Most of us would say that we want friends. We want, even hunger, for those deep connections. Friendships are part of an emotionally healthy life. Friendships allow us to laugh, to keep perspective on life, and to be encouraged to grow. So what is going on if as adults we don’t have any of those relationships? Here are 4 honest reasons why you don’t have friends.
4 Honest Reasons Why You Don’t Have Friends
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You are Headed a New Direction
One big reason you may not have any friends is that you are headed a new direction. You may not have any friends for the perfect reason that you left many of them behind in your old life.
Recently, I had the privilege to talk with a mom who had made some big changes in her life in the past few years. She had distanced herself from some of her unhealthy family members and found a few new friends. But her life transformation has been slow, as change typically is. And she was wondering if something was wrong.
So maybe you are like this young mom. Perhaps you need to hear today that you are headed the right direction. But real life work takes time. It is hard to let old habits and relationships go. And it takes time to create authentic friendships where you experience real give and take in the relationship.
If you have recently made a lot of changes in your life, a few people will be excited for you. But there will be many that won’t understand or want you to change.
It can feel scary to them. And it will take time before you have new friendships that have had time to deepen and stand the test of time.
If this describes you, keep doing what you are doing. Make small positive steps forward each day. Believe that you will have authentic mentors and friendships in your life with people who will not only be excited to see you grow but will champion your transformation!
You Don’t Have Friends because You Built an Emotional Wall
It hurts when people let you down or worse, betray you. We have all been there. But if you are unwilling to let others into your inner life then you will always be alone.
You may be asking if those are your only options, being alone or risk being betrayed again?
Yes, we are taking a risk when we open our life to others, but there are ways to be smart about it.
We can minimize our risk by being wise about who we invite into our life. And by being quicker to recognize unhealthy people we can also decrease the damage done by disengaging with unhealthy relationships faster. Read here on How to Know When to Fire or Keep Your Friend.
After you have learned more about healthy versus unhealthy relationships it’s time to test the waters with a few relationships. Think about some acquaintances that have already extended friendship is some way. Did they invite you over to their home or to a get together with other friends. Next time, accept some of those offers and see where it leads.
You may also wish to share a few things about yourself or how you are doing when a co-worker or neighbor asks. Take a few small risks, especially if the other person is already sharing information about themselves.
You Don’t Have Close Relationships Because You Constantly Take in Your Friendships
Healthy friendships require give and take.
Sometimes we can take too much in friendships because we are needy. We so desperately want to feel loved and appreciated that we are like a bottomless pit that can’t be filled up.
Others may back away sensing that we will cling to anyone who gives us a little bit of attention.
Instead of trying to get affirmation from everyone, we have to have confidence in our self first. No one can make us feel completely OK about ourselves if we hate or dislike ourselves.
Take time to appreciate yourself. Develop your interests and learn to care for yourself.
Others times we may do all the taking in a relationship because we feel like we are “right”, that our needs are most important or that we “know” what is best for our friend.
I see problems. That is what jumps out to me. It is a gift but can also come across as critical or judgmental if I’m not careful. Many years ago, I had a good friend tell me politely to “shut up” on a certain topic. She told me I wasn’t allowed to talk about a relationship in her life that I kept harping on about.
And I’m so thankful she did. She was brave enough and good enough of a friend to tell me when I wasn’t being helpful.
We have to be willing to listen and observe in our relationships. Maybe you have a better way or some great advice. But more importantly what does your friend need from you right now? This doesn’t mean we can’t speak our minds or be honest. It just means say what you need to say and then let it go. Realize it is your friend’s life NOT yours.
You Don’t Have Real Friends Because You Are Holding onto Relationships That Aren’t Working
We only have so much time and energy. So if we are pouring our hearts and souls into unhealthy relationships, hoping the other person will change and start caring for us we are in a lose-lose situation.
Not only will we probably not receive anything from that relationship because people rarely change. We also run the risk of missing out on some great friendships.
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In my thirties, I was reevaluating my life.
It felt painful to realize that I just didn’t seem to have any close friends in my day to day life. I felt puzzled as I was giving to others, involved in my family and community, and I was definitely putting forth a lot of effort.
That was when it struck me that I was putting all my effort into the wrong areas. There were a few relationships in my life that I felt sure should be great friendships. But they weren’t. There was a variety of reasons why these relationships were not working. But at the end of the day, I realized I couldn’t fix them or change them. I could only release the relationships.
And something interesting happened. When I finally took all my time, energy and expectations off making those relationships work, I realized that there were some other great people in my life. Yes, the friendships took time, but it was such a blessing to see my efforts appreciated and reciprocated.
Are you stressing and trying so hard to make a few relationships work only to see no payoff to your efforts? In fact, it feels like you only receive criticism and rejection in return? It is time to let go of those relationships. Or to at least release your expectations. It will hurt for a while to realize the other person does nothing to stop you or that most of your effort was wasted. But soon you will feel so much freer.
Now you have time to cultivate friendships that are real. And you are going to be amazed at how much easier friendship feels with the right friends!
4 Honest Reason You Don’t Have Friends
Friendship is so important and so rewarding! Examine your life and see if any of these reasons are keeping you from some rewarding friendships. You may also enjoy reading these posts on friendships.