The Truth About Not Having Friends: It's Not Your Fault

Oliver Brown

Updated Friday, April 19, 2024 at 10:51 AM CDT

The Truth About Not Having Friends: It's Not Your Fault

Challenging the Stigma Around Friendships and Social Connections

In a society that places great emphasis on socializing and the number of friends one has, not having friends is often seen as a personal failure. However, the truth is that the inability to make friends is not always the fault of the person trying. In many cases, it is a result of having reasonable standards and boundaries that are not being respected, ultimately leading to the dissolution of friendships.

The Changing Landscape of Companionship

Community and valued companionship are becoming increasingly harder to find in a society where selfishness is often masked as "self-care" and an obsession with romantic partnerships reigns supreme. This societal shift can make it difficult for individuals who prioritize genuine connections over superficial relationships to find the meaningful friendships they desire.

Not wanting to invest in draining friendships solely for the sake of having friends does not make someone a bad person. It is important to recognize that having or not having friends should not be framed as anyone's fault. Everyone has the right to have or not have friends, or to have only a small group of close friends that they feel truly connected to.

The Importance of Authentic Connections

The type of friendship one cultivates matters. Aristotle categorized friendships into three types: utility, pleasure, and virtue. While utility and pleasure friendships may serve a purpose or bring temporary enjoyment, it is the friendships based on virtue - those grounded in shared values, trust, and mutual support - that hold the most significance.

It can be a red flag if someone enjoys socializing with a lot of people and nurturing connections, but doesn't have much in common with someone who doesn't enjoy it. Similarly, someone who doesn't enjoy socializing with a large group of people may not find fulfillment in being friends or partners with someone who is their complete opposite. It is crucial to let friendships and relationships happen naturally, rather than trying to please someone into considering you a friend.

The Value of Being True to Yourself

Trying too hard to be friends with people or putting on a show to entertain while dating can lead to feelings of misery and a lack of authenticity. Making friends easily can sometimes mean that you're faking who you are and putting on a show to please others. Instead, it can be seen as a green flag when someone takes the time to find and develop relationships, as it indicates an individual who strives to be themselves and contemplates the true nature of their friendships.

Having few friends may not be a cause for concern. It could be due to various factors such as shyness, busyness, being new to an area, or introversion. In fact, it is common for working adults to have fewer friends after graduating from school, and having a small, close-knit group of friends in their mid-thirties and above is considered the norm.

Embracing Your Approach to Friendships

In a world that often values quantity over quality, it is important to remember that the number of friendships one has does not define their worth. Valuing a small group of close friends and being content with that is a valid approach to relationships. It is far more important to have a few genuine friendships based on trust, support, and shared values than to have a multitude of acquaintances or transactional friendships.

Not having friends should not be seen as a personal failure. It is crucial to challenge the stigma around friendships and social connections. Instead of blaming oneself, it is important to recognize that the inability to make friends may stem from having reasonable standards and boundaries that are not being respected. Embracing one's approach to friendships and valuing authentic connections is the key to finding fulfillment in social relationships.

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