Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
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If there are no friends: what to do and how to find friends

If there are no friends, it is sad. Even adults who have long had a family, children and career in the first place, sometimes feel the need for friendship, and this is absolutely normal: a person needs social connections. But the older we get, the harder it is to get them. Let's see why this happens, and what to do if there are no friends, but you want to.

If there are no friends: reasons

In general, in different ways, of course, each person is individual, but there are a number of the most common reasons for the absence of close people nearby. For example, these are:

You just don't have time.

According to one study, 53% of women between twenty-four and fifty-six years of age have approximately ninety minutes of personal, free time per day. Seriously, only ninety minutes, it's very short. Another 29% of respondents from the same study noted that they do not even have those ninety minutes.

For men, this figure is slightly higher, because, as a rule, women are engaged in everyday life, the so-called home management.

What is it? This is to control what products are at home, what you need to buy, what to cook, send the child to school, pick up from school, do homework with him, tidy up the apartment, wash things, walk the dog, go to the store, and this is every or almost every day, continuously, and do not forget about eight more hours of working time and at least six or seven hours of sleep, that is, men have free time due to the fact that they delegate household duties to women.

But even so, there is still little free time, and in order to meet new people, strengthen and deepen the connection with them, you need to spend time on them, and on maintaining the old connections too. This is where such a situation arises.

Isa Bauptista, Unsplash

Age and its consequences.

How does age affect the formation of friendships?

Firstly, with age, we generally become, as a rule, more conservative; connections.

It is purely physiologically more difficult, because a new social connection is, among other things, a new neural connection, and it is more and more difficult to build them after thirty years. For the same reason, for example, it becomes more difficult to study with age.

Secondly, age brings with it previous experience, and this experience can be difficult, negative. For example, you have a toxic friendship behind you, after which you have been collecting pieces of your self-esteem for a long time; either a friend betrayed you, chose his love partner instead of you, or there was some other ugly story after which you are basically afraid to let people close to you and think that the most important thing in life is family, career, but definitely not friendship.

Thirdly, with age, various attitudes are formed: for example, “there is no friendship between a man and a woman”, “friendship between people who have a big difference in age or income cannot be” or other similar ones. Such attitudes limit your selection: that is, without such attitudes, you can consider a person younger than you or the opposite sex as a friend, but with such an attitude you cannot.

Fourth, with age we change our social status. For example, as a rule, university friends disappear with age, or the social circle often thins out when you get married / get married and have a child. This is a completely normal process, albeit sometimes sad.

Josue Michel, Unsplash

You changed your priorities.

This often happens again with age: for example, you are headlong into a career because you think that the time for student entertainment has passed, and now you need to work hard to ensure a bright future for yourself. Or you started a family, and it became the center of your existence. Therefore, if there are no friends, it is likely that once you yourself chose to move away from them. I say this without judgment, if anything: each person has his own choice, his own life, his own priorities.

You are basically an introvert by nature.

As a rule, introverts form social ties in adolescence and youth, when a person experiences a physiological need for them (this is such a mechanism in our brain, at school and students, even the most fierce introverts feel the need for social acceptance, in building social ties), and these social ties are very deep and strong, but it happens that they are broken - and this is where the difficulties begin.

Because the physiological need that made even a deep introvert look for friends is no longer there, the circumstances in which people are forced to spend hours side by side and involuntarily communicate (educational environment) are also no more, and it is more difficult for introverts to get to know each other, it is more difficult maintain acquaintance, and you have to overcome yourself for this.

Or more simply: due to your introverted nature or other factors (fatigue, for example), you push people away from you: you don’t keep up conversations, turn down invitations to joint parties and meetings, and you are gradually stopped being invited there, stopped with talk to you, believing that you do not need it.

Batuhan Dogan, Unsplash

Geographic factors.

For example, all friends parted in different directions due to various life reasons. Or you yourself changed your place of residence and are now forced to re-acquire social ties, because all your previous acquaintances have remained somewhere on the other side of the galaxy. It is not your fault if there are no friends due to geographical factors, life just happened, circumstances developed.

And now that you understand why exactly you feel the need for friends now and how it happened, let's move on to practice.

If there are no friends: what to do?

1. Decide what you need.

Look, what a contraption: people most often understand different things by friendship.

For someone, “to be friends” is to communicate closely, to trust, to be together in sickness and health, in sorrow and joy, that is, friendship is very significant for such people, close, close social connection. For some, friendship is just a conversation of interest, meeting a couple of times a week, casual chatter and an open ear if you have a problem.

For some, friendship is first of all help in trouble, like “we may not communicate for months, but if he calls me and says “come, I need help”, I will explode and come.” For some, it's just a joint party, entertainment and nothing burdensome.

All these people will perceive people with a different position in completely different ways: for example, those for whom friendship is a very close and close relationship will consider that those for whom friendship is primarily a help, just use their friends. And those for whom friendship is primarily help will find people with friendship-close-connection strange: such close relationships should be with family and a love partner, and not with some leftist dude, right?

All these points of view have a right to exist. The bottom line is that you need to understand what point of view you hold. If you don’t have friends and it bothers you, then you feel some kind of need. What exactly? What do you expect from friendship, what is it for you?

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For example, perhaps you lack communication about your interests, about your hobbies, which, for example, your partner or partner does not share. Or you don’t have enough fun, parties, joint adventures, you are stuck with life and you want unbridled fun, like in your student years. Or you have no one to talk to. Or you don’t need friendship at all - you are nostalgic for a specific person with whom you were once friends, and now you have moved away from each other.

Hfe Studio, Unsplash

Understanding what you need from friendship will make it easier for you to find it. For example, maybe you don't need to form deep emotional bonds—you just need to find a couple of buddies to play board games with or go to parties with. Or hobby buddies. Or you just need to arrange a meeting with your fellow students and get nostalgic. Start from your needs, and in order to start from them, they need to be clearly articulated.

Another important point to consider: you yourself must meet your own requirements.

That is, if you want a deep emotional connection with someone, to be listened to and supported, you yourself must be ready for the same for another person, otherwise you do not need a friend, but a psychologist. If you want to hang out, it will be strange to refuse invitations, and sit on the phone at the party.

In general, if you want something from a potential friend, then be prepared to provide something proportionate in return, otherwise it turns out that you simply use it, and this is ugly.

2. Renew existing social ties.

Perhaps you have a friend with whom you did not seem to quarrel, but the close relationship between you is also a thing of the past. Or friends with whom there is no deep emotional connection, and you do not communicate too often. If there are no friends, it may make sense not to look for new acquaintances, but to deepen the old ones: write to such people more often, call up, be interested in their life, communicate, invite to meetings, take all kinds of initiative.

And in general, in principle, remember that in order to make friends, it is not enough to get to know a person - you need to communicate with him further, form a connection with him, maintain communication, otherwise you will remain hated acquaintances, and not friends.

3. Drop stereotypes.

Remember, it was said above that because of some negative experience or just learned attitudes from childhood, we often miss opportunities for friendship? So, try all the same to reject these installations. Meet someone of the opposite sex for friendship, not for a relationship, try to hang out with someone who is significantly richer or poorer than you, and so on.

What if they turn out to be just good, nice people, no matter what their social status is? What if you find in them a reliable friend and comrade that you have always missed?

Krists Luhaers, Unsplash

4. Set yourself up to meet new people.

If you don’t have old friends with whom you could deepen your friendship (for example, the same geographical factor - everyone left, got children and families, everything), then you need to organize dating sites.

In your youth, these were educational institutions in which you somehow had to spend time side by side with other people and do business with them. Here you need to recreate similar conditions. For example, like this:

  • Sign up for educational courses. Dancing, photography, first aid, and at least a driving school. There are two bonuses: firstly, you will make new acquaintances, and secondly, even if there are no friends even there, then you will at least learn a new useful skill or acquire a new hobby.
  • A hobby is generally a powerful force that sticks people together, because two hobby colleagues immediately have common topics for conversation. So if you don't have a hobby, then get one. Anything that interests you: woodcarving, embroidery, hiking, martial arts. And share your hobby on social networks, attend groups and meetings of interest, communicate with people within the framework of this hobby.
  • Get a pet. I say right away: a super-stupid decision to get a pet just for the sake of communicating with someone on the basis of this pet. But if you have long wanted, then here is another reason: people willingly talk about their pets (and it doesn’t matter who it is - even a dog, even a fish, even an Arkady cactus), and on this basis it is easy to get close to them.
  • Sign up as a volunteer. To Lisa Alert or to any other. There, one way or another, you will be forced to communicate with people, and a common noble cause will bring you closer. Of course, you don't need to sign up to volunteer if you don't have friends, and that's your only reason - only if you really have a heart for it.
  • Travel more often! Traveling makes it easier to get acquainted, many social barriers are removed, especially if you are in another country, there is a sharp increase in attachment to “their own”, to compatriots, so that you can return from a trip not only with fridge magnets, but also with friends.
  • Parties, concerts, cultural events such as exhibitions and fairs. It’s already more difficult to get to know each other there, but there is still a chance, especially if you actively communicate, and not sit on the phone.
  • Take advantage of the almighty internet. Interest groups have already been mentioned on social networks, but you can also get yourself a dating application (there you can communicate not only romantically, look for more than just a partner), write on your page more often (someone can comment), comment on other people's posts, just write to the person you like and give a compliment.
  • Go in for sports. Firstly, it's basically cool and good for your health, and secondly, on the basis of joint sports activities, it's easy to get to know someone. This is especially true for team sports, where you do not just come and hug the simulator for an hour and a half, but communicate with someone. How about airsoft or, for example, chess?
  • If you have children, then meet the parents of their friends. Children are a good topic of conversation, and taking a child to his friend's is a good excuse to see your own friend. Plus, this is a great way to make not just a personal friend, but make friends with families.
Brittani Burns, Unsplash

5. Review your behavior.

As already mentioned, it is not enough to get to know a person, you also need to build an emotional connection with him. And this can be difficult, especially when you have already left your student age: life is full of other things that you have to pay attention to, and often we subconsciously do not want to invest in a new acquaintance, invest strength and nerves in him, look for points with him contact, to free up time for it, because it is not even clear whether it will pay off at all.

However, if you want to acquire a friend, or at least a friend, it still has to be done at least to a small extent.

No one obliges you to rush to him at night on the first call to wipe the snot after breaking up with a girl (although if you expect such an attitude towards yourself and ask your new friend about it, then this is exactly what you need to do, yes), but it is still worth reconsidering your behavior.

First, let's define: are you doing something that pushes people away from you? It is logical that before blaming external circumstances or the general insensitivity of the people around you, it makes sense to find out if there is a beam in your own eye.

Joel Mott, Unsplash

So what are the mistakes you might be making:

  • You're being invited somewhere, and you decline invitations or promise to come, but at the last moment do not come. Sooner or later, the invitations will stop, because - what's the point if you still refuse? Of course, you have the right not to go anywhere if you don’t feel like it, it’s just illogical in this case to be surprised later why you don’t have friends.
  • You don’t tell anything about yourself, you close yourself, you need to pull words out of you with tongs, you don’t try to keep up the conversation, join it. The opposite mistake is talking about yourself too much, not being interested in the opinion and affairs of the interlocutor.
  • In principle, you do not communicate with anyone, even if you come to a meeting or a party, but instead you sit on the phone or get bored in the corner, waiting for the moment when you can leave.
  • Overreacting to any differences between you and a potential friend. Roughly speaking: “Do you wear red socks? Ugh, pervert, don't come near me anymore."In friendship, you need to look for common ground, not reasons for conflict, do you agree?
  • You wait for initiative from other people, but you never show it yourself. After all, other people also have feelings, and it may seem to them that they are being imposed, and you don’t need their initiative (and how will they understand what they need if you don’t show a response?), And this is a very unpleasant feeling.
  • You do not listen, you do not show attention and interest to the interlocutor.

If any of this is about you, try to correct this line of behavior.

6. Be an attentive conversationalist.

How to behave if you understand that the points written above are about you?

  • First of all, try to make time for your new acquaintance and potential friend. Write to him often, share the funny things you find on the Internet, offer to meet, start a conversation with him, try to see him more often, free up your time for him.
  • Second, try to be an attentive listener. Ask your friend's opinion and listen to him with interest, ask open-ended questions (those that cannot be answered with "yes" or "no", but you need to elaborate on your opinion).
Javier Allegue Barros, Unsplash

something common than arguing, right? Show interest in your friend, remember what he likes, listen or watch what he recommends to be on the same wavelength with him.

  • Compliment, let a friend know that he is pleasant to you as a person. Nobody demands to spill like a nightingale, just say “You are right”, “I like your arguments”, “You look great”, “I am glad to see you”. Let your friend know that he is a significant person for you.
  • Feel free to be open about your needs. People around are not telepaths, they will not understand what you want if you do not say it directly. “Listen, something is so bad for me today, can I talk to you? No need to give advice, just listen", "Let's get distracted, have fun, I don't want to think about anything", "I want to meet with you more often, I miss communicating with you" - these are absolutely normal phrases that will help build a healthier and adequate communication.
  • And finally, just be a normal, adequate person with moral principles. Don't cheat. If you promised something, do it. Don't gossip or insult you behind your back. Do not divulge the secrets you have been entrusted with. Be happy for others, don't compete with them. Don't criticize or offer unsolicited advice unless you've been directly asked for it. Follow the principles of normal, healthy communication, no matter how close you communicate.

Good luck and the coolest friends you have!