having no social circle may indeed not be your fault, at least not entirely. Perhaps you have a disability or condition that has a lot of stigma attached to it. Or maybe you were deprived of social contact as a child. Your lack of friends doesn’t mean you are a bad person.
But, in all likelihood, there is something you are doing -or not doing- that is pushing people away. There is no reason to feel guilty, but you will likely need to change that behavior in order to get the friends you want. So, begin asking yourself questions along this line of thinking:
Are you awkward, or even worse, downright rude?
Be honest with yourself. Look back at the last five social interactions you had. Did you snap at the person -or people- in question? Did you avoid eye contact? Were you abrasive? Was your tone negative? Don’t be self-conscious, but be self-aware. Do you…
…look (or smell) bad?
It’s a bit superficial, but, yes, your appearance does matter. If your hair is greasy and you wear ratty clothes, most people will avoid you. If you smell, people won’t want to be around you. But even if you’re not naturally handsome or pretty, there are little things you can do to be more visually appealing to people. And honestly, so long as your appearance isn’t a major turn off, you don’t have anything to worry about. Just make sure that you wear decent clothes and take care of your personal hygine. Do you…
…try too hard?
If you come across as needy or clingy, people will be repulsed by you. And the more you try to get close to them, the farther away they’ll run. Ironically, more aloof tend people tend to be more approachable than people who are overly friendly. Be casual. Be friendly. But don’t seem desperate.
The Means are the Ends
The great thing is, once you have one friend, you will likely have something in common with their friends. Some friends will only remain so when you’re of use to them or will flee at the first hint of trouble. But a real friend will help you out of a tough spot or cheer you up when you’re down.
You may end up alienating your first friend, or group of friends. Or worse, they might not be someone who you want to be friends with after all. Ultimately, friendship is not a goal: it is a process. You may develop a newfound friendship while another falls into disrepair. But you’ll find that is really remarkable how much better true friendship can make you feel. Friendship is not so much a goal as a journey. Enjoy yours!