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Dear Stavroula

Dear Stavroula: I Don’t Have Friends

November 25, 2023

Dear Stavroula,

I study at university, I go out, I talk to a lot of people, I communicate with a lot of people on social media, but I don’t have any friends. And that’s my problem.
Wherever I am, I feel like I can’t communicate with anyone. I think the others are broadcasting on a different wavelength. I find conversations boring. I don’t have fun anymore either when I go out or at get-togethers at home and this leads me to despair. Every time I’ve tried to talk to someone in my group about something more substantial than what we’re going to wear when we go out, or who’s dating who, I’ve felt like there’s no point of contact. I can’t figure out what’s wrong with me. I feel very lonely and I don’t know what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

M.

Dear M,

All people desire to have friends and social relations and it seems that for many this is one of the essential pursuits in life. In fact, when you don’t have friends, you often feel that you are lagging behind, and this undermines your self-esteem or self-confidence, as it is experienced as a personal failure, especially when others seem to be surrounded by people and are popular.

But how easy is it for a person with interests and sensibilities, for someone who is honest with himself and others, to have friends in a world dominated by superficial relationships and false images of bliss in the virtual world of social media?

Something like this may be happening in your case as well. Maybe the problem after all is not you but the others around you. In this case, you have already taken the first step to improve your social life. You have realized that the people you associate with do not share common interests with you, do not understand you, and their company does not satisfy you. So something has to change.

The next step is to look for subjective and objective reasons that prevent you from making friends.

It may be that the circle of people you socialize with is small, either because it is limited to a certain place, or because there are objective difficulties, for example you are studying and working so that you have limited time for social contact.

In this case you should look for ways to approach people who have common interests with you. Maybe there are some clubs for activities that interest you, some online groups, some classes and organizations.

But if what’s stopping you from having friends is an internal barrier, such as feeling “I’m not good enough,” low self-esteem, low tolerance for disappointment, social phobia, feeling like no one is good enough to connect with, and anything to do with the way one thinks and feels, it would help greatly to seek the help of an expert first. He could help you understand what your own role is in your relationship with other people and what is preventing you from creating meaningful, honest friendships.

Friendship is a concept that everyone perceives in a different way. Extroverted types of people can more easily connect with people, spend time with them, and have a good time, even when they feel that they do not have much in common with them.

The more introverted types look for people with whom they can communicate deeply, confide in a difficult moment, share thoughts and feelings. It does not mean that they are lacking in anything from the previous group. They just have a different perception of things.

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