I’ve heard so many women on The Imperfect Mum say “ I have no friends – I’m lonely"
Most of us have have experienced this at times in our lives. We’ve looked around and thought - I have no close friends!
Normally it's during times of transition.
For instance leaving school, the break-up of a relationship, having a baby or moving interstate.
Or for some friendship just doesn’t come easy so they reside to the fact that they’ll never have any friends.
For me it's happened a few times, leaving school, moving cities then moving back home. I had close friends scattered across Australia, but they weren't living in the same city as me. So there were times where I had to pull my big girl panties up and develop a whole new network of friends.
So I am writing this from a place of knowing – I get it!
Here's some things to ponder.
Are you avoiding the awkwardness?
A new friendship is like dating and sometimes it's really bloody awkward, you meet up for a coffee and there's the small talk. The silent moments.
It’s not quite so bad if it's someone you’ve met through sport or work because then you don't need to bother with the small talk because you have a common interest.
But generally speaking, it's kinda awkward.
You’re both sussing each other out thinking is this person 'my kinda' person.
I think the awkwardness can put a lot of people off.
They would rather just be comfortable and not 'have' to go through that awkward stage.
You need to go along with an open mind and commit to meet up AT LEAST 3-5 times before you make any judgments.
You just need to accept it’s more than likely going to be a bit weird until you get to know each other better.
Are you enjoyable to be around?
Do you make an effort and try to engage? If you’re always sitting back and expecting others to engage with you, you may be giving off the wrong signals. Especially if they don’t know you. You need to make an effort to connect to others or else people are not going to bothered if it seems you can't be bothered.
Do you have negative body language?
“The resting bitch face” you may not even know you’ve got “fuck off” written all over your face. I’ve been guilty of it, two people within months of each other said “I saw you driving along the other day – you looked really cranky” I then started to take note of the look on my face.
Funnily enough I realised I needed to buy some sunnies because I was squinting because of the sun. So my point is sometimes you don’t even realise the vibe you’re giving off. So just check in with yourself.
Are you shit friend?
Are you someone that’s just there for the ‘goodtimes’ You’re never going to develop a deep friendship if that’s the case. If your friend is experiencing difficult times you need to be there. You need to check in and see how they’re going. Even if it’s a quick phone call or text.
Do you allow it fizzle out?
One of the main reasons new friendships fail is because you both don’t keep up contact. Make an effort to stay in contact, or else a new connection could easily fizzle out.
You may even need to invite yourself along to things (I know that’s really putting yourself out on a limb) it’s just that sometimes they don’t think to invite you.
It’s not that they don’t want you there it’s just that they may not have seen you in awhile so you’re not at the top of their mind.
That’s why again, it’s important to stay in contact, even if it’s a text to say “Hi” that way you are at the top of their mind.
Are you always saying “No”
Don’t expect to be continually invited if you’re answer is always no, if someone invites you to somewhere more than three times in a row and you say no. Chances are they’ll stop asking. So make an effort even if you don’t feel like it.
Are you slack?
Do you not return phone calls or texts? I came VERY close to losing a close friendship because I was continually not texting back. Most people laughed that that was “me” but for others it really pissed them off. So i’ve made a concerted effort over the years to text and call people back.
It can be confronting when you realise that it's really you who may be blocking potential friendships. I hope that's helped in some way.