No friends/loneliness?


#1

Anyone else on this board feel like they are just not compatible with the human race? I find it very difficult to make friends and to cultivate friendships. I'm in college and don't really ever hang out with friends or anything. Is this even normal? I don't remember ever having a single really good friend who has stuck around. I feel like I get abandoned a lot and like people don't really like me. Is this normal? And does anyone else feel this way?


#2

I had “friends” in college but not until I joined a Catholic group did I have any friendships that lasted. One thing I would recommend is joining groups. So join a Catholic group to find other solid catholics. Also, I loved medicine, so I volunteered in a hospital and made friends there too. So just put yourself in situations where you can meet other people.


#3

You may just not have a very extroverted personality. Not everybody is made to be the life of the party, after all.

You are also in a very transient situation presently. While it may seem that everybody else is in easy association with others, college friendships come and go, just as those from high school are dropped as life runs on. (I have maintained association with no one from my high school; and with one person from university; he lives hundreds of miles away.)

I won’t give you easy answers, for there are none. I will say that since you ate in school, try study groups for your classes; you’ll meet people and improve your learning. Also, if you have time and energy, become involved at your place of worship.

But if none of that works, don’t despair. Maybe GOD is saving you for a closer life with Him!

He is risen, ICXC NIKA.


#4

I feel just like you, being around other people is very demanding on me emotionally. I could be wrong but I chalk up my social ineptness and unease around other people to my first relationship: my parents. In a nutshell, my father was an alcoholic and warm and caring do not come readily to mind when I think about how he was with me, my mother was emotionally overwhelmed and at times deeply depressed, let's just say my emotional well-being was not very high on their agendas. Now how do you relate with people when you're so poorly equipped? How do you go around being open to people and enjoying human company when the ones who were supposed to be nurturing, caring, and loving were not? Doesn't that plant seeds of self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, self-consciousness, worthlessness, shame etc. Now try being social when you're plagued with those. Or maybe some people are incurably socially inept even though they have had love, reassurance, stability, warmth, confirmation from their parents. Or maybe someone has some mild form of autism, Asperger's syndrome for instance where socialization is always a challenge. Take care, hellosunshine. Off to sleep for now.


#5

[quote="hellosunshine, post:1, topic:237775"]
Anyone else on this board feel like they are just not compatible with the human race? I find it very difficult to make friends and to cultivate friendships. I'm in college and don't really ever hang out with friends or anything. Is this even normal? I don't remember ever having a single really good friend who has stuck around. I feel like I get abandoned a lot and like people don't really like me. Is this normal? And does anyone else feel this way?

[/quote]

Totally me, and I have a lot of insecurities about it. I'm constantly looking at the past trying to figure out where things went wrong and when this started and then I end up in tears because its been this way since I started kindergarten. From the beginning, I was told to go away. I mean, it can't possibly be that the whole human race is at fault. Other people are able to make friends. It thus had to have been my fault.

I do think though that we are called to be social creatures. We are supposed to have friends and are supposed to touch people's lives. As an adult, I think my main issue is having difficulty finding where friendships fit in my life. How often do other people normally hang out with friends? How do you even arrange a gathering of friends? I always find its so hard to make people's schedules work. Meanwhile now that I'm married and have a child, life is pretty busy which means its very easy for my husband and I to stay isolated. We try to go to every parish function. We went to a birthing class more for the social aspect than for the content of the class. But often these just build up aquantances.


#6

Even I can relate to this in some way. I am very social and quite successful in the worlds eyes but the many 'friends' that I have are there for image. My guard is always up because it feels as though people only want to use you for something. I wouldn't say I could rely on those 'friends' to bring me soup if I was sick...they'd pay someone to do that. So money tends to be their friend. It can be quite lonley which is why most peole in LA fill that void with material things. I am blessed to have a wonderful family. They are my rock.

As others have mentioned I would suggest joining a Catholic group or a social group with interests of yours so you can meet like-minded people.


#7

I felt the same way in college until I joined the Catholic Student Association. The friends I made in that group are the best friends I could have ever asked for. After graduating college I moved to a new city and was pretty much a loner for 8 months. However, after I found a Catholic young adult group I have made some AWESOME friends. I have come to realize that friendship and socialization are so important to my mental health. During the lonely times in my life I have always convinced myself that I was strange or unlikable but those things aren't true at all. I don't think they are true about you either, sunshine. You are a woman of God and have so much to offer in a friendship, you just need to find the right people. I will pray for you so that you find a wonderful group of people to be with!

Is there a Newman Club at your school?


#8

[quote="hellosunshine, post:1, topic:237775"]
Anyone else on this board feel like they are just not compatible with the human race? I find it very difficult to make friends and to cultivate friendships. I'm in college and don't really ever hang out with friends or anything. Is this even normal? I don't remember ever having a single really good friend who has stuck around. I feel like I get abandoned a lot and like people don't really like me. Is this normal? And does anyone else feel this way?

[/quote]

Hey sister.

I was never very good at making friends. I was rather nervous. Was teased in school at the beginning of puperty and had all kinds of trouble at that point.
But I had the grace to change environment a few times, which is always helpful.
Some places it went better than others. I lived one year at a bordingschool right after I had been teased, and there I suddenly had hugely many friends, because the people in my new school were all different and layed back and appreciated me for who I am.

It only takes a few good experiences to start to trust yourself more in social things. So there is no other way than to go out where people meet and talk to people, and then your social skills will improve more and more..
Thats what happend to me, and the more I felt free to be myself, the more I was accepted and made great friendships.

The fear of being socially insufficient can be stiffling in itself and be a vicious cycle.

Anyway.. these last 7 years or so my social life has changed drastically so I don't think I'll ever be lonely for friends. It started when I began attending a Pentecostal Church in town.. I had suddenly a wonderful group of friends, very meaningful and deep fellowship. Now I live far from these people, but we keep in touch. I have found that Christian fellowship - if authentically so - is very good because people are not snobs and they are not superficial or hang out in ways which are stupid.
So I'd say like Jack.. find a Christian fellowship. and remember, its called "making friends" for a reason. Friends is not something you pick from the bush like a flower, but something you make and it takes your genuine interest in other people, and your active attempt to make them.

Peace and hugs to you:)


#9

I know that feeling. I’m a sophomore in college, and I find it very hard to become friends with people at my school. My school is sort of a trade school, so it works more like high school. I’m in the same classroom with the same people 5 days a week. I talk to all of them in class, but otherwise we don’t hang out outside of school. Last year was especially hard. I was home schooled, so coming to this school was my first time. I wasn’t shocked at how people can act exactly, but I was a bit horrified. It sort of made me not want to hang out with them. Plus most of the social gatherings they had consisted of getting drunk and smoking weed. :stuck_out_tongue: They also had pegged me as “sweet and innocent”, so I wasn’t exactly the most wanted at the parties.

The easiest friendship I made that year was with a guy about 10 years older than me. Despite the age difference, we got along very well because we were both Catholic and understood each other better than the others did. It’s just easier to interact when they understand your moral values! Sadly, he transferred to a different school.

Now that I’m in my second year though, I’m starting to get along with people better. I’ve met another girl around my age, while though more “worldly” than I, We’ve hung out 2 or 3 times outside of school, she understands my views and doesn’t bother me about things I’d like not to be bothered about. She even seems interested in religion at time, and she’s probably the only other person at my school who doesn’t drink or do drugs.

But I think what my point is, it’s much easier to get along with people who share the same values, or at least similar. Someone who can understand you. I would definitely say try looking into clubs and things, perhaps even one on religion in general. Sometimes it’s easier to get along with someone if they at least believe that there’s something greater in the world than themselves!

And I met my best friend at my church youth group, so try looking into those as well! :slight_smile:


#10

I do sympathize with all of you on this board who feel like socially it is hard to make trustworthy friends. You will be in my prayers.

I was very similar when I was in college. I don't have a single friend I've kept in touch with from college and I only have 2 friends I've kept in touch with from high school. It used to really bother me that I didn't have girlfriends to share life with or go on adventures with, but I've realized I'm much more of an introvert. I was lucky enough to find my DH who is as much of an introvert as I am and gets nervous before social events (weddings, birthday parties, etc.) like I do. I've learned that I as an introvert I can't try to be more social than I am and recognize as an adult people are busy and it's hard to make super close friends besides my DH.

But I've finally found a young adult group at church that I've become comfortable with. I think the reason my DH and I work with them is they are misfits like us. They're not the most popular or social people and neither are we so the group works well. But we all share a common love of Christ and the Church.

I do reiterate what others have said find a group of like-minded Catholics who you trust. Even if you only meet 1 or 2 times a month at least you will have a group that is consistent. Maybe even get involved in a charity or volunteer group? Helping out others sometimes is the best medicine for a lonely heart. :hug1:


#11

This was my experience exactly.


#12

I'm in college and I feel incompatible with most people, including the other Catholic students. I'm not shy at all, I just find the conversations of most people to be uninteresting. When I am in a group of people at a meal or somewhere, I say almost nothing and just listen and smile. I seriously think I may have some different brain chemistry, because I'm very mellow most of the time and don't get excited about socializing. I don't care about not having friends, honestly. That is to say, I don't actively try to make friends, I just let it happen if it does.

I think you should be content with who you are, even if it limits your friendships. Maybe you just have a unique approach to life that most people aren't interested in.


#13

[quote="Luke_K, post:12, topic:237775"]
I'm in college and I feel incompatible with most people, including the other Catholic students. I'm not shy at all, I just find the conversations of most people to be uninteresting. When I am in a group of people at a meal or somewhere, I say almost nothing and just listen and smile. I seriously think I may have some different brain chemistry, because I'm very mellow most of the time and don't get excited about socializing. I don't care about not having friends, honestly. That is to say, I don't actively try to make friends, I just let it happen if it does.

I think you should be content with who you are, even if it limits your friendships. Maybe you just have a unique approach to life that most people aren't interested in.

[/quote]

In retrospect, I realize that a great deal of my loneliness was caused by my expectation that I needed to have X number of friends.


#14

I feel the same, and I'm in my 40's! I have never had a solid friend and I'm sure the fact that I'm rather introverted has a lot to do with it. Most times I'm fine but there are other times when I'm incredibly lonely.


#15

I totally undeerstand what the OP is coming from. I also have a great problem relating to apeople-------partly out of natural shyness but also because of OCD. Only now am I beginning to feel part of a "community" with my beloved melkite brithers and sisters.


#16

Hi op!

I will try to help since making friends is rather easy for me. I attribute this to my personality which I had nothing to do with (thank you God) and the way in which I grew up. Since an early age I had to move to a different school every single year of my elementary years and part of middle school.

I then moved to the US from Peru which was a huge culture shock so it was always sink or swim for me. I had to learn to make friends quickly and fit in. I was not always successful but for the most part I always managed to have at least a couple of good friends.

  1. Smile more

  2. Try to always focus on the positive qualities of people

  3. Go with the flow! don't be afraid to join a group even if you don't know anyone well

  4. Try new things even if you don't think you will like them

  5. Be agreeable, don't be a contrarian, try to figure out why people like the things they do and join them

  6. Listen to what people talk about the most (this is usually what's most important to them and you can use this to make conversation) I find most people love if you ask them about their children or their pets especially:D

  7. If you notice anything about a person you admire or like (like a piece of clothing or whatever) compliment them, this is NOT being fake if you genuinely like it

  8. Offer to help a person if you see they need help in anything even if you don't know them that well. I volunteered to help this girl with her rosary group whom I had just met a few weeks before and we have become pretty close because of it :) As an extra I made friends with her Mom, her boyfriend and his friends so my friends multiplied. One day she told me, you're awesome because I barely knew you and you helped me with this project when none of my friends stepped up!

  9. Greet everyone kindly and look them in the eye always! I would always greet this woman in church who barely acknowledged me with a grunt for like half a year until finally one day she gave me the most genuinely smile and now even hugs me :eek:

  10. Love more and leave the judging to God, accept people where they are in their spiritual journey while always proclaiming the Truth if asked

That's all I can come up with for now, I'm sure other people will chime in


#17

I felt lonely sometimes in college. Now that Im graduated and have a job it feels just as lonely at times. There are few Catholics in my area and even fewer that accept the teachings of the church. My dating life, family life and friend life has become next to nothing lately. I do love my job and it has weird hours and is heavily involved. However, my whole life seems to be God and my job. It feels lonely to not be able to share it with anyone. When Im around my co- workers talk quickly turns to work. It is one of those industries people have a passion for and become addicted to regardless of how bad the hours, pay and treatment by management is. I wish I couls have a life outside of work to just get away and escape it all. Plus I do want a family and a wife of my own and i wont find it at work lol.


#18

Your not alone. All my life I’ve been told, your a loner, strange, differnt, weird. One night I went bowling, and the group of people I was with said, look at jesus even with a group of people he isolates. And I’m old. I just don’t mix well with people. I don’t know about you, but I embrace my lonliness. I’m happy and satisfied with my life. About the only relationship that is strong is with God.
God Bless

jesus g


#19

I am also an introvert and solitary person most of the time. When I was younger, although I lived in the same town until I was 18, I tended to befriend the newcomers or students who eventually moved away. I've never had a "best friend" only a series of friendships that have been meaningful and purposeful in their own time, but don't go beyond a certain stage or location. Part of me longs for that kind of true blue friendship and the other part has come to accept that I most likely will never have those types of friends. I'm sure this will be a lifelong pattern and I really don't believe it is something to be ashamed of. I have found, however, that introversion is sometimes frowned upon by other Christians, even Catholics (e.g.- the charismatic types) who always push for "fellowship" and together time. As a result, my experience with Catholic student and young adult groups has been mixed. Perhaps we introverts need to fight back a little and stand for some of the gifts that we often bring to the table: patience, listening/counsel, devotions, adoration, etc.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned but wonder if others struggle with is just having the energy to be with people enough to have good friends. I find that working full-time or being in school and having a few outside activities is more than enough "people time" for me. I often feel guilty when others want to do something in the evenings or on weekends and I have to decline, because I've come to understand my own need for "downtime" (meaning alone time) so that I can bring my best to the table when I am with others. My limited store of social energy is sometimes consumed by work or class alone.

Hang in there, OP :hug1: You never know what the future holds for you and I've found that the most wonderful friendships come when and where you least expect them.


#20

[quote="iwillrisenow, post:19, topic:237775"]
I am also an introvert and solitary person most of the time. When I was younger, although I lived in the same town until I was 18, I tended to befriend the newcomers or students who eventually moved away. I've never had a "best friend" only a series of friendships that have been meaningful and purposeful in their own time, but don't go beyond a certain stage or location. Part of me longs for that kind of true blue friendship and the other part has come to accept that I most likely will never have those types of friends. I'm sure this will be a lifelong pattern and I really don't believe it is something to be ashamed of. I have found, however, that introversion is sometimes frowned upon by other Christians, even Catholics (e.g.- the charismatic types) who always push for "fellowship" and together time. As a result, my experience with Catholic student and young adult groups has been mixed. Perhaps we introverts need to fight back a little and stand for some of the gifts that we often bring to the table: patience, listening/counsel, devotions, adoration, etc.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned but wonder if others struggle with is just having the energy to be with people enough to have good friends. I find that working full-time or being in school and having a few outside activities is more than enough "people time" for me. I often feel guilty when others want to do something in the evenings or on weekends and I have to decline, because I've come to understand my own need for "downtime" (meaning alone time) so that I can bring my best to the table when I am with others. My limited store of social energy is sometimes consumed by work or class alone.

Hang in there, OP :hug1: You never know what the future holds for you and I've found that the most wonderful friendships come when and where you least expect them.

[/quote]

GREAT post! I completely agree with everything but especially that we introverts maybe should stand for some of the gifts that we bring. I never thought of it that way but you're absolutely right! And I also agree about needing downtime/alone time and I do know my store of social energy is consumed by work.

Beautifully thought out and said. I had never been able to really put into words how I feel and you did a great job here!

One thing that bothered me lately is someone I've known for over 20 years told me they hoped I would "come out of my shell".! argh! I'm not IN a shell, I just don't have to be the one talking all the time or in the middle of all the parties! I do get very lonely at times but I also prefer quiet alone time to big social gatherings. There's not a darn thing wrong with that!


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