5 Reasons You Have a Hard Time Making Friends

Why It May Be Hard to Make Friends

Two young women leaning against wall, looking at cell phones
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If you are having a hard time making friends, there could be a few reasons why you are not establishing relationships with others. First, making new friends can be difficult, especially if you've recently found yourself in a new city or even with a new set of life circumstances.

Here are a few things you may be doing to sabotage your ability to make new friends:

You Don't Give It Enough Time

Developing a bond with someone takes time.

You have to actively be involved with meeting people in some way, like doing new activities, taking classes, volunteering, or the like. While you do all this you've got to make small talk and see if you connect with someone. It's a lot of work that can't be rushed, or your friendships just won't be genuine.

While it can be very frustrating, don't give up on making friends. It may take you a good amount of time-- six months or so--before you find a connection. That doesn't mean, of course, that you won't meet people in the meantime. Before you do find your perfect friend, enjoy the relationships you form with casual friends and acquaintances along the way.

You're Not Coming Off as Approachable

How do you present yourself to new friends? Are you open and approachable? If not, you may be scaring people off from trying to get to know you better. Be careful of how you use your phone when you're around new people as well.

Too often, people text or talk on the phone when they're nervous or don't feel like mingling, and this will send the message to a potential new friend that you're just too busy to talk.

You're Not Showing Interest in Other People

If the way you make friends is by talking about yourself, you're probably not going to keep many good people in your life.

Re-examine your conversation skills and how you're coming across to people. If it's all about you, mentally step back and ask thoughtful questions about your potential friends instead. People appreciate positive attention, so be sure to ask them about themselves.

You're Not Doing Enough New Activities

Sometimes when you have a hard time making friends, you have to stretch out of your comfort zone in your order to meet different people. If you have hung out with the same people for years, you'll have a harder time meeting new folks. If you've stayed in the same groups and with the same activities for a long time, it will be difficult to meet anyone new because you'll be going to all the same familiar places.

You don't have to become someone else just to find friends, but if what you've been doing isn't working, consider changing it to something else. Join a new group that supports your hobby, find a Meetup group related to a new activity you've been wanting to try, or join a sports team in your local rec league.

You Don't Know How to Be a Friend

Perhaps you have a hard time making friends due to a character flaw that causes you to push others away. Maybe you are used to making things all about you and not supporting others when they need it.

How do you know when you're being selfish? Here are some clues.

  • Your friends always seem to be angry with you, but you don't know why.
  • You keep a mental list of things you think your friends should do for you.
  • You get angry when your friends have other obligations or friendships.
  • Your friends have told you that you have disappointed them in the past.
  • You are so concerned with being "right" all the time that you argue even when you should just let something go.

The remedy to this type of behavior is to become more self-aware. Pay attention to the things you do, learn to apologize and change your outlook to appreciate the friends you have.