Is it your fault you have no friends?

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.  

Kristy X

About the Author

Kristy Vallely is the founder and Creator of the Imperfect Mum.

Kristy believed there needed to be a place that women could go to. Where they could talk and relate. A place they could feel safe. A place they trusted. So The Imperfect Mum was born in June 2011. There was obviously such a need that when the gates 'opened' a huge flurry of women followed. Kristy has always been very passionate about women and the issues they face.

Her passion and determination has helped her carve out a career helping others and creating 'a go to place' for women from all around the world.

Posted in:  Relationships & Marriage

7 Replies

Anonymous

I think as well that some friendships just run their course , I recently had a fallout with my Best friend who lives over east,we have been friends for 28 years and I realised at this point it is better to walk away , I no longer have a best friend but I'm ok with that sometimes it's best to just rely on yourself .....

Anonymous

I'm happy to engage people and be switched on in company. Although I find I have lots of people in my circle but no close friends because most people have a neediness that I can't / don't want to fulfil. I work hard I have 3 teens and Im just not up for the drama that goes with maintaining friendships. I'm self reliant and don't need people to fill up my days or solve my problems and feel resentful when people expect to meet up or for u to go help with this or that or spend ages on the phone. I would be happy to met up for coffee(not every week and not if it felt like a sense of duty) with more people like me :-)
I know this doesn't set good example for my daughter and that we are all missing out on socialising bbq' s trips away etc which would make weekends more fun but the trade off seems so high...

Anonymous

I find it hard because I am a naturally quiet and shy person and I am really struggling with this at the moment.
We moved interstate and the people we know are through the kids school, day care, etc. I have noticed that others are seeming to have a closer relationship with people that we have known the same amount of time and it is because they are a more extroverted personality.
Two days ago I made the decision that I have to start going to the "Tupperware parties" and other things just to keep on the radar. Fingers crossed!

Cathie McInnes

I'm a talker so I really value friendships. But sometimes it makes me sad to see some of my mutual friends not getting the same value I see in our friendships. Most times I think they get so wrapped up in their business they forget to make regular contact. People get too wrapped up in their own lives. Also I think people are too judgemental. I have different kinds of friends and try to respect our differences. Sometimes I might think we are worlds apart in our thinking, but I try to remember the things I value in our friendship. We sometimes have an awkward conversation or a heated debate but I will make sure to call them soon so they know I still love them! Be forgiving and try not to focus on yourself to much. Give some of yourself and you will be rewarded with great real friends.

Anonymous

I just feel like i am a shitty person. My husband says i always look sad

Anonymous

I am so lonely, we moved interstate just over 12Mths ago. We moved to a small country town and we live just outside town on a farm, so making even one friend has been hard. I have never been this isolated and alone I wish I could crawl in a whole and disappear:/

Anonymous

Thank you for an honest article on adult friendships, particularly female. "Making friends" is often a topic assumed only relevant for children and teenagers but this is not true - at least, not for me (and I'm now relieved to learn, not for others either)! I have a lot more to learn on the topic - particularly how to overcome being self-conscious when trying to make new friends - but thank you for some great tips on where to start.