Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

lisa2712

The Dangers of Not Having Any Friends (Long-Term)

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I haven't had any friends since I was about 11, and I'm 32 now. Now, I try to make friends at my volunteer jobs, but people just ignore me, and it doesn't happen. I think that there's danger for someone who doesn't have any friends long-term (I mean 5 plus years of not having a friend, besides a family member). Yes, I have my mom and dad to talk with, but it isn't the same thing as having a friend who's around my age.

When I was a teen without friends, I turned to music for comfort and happiness. I used to totally fantasize about , idolize,  and adore singers and bands and any decent-looking male in the public eye.

I read that having friends to laugh with and have fun with is like a "pressure cooker" (is that the right word?), in that friends are like the holes in something that lets hot steam out, and without those "holes/friends" I can only imagine that a person would not be healthy and "normal" and would have tons of problems, which is what I am like. One guy said he'd go crazy if he didn't have any friends to blow steam off with. So, I wonder what not having friends has done to me. I can understand if many celebrity stalkers are people who chronically lack friends and/or have trouble making them, because this lack can lead to people worshiping, fantasizing about, and idolizing people who are in the public eye and who are attractive and popular.

Now, I try to make friends at volunteer jobs, but I'm totally ignored and left out, like I'm invisible.

Thanks,

Shana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Shana.

When I went into a major spiral it was astonishing how spending half a day with friends I had not seen in years was.  I would also say that I didn't realize there were friends around until I landed in a hospital and one of them found out and contacted some people who were sort of in stealth mode.  Another very positive thing.  Maybe like me you have people who your not staying in touch with that would surprise you by being a friend (in need is a friend indeed) *And no one more surprised then me.   Its great to have parents around.  I really really miss mine.   I found myself getting a LOT closer to my siblings who I wasn't particularly close to (Big age difference) and they also had the family house stuff.   Finding people with similar interests is a good way to make connections.  Music fan stuff I wasn't into until just a while ago.  I joined (Don't laugh) a Fan Club where you get a T-Shirt and a card and apatch to put on your hat and...   I went to a concert and was greeted by two people (In a huge crowd) who had the same shirt and wanted to ask "Whats your favorite song?  How many concerts have you been to?  Whats your name?  Lets email each other"  Ok  I WISH I had done the lets email each other.  I'm a little shy but I can totally see hanging out with people who are big fans.   Anyway - hope this is of some minor help.

32 is an age where (I think) a lot of people in my life were "busy" with husbands wives kids, houses and other stuff.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry you are having a hard time making friends.  I haven't had any friends IRL for years that are my age (since college in 1995).  But I'm fine with it; I actually do not want friends at this time because I'd have to talk to them, go places with them, etc.  And a lot of times I just don't have it in me to do all that. I kind of need them at my convenience, which is not the way a friendship works (IMO).

Do you want friends because you feel like you *should* have friends at your age, or do you want them because you want them?  I think some people want them just because they think it is normal to have them.  With me, I don't care what is normal or not.  Friends would stress me out because of the responsibility of having them.  I like being on my own.

I have also read in places how not having friends/spouse can shorten your lifespan (Sorry, I read this somewhere but don't remember where).  I don't believe that because I know for me the stress in and of itself would shorten my life.  I am happy alone.  I think some people need them, others don't.

I agree with HAL9000 about 32 being an age where most likely a lot of people are busy with spouses, houses, kids, etc

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you'd have better luck finding friends in after-work activities like at http://meetup.com

Yeah, I should probably try meetup. I haven't gone to one yet.

I'm sorry you are having a hard time making friends.  I haven't had any friends IRL for years that are my age (since college in 1995).  But I'm fine with it; I actually do not want friends at this time because I'd have to talk to them, go places with them, etc.  And a lot of times I just don't have it in me to do all that. I kind of need them at my convenience, which is not the way a friendship works (IMO).

Do you want friends because you feel like you *should* have friends at your age, or do you want them because you want them?  I think some people want them just because they think it is normal to have them.  With me, I don't care what is normal or not.  Friends would stress me out because of the responsibility of having them.  I like being on my own.

I have also read in places how not having friends/spouse can shorten your lifespan (Sorry, I read this somewhere but don't remember where).  I don't believe that because I know for me the stress in and of itself would shorten my life.  I am happy alone.  I think some people need them, others don't.

I agree with HAL9000 about 32 being an age where most likely a lot of people are busy with spouses, houses, kids, etc

It's nice to know that I'm not alone, and that there are other people out there who haven't had friends in many years, and who are ok with it.

I look at my life, and it's been a struggle since I was a pre-teen (when I stopped trying to make friends and pretty much decided I would learn to be ok without friends). I think that this struggle I've had in life is because I haven't had any friends in 20 years, while it seems everyone else has friends. The only people I know of who don't really have friends are my parents, and I think this has happened because they feel bad for me. And then, when I go on volunteer jobs (before I was at the SPCA for 4 months , now I'm at a food pantry), and I'm around 4-5 other people, people ignore me, like I'm invisible. I try to talk to people, but it doesn't work out. BTW the people I volunteer(ed) with are almost all seniors (age 65 plus).

I don't know what's "normal," but I have had problems coping with life and living life "normally" for many years, and I have it in my mind that if I had a friend, my life would get easier.

I don't remember what it's like having a friend, as I haven't had one in so long.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kinda wish to be in your shoes now. I got some friends that I wish I've never met honestly.

Sorry to hear that. Yeah, I guess some friends can be bad influences.

Is this the same information you have asked for in this topic in the link below?

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php?/topic/75155-is-it-ok-to-not-have-any-friends/

Yes, it is pretty much the same topic. Sorry if I'm repeating myself. But I added in new info, such as trying to talk to people at volunteer jobs I had, and both times getting the same response from people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I talked to my tdoc about this. He said that we're social creatures and we need socialization. Too much socialization can be overwhelming.

Usually I like to go to a clubhouse to meet people a few times per month. I prefer to meet my close friends a few times per month. Once every 2 weeks is fine too.

For me, there is something as too much socialization.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisa, I startesd volunteer work, and it hasn't led me to making new friemds. It does give more to talk about with people I already knpw, like folks at work and my relatives. Sounds like you really only tried to start conversations twice. Keep trying, and maybe add a new group to your routine. I help an animal shelter and while most of the regular volunteers are older, there are all ages, from kids to college age and up.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the people that came out of the woodwork when I was in the hospital were people I lived with during school and probably would have said then that they were friends but I really REALLY didn't need to have so much time with them.  So its like years but when we connect up there is this "connection" that clicks in and of course its different when your not living in the same house and getting on each others nerves.  Kind of weird.  Really unexpected.  

Quote (since college in 1995).  Ahhh...  well the music / fan club stuff I mentioned.  was a  band that was huge then.   Weezer! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that having friends is like letter the steam out through holes in a pressure cooker. But they have to be the right friends, or it will simply become a stressful situation rather than a beneficial thing. I'd say find people with similar interests, and keep your options open, because not every conversation (no matter how deep) leads to friendship, and not every friend can be a close one. Multiple types of friends/acquaintances are nice, because you can be fun and make stupid jokes about the Kardashians with one friend, and talk about all your issues and problems to another. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Word.

I went 8 years without one RL friend... From age 12-20 (turning 21 in a couple weeks). I made one friend via an online community and IRC channel. He just so happened to live really close by and was into Hip-Hop as much as me. I ended up moving in with him. He's a lot older than me (30). He became something of a mentor to me. Taught me how to record lyrics properly along with certain tricks for producing beats...

Only downside of our friendship was that he's a heavy drinker. I moved in there expecting to be productive and get a job and my license but it never panned out because I was getting drunk and high everyday. I think it was a kind of co-dependent situation. Helping each other get high and getting into trouble. He ended up in jail this last week. I couldn't pay the rent there this or next month so I came over to my mom's and I'm currently pet sitting for her while she's on a business trip. I'm gonna move in with my dad. It'd have been nice to live on my own but I don't think I'm ready.

IDK what will happen to our friendship or him in general with his legal troubles... He's my only friend and I'd like to hang out with him occasionally but I'm moving 100 miles away. Guess it's back to the lonely life for me then... I'm used to it. 8 years is a long time. I'll just focus on my hip-hop music making skills and educating myself with books (not gonna have internet when I move :/ )

That being said... I have A LOT of close online friends from the IRC channel I met that guy on. It's gonna suck not being able to chat with them. Well, I can use mobile hot spot on my phone but that only lasts so long before the data runs out,. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have not had friends for years. I'm lonely but I find it stressful to deal with people and in the past none of my friendships have lasted. I just don't have the social skills to maintain friendships and keep them healthy. I don't know what I do wrong exactly so it is hard to change. I guess I'm not fun.

Anyway, I believe that as a social phobic, my anxiety in social situations will be significant unless I expose myself to those situations a lot. If I see people every day I kind of get used to it and can deal with it. For me social phobia is only a big problem if I have lived like a hermit for a long time and then face a social situation. My social skills will not improve without regular practice.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure I believe in God but I started going to church and bible study. I have met a few people that I consider friends.

i also met a lady when getting a pedicure that likes going to the movies but doesn't like to go by herself and neither do I. We go about twice a month.

i also volunteer at the food bank.

i am also going to take a ceramics class this term. Should be fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that if I don't interact with people for too many days, I start ruminating very badly. Isolation does very bad things to people. I haven't been pushing myself to go outside and talk to people very hard lately, so now it's becoming even harder to look people in the eyes and to make small talk. I also tend to miss signals that people DO like me and want to know me. You probably feel left out when you make attempts at friends but it doesn't work out the way you had hoped. Do not give up. People notice the good in others even when they cannot see it themselves. I am a terribly lonely person. I have one good friend, who is actually my ex, so it's complicated, but having someone outside my family to talk to is important. If you are kind and patient, even if you do not talk much, people will appreciate you. Keep trying, gently and patiently, and one day you may find someone that you are happy to call a friend. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and be kind to yourself. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 3 friends but they're all busy working and dating and having a life. I don't really like people. I'd say the danger is if what if you need a favor? In college before I made friends I had to get my car fixed and I had no one to drive me home and back to the dealership. A guy that worked there had to drive me home and pick me back up the next morning. Embarrassing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MellaBlue said:

I have 3 friends but they're all busy working and dating and having a life. I don't really like people. I'd say the danger is if what if you need a favor? In college before I made friends I had to get my car fixed and I had no one to drive me home and back to the dealership. A guy that worked there had to drive me home and pick me back up the next morning. Embarrassing. 

^^In bold ... Me too ... the friends I have now are for asking favors.  They don't know that, but that is how it is.  Both are busy doing things, and usually one of them I can go to the grocery store, CVS, or PO with if I ask in advance for a ride.  Or to get my mail for me when I am away.  Also if there is an emergency. Otherwise we don't do much of anything together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to the original post, I believe there are dangers. As someone who has not had a friend since high school (over 10 years) I feel I can talk about the dangers first hand. Just remember these are only my own personal thoughts on it, and I may have other background issues that make my situation unique.

I feel like a danger to society whenever I go outside. I have feelings of hostility against anyone who does the smallest thing that upsets me. People who cut me off by walking in front of me, people who I have to move out the way of who are texting and walking and not looking where they are going....even people who say rude/racist/misogynist comments out loud in public. I understand everyone has their individual rights but I can't shake the whole I'm right and everyone else is wrong way of thinking.

I think that if I had friends then being exposed to other peoples thoughts, beliefs and ideas might make other people more tolerable. It might also remind me that people have flaws and that I should accept that rather than wanting to perform physical acts of violence on them.

I think friends are important. I also know how difficult it is to find them. I've already accepted that I'm destined to never have friends. Don't be like me. It isn't fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the friendships I've had in my life were toxic. Now I have friends who actually care about me. The difference has been huge. Having bad friends was probably worse than having no friends for me, in the long run. I ended up with massive trust issues and a really low self-esteem. So yes, good friends can help you blow off steam. But bad friends just make everything worse. I don't think it matters how many friends you have, as much as how many healthy connections you have. Even if that's with family members or anyone else

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Sara909
      So I've been with my boyfriend on and off for almost 5 years. I want to love him I really do, I want to have a good relationship. But we don't even have sex. I'm 21 years old, almost 22. I still love with my mom and I suffer from depression. I'm worried I'll fall into a spiral of depression like I did the last time we broke up and I almost committed suicide. It would be so much easier if I had someone to talk to to tell me it would all be fine and i will find somebody else who makes me way more happy. Honestly I don't remember when my life was somewhat normal. I work 50,000 times harder then my boyfriend. I actually make decent money and I'm going places and being recognized for things I do. Where as my boyfriend hasn't worked in months, he just now got a job that pays him an average amount of money. For a man I think it's shit pay. My dad and all the men in my family basically except my mom side. Work super hard for their cash. My dads side is very traditional in that sense. So the fact that I'm dating a low life is very concerning. I have cheated and we broke up then got back together a few times. We have got in raging fights etc I've thrown things. Clearly very unhealthy. I used to be much happier. I wish I had friends. My only friend is my mom and him. It's very depressing. Right now I'm on a very low dose of escitalopram. Which helps a bit and my job definitely helps but I don't have a good support system at home. I miss having friends and a supportive boyfriend. I don't know how to help this situation. Or maybe I do and I just need some encouragement. Any advice? Anyone been through something similar? No judgment please. If I want judgment I'll go to Yahoo answers... lol thanks in advance 🤗😩 
      photo is from when we first started dating maybe less than I year in. 

    • By lisa2712
      Hi,
       
      Is it ok to not have any friends?
      I haven't had any friends since I was 11-12 yo (20 years ago.) One person told me I can't be healthy without having any friends, my sister said it's not normal to not have friends, and my recent counselor told me, "Do you want to stay how you are (without friends) or get better?" (Implying I'm sick or unhealthy due to not having friends). I have not been friendless by choice BTW- I had a lot of social anxiety when I was in school (and now) and I avoided my peers. It's only now, at 31, that I am trying to make friend(s) at the place I volunteer at.
       
      Thank You,
      Shana
×