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Wait! Is friendship anxiety really a thing? It is and is often fueled by our self-image. Having and maintaining friendships are crucial parts of life. Sharing conversations and feelings and listening to someone’s conversations and feelings grow us. It helps us to persevere through life storms when we share life with people. Some of you may be feeling disheartened already, maybe you disagree and feel like you are ok being just you, no need for friends. I encourage you to read on anyway. Today we discuss why we need friends, what could have influenced your friendship anxiety and steps you can take be a friend. Do you find yourself longing for more closeness with people?

Why Do I Need Friends Anyway?

Friends offer companionship and prevent us from becoming too isolated and lonely. Allowing yourself the habit of being isolated is permitting yourself to increased chances of depression, unhappiness and loneliness. These feelings, overtime, can lead to not only depression but larger mental health issues.  Having friends oftentimes helps our self-image. We need to have someone we care for. Someone we are concerned about and they about us. Humans are created to desire feelings of belonging. Do you desire to have friends but struggle to even consider making friends? Below we will discuss some life experiences that could help you understand why you struggle.

Why Don’t I Have The Desire For Friends?

There are many factors that can influence our lack of desire for friends. Some people are more introverted, and they treasure having time alone. They can be totally fine spending time alone and often don’t feel like they are missing connections from friends. Often times though, there could be reasons for your disinterest in having friends.

Each of needs to examine the deep feelings that we process in considering friendships. What do you think or feel when you tell yourself that you need a friend? Does that stir a feeling you can recognize? Can you answer why you feel this way? Examining these things within you could help you resolve the hurdle between you and finding a friend. Below are a few suggestions that could have led to decreased desire in looking for a friend. Can you relate to any of these?

  • You’ve been hurt in past relationships
  • You get burnt out easily from over stepping friends
  • You feel uncomfortable navigating social events
  • You can not tolerate drama
  • Your upbringing included trauma or abuse
  • You are scared to lose another person

There are many factors that can create friendship anxiety. For some, that is not an issue. Everyone needs healthy friend relationships and interactions.  When we choose to be alone due to concerns or possibly feeling anxious it can sometimes cause more issues than taking a chance to make a friend. Are you ready to take a chance on a friend? Below are some suggestions that could help.

How Can I Take The Friend Step?

Deciding to put yourself out there and be open to finding a friend is a big step! It is important to remember that not everyone will be a friend. Not everyone will be an enemy. But each encounter can teach us if we are willing to taught.

Stepping forward and being true to yourself, meaning not trying to fit where you don’t, is important. If you don’t like to hike, then look for another group that shares an interest than you already enjoy. Look for opportunities to meet others while doing something you enjoy. You just might be surprised to meet someone new who enjoys at least one thing you do. Below are some suggestions that could help you in overcoming your friend anxiety. Will you take one suggestion?

  • Join a club or group with interests you like
  • Take a class with something you want to learn
  • Volunteer some time and give back
  • Find an activity group like biking, hiking, model cars, cameras
  • Say hello to people and smile
  • Complement someone
  • Show interest in someone’s conversation

Meeting new people can be hard but taking a step toward meeting others is a start. New friendships will most likely not be made overnight or with one encounter. But overtime, as we practice habits of reaching out to others, friends find us and we find them. Check your expectations before meeting with a new group. Try to not be discouraged if you don’t meet a friend each time you commit to an outing. Instead, journal what you liked about the outing. What made you smile? Take note if you would like to partake in that again.

If you find yourself desiring more relationships, have taken steps to meet others and still struggle to make connections, you are not alone. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here to listen and help you establish a plan to better relationships. We have therapists who have a passion to help others heal.