Humans are a social species. Sometimes, we want to share good or bad news with someone; we want to laugh, talk or get some support. These are the moments where a person can realize – ‘I have no friends.’
Whether this has been the case your entire life or whether it is a recent occurrence, it can undoubtedly be a very upsetting thought to deal with.
Not having friends is much more serious than the occasional thought of “I don’t have anyone to hang out with on Friday night.” Not only that you feel lonely, but it can also be damaging to your self-esteem and confidence.
We have been there, and to be honest – It’s really hard.
The good news is – it doesn’t have to be that way!
In reality, true friendships are built on mutual respect, social skills, and empathy. With that thought in mind, it is possible that you may be making several mistakes.
Let’s face them and make some changes!
Mistake #1 – You Rarely (If Ever) Listen to Your Friends
Imagine communication as a ball toss. It is a two-way process. You can’t throw the ball at someone and expect him to want to play with you again. You cannot ramble on about yourself and your day, expect your friend to listen, and not do the same yourself.
This situation is extremely common in long-term friendships. Perhaps you may be so used to the person listening to you that you never think twice about focusing the entire conversation on yourself.
You might constantly interrupt and steer the subject back to you and your problems whenever your friend starts their story. This may be a sign of socially inept behavior.
Perhaps you may not be doing this on purpose. For instance, you may be giving your view to assure your friend that you can empathize with them. However, good communication requires active listening. You must be attentive, ask relevant questions, and make sure they know you are listening to them. Stephen R. Covey said:
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Do not make this mistake. Try to learn new things through people’s stories. Real conversations are not happening if you pretend to be listening.
Mistake #2 – You Take More Than You Give
The reason you think you have no friends may be that you take more than you give. This mistake is a common occurrence in many relationships – whether friendly or romantic.
Although you may not consciously be doing this, people will know that what you are doing isn’t right. You may be taking advantage of your friends without realizing it.
This also plays hand in hand with the previous point. If you unload your burdens onto your friends completely and refuse to do the same for them, the friendship will likely get strained. People may brand you as selfish, which may prevent you from forming new, or maintain old friendships.
Mistake #3 – You Don’t Try To Stay In Touch
As stated earlier, communication is a two-way process. A friendship that is surviving on only the other party putting in all the effort will never thrive.
You may have waited for people to call you to meet up and catch up rather than putting in the effort to reach out first.
You may also bring up excuses such as being too busy to call or the message you have opened and forgotten to answer later.
If friends are putting in the effort to reach out to you, surely you can take a bit of time out of your day to reciprocate. If they are not – try to be the first one to call. You will get the feeling if they want to be friends and work on your relationship.
Mistake #4 – You Are Not In Tune With Your Emotions
Being vulnerable can be extremely daunting for many people – particularly if they have been hurt in the past. It is possible that you may not show vulnerability to your friends because your previous acquaintances have taken advantage of that side.
However, human beings are social creatures. They feel most connected to each other based on emotional experiences.
If you are not in tune with your emotions, you may seem distant and detached from your friends. If you do not allow them to be there for you, and if you do not trust them with your vulnerability, then it is no surprise that they may decide to move on.
Mistake #5 – You Are Superficial
Nobody wants to be friends with a person who is constantly comparing themselves with you.
Be it a career, business, clothes, income, cars, partners, you may be guilty of comparing what they have with what you do. Although it is a natural phenomenon, after a certain extent, it becomes unhealthy.
Constantly comparing yourself and bringing yourself down will not make anybody comfortable around you. Eventually, your friends may decide that they do not want somebody around who focuses so much on material things and brings themselves down all the time.
Mistake #6 – You Never Apologize
Apologizing seems to be an activity that people hardly engage in. For some reason, apologizing is always paired with shame and anger.
If you need to apologize, that means that you were wrong, and you should never, ever be wrong. Right?
Because of this, you may not apologize even if you seriously hurt your friends. People will only ignore that for so long.
You may have apologized to get the issue over with. However, it means nothing if you are not truly sorry.
Mistake #7 – You Miss Social Cues
This mistake goes together with social awkwardness. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, aggressive body language, missing social signals; all these factors play into this kind of behavior.
We have put together a great guide on how to stop being socially awkward. Make sure to check it out for further reading!
Awkwardness makes people uncomfortable. The fact that you don’t do anything about it is something they do not like.
Perhaps, at times, you may have embarrassed or insulted them by saying or doing something out of line.
Nobody is judging you if you lack social skills at the moment, as long as you are trying to improve. We all have to start somewhere, after all. However, missing out on crucial social cues may be costing you long-lasting friendships, so it might be better if you took the time to work on it.
With these mistakes in mind, you can identify which ones you relate to and which ones are the reasons you feel like you have no friends.
The first step is becoming aware. As you become aware of these mistakes, you can take the next step to overcome and avoid them for future interactions and friendships.