Help I Have No Friends
Now whether you suffer from shyness or maybe you just don’t know how to get started and meet people – learning how to make friends can sometimes seem a little daunting. But really it’s not that hard to make a friend if you know where to look and what to do.
To get started we’ll look at where to meet people and then what to do when you get talking to people. We’ll go from first contact to proper friendship and you can apply these techniques practically anywhere no matter how socially comfortable you are. We focus mainly on doing this from a shy persons standpoint (seeing as Over Shyness is about overcoming shyness after all) but the extroverts who just have trouble meeting people can use these techniques just the same.
Rather than sitting around asking yourself why do I have no friends, add in a bit of a push and move onward and upwards and start finding friends. If you want to make that kind of attitude a part of your life and regularly go out and meet friends then make ones, and make ones who you can keep. Let us show to how to meet friends through our circle techniques in the training program.
Places to Make Friends
All you need to do in this position is throw yourself into something new. You can walk into a local hangout and just sit down, or join an activity and just see what happens. Really this will come down to how socially confident you are. If you feel comfortable getting out on your own and talking to strangers then it’s just a matter of actually getting out as much as you can. It’s a numbers game – go to enough things and you’ll just end up talking to people. But if you don’t feel comfortable doing this then don’t worry.
If you really don’t feel comfortable talking to people at all then you might want to consider looking at how to overcome shyness before getting started on something like this, because friendship sites alone won’t do the job. You don’t want to force yourself into situations which make you panic and worsens your shyness. You’re probably going to have to break your comfort zone a bit if you’re having trouble meeting people. But if you feel you’re shy, but confident enough to start trying to meet people then I have a perfect suggestion for you.
Join something new. Simple, I know. But hear me out for a moment.
There are plenty of social activities you can choose from which not only means that you’re going to meet people. But you might also find something you really like doing and it gives you an instant conversation stater because you’re both trying something new. It’s easy to start something like this as working together once a week at the class and expanding on that to friends outside of the class (we’ll look more at this in a minute). And keep in mind that if you do become friends with them – that might also expose you to their friends. Bonus!
I like to choose activities which involve a social element. you’ll be too occupied mentally and even physically to ask yourself ‘why do I have no friends’. I tend to find places like the gym as quite anti social and a lot of people don’t talk everyone’s me time is switched on, but a class which involves working other people means it’s easy to talk to people and can be a lot of fun. Try to find something which meets at least once a week and don’t keep yourself limited to one class. You can find listings online pretty easily on websites like CraigsList and there’s usually posters and leaflets about things going on on a board or window somewhere. Even the most boring places have something going on, it’s just a matter of looking.
It could be a class, a club, a sports team. Don’t be let down if you find one you don’t like – just keep going to things until you find something (and people) you like. If you really can’t find anything? Try starting something yourself. It can be as simple as putting a sign up looking for someone to jog with or as complex as renting a hall and starting a club.
This is the ideal way I suggest to make friends. But if that doesn’t do it for you I do have a few other suggestions you could consider.
- Friends of existing friends or family
- Volunteering (this is a great one)
Make New Friends Online
I did say we’ll get to the idea of making friends from home and here it is. The common conception is sitting alone on the internet is anti-social and for the most part shy people certainly do use this as an escaping mechanism to keep busy and maybe have some social interaction.
But the internet can also be a useful tool for meeting people. You can use a website like Meetup to find people with similar interests (or find new interests while you are at it)! Or you can do what you would normally do and try to meet people while you are at it. Even if you meet people gaming for example (which is generally considered anti-social) if those people live in the same city you’re spending time talking and you enjoy the same activities so that can lead to a friendship outside of the internet.
What doesn’t help so much is meeting people across the world who you won’t ever really meet. Sure, this might give you people to talk to online but if you really want to grow yourself a social life you’re going to need to make the extra effort to meet people in your local city or area. That or you’ll really need to have some air miles saved up. It is entirely possible to make friends around the world but meeting them isn’t as easy as meeting someone who lives ten minutes away.
Facebook is also a great way to meet people locally who are interested in an activity or friends of existing friends. It is also a great ice breaker to talk to people a little online before you actually meet them.
Now that we’ve looked at where to make friends – lets look at what to do when you’ve met someone you’re getting along with.
Talking to People
When you’re ready to try and ‘cross the line’ and ask them to do something outside of the activity then keep it something easy. This is the most important step and this is what will change your relationship from ‘the person they know in the class’ to actual friendship. You may even never find yourself saying ‘why do I have no friends’. You can meet people within classes and groups and that’s great – but if you want to move it further than that then you need to make the effort. Sometimes you will be the one being asked – which is great – but don’t sit around and wait for that to happen.Now the first rule I want to stress straight away is don’t try to force it. If you do that things can start to get a little awkward and you can come on a little strong. Plus you don’t always get a good picture of someone right away – you really want to make sure you’re going to get along before you start pushing for a friendship. It might happen on the first time you see them, it might take some time. Just keep your cool and settle for interactions within the activity to begin with.
This step can be pretty hard for people who have a problem with shyness. It’s why I suggest looking at improving your shyness before you reach this step but even the shyer people out there will meet people they just click with. I just think people that work that way – sometimes no matter how shy you are you just meet people who you get on really well with. I do have a few tips to help you get into this stage though.
- Get contact info early. A class can be a great excuse to swap phone numbers, email addresses or Facebook friends. Don’t push for it but you can keep it as easy as “hey would you like to swap numbers so we can let the other know if we’re running late for class next week?”
- Don’t wait for other people to make plans. Ask if they’d like to do something and if they do have a reasonable when and where and check if that suits them.
- Be nice to everyone and accept every invitation. This simple bit of advice can change everything for you.
Making Better Friends
Once you’ve met people and started to meet them outside of the original setting etc… you want to grow on this. Now there’s no real set rules on growing a friendship since if you’ve come this far it’ll just happen naturally. But you do need to keep in touch and continue to make an effort.
Even as you continue to meet more people you need to continue to make time for the people you meet. You need to work around each others schedules and not fall into the trap of just letting a budding friendship fizzle for an imagined slight.
That said – if it’s reaching the point where a friendship is too one sided then I’d suggest not putting everything you have into it, it simply will not be worth your time. It’s important to tell the difference between someone who is just too shy to ask you to do something, and someone who’s not worth your time. You’re going to have to judge this for yourself and it doesn’t involve being rude to them but just not trying to force something which isn’t there. One of the important parts to learning how to make friends is learning which friends are worth keeping. You may also need to learn how to deal with rejection.
Really everything you need to start making friends is right here. If you follow it and keep what I’ve told you in mind then you’ll be making friends pretty quickly. After this – making friends is really just rinse and repeat. With every step it’s going to become easier and easier until you build a social life around you as big was you want it to be. Making friends is really just a numbers game, get out there and meet people until you click – it’s as simple as that. I won’t muffle about this too much that what we have a nice set up of a training program for you. But at the end of the day only you can push your self hard enough to make new friends.
How to Make New Friends
There are a lot of ways to find yourself wanting to learn how to make new friends. You might have just moved somewhere new or your social situation around you changed. You might have let your social life fade away or maybe it just isn’t big enough for your liking. Whatever the case we’re going to look at how to make friends and help you improve your social life. Most of our focus is on people doing this while dealing with shyness but the same advice will work for anyone.
How to Make New Friends When You’re Shy
A lot of the things I’m going to suggest are not going to sound appealing to people dealing with shyness. While the outcome of an improved social life is appealing the actual steps to get there might seem a little scary. First of all this fear can be a good thing. Breaking out of your comfort zone is never done easily – that is why it is called the comfort zone.
You might want to look at our guides on how to overcome shyness before trying some of these steps but it really comes down to you personally. It is not always a great idea to throw yourself in front of situations which are really going to scare you. That can just cement the ideas of shyness even further but a big part of overcoming shyness is exposing yourself to meeting new people.
It’s all about exposure.
When you’re dealing with shyness you can learn a lot of techniques and methods for overcoming your shyness but you need to be constantly working on your social skills and that involves exposing yourself to meeting people. Making new friends whether you actually feel shy or not involves the same thing. Exposing yourself to as many people as possible is the way to make friends whether you’re meaning to at the time or not. You can’t meet friends sitting at home alone (well you can… but we’ll get to that).
Sure you will meet plenty of people who you don’t really talk to or get along with. But finding friends who you can actually get along with is a numbers game and the more people you meet and talk to – the better chance you’ll have of making friends. It is all about meeting people with similar interests in a setting where you actually have a chance to talk. You might pass a potential best friend in the street and the two of you do all the same things but if you don’t have a chance to actually talk it won’t do you any good. So keep on exposing yourself to strangers as much as possible and we’ll look at how to turn a meeting into a friendship.
Where to Make Friends
I can’t really just give you a list of places to meet people and make friends. First of all the potential list would be far too long I don’t think it would be possible to ever really finish it but mostly it depends on you. Anywhere where you can expose yourself to meeting new people is great.
Ideally you’d like it to be related to an activity but it can just as easily be someone walking along the street. If you meet someone while walking along the street they might be willing to give you the time of day but they’re probably not looking for a conversation. If you meet them during a class or activity where you’re spending time together then you’re far more likely to actually form a new friendship.
Take every opportunity you can to get out and meet people. Do things you wouldn’t normally do and go to activities whether you have tried them before or not. Talk to people and sooner or later you will find people you get along with and have a chance to form a friendship.
A great way of making new friends is by meeting the connections of existing ones. Go out with family or friends when they’re meeting friends or work colleges for example and you’re exposing yourself to a whole group of new people. They might just consider them ‘people they know’ but if you happen to get on then you’ve potentially made yourself a new friend.
Meeting people like this is usually pretty easy. You might be invited by friends to go hang out with their friends and you say yes! If they don’t ask you can always tell them you’re bored and looking to meet people so they know you’re looking for the invite.
Look at People Differently
While you can meet people who your friends don’t really consider friends you can also do that in your own life. Look at the people around you who you haven’t actually considered friends but maybe you see them fairly often. People at your local gym or neighbors. People at your class or job or perhaps people you used to be friends with but lost contact with.
It is entirely situational but just remember that making new friends doesn’t always have to mean new people. Don’t limit yourself to one or the other though, try to meet new people and talk to the people you’ve already met.
Turning Meetings to Friendships
There’s a few things you need to keep in mind at this point. Not everyone is looking to make new friends. To some it won’t occur to them you’re wanting to be friends, others won’t have the time, others just might not like you (don’t worry about it) and others might actually be too shy to be warm to your approach. It can depend on a lot of things and a pretty big one is how and where you meet someone. If you walk up to them in the street and just start asking about their plans for the weekend you’re probably going to freak people out. If you go along to something and start asking questions about whatever you’re doing that day then you’ll probably find yourself in a conversation.
And there’s a million ways of getting into a conversation with someone. But even if you’ve spent a few hours at something getting along with someone you need to actually be able to meet people again or keep in contact if you want to make a friendship out of it. There are a lot of ways to do this and again it is situational but I can give you some ideas at least.
- If you’re at a set event or activity you can ask if they’re coming again.
- If you discussed another activity or a movie for example you could suggest meeting again to do/see that.
- If you have a friend in common suggest meeting up together again.
- If they’ve told you about something you could ask for a chance to learn more about it.
- If you’ve told them about something and they genuinely seemed interested you could offer a chance to learn more about it.
- If you’ve met through a friend get them to arrange another meeting in a group setting. Multiple social meetings will lead to a pretty easy friendship if you get along.
- You could just flat out ask for their number or ask if they wanted to meet up.
If you’re shy this is probably the hard part. But if you keep exposing yourself to meeting people then it will get easier and easier. If you’re having trouble keeping a conversation going with people as you meet them you could look at the guide on how to keep a conversation going or how to talk to strangers.
Making friends is a numbers game. You need to meet people and hope you get along. A law of humanity is that not everyone likes each other. Different things separate us all the time and there’s only so much we can do about it. So don’t worry about the people who are obviously not interested. Don’t push for something which won’t work and just keep looking.
Make New Friends but Keep the Old
Sometimes people seem to use the excuse that making new friends will ruin existing friendships. They use the excuse to stay inside their comfort zones with people they feel ‘safe’ with rather than meeting new people and they can tell themselves “Oh I’d be making new friends if it wasn’t for…” but this is just not the case. There’s no secret to being able to make new friends without ruining existing ones.
You’ve probably heard the saying that relationships are hard work, right? Well that doesn’t just apply to dating or marriage – it applies to friendship as well. No matter how much time you’re spending with the new people you meet you need to keep in touch with, and make time for, your existing friends. If you make plans with someone make sure you stick to them and certainly don’t cancel for someone else. You can also take the chance to see different friends at the same time and introduce them but don’t feel that you have to. It’s good to mix with different social groups separately.
Now I’ve mentioned this before but it seems like a good place to remind you again. If you’re working on overcoming shyness and your existing friends have come to expect you to be shy then they might ‘test’ you if you start to come out of your shell at meet new people. It’s usually subliminal and they don’t realize they’re doing it but it often comes after making a change from the norm. Other friends might be happy for you but whatever the case you need to remember to make time for your old friends.
Having No Social Life
There’s plenty of reasons for not having a social life (or the more dramatic version: I have no life) so we took a proper look at it. It might be just a matter of putting yourself in the right situation to meet people or the problem might run a little deeper. You might also have to look at little more specifically at your situation such as having no friends in college. Some situations are easier than others to work with and build a social life. Anyone can do it but some will just have to make a bigger change to their current lifestyle than others.
Once you can get yourself into a position to meet new people and feel comfortable talking to them we take a look at the skills needed to make friends. We also take a more specific look at social skills training for adults. A common mistake people make is thinking that you need to be younger to adjust your social ability. In fact it’s the most common excuse we hear.
It’s also complete nonsense.
It’s the same kind of nonsense when people tell me they’re just shy people or they have no personality.
Dealing With It
We’ve covered guides on dealing with loneliness and dealing with rejection. But I don’t do hand holding with no purpose. I’m very big on if you have a problem you get it sorted. You can deal with problems like this by learning to overcome shyness and improve your social skills. It takes some time and work but it really is that simple.