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I have difficulty making friends

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This sucks. I never expected to have this problem growing up. But I did.


I feel like my friendship making/understanding skills have been delayed for so long. I wonder if I will ever catch up. I wonder if I will ever be "normal" like other people. I wonder if I will be able to have normal friendships and to connect with others normally.


At first, the problem wasn't me. I used to think I didn't have any friends because of my social skills. But then I talk pretty normal, sound pretty normal....I think I am pretty normal. Except I am smart but then I am not particularly nerdy or introverted or anything.


It all started when I got bullied. I withdrew for a number of years. People labeled me with unwanted labels and reputations. I didn't deserve that. The problem wasn't me. Kids can be so cruel and it hurt a lot.


I developed trust issues. I became shyer from being told to shut up and being told I was boring, uninteresting, fobby, any number of names etc. I began to withdraw more to protect myself, I became more unfriendly to protect myself from rejection and hurt. It became harder for me to see who I could trust and who I couldn't trust. Then the teen and young adult years cast their own problems which intertwined with socializing. It became harder to meet friends out of school and when you don't have a group to introduce you around. I became more and more uncomfortable around people automatically. I would start to stammer and stutter when I never did so before. I would cast myself automatically as a reject, outcase, I would act like I didn't belong and didn't fit in.


I had started to OUTCAST my ownself. To victimize and put myself down before anyone else did. I was doing this internally without realizing it. After many many years, I had begun to do to myself, what was done to me. I was self-destructive. I was bitter, angry and blind. I did not understand what had happened. I had trouble saying the word "friend". I did not consider anyone a friend. I could not trust a person's intentions. I glossed over words like "friendship", "bond", "fun" because they were too painful and I told myself they didn't apply to me.


The situation got to where I couldn't bond with anyone. The problem had become me. My internal issues became more and more significant. I was attracted to bad people. I surrounded myself with harmful and dangerous people who hurt me and hurt my trust even more and abused and used me.

Even around people who might have been accepting or open or friendly, I was now a closed book. I had become someone I never set out to be. But it had happened.


Right now....I'm learning to heal. Learning to take small steps. Learning to observe people. It has been a long road. I have difficulty making friends. I don't have difficulty making contact or making acquaintances but I can't seem to take it farther than that. I have the most difficulty with people who don't need my help, with people who are put together, smart, successful, pretty, well-groomed. I think they remind me of the "popular" kids at school who hurt me so long ago. I felt like I never grew out of that. Like I am still stuck in high school years and high school world as an adult. It's been painful but I'm ready to talk about it and share. That is a first step.


To say what I couldn't say before. To face what I was in denial of. To be honest with myself about my troubles. To accept and to learn and overcome.


If you have come through similar circumstances, feel free to share your experiences with me.


I think people think this couldn't happen to them. I beg to differ. What happened to me could happen to anyone. I was perfectly normal as a young child, fun, engaging, interesting, I reached out to people. It was only after being bullied, teased, labeled, stigmatized, beat down, hurt, and rejected over and over, going to school in the wrong environments that I became like this. Overtime I developed behaviors and attitudes that led me down this path because I was even aware of conscious of it. I think this could happen to anyone.

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Making friends involves trusting, nuturing and thinking about others.

Forget about your issues, look at theirs. Others are hurting too, and if you support and encourage them, you make friends that matter.


Introspection is fine up to a point, but look around. Even those "together" people are faking it to some degree, and have fears like yours. Some folks may think you're living large and have it all worked out.


Lots of people go through bad times, but being able to bounce back is priceless.

I don't mean your fears are groundless at all. They just aren't helping you.

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It really goes beyond that. By nature I would say that I am a kind, caring, nurturing, warm, loving person. I like to have fun and I like interesting things. I also value people. But no more taking care of people who need help. No no no.


I have been used many times. I have been manipulated and deceived by so-called friends who knew that I am a nice and good person and who used that to their advantage. I am tired of being used for money, for sex, for schoolwork, for laundry, for grades, for someone to listen to for problems ETC. I am tried of people who bail on me the second they get what they want or they second that I might possibly need or want something.


No. No. No. I may have difficulty making real friends but I have no difficulty making enemies and attracting losers. They seem to be as plentiful as weeds.


My problem goes beyond that.

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I have never had a close friend that I have hung around with since I was 21. Even he wasn't much of a friend. Sure we hung around, had the same interests, but then he got into drugs, stealing and being a bad * * * and I wasn't into that. After that, the only close friends I have are the women I date. It's not the same really. When a relationship ends, I really have no one to talk to about it (thats why I joined here). I admit it would be so nice to have close friends to be with and do stuff with, but where do you find them? It's not like there is ads in the paper for friends or on the net... I dunno, maybe there is.

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My mother used to call that taking in sick birds.

You can't help people who won't help themselves.

It's a balancing act.


A friendship is a transaction of sorts. You need to help each other.

Maybe you don't feel worthy of good friends. Only you can know.

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Well, you're not the only one. I don't have any close friends right now either. I find it to be very ironic because I like to be close to others and I am usually very close to people or distant to them. I find it ironic that I have no one to really talk to when I love to talk. I find it ironic that I have so many interests and hobbies and yet I do not know people that share these interests. I find it ironic that I am social and loving and fun yet I do not have good friends.


I have heard many platitudes such as "In order to have a friend, be a good friend." That is just ironic because I am a pretty good friend and person to others in general. Not because I have to but because that is who I am and how I was brought up. But I am tired of listening to baloney. I have been lied to, used, manipulated, mistreated, treated like trash too much.


I find it ironic that I love to talk on the phone and I have good values yet I have been treated the way I have. Sometimes I wonder if the universe is trying to put me through an ordeal. Of course, part of the reason why I have NO friends was because I was in a viciously abusive relationship for 6-7+ years. He strove to keep me isolated and to cut off my ties with everyone, including my own family. Typical abuser, that is a big reason why I am alone today. It is not easy to heal from crazy abusive isolating men. Crap. This sucks.


Not to say I am unhappy or anything but life could be a lot richer with real friends.


I deserve to have good friends. I deserve to be an alpha not a beta, gamma, pi, zeta etc. I am the bird.....I'm a bird who's had her wings stomped on and broken and who is still trying to fly.


But then, a BIG part of me does not think I am ready to have any friends. I tend to destroy relationships, I have some big barriers to letting anyone close, I have trust issues, I cannot trust. Most of the time, I have an urge to be alone and to withdraw. I do not like to go out these days. I am not completely ready but I do not know why. I do not understand this.

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I feel you do not want to be this way anymore. You are a good person, you know this, and have stated this several times.


You know the types you want to stay away from now. You know what types of people you want to make friends with... Not everyone is cruel and want to use you.


I used to be bullied in elementary school and all, I got jacked around because I was 'too nice' doormat type person. Once I got to highschool, people 'grew up' a bit or something, didn't get ridiculed as much and a group of people kinda took me in and I was in a circle of friends. But some people still used me for homework and stuff (a bit of a dork myself), but later I grew a bit of a spine and kept those people who wanted to use me at a distance. Be kind, but don't let yourself get jacked around.


Trust builds slowly and in little steps.

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Hmmm. Interesting. I think about this too, because although I was also bullied, once I got out of that environment and into one where people were more accepting, I felt very loved, and was overrun with friends. Sometimes the problem really isn't us; sometimes, it really is them.


However, from what I've read of your postings, do you think it's possible that the place where you're breaking down isn't in your own self-esteem, it's in what you think they'll think of you? In which case, is it possible that a course in self-assertiveness might help? Surprisingly, for people who been abused and bullied, this often does more good than would seem likely. I hope you'll consider it, anyway. I'm going to be taking one myself asap, because I've started to notice that I too can't be friends with someone unless I'm "paying my way" in some fashion, and lately I can't even take a compliment.

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similar problem here. i do have friends, but only a few. i've problems with trust too. i feel like i should hang around them little more to entrust them with my problems. in elementary, i was literally stepped on cause i was the nicey person, couldnt speak much english, helpless. but quick learner i am. i grew more assertive by 5th grade. because back then a 3rd grade friend pushed me around. then some stupid kids made fun of my race, asian. i learned to be real wary, why i'm shy and hating it. i'm on the road of being louder.......


now in 9th and im still not that expressive around other people. so many subculture type thing going on. afraid of other's opinions. afraid of what they might think if i randomly bring up a subject. people probably know me as a quiet boring person on the surface, only my close friends and few other friends know my real personality.


i have major trouble starting a convo with someone, cause what if they thought i was weird, all of a sudden starting up a convo with them. what am i supposed to talk about that'd interest the other peer? how will they react? i'm empty of ideas

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I too seem to have difficulty making new friends. Right now I have two fairly close friends that I've known for well over 10 years and a couple other semi friends that I cannot share real personal feelings with. Other than that I have a tough time connecting with most everyone around me.


It's not that I don't try, because I do, BUT at my age of 37, I find that most female friends are busy with children and family. I do not have children so that bond isn't there. Single friends are hard to come by at this age but I do have one that I am close to (however that may be changing as she's heavily involved with her bf).


My interests are somewhat different from 'normal females' I don't do crafts, don't raise kids, don't scrapbook and am not involved wtih church.

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I have trouble too, similar to you, bleeding. I have been bullied and then had an abusive relationship. I think I am a decent person, yet I cannot seem to make or keep friends.


I was born with a disability, deafness, and growing up in school was hell. I tried so hard to try make friends, and every one of them either moved away or found "better" friends who were higher up in the social pecking order. Many of the latter turned into bullies too.


By the time I reached high school, I had completely given up. Nothing I did to try fit in worked, and it only resulted in more bullying, more betrayals and more pain. So I withdrew and didn't try make friends anymore.


These days I am so good at lip-reading that most casual aquantances don't realize I am deaf, and those who know it forget it easily. However, I feel like I am lacking something, some ability to have a social relationship. These days I try so hard to be friendly even though I am very shy and find it hard. I still find it very hard in parties or gatherings because I can only hear/focus on one person at a time and I quickly get lost. I end up either just nodding and understanding and contributing nothing or getting excluded from the groups and looking standoffish.


It never seems to be easy for some reason. I only had it easy once when I met my ex. Conversations just flowed and we had a great time. It was so easy and I felt so happy and confident. I ended up marrying him, and then he decided I wasn't good enough for him. He used all the love and trust I had for him to make my life hell with emotional abuse until I finally left. Sometimes I feel like I have been punished for thinking I could finally have a relationship.


The few shallow friendships I do make seem to fade so easily. I thought I had some friends but they kinda vanished. I had a small group on a messageboard I thought were friends, but they're starting to razz me more and more often and I am feeling discouraged. What am I doing wrong? I don't think I am being needy or too independent. I am being myself and open and honest. Does that mean I am not a good person to spend time with or something? Or am I just boring?

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