No one is given a bed of roses for their entire life, the silver spoon can't really buy you friends, and so there are times when you'll find that life deals you a tough hand and you are left with no friends. Maybe there was a fight you had that turned the group against you? Or maybe you shifted colleges and you don't know anyone yet and no one knows you yet? Or maybe you just can't make friends? It happens. Sometimes you can't pinpoint a particular reason why some people have no friends. They just don't.
Times like these are no less intense than a heartbreak. Imagine having no friends in high school and no friends in college. These are crucial times when we need to be with others our own age and there are none. What happens then? How do we cope? I'll try and touch upon some of the related topics that fall in the category of friendship.
Patching Broken Bonds
This one happens with everyone. And at any age, mind you. There are fights and people stop being friends. What then? Two things―patch up or drift apart. That is really your thing to look out for. Think of what your friend meant to you. Was he/she a true friend? Is there a misunderstanding that drew you apart? Or has your friend 'back stabbed' you? The human heart is strong and given time can get over anything. So rest assured the pain will dull away with time (just like a heartbreak). Now think of the reason why you both are no longer friends. Is the reason really that important in the greater scheme of things? Or do you have it in your heart to forgive and forget? Are you strong enough for that? Yes, it'll take time to get to that point, but if it is something that can be salvaged, I sincerely believe that one must do all that one can. Egos and hurtful words can be left aside.
If salvaging is what you want to do, then apologizing seems to work best (if you've hurt someone). Exhibiting certain actions to show that you care, really matter, and keeping at those actions for a long, long time is a given. It is important to keep your ego at bay as long as you can. And for the person who was wronged, you need to gather the ability to find it in your heart to give the person who wronged you, a second chance. Communication is the key and it does work.
How to Make Friends
Sitting at a bench/desk and wondering why no one's friends with you won't work. You don't have friends? Strive to make new ones. Many times we get into a self-pitying, self-victimizing mode, that frankly speaking, really takes away our mojo. Learn to talk to others. Why should they be the ones to come speak to you? Can't you go over? A simple 'Hi' in the locker room works. Begin by introducing yourself, then talk about a few generic things. Topics that work best are movies, books, office gossip... it'll take time, sure, but eventually, you'll get there.
Join a group activity like a drama group or a sports team. Being with so many people who share your interest helps to make friends. Strike a conversation, then carry it forth. Meeting often and talking helps to strike a bond that grows better and leads to a comfort level over time.
Make it about Them
This technique works really well. People love to talk about themselves. We all know that. Carry the same principle forward. The next time you start a topic, begin by talking about the other person. Ask about his hobbies and interests and other related things. If you like something about them, tell them that. I am not asking you to flatter or be fake. That never works. The sooner you know that, the better. I am only saying that if there is something you like about the other, tell them. Now is not the time to keep quiet. They won't easily be able to forget you and that is one hurdle crossed all because you thought of good questions to ask someone.
Be There for Them
Genuinely be there for them. Do not use a person, then discard them the minute someone better comes along. That is no way to treat another person. Be there in their tough times and not just the good. They will like you more for that.
What's stopping you from introducing yourself? Obesity? Physical defect? Acne? In short, no self-confidence. I agree there are some who think these 'issues' are an important factor in making friends, you don't need these kinds of people in your life. If these are the things that are getting you so low that you can't interact with people then do something about it! Lose weight, get treated for the acne or physical defect―anything that will help you gain your confidence back. When you feel good about yourself, it is easier to go over and talk to people. The same theory applies for success. Gaining success in any field of life automatically translates into confidence. So if you're good at sports, studies, elocution, singing―whatever be your strength, it's time to shine! Not to gain followers, but to gain the confidence and feel better about yourself. And that will help you to make friends.
Things To Do in the Solo
If you're one of those who does have friends but let's just say that all your friends are out of town at the same time. Now what? Having no friends can bring about a whole lot of boredom. Here are some things you can do to drive away the blues.
- Read. You remember that novel you always promised yourself you'd get to as soon as you have the time? Well, now that there are no long chats on the phone happening, you could finally get to that book.
- Cook. Cooking it is said, has a therapeutic effect on us. What do you like? Cakes? Pies? Chicken? Scrounge the net for some easy food recipes and get to it. A lot of time goes in this one and you'll love the compliments you'll get from the family.
- Visit the family. Hasn't it been really long since you visited nana last? Go over and meet up with her. She'll be overwhelmed.
- Make a trip to the relatives. Somewhere out of town preferably, so you'll end up traveling and meeting your cousins as well.
- Spend some alone time. Think, write, clean up the room. Do some gardening. Go for walks... there's a whole lot of things to tap out there. You just need to find yours and stick to it.
Effects of Having No Friends
In case you've gotten used to being a recluse, and actually feel good about having that image, or if you're not one of them, but are not pushing the cause of making friends either, then I think I should best leave you with this following section. It highlights why friends are important (especially in the growing years) and what their absence can do to you.
No Social Skills
Being with different types of people and interacting with them, not only helps us in gaining company but also helps us develop social skills―sensitivity, bonding, the way to talk, how to behave. Yes, our parents try and inculcate all that in us as well, but when we watch our friends conduct themselves in society, it makes us learn from live examples of how to and how not to behave. We learn all these things and more by becoming acquainted with people who come from different walks of life, the way they have been raised, the food they eat, the things they do in different situations.
Being without friends can create a hollow in your life. A gnawing feeling that you're alone. We need friends not only for 'fun things' but also for fulfilling our emotional needs. Having no friends is akin to the feeling of being abandoned. The thought of facing life without any emotional support is not an easy task and one can even develop abandonment issues.
Being alone and without friends can make one a recluse, getting more and more away from people and becoming withdrawn. This can set about depression as well as other emotional and psychological conditions like stammering, low confidence, poor self-esteem. These issues are tougher to deal with. When the innate need to interact is not fulfilled, it manifests in this form.
Friends are important, and some people take them for granted. Ask the people who have no friends and you'll know what a good thing you're giving up. So straighten up and learn to appreciate your friends. And for those who say they have no friends... follow some of the steps in the article and slowly, but surely, you will make friends. Promise.