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What to Do When You Have No Friends – A Guide

How to Make Friends as an Adult | By: Katie Lister

April 28, 2024

Is it okay if you have no friends? What are the mental health effects of having no friends? How can I make more friends and stop being a loner? I have no friends, is it ok to want to have no friends? If you are looking for answers to these and related questions about what to do when you have no friends, 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 offer support to one another.

Growth Gals provides safe spaces where women feel free to discuss various topics related to everyday issues relatable to women. These include mental health, emotional intelligence, finding one’s life’s purpose, personal development, and navigating complex relationships, including friendship. In this article, I will highlight what to do when you have no friends.

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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

Why Some People Have No Friends

Why don’t I have friends? Is there something wrong with me? When you have no friends, it is easy to think this issue is unique to only you, especially in this social media era where friendships goals and meetups are highly glorified. However, it isn’t. It is not uncommon to be an adult with no good friends or no friends at all. Today, Americans are far lonelier than they were two decades ago. In 1990, a third of participants in a survey said that they had ten or more friends in their circles. In 2021, a survey showed that only 13% of Americans have more than 10 friendships they consider close. In the same study, at least 27% of adults have no close friends.

While having no friends or bff is not necessarily a bad thing, mental health and lifestyle experts have found that friendships are a fundamental human need for good mental and physical health. Having friendships impacts overall health, self-esteem and well-being. Loneliness from a lack of friends is a leading cause of suicide and mental health issues like depression due to the lack of emotional support.

Despite these statistics, most people still prefer to remain in their comfort zone and go through life alone with no adult friends. Some of the reasons promoting a lack of friendships in adulthood include:

Failing to prioritize friendships

A lot of people do not have friends because they do not see it as a priority in their lives. They see it as one more thing they need to do since friendships require time and effort to maintain.

Failing to meet enough like-minded individuals

Some people have no friends because they have yet to meet people they connect with. Most people go through life feeling as though they don’t fit in their environment, which significantly hinders them from exploring opportunities to meet friends. When they fail to find the people or types of friends they feel they need, they resort to isolation and live life alone.

Losing friends

As you grow older, it is more common than you think to lose touch with your old friends from childhood as you all get busy with your lives, even those you made in high school or college with whom you shared years old friendships. When this happens, most people find it hard to move on and make new friendships because no one measures up to the level of friendship they had with their former friends. For most people, leading a loner’s life is easier than trying to meet and get to know new people.

What to Do-When You Have No Friends

Social anxiety

Living with social anxiety can significantly hinder any progress you make toward meeting people and creating a reliable social circle. Social anxiety can be paralyzing in social situations, making it impossible to take part in things that make you happy and allow you to connect with anyone who is not a family member.

You do not know where to look

Most people have excellent social skills but live in social isolation because they don’t know where to find like-minded people for social connections. This is especially common for people who move around a lot or recently moved to a new city or state. It may take a while to know where to go or which apps to use to meet people, and most people find the idea of trying to make new friends tasking and, therefore, just end up living life alone.

Regardless of your reasons for not having friends as an adult, here is what to do when you have no friends.

Introverted lifestyle

Some people, especially introverts, prefer to be alone rather than in a group of friends or engaging in small talk. While loners may feel like they need to make at least one best friend and be more social, they have no problem being alone and spending time alone.

What to Do When You Have No Friends and Want Them

If you are lonely with no friends and want to learn how to make friends, some of the steps you can take to meet new people include:

Don’t be afraid to meet new people: If you want to make friends and feel less lonely, you need to find the courage to actually go out and find people in real life. Make an effort to introduce yourself in social settings and interact with people whenever possible. This can be anywhere: in the grocery store, in a library, in your local gym, or in your neighborhood.

Find people with similar interests: The best foundation for real friends is having things in common. If you like reading books, you can find a local book club to meet people with the same interests in your area. Finding clubs and events for activities you are interested in will increase your chances of meeting people you naturally connect with.

Be proactive in turning acquaintances into friends: Once you know where to meet people you can possibly be friends with, be proactive in turning acquaintances into friends. Taking the time to check in on them, inviting them out for lunch, or simply engaging them in conversation whenever you meet is a good way to build up a friendship.

Learn more on how to be a better friend here. 

What to Do When You Have No Friends and Do Not Want Them

Being alone is not the same as being lonely. Some people thrive alone due to unsociability and not necessarily fear of rejection or shyness. It is possible to experience personal growth as a loner. Research has shown that solitude promotes creativity by boosting your imagination.

What to Do-When You Have No Friends-

Solitude can also help you see things clearly. Spending time with other people eventually influences your behavior as your mood and actions subconsciously change to mirror the behavior of the people around you. Being a loner allows you to show up as your authentic self without external influences.

If you are one of those people who are okay with having no friends, or you lead a life that does not allow you to make or keep friends, there are some things you can do to keep loneliness at bay and go on to have an active social life even with no friends.

Find fun things to do alone: You can always find something interesting regardless of where you are. Search online directories or websites to learn more about the city you live in and find new hobbies you may be interested in. Simple things such as visiting museums, going out for nature walks and drives, or going out to watch a movie by yourself can go a long way toward making you feel less lonely.

Signs up for a learning experience: One of the best ways to keep your mind active is by growing your knowledge. As a loner, spending your free time learning something new is an excellent way of keeping yourself busy and fighting loneliness. You can take art classes, learn how to play chess, learn another language, learn how to swim or dive, or even take dancing classes.

Volunteer your time: You can also choose to spend your free time volunteering. You can find a course you are passionate about in your local area and volunteer your time there.

When you have no friends, it helps to ensure you spend most of your time engaging in social circles, even those that do not involve making friends or meeting new people. Volunteering your time, learning new skills and finding fun things to do alone can protect you from loneliness.

How Growth Gals Can Help You Thrive Even With No Friends

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, making friends or thriving in solitude. 

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 as you learn more about what to do when you have no friends. 

The Bottom Line

Just because you have no friends does not mean something is wrong with you. If you want to meet new people, make new friends, and feel less lonely, this article has tips for making new friends. You can access more resources on the Growth Gals website on navigating friendships.

What to Do-When You Have No Friends-GG
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