It can feel very lonely when you don’t have a friend in your life. We’re here to help.
When you don’t have a best friend or a friendship group, it can make you feel sad, upset and lonely. It can be difficult to figure out why you’re finding it difficult to make friends, but once you work out what difficulties are standing in your way, you can take steps to address them.
Why Don’t I Have Any Friends?
First things first: not having a friend doesn’t mean that you’re unlikeable or that there’s something wrong with you. There are lots of reasons why you find it difficult to make friends – let’s take a look at what these could be.
- Communication difficulties – many of us find it difficult to speak up or make eye contact because we have autism, a disability or learning difficulties. Language can also be a barrier. Shyness can make socialising and mixing with others very stressful. You might be quite an outgoing or chatty person at home but find it difficult to talk to people at school. Some people who are shy will try to avoid social gatherings and events completely because they find it overwhelming.
Discover ways to help you overcome your shyness here.
- Anxiety – if you suffer from anxiety, this could be holding you back. You might feel nervous or scared to talk to other people or find it hard to hold a conversation. Many people also have a fear of rejection and are worried about being judged. Everyone feels nervous when they first reach out to make a friend but this gets easier with time. Try making small talk or just saying “hi” in passing to begin with and build up your communication from there.
Discover how to make small talk here.
- High expectations – do you put too much pressure on yourself to be the funny/popular/trendy one and to have lots of friends? Quality is always better than quantity when it comes to friendships – one supportive friend is worth their weight in gold. Focus on building a relationship with someone who respects and values you, rather than seeking out large, bubbly groups where there’s often a risk of a toxic dynamic.
Discover how to tell friends from foes here.
How Do I Make A Friend?
It can seem scary to reach out to someone you may never have spoken to before. Why not try:
- Joining a club or starting a new hobby. There will be lots of like-minded people there who you will have something in common with. It might also give you the chance to meet new people who go to a different school or live in a different town. It will be easier to start a conversation with someone when you already have the club/hobby in common.
- Chat to the new person at school. They are likely to be feeling lonely and also looking for a friend.
- Is there someone in your class that you’d like to be friends with? Try reaching out with a smile or add them on social media to start up a casual conversation.
- Reach out to an old friend. Maybe there’s someone who you used to be close to and lost touch with? Drop them a text or talk to them in passing to see if they might want to chat or hang out sometime.
Get more advice on making friends here.