I Find it Hard Making friends
Updated: May 25, 2019
I find it hard to make or keep friends
Have you ever found that it’s nearly impossible to make or keep friends?
How badly does this affect you?
Does it make you feel anxious? Sad? Depressed? Resentful?
Have you found yourself trying really hard and just not having much luck?
Or is it that you think you meet someone who could be a good friend, things are going well in the short term, and then you just seem to drift away from each other?
Or did you start what you thought was a promising friendship only to have it fizzle out before it even got started?
I once experienced a period during my young teenage years, where I experienced my friends all disappearing from my life until only one was left. This was made even worse because the only friend I had left lived so far away that I hardly ever saw him. It was too far for me to ride my bike to visit. I became so lonely that this became a major contributing factor to my depression and a downward spiral in self-esteem. It got to the stage where I didn’t want to join any groups outside school, because I didn’t have the energy for it, even if my parents could drive me there. I felt lonely and miserable and I kept wondering what was wrong with me that no-one wanted to be my friend.
Then one day near the end of winter, I made a decision. I was going to rekindle as many of my old friendships from my kindergarten years as I could find. By the time I reached the age of 13, that one last friend I had left from kindergarten had turned into 4. Quite a few years have gone by since then and over those years the number has increased to 11. I’ve rediscovered, through reunions and social media, all the old friends I’d known during my remaining school years and even those friends I’d met after I’d left school. Reconnecting with them meant that much to me that I threw whatever energy and spare time I had to finding them. Not all have responded to my friend requests over the years, but enough that I’m fulfilled and content.
These kindergarten friends are just one group I associate with. Others belong in the Dancesport world and through my competing in Clay Target shooting overseas in my 20’s.
Now I want to share with you some more facts about friendships.
Did you know that there are so many benefits to having friends? By friends, I mean good friends, those friends who are worth your investment of time and energy. Aside from increasing your sense of belonging:
Friends boost your energy and promote your health.
Having good friends to talk to can reduce your stress and anxiety.
They improve your self-confidence and self-worth.
They help you cope with unhappy times and traumas such as relationship breakups, illnesses, or the death of a loved one.
They sure are helpful when you are struggling at school and/or dealing with bullies.
In the long term, learning how to make friends as early as possible increases your overall social skill levels which are especially handy later in life when you’re trying to build your career. Knowing how to make friends and keep them, especially into adulthood, can multiply your chances of overall success in life.
However, there is one important fact to consider: friendships either work or they don’t. Like any constructive relationship, friendships require common ground and it helps to know that someone you think might become a friend fits your criteria as a person you would enjoy hanging out with.
There are two important keys to establishing a new friendship;
1.) Establish Rapport - Introduce yourself in a relatively cheerful manner, such as a handshake, a smile, a positive observation on their appearance or a friendly comment about something you overheard them say.
2.) Keep Building in Small Steps - Put in sufficient energy and interest when forming a friendship and maintain it by staying in contact with that person. Organise an event so you can spend time together, like a night on the town, or a camping trip, or a trip to a theme park.
Through my experiences, I have known what it’s like to lose friends and have to rebuild friendships. I would say that many of my friendships, like those with my kindergarten friends, would have been unlikely to happen had the pain of loneliness not been so overwhelmingly strong that I HAD to take action to make the friendship happen.
If having and maintaining friendships is important to you, but you’re struggling making friends, then you will need to practice building your skills to a level where you can confidently make and keep friends.
After years of trial and error, studying friendship-building techniques and acting upon them, I can now pass these skills onto you.
Reach out to me now, and together we will find your friends...
Contact: David Gillman - The Mindset Mechanic