You are not alone if you experience feelings of loneliness or a lack of friends. Making new friends as an adult may seem tough or impossible, but if you’re ready to put in the work, you can do it.
This article discusses potential explanations for your failure to establish friends and the detrimental effects it has on your mental health. Additionally, it offers advice on how to meet new people.
Why It’s Difficult to Make Friends
“Experiencing a lack of friendships is quite common. According to Jessica Ermilio, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Humantold, “many people feel like they don’t have friends or that other people don’t get them.
It can be difficult to focus on and participate in a discussion when feeling anxious or unsure about oneself, which can make it difficult for certain people to connect with the other person. We may avoid establishing acquaintances as a result of these unpleasant feelings.
Examine your thoughts and emotions the next time you try to make friends to see whether you have any anxiety, worry, or uncertainty. Then consider whether these sensations or thoughts are promoting or preventing your ability to create friends. By doing this, you might be able to comprehend why it might be difficult for you to form friends.
Do you ever shy away from or decline opportunities because you don’t want to deal with the challenges that come with establishing friends? Our tendency to avoid difficult situations might frequently go unnoticed or ignored.
Ask yourself why when you decline social opportunities. Be aware of that choice and the source of it. When you don’t put yourself out there to meet new friends, it can be challenging to do so.
People could place a lot of pressure on themselves to have plenty of friends and be well-liked. It is not necessary to have a large group of friends; occasionally, having only one or two will be enough to reap the rewards of strong connections on a psychological level.
The Effects of Not Having Friends on Mental Health
Attachments and friendships are crucial. Lack of friends or bad, superficial friendships can be detrimental to your mental health because they are so crucial to your general well-being.
Here are few of the psychological challenges we could have as a result of unmet attachment needs:
- Lack of belonging: Having close friendships gives us a sense of community, which is a protective feature that aids in stress management.
- Loneliness: Having a sense of “we-ness” and support, which are frequently found in strong friendships, might help us deal with life’s obstacles better. On the other hand, loneliness and isolation are fostered by a lack of sufficient social support, which can be felt by someone who lacks meaningful friendships.
- We are social beings who require and seek close, meaningful bonds with others, thus loneliness and isolation are substantial risk factors for a wide range of mental health issues.
Advice on How to Make Friends
To create friends and have a sense of belonging, Ermilio offers some suggestions.
Look for cozy surroundings
It’s crucial to look for strategies to make yourself feel at ease and ease while establishing new friends. This necessitates a critical reflection on oneself and the setting that best suits their needs.
Do you prefer social situations when there are many people present, or do you prefer one-on-one interactions? Your ability to locate the ideal setting to develop new connections may be improved by knowing the answers to these questions.
Consider the activities and environments that make you feel good about yourself. Is there, for instance, a sport, hobby, or other activity you like to engage in that makes you feel confident? Have you got a favourite or well-known place you like to go to?
It’s normal to feel anxious when meeting acquaintances, so try to control your anxiety by adding comforting and familiar factors to the situation.
Think about therapy
If you have trouble finding that sense of belongingness within friendships, think about talking to a therapist who can assist you in comprehending your particular challenges and collaborating with you to overcome them. For instance, there can be elements of your past that have an impact on your capacity to be vulnerable and open to meeting new people.
You may be able to find the support and direction you require through therapy.