I have been exactly where you are now.
Feeling like I had no social life, no friends and I was just surviving – not actually living.
I would pass away my Friday nights the same way I passed most nights. Alone. In front of my computer or TV. I’d watch shows and movies of people living exciting lives and see people around me enjoy themselves. They make it look so easy. Why couldn’t I have that?
Why was I different?
I got advice from friends I knew online. Most of it was pretty useless but they meant well I guess. I even went online searching for things like “I have no friends” and “I have no social life”. Trying to find someone with the same problem. Trying to find someone with a solution.
Having friends and a social life means you can work on your social skills. And having social skills means you can have a social life. Unfortunately if you find yourself in the position where you feel like you have neither.
It can be a pretty vicious circle. In fact your social skills only get worse over the time if you’re not actively working on them so the longer you leave it – the worse things get.
So while everyone else was living life, having new experiences and enjoying their social life? Not only was I sitting around doing nothing but I was actually getting worse.
The thing is people forget that social skills are actually a skill. We expect everyone to have them but sometimes (for reasons we’ll get into later) you didn’t learn them at a younger age.
But they can be learned.
And no I don’t mean by forcing yourself to talk to random strangers and “just getting out there” (which is some really bad advice… but we’ll get into that more later).
I mean actual techniques you can do now. Sitting right where you are. That will make you just better with people within days.
I wouldn’t have believed me either, back when I couldn’t talk to people. So we’ll come back to that…
We only have one life here and we don’t have time to waste. Especially when you’re young. I was all too aware of this when I had no friends and almost resented people around me who made it look so easy. Having friends and a social life was so normal for them. They made it look so damned easy.
I wasted years of my life at university hiding away from the world. And it only got harder from there.
I think I read every self help book. I watched every DVD on shyness and social anxiety. I took every scrap of advice I could find on how to get a social life and make friends.
The truth is… even if I found myself talking to people it never led to anything. I would quickly run out of things to talk about or – worse- say something awkward.
I had no chance of keeping a conversation going. The few friends I did have were online.
I felt like I had no personality – let alone having no social life. I felt like I was just wasting my time away.
Time passed by. Days blurred into weeks, months and even years. I dread to think how many days in a row I didn’t even leave the house.
It’s an easy problem to try and ignore. The problem is the longer you ignore it, the worse it gets. TV shows can distract you from reality. Video games can give you a false sense of achievement.
The truth is it’s actually a really easy problem to sort out. All it takes is a little understanding and a few techniques and anyone can build a social life within a few days.
And the cool part is it only gets easier. The more people you know, the more your social skills grow. Which in turn leads to a busier social life and meeting new people. It becomes a pretty sweet circle.
If you’re really ready to make a change, and go from saying “I have no friends” to having plans on demand, then I hope to be able to show you the exact same techniques I used. The techniques to overcome shyness and build my social life. It changed my life in a big way.
But before I show you what does work it’s important you understand why bad advice (even when it is well meant) can really make things worse.
Why Do I Have No Friends?
If you have no friends it’s likely because you have a problem with social anxiety, shyness or just a simple problem with social skills. You don’t need to worry about the label you put on it because basically the problem is that you’re not able to connect with people properly.
Now the reason for this can get pretty in depth and we’re going to look at that in a little bit but for now we’ll keep it simple.
It’s a survival mechanism. At some point (probably earlier in life but really it can be at any point) you’ve learned that being extroverted and exposing yourself was risky. We’re not even talking physical risk. You could be banging pots together and be told to be quiet – that rejection of your behavior can sink in and become a learned process.
Your brain hard wires over time to believe that to avoid a negative reaction from others you need to avoid putting yourself out there. So it tries to keep you away from people. The lower levels of your brain basically stops you making friends because it thinks you’re putting yourself in danger.
It’s a little leftover from a time where a negative reaction could result in a spear to the head. It’s not something you really need in modern civilization but survival instincts don’t understand logic and reason – they understand risk. And they think you’re at risk.
Luckily there’s a way around this.
That hard wiring process your brain went through? We can basically rewire it making it possible for you to have a social life without drinking, to keep a conversation going and to basically have friends.
I Have No Friends and No Life – A Survivors Guide
If this title were a book it would be just that. A survivors guide.
If you have no friends and you have no life it can certainly seam like you’re just surviving through life rather than living. Days can blur together without anything to really distinguish them when you’re sitting in the same place all the time. The only way to survive is to allow yourself to never change, ignore the problem as it gets worse over time and forget that you ever saw this page.
Or, you know, do something about it. Crazy thought really.
Most of the people who find their way onto this page do so because they want to make a change. They know they need to make friends. They know they want a social life. They know they need to make a change in their lives. And this is great. As humans we are naturally resistant to change and putting ourselves out of our comfort zone.
You consciously know you want to make that change, right? If you’ve had to ask me if having no friends is normal then the reality is you know the answer already. Maybe you were just looking for some kind of platitude to make you feel better about it. But the reality is there’s no reason to have no friends. If you can learn to ride a bike, you can learn to make friends.
Well the next step is the most important then. And it’s as easy as just getting started. Use that momentum that got you here to keep pushing onward. Don’t just be satisfied that someone, somewhere in the world was able to overcome shyness and start a social life. Be that person yourself.
If you don’t, nothing is going to change. I can give you a social life, I can only show you how to make one yourself. If you don’t take action yourself you’re just going to keep repeating the same loop. Who knows in a years time you might be no further on and you’ll maybe even end up back on this page.
(Although by then I’ll probably have to stop sharing my notes to stop too many people using the same techniques the whole time… more about that later though).
Once you get started it will only get easier. If you’ve ever learned a new skill you’ll know that beginners learn the basics quickly and the more you work on the something the less you actually get. Your social skills are learned the same way. The usable basics you’ll pick up quickly which allows you to start building your social life.
It’s pretty simple from there. When you’re comfortable talking to people and building your social life, your social skills grow. This continues and you get better at meeting more and more people… It continues from there. It becomes a pretty cool circle.
And it’s really not that hard to get to that stage. Most of which you can do sitting right where you are. None of this “just get out there” nonsense. It’s all just down to taking that first step and the system can kick in and take it from there. Unfortunately the first step is the hardest and most people won’t make it that far.
I won’t get into the actual techniques here (we’ll get to the good stuff soon enough) but when you have no friends there’s a pretty simple game plan. Make friends, introduce friends to each other and build yourself a social circle. You can also join existing social circles.
To do this? All you need to do is work on your social skills and that’s what we’re here for.
No Social Life in College and University
Being shy and having poor social skills is a learned behavior which you can both experience, and overcome, at any point in life. That said college or university is one of the worst places to have no social life.
Having no social life in college and university means you’re missing out while everyone else is out there making opportunities and living life. Sure you can learn where to make friends even when you’re 80 but the younger you do it – the easier it will be. More so in university or college.
It also means you’re young enough to have a relatively easy time in reprogramming the bad habits out. Again, this is something you can start at any age but the earlier – the better.
I Am Lonely and Have No Friends
Being lonely is the same as being hungry. It’s your bodies way you telling you it needs something. Humans are social creatures and we got where we are today through communication and working together.
Is it Normal To Have No Social Life or No Friends?
There have been papers published in the past claiming that shyness and social anxiety is genetic. This means that having no friends and no life is genetic and you can blame your parents for that one.
To be honest a small part of the blame could be on them if they didn’t ensure you expose you to enough social interaction at a younger age but this isn’t genetic. There’s no shy gene which makes you afraid to talk to that girl. It’s all socially learned behavior which is easy to fall into (especially at a younger age) but easier than you’d think to overcome (regardless of your age).
The question though is “is it normal”?
Technically yes. In a few pages we’ll actually look at the stats on shyness and not having a social life or friends (you’ll be surprised at the findings). In this day and age more and more people are shy. In fact about 1/3 to 1/2 of people say they’re introverted. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have no social life or don’t have any friends but it’s a good indicator of how growing it is.
But the question isn’t really whether or not it’s normal or abnormal. If you’re sitting wasting your life away and someone down the street is doing the same thing does that take away from your need to change?
It can be too easy to fall into a trap of watching someone else stay within their safety bubble and convince yourself that as long as they’re doing it then it’s OK for you to do as well. But that’s just not how it works.
The short answer is yes.
It’s perfectly normal. You’re certainly not the only person who has no friends and no social life. In fact more people than you’d think have the same kind of problem but hide it to varying degrees.
This shouldn’t make you feel better though. Because the question really isn’t “is it normal” but “are you happy with it” and the fact that you’re still reading at this point suggests you’re not.
If you need to make the change then make the damn change. It doesn’t really matter what someone else is doing.
In fact if the people around you know you as the shy and quiet person they’ll actually subconsciously test you if they notice a change. For the same reason you might want to know if it’s normal they’ll expect you to be that shy person with no life that they can judge themselves against. If you suddenly change your situation you force them to face the unpleasantness of change.
They won’t mean it or intentionally try to stop you. But it’s likely they’ll test you to see if you’ve really changed. They might test you in different ways but the best I’ve seen is someone who told them “I have no true friends” as soon as the person started trying to get out more.
On top of all of this there’s a well established mental game which bodybuilders use. It works quite well for working on your social life as well.
Don’t tell anyone you’re trying to change.
When you tell someone you’re working on self improvement your brain releases a chemical which gives you some satisfaction. That’s why we love to gloat when we’re working on ourselves. The problem is it takes away from our actual motivation at that point. So work on your social skills in private, find friends outside of your immediate social circle and family and, once you feel comfortable you can find a friend and grow a social life, start showing the people who have known you longer that you’ve changed.
The more comfortable you are with the change the less the subconscious “testing” will set you back. If people can tell that you’ve well and truly changed they might not even try in the first place. Just keep in mind this is subconscious and if you do notice someone testing you don’t take it personally.
Is it OK To Have No Social Life?
This is actually a pretty good question. We’ve established it’s normal and becoming more common to be shy, quiet and introverted but is that OK?
Well It’s commonly accepted by society that we have to be extroverted. Without meaning it we’re pretty biased towards people being loud and out there. Anyone who prefers to be on their own are seen as different or worse “problems”.
But I heard one of the best lines recently.
“Introverts being extroverted is the worlds loss because when it comes to creativity and leadership we need introverts doing what they do best.”
There is a real benefit to being introverted. If you’re happy being by yourself then that’s great. It’s more than great. We should all seek to be happy with our lives and if you’re happy spending time on your own or in a quiet low key environment with a good book then that’s great and I completely get that. Research shows that introverts are better students, better workers, better innovators but let our social bias gets in the way of that still promoting the extroverts because we think we should.
I’m a big believer in the power of introverts.