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I Have No Friends – A Guide On How to Make Friends 


How to Make Friends as an AdultBy: Katie Lister

May 21, 2024

I have no friends. I do not have a social life. Why do I have a hard time making friends? How can I make and keep best friends that are not my co-workers? I feel like no one likes me. Do any of these statements or questions resonate with your current situation? If you are looking for a guide to better understand friendships in adulthood and how to make friends as an adult, this article is for you. 

Hi, my name is Katie Lister. I am a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. I lead personal development groups and coach women to live their best lives authentically. Growth Gals provides a safe space for women to connect with like-minded individuals, learn, and support one another, even as they make meaningful friendships.

A big part of my work in these support groups involves creating safe spaces where women feel free to discuss various topics related to everyday issues that affect the everyday lives of women, such as mental health, emotional intelligence, finding your life’s purpose, personal development, and navigating relationships, including maintaining adult friendships.

In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about making adult friendships and why they are necessary.   

Table of Contents

Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

The Dangers of Having No Friends

Isolation is a pandemic among lots of people. With isolation comes loneliness. Naturally, humans are hard-wired to be social beings who thrive in social setups. Regardless of your reason for not having friends, science has continually proven that having no friends is bad for your health

While loneliness may not seem like a bad thing or may seem like a trivial subject or a childish need, it is something adults need to take seriously. According to studies, loneliness and isolation from a lack of friendship or social circle increase the risk of multiple health conditions. These include dementia, heart attacks, stroke, mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, and even premature death. 

Mental health experts and psychiatry professionals continually emphasize the need for people to surround themselves with friends for good mental health. Most suicide cases are attributed to loneliness and isolation. Therefore, having good friends around you is necessary for healthy living. 

I Have No Friends – Why So Many Adults Have No Friends 

When the reality of ‘I have no friends’ and ‘I need a friend‘ finally hits you, it is easy to think and feel that the situation is unique to you and that something is wrong with you. However, having no friends is more common than you think. 

According to research, many adults live in isolation and loneliness, even from their family members. This is highly attributed to the ever-increasing demands of life. From working long hours to make ends meet to caring for a family and aging parents, most adults have little to no time left to cater to their own individual needs, let alone nurture friendships. 

According to a 2021 survey of more than 2000 American adults, at least 12% reported having no friends. This number has risen from a 3% record in the 1990s. This is not just an American problem. In the UK, the number of young adults with one or no close friends has shot up to 20% in 2021 from 7% recorded in 2012.

So what attributes to the steady decline in adult friendships? Some of the most common causes include:

Failing to prioritize the need for friendships in your life 

Most people have no friends because having friends or being part of a friend group has never been a priority their entire lives. While some people have friendships since their high school days, others have continually lost friends along the way, mainly because they failed to put in the work required to maintain their friendships. This is primarily blamed on busy and demanding everyday life. 

Not finding like-minded people 

Some people are lonely because they find it hard to meet people they have shared interests with. When you are in an environment where you don’t seem to fit in with the social setup, it is normal to feel like an outlier and isolate yourself. 

Moving to a new city

Other people are lonely because they find it hard to make new friendships after moving to a new city or town. This is especially common among people who move regularly for work or other life demands that make it hard to keep old friends around. Making and maintaining friends every time you move can be draining and demanding, forcing more people to live in isolation. 

Being a caregiver 

If you are a caregiver to a loved one, you may have less time to think about mingling with friends or meeting up for random coffee dates. Caregivers’ lives are demanding and often very isolating. 

Relationship breakdown or divorce

It is common to have mutual friendships with a partner when you are in a relationship or married. If you met your only friends through your significant other and the relationship ends, it is expected that these friends will choose sides. Sometimes, this leaves one party without friends.  


Long-term chronic illness can also make a big difference in one’s ability to make or maintain friendships. This especially affects people who had no strong friendships before an illness. Having a solid network of friends during a challenging period can help make things easier. 

Other factors that make it hard for adults to make or maintain friendships include:

  • Social anxiety
  • Shyness over meeting people for the first time
  • Enjoying your own company more than that of others
  • Mental health issues
  • Lack of shared interest with others
  • Not knowing where to look or find friends 

I Have No Friends – How to Make Friends and Keep Them 

Do not be afraid to meet new people 

The first step towards making friends is opening up to meeting new people and possible friendships. Try to get to know people and introduce yourself whenever you are in a social setup. You can increase your chances of meeting new people by joining online social media platforms, local sports or social clubs, and even public social events. 

Don’t be afraid of rejection

A lot of times, the fear of rejection keeps many people from putting themselves out there and increasing their chances of making friends. When trying to create a circle of friends, remember that some connections will work out and develop into good friendships while others will not. Just because interests don’t turn into friendships does not mean you failed at your social life; it just means that maybe they were not your tribe.

Find people with shared interests 

One way to make lasting friendships is to frequent places that increase the chances of meeting a group of friends with similar interests. Think about your hobbies and the things you like to do, then find clubs or spaces offering these activities. Here, you will meet people with shared interests, which makes fostering friendships easier. 

Work on your well-being

Even as you work on building your social circle of female friends, you need to ensure you are working to become the kind of person people want to be friends with. Some things you can do to improve your ability to be a good friend include working on your crippling social anxiety, improving poor social skills, improving your self-esteem, channeling positivity in your everyday life, working on your body language to become more approachable, or improving poor communication skills. This way, you will attract people with similar values, which is often a good foundation for great friendships.

What are the benefits of having a friendship of women? Find out here. 

Meeting New People and Maintaining Friendships

Part of putting yourself out there involves knowing where to find social situations that make it easier to meet potential friends. Some excellent ideas include:

Attending clubs or organizations’ meetings for small talk: Most social clubs have open house sessions to allow potential members to join and learn more about the club. 

Joining online groups and platforms: If you are an introvert and prefer to avoid meeting people in person, there are multiple online platforms and social media groups you can join to meet new people. It is possible to meet people online and make lasting connections. Most people also meet friends on video games websites.

Going out more: Frequenting social events like art exhibitions, local parks, your local fitness center, or even restaurants can also present opportunities to meet new people. 

Once you have made a few friends, it is important to actively participate in making the friendship work. Some ways to keep a potential true friend in your life includes:

  • Scheduling dates and meetups to get together
  • Regular check-ins with your friends
  • Being a good friend 
  • Staying in touch 

How Growth Gals Can Help You Make and Maintain Friendships 

Our aim at Growth Gals is to provide a safe space where women can come together and get the support they need as they navigate different life seasons. We also strive to inspire women to reach their full potential as we create positive change. We support women with the resources to discover their true selves and expand their knowledge base on various issues, such as navigating relationships and making and keeping adult friendships. 

Subscribe to the Growth Gals newsletter to access trending news, resources, and helpful guides for women and learn more about how we can support you.

The Bottom Line

You need not be a social butterfly to make and maintain friendships. This guide provides all the tips you need to get out of your comfort zone and make new friends. Joining an all-girls support forum like Growth Gals increases your chances of making friends with similar interests while you access helpful resources for self-development.

-I Have No Friends-GG
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