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Lack of friends hurting other parts of my life


Araziel

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I recently figured out that my lack of friends is hurting my relationship because I see my significant other too much. It has also made me too dependent on him. Not to mention I'm incredibly lonely. I'm up at college all by myself (I go home on the weekends) and it's very hard when you know hardly anyone.

 

I've always been very shy and full of self doubt. This has lead me to have fewer friends than most. I used to have a few close friends in high school but those relationships all went sour. It seems I would have one close girlfriend and somehow our friendship would end horribly. The most recent example of this is my current roommate, who was the only girl I really hung out with at college. Another problem is I tended to hang out with guys because I have more common interests with them (video games, nerdy things) and I have always found it harder to relate to girls. But the problem with that is most of my guy friends ended up wanting to be in a relationship at some point and then the friendship would never last.

 

My boyfriend and I currently have mutual 'party friends' that we see occasionally and drink with but they live about an hour or so away. I want something more, I want my own friends! I want a close friends! But I'm too shy and I'm always second guessing myself. I feel like I can be a little bit socially awkward sometimes, at least around girls.

 

In the end as I got older I focused more on relationships and it hurt my friendships. I'm trying to repair the damage but I have no idea where to start.

 

(On another note, I did try to make friends at college my freshman year but they all ended up horribly. I met a group of people who partied too much and just used me as a DD. Met a few guy friends but that never lasted. I've found I can talk to people in my English classes as they're smaller and are full of students that are the same major as me...but I can never breach the gap from talking to hanging out!)

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A couple ideas. As far as the people in your English class, try to steer the conversation towards activities that you might do. Like a movie that's coming out, or a play that's coming or town, or a popular restaurant you want to try. Then suggest going together as a group. Worst that can happen is they say they're busy and you're in the same situation you were in before. But at least then they would know that you're open to hanging out.

 

Another way to meet new people when you're in college is to join a club. Is there an English club? Or maybe a community service club? That way there's built in social activities based around a common interest and it makes it just a lot easier.

 

Going home every weekend is going to hurt your social life though. There's just no way around it. Would it be possible to stay at your school maybe once every three weeks to give you time to cultivate these friendships? Or can your boyfriend come to stay with you at school?

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I wouldn't be opposed to sticking around on the weekends if I actually had friends to see! I just can't stand sitting around all by myself in my apartment with nothing to do. My boyfriend works 6 days a week so he can't come visit me, but I think the time spent apart might actually help our relationship lol. Plus college is only 45 minutes from my home.

 

About clubs, I tried one and it was just awful. I never really looked into them after that, but maybe I'll try again. I'm not really involved in college at all except for going to class and I think that really hurts me.

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It can be hard to make new friends, can't it? But worth the effort, I think, because like you say, you're creating a support network for yourself rather than putting all the emphasis on your partner, which is a lot for them to handle.

 

You're at college, so how about start small? Set yourself a couple of targets this week - like, tomorrow you have to initiate two conversations in class and smile at everyone you see. Wednesday you have to suggest to someone that you grab a coffee between classes.

 

Socialising is tough if you're shy, but it's really worth working at, because it will increase your confidence and self-esteem. Once you start, and you realise how friendly people will be back, it will be fab! Ask questions a lot, find out about people - no one will ever say, "That Araziel is so horrible, she asked me how my weekend went!" No, people love to feel that others are interested in them.

 

Good luck, you're going to be just fine!

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Yea I think you should try again. Do you live on campus or off? I know for my first two years, my group of friends were basically the people that lived near me in the dorms. Then I live in on-campus apartments for two years so we had to put more effort into seeing people. Some of those friendships lasted and others didn't. But I started to become much more active in my school. I sat on the executive board of two organizations, which forced me to stay involved instead of getting into the habit of saying, well I don't have to go to a meeting this week. I had to be there. And go to almost all of the events. That's what gets you involved and meeting people.

 

I had tried one club and didn't like it either. I felt that it had cliques and I didn't want to have anything to do with it. But I tried a few others and really enjoyed them. I still have friends that I met in those clubs.

 

There's also the option of getting involved in your community outside of the college. Volunteer somewhere there or if you're religious, start attending services. It just takes awhile to find where you feel that you fit in and can be yourself, but it's worth the trial and error to get there.

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I started a movie going club my freshman year of college - the school I went to screened movies as test audiences. We'd advertise for folks to go together, and then talk about the movies (yeah, kind of dorky but it led to some fun outings afterwards).

 

I also met people by hanging out in the lobby of my dorm where the pool table and tv were located....

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This is weird. My therapist and I discussed this a lot in my session yesterday. I have the same problem, I can't seem to make any friends and my problem is that I have trust issues. I hate to get close to people because I just KNOW they will hurt me eventually. She suggested that I just start opening myself up more, be more approachable. She also said I should start listening to people more when they talk and try to enter in their conversations a little bit. Idle chitchat can lead to great friendships she says, and you can't go through life thinking everyone with hurt you because there are good people out there. This includes every where you go...work, school, the store, clubs, etc. It may take some time, but you'll find some friends, maybe even some GREAT friends. I will start to do this soon as I am very lonely too and can't rely on my daughter to keep me company all the time. She won't like it when she's a teenager lol.

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Wow, I have this problem too. I was a pretty independent kid so I'm kind of used to spending time alone, but I really wish I had more friends at uni than I do. I've always been shy, though no one here sees me that way because I tried hard to be friendly when I started last year. I have made no friends whatsoever on my course, and consequently my attendance has been pretty poor - because it's kind of depressing turning up to a lecture and sitting alone whilst everyone else is in their own groups. (Ironically, I think if I'd bothered to turn up more a few months ago, instead of skipping, I think I probably would've made friends by now.) I'm close to my housemates, but obviously they have their own friends! With whom I get on really well - I can get on with most people, it's just bridging that gap, which sounds like the problem you have too.

 

I have a boyfriend here too. He probably sees how well I get on with his friends and assumes I'm like that with people on my course, when it's not like that at all. I feel utterly despondent and pathetic about it sometimes, like what's wrong with me? I can get on with people, be friendly, make a good impression, but it's not enough to make a friend. I went with my boyfriend the other day when he was collecting his results for a project, and he spoke to pretty much everyone he walked past on his course!

 

Although we're in different countries, I believe English (I do English Language & Linguistics) isn't the best course for making friends, as the work is generally indepedent and individual-based, whereas a lot of people I know do courses that involve studio/lab work in groups, and field trips, so it's easier to make friends.

 

Anyway, I wasn't trying to make this thread about me or anything, I just want you to know I understand how you feel, and maybe this'll make you feel less alone. I'm going to try and get cognitive behavioural therapy for this - I have read so much self-help on the matter, and it helps a little but you need to keep re-reading for reinforcement.

 

Good luck

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I think I have the same problem as you do chaosa, "This is weird. My therapist and I discussed this a lot in my session yesterday. I have the same problem, I can't seem to make any friends and my problem is that I have trust issues. I hate to get close to people because I just KNOW they will hurt me eventually."

 

 

This has happened much more with my female friends than it ever did with my male friends... That's really why i do not like having female friends, cuz they always end up stabbing me in the back for no reason at all.

 

That's not to say I've not had good female friends in the past.. just not lately, that's all...

 

Well, getting into a club.. is a good idea.. but you have to choose the right club. Oftentimes.. people in clubs don't need new friends.. but I guess you gotta start somewhere. I am thinking I should join one where it involves one of my hobbies...

 

I have lots of hobbies.. mostly i've been concentrating on music.. as it's one of my favorite but they are often so cliquey, the music groups I have been to lately, it's just wasting my time and gas to go there..

Time to start something else..

You know what I've heard though? is that success comes about as a series of failures.. You just gotta dust yourself off, after not being successful in one venue and try a different one.

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Importance of having Honest Friends...
Importance of having Honest Friends in Your Life

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