Self Love & Empowerment

You’re Not a Loser If You Don’t Have Any Friends.

By July 24, 2017 17 Comments

There’s an epidemic attacking this generation.

I’m sure of it. And not just because I feel like it’s personally attacking me as well, but because it’s attacking my clients. My gorgeous, high-functioning, creative, intelligent, and successful clients. I mean these are girls who PAY PRECIOUS MONIES to talk to someone about their goals, dreams, and setbacks. These girls have their shit together, ya know?

And most of them don’t have any friends.

Ok, that’s a lie. They have one or two. But it still hurts me when I hear these amazing girls say “I have no friends”.

I wrote a post not too long ago on what to do when you have no friends. I talk all about how to make female friends, and while I’m not reneging it, that doesn’t mean I don’t still personally struggle with this whole female friendship thing, too. Deep down, I only have a few close friends. But I have a looooot of acquaintances. Close ones, too. Acquaintances are fun! But they don’t always show up. And recently I had a rude awakening just about how true that really was.

I’m not going to go into details, but let’s just say I cried for about a week straight. Why does nobody like me!? I begged my journal for answers. I felt like a loser.

My poor therapist!

So while I was having a meltdown of my own, I was looking around at the strong women in my life and in my screen (clients, get it?) and totally realized that they were in the same boat as me! They had a few true friends they could *really* rely on. A handful that actually understood them. And…maybe one or two that would actually show up.

That’s considered lucky, y’all.

So let’s talk about why this happens, why it’s also normal, and even some things you might want to tweak. Full disclosure: most of this stuff you might already know. You’ve experienced it firsthand. But maybe it will make you feel less alone.

Because you know what? You’re not a loser.

1. We move a lot

Sorry, correction: We move a shit ton.

And even if you despise moving and like your roots to be thick and sturdy – one of your friends moved. That’s for damn sure. There is zero possible chance that every one of your few friends went to high school, college, and grad school, and had their first job in the same city.

I call BS.

Moving is just way too common and feasible at this day in age for that to have not happened. And while yes, we have lightning speed technology to bridge the gap between the long distances – we all know it’s still not the same. Only the strongest of friendships survive that. Natural selection like the little bitch it is will come swooping in and cut out all the weak links from your life. It’s basically a guarantee.

But the crappy part about this process is that sometimes we don’t realized the deterioration has taken over until YEARS later. We say to people in passing, “Oh yeah, I have a best friend who lives in New York!” like you’re still the closest of pals. Maybe it’s habit. But more than likely, you had a group of friends at one time, and you still hang onto that part of your identity. Probably for self preservation.

Most of us don’t get the message that the friendship wasn’t what you thought it was until a milestone or a pressure point is introduced. We expect a resurgence of the old times – but people have moved on. And we probably weren’t as present as usual for them during their moments, either.

The distance won.

It’s sad, yes, but it’s also liberating to be able to spread your wings and live your life wherever suits you best. It just comes with a hefty dose of consequences and emotional baggage.

The best advice is to hang onto those stubborn, steel-made friendships that RE.FUSE. to let go no matter how far you’ve moved away. They flip the bird to natural selection and tell it to piss off. And while they may really be far, far away – it doesn’t mean the friendship doesn’t exist. You just might not have proof of that on a lazy Sunday full of RHONY reruns.

2. You’ve grown out of pretending

I don’t know how old you were when you finally realized that being unapologetically yourself is the most inescapable force that ever freaking existed. Like, fighting against your weird quirks and choices was just excruciatingly exhausting and pure surrender was the only choice life was offering. So you nuzzled into yourself, and then realized that some of your friends might not really get it – or you – anymore.

YIIIIIKES that is terrifying. And it’s so, so common.

There was a time in your life when you mildly pretended to be someone else. I don’t care how confident or resilient you were as a 19 year old – fitting in is paramount in school (including college) and there was probably some sort of group culture you were trying to emulate. Just a smidge.

Maybe you laughed at crass jokes or lied about who you voted for. Perhaps it was in the way you dressed or the way you spoke. But something was probably a little inauthentic during your formative years. And now? O.Mi.Gawd. You can’t even imagine acting like you’ve seen The Big Lebowski. It’s just not you.

You know who you are now. And compromising this person who you fought so tirelessly to become is absolutely out of the question. So what happens to those home-grown friendships?

Welp. They flail.

It’s not that your tolerance for others diminishes. You’re still a patient, sweet person. But your tolerance for bending over backwards to connect has slipped right off your back. Especially when it’s a “personal” friendship and not a “business” one.

Sounds cut throat, but it’s not. You’re malleable 19 year old self probably taught you the ins and outs of networking and how to engage in boring conversations for the sake of your career or other necessary relationships. But to do it just for fun? During your free time? When you are actually supposed to be RELAXING?

It’s just not going to happen.

And people will notice. Nobody likes to be placated, and it’s really not fun talking to someone who doesn’t throw you a bone here and there. You can’t blame them for unconsciously (or super intentionally) distancing themselves from you. They have other people who they’ve connected with, too. People who laugh at their jokes.

This isn’t your fault – you’ve evolved. You are growing in authenticity. But with that comes shedding of skin – and people – along with it.

3. You’re picky AF

So I am running under the grand assumption that you know who you are by now. And I think that’s a fair assumption to make.

If you are looking around and feeling like a huge, big, giant loser because you have no friends – then your self-awareness is high enough to even notice something has shifted. Congrats! So yeah, you’ve done some soul-searching over the past few years. You listen to yourself.

Sooooo you also must know when you don’t have friends it could be because you are a little pickier than you used to be. You’re needy.

Not like, needy for attention, per se. But needy for real connection.  Needy for stimulating conversation and values in common. Needy for mutual respect and admiration. Needy for true friendship.

You know what makes you tick and you know your pet peeves. You know what you respect in others and what you can barely tolerate. And you’ve realized that this world is full of millions of people – so guess what? You’re allowed to be picky.

You’ve got a lot going on in your life. A lot. You’ve got family stuff and career stuff and apartment stuff and travel stuff and other stuff. And while you wish you had more friend stuff, you also don’t want to burn any of that precious time on people who don’t meet your standards. But then you throw your head back and whine that you don’t have any friends.

Well, which is it?

Do you not have any friends, or are you just really freaking picky? I’ll let you answer that one.

4. Social media provides the illusion that we’re keeping in touch.

A happy birthday post coupled with a dozen likes on various pictures does not a friendship make.

But, I can see where this gets confusing. Thanks to Snapchat, you can feel like you’ve been out with someone all night. Thanks to Instagram, you can see the best days of their lives. And thanks to Facebook, you can hear about the shittiest days of their lives. (And all of their lovely political rants.)

So by all accounts, it does feel like you’ve kept in touch. Just one problem – they don’t know that. 

You aren’t doing the actual connecting by liking this or that. You aren’t having the one on one conversations necessary to sustain any sort of mutual relationship. It’s in front of you, yes. You’re in the loop, yes. But you aren’t connecting. You aren’t present. So how do they know to call you up to tell you good news or show up for your big events?

People aren’t mind readers. We cannot let social media maintain our friendships for us. It doesn’t work that way. True friendships still take manual labor. So you have to put in what you want out. Per usual.

5. You’re scared of vulnerability.

This is the kicker right here. All of these other reasons aren’t necessarily bad things – it’s healthy to grow up and find out who you are, and friendships are going to shift because of it.

But fear of vulnerability is a problem. It is stealing your ability to create true connection with people you’d actually like to be close with.

So…what is vulnerability, really?

You know. It’s that elusive, treacherous feeling that is necessary for any fulfilling relationship. It’s being completely raw and uncensored in front of somebody that you respect and admire. It’s opening up your insides without knowing what someone else’s response will be to it. It’s the scariest and healthiest feeling in the world.

But let’s take it a step further. Let’s talk about it in my own life.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have such a great week last week. I felt let down by a lot of people, and simultaneously, a lot of people came through for Andrew. Like, big time. And it was really embarrassing.

Uuuuggggghhhhhh jfkldalayioghi;.

I like to hide those things from people. Probably because it’s a learned behavior, but also because of my profession. I am used to being the listener, not the talker. I also like to lead by example, so having problems seems like a bad idea when you are giving other people advice. And to top it all off, I’m ashamed of myself when I don’t follow my own advice.

I’m scared people will immediately call me out and say BUT KAAAAAALI DIDN’T YOU READ YOUR BOOK????, followed by a WHAT WOULD YOU TELL A CLIENT IN THIS SITUATION? (I would tell her to stop listening to such smug people) or my absolute favorite, ISN’T A LIFE COACH SUPPOSED TO KNOW BETTER THAN THAT??!?!?

Soooooo yeah I guess you can say I am scared shitless of vulnerability.

On the other hand, I’m not so scared of being authentic. I don’t mind telling people I am having a shitty week – but you won’t see a tear. You won’t actually see visible emotion from me. Because while I can tell you the truth – acting like it actually bothers me would ruin my whole schtick.

Authenticity and vulnerability are not the same.

Which is why I need Charlotte in my life.

Yes, Charlotte the Blush coach. Otherwise known as one of my chosen people.

Charlotte has a lot of friends from high school and college she’s close with. She is really good at keeping in touch with people and relationships are her jam. She puts effort in, and she gets a lot out. So she is the LAST person I want to talk to about feeling like a loser. In my mind, she’s never felt like that before. So how would she see me if I admitted my shortcomings? Would she still look at me the same?

*Be vulnerable, Kali. Just do it.*

Not only did Charlotte give me the wisdom bits I needed, (“you can be sad and happy at the same time”), but she also made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. It was like she was feeling it, too. In fact, I think she actually was.

Not living up to the expectation of what you want other people to think you are is really difficult. We all want to be perceived in a certain way, and that’s to be expected. We don’t want our bosses to think we’re lazy, we don’t want our grandmothers to think we’re disrespectful, and we don’t want our friends thinking we’re lame. But at some point, we have to let go of this need to control this persona of ours and just be.

Charlotte isn’t going to abandon me when I tell her what’s going on with me. She’s not going to think, “Hmm, this embarrassing thing makes her a loser” and leave.

The person who is judging me isn’t Charlotte – it’s me.

When you communicate your true feelings to someone else, then you’re going to have to acknowledge them yourself. 

So yeah, you have to suck up the sour pill that you’re not as cool or smart or funny as you would like to be. So what? No one is. And by keeping that disappointment a secret, you are only keeping yourself locked away from people who will truly help you.

Please don’t let the fear of vulnerability keep you away from close and dear friendships.

We deserve better than a life without friends. I refuse to live in a glass case, and so should you. We are people with emotions flowing through our veins and it’s silly to pretend like they don’t exist. We are going to feel like losers sometimes, that’s life. But we cannot be victims of our own pride. That’s bullshit.

My recommendation? Do what I do. Talk to Coach Charlotte. She’s your perfect antidote for any friendship fears, and together you two can figure out why vulnerability is an issue for you and how it’s impacting your life. She can also help you make peace with your friendship situation or try to change anything you deem possible. And, you can get all of this for $79/mo. What on earth are you waiting for?!

Blush you.

Kali Rogers

Author Kali Rogers

Kali Rogers is the Founder of Blush. You can stalk her on Instagram or follow her on Twitter. She loves the attention.

More posts by Kali Rogers

Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • pst. chris nagbe says:

    I want your organization help me find a better friend because my location is far from the western world therefore I will your assistance in this direction.

  • Cece says:

    I’m a first time mom my name is cece I don’t have not even point 1 friend. My friends are in the negative. It makes me feel like shit and I know I have no right to complain but I’m not picky I’m not any of those this guy you have stated, I really have been thinking about it but it sucks because like I just don’t have anyone. When I try to be around and socialize people give me dirty looks and it makes me really uninterested in trying anymore attempts. I don’t have social media and it’s harder for me than others most likely but it just sucks it really shoots you in the head after having a baby of the fact at how much nobody really cares about me but I brought this all on myself I suppose. I just feel like there’s something wrong with me I guess all I’m good for is a listening ear

  • Zee says:

    @cece im so sorry u feel that way everyone needs support and understanding. Although im not a mom i know exactly how u feel

  • Sarah says:

    So you do have a few friends? I’m sorry but if you have even one good friend you’re doing way better than those of us who have none. When I say none, I don’t really mean I have a few. I mean zero. Zilch. No friends whatsoever. I am getting so tired of reading posts talking about not having friends to find out that the author of the article actually has a couple yet I suppose unless it’s a giant group, they feel that a couple equals none. Be grateful. Because actually having zero is incredibly painful.

    • lynette says:

      sorry I don’t know if I posted my comment as a reply or a comment but we’re in the same boat! you’re definitely not alone.. well.. figuratively you’re not lol

  • lynette says:

    I feel you sarah.. I literally have zero friends and it hurts);

  • Tae says:

    I stumbled upon this website today because I was googling about not having any friends as an adult. I’m in that 35-40 yr old range but my lack of meaningful and reliable “true” friendships amount to zero. I didn’t rush to get married after high school (as many of the girls I knew back then did) and I moved a lot so I fall into the category of “friendless because of deviating from the usual path”. I noticed that I was never one to follow a crowd, I forge my own path and I’m not afraid to go it alone because I’m used to going it alone. I am an introvert, a shy but kindhearted and helpful person but I never seem to have the courage to assert myself or put myself out there enough to be noticed offline. People tend to overlook me or exclude me. I feel the need to connect with other women in real life who face a similar dilemma, which is not having anybody who really seems to give a damn about you outside of blood relatives. I want to shout that introverts lives matter and that we are great people, even greater friends to have if given the chance. I want to talk about how age and looks determine way too much in American society. I feel sad that any woman past 25 is seen as washed up or irrelevant, unworthy of direct attention. Society and the media teaches women to be hyper critical of ourselves and others. We dive deep into this culture of feeling like losers for being alive, for being our authentic selves and for feeling like nobody will want us or love us because of it.

  • Me says:

    Well, this is helpful. Super true about the moving bit, and the urge to be who you are, societal norms be damned.

    I truly thought I was alone in this. Felt so much overwhelming shame when I’d start a new job and it started becoming clear that I have no friends (or family). “Yep, nobody likes me, all alone here, because I’m incredibly flawed and defective! Woohoo!”

    People still support a stigma, it’s like they don’t want to be your first/only friend because something’s clearly wrong with you.

    I can’t wait until all that bull drops and the wave of authenticity and vulnerability permeates the culture more fully.

    Until then I will anxiously await the Nursing Home where I finally might be able to form a real friendship.

  • Ciana says:

    I would still have all my old friends if I hadn’t moved away 2,000 miles.

  • Chey says:

    Yeah, I’m a new mom. Everyone I had in my life before (including family) just got more and more self absorbed. So I’d be there for them even in my hardest moments but God forbid I need anything. Everyone is gone. And since the only people who I knew before motherhood are gone, starting new friendships feels ridiculous. It’s too much work, too much faith in a new person in my life who I don’t know. Not easy when you want to protect your babies. Husband works all the time, no time for anything. Just pure isolation. To top it off, after even having a moment of adult time, with or without the company of some stranger, I would still rather be with my precious little ones. They’re far more pure and innocent and nonthreatening than these ignorant fools that saturate the planet. I dont know if I’m depressed or grateful over this lack of companionship.

  • Elei says:

    Thank you all for the comments…sometimes just knowing someone else out there in this big world is like you and struggling with the same issues makes me feel better, because I am not alone. I have some friends, very few, but as I get older I feel like I am less connected to them (for all the reasons mentioned in the article and your posts). My family is all 2000 miles away and I am going through a divorce. I think people care but sadly they are all too busy to show it, which then begs me to ask, do they really care? I have to remind myself over and over that it is not me, feeling that it is mostly true. I try not to take it to personally yet it hurts. Again thank you all for sharing and offering a piece of connection on this forum. Sometimes it is just connection that we need and it may not always take the form of a traditional “friend.”

  • Erin Szarban says:

    Sorry, some of us are just losers who everyone else has no interest in. We were created merely to be cogs to help keep the world running for the valuable people with no value of our own. Not just zilch friends, but repetitive refusal. As one person put it, negative friends. And for none of the reasons above, just because I don’t have enough value to interest anyone. The best i get is politeness in required social situations.

  • Hopelessly lonely says:

    This is too close to home for me. I have tons of “friends”. What I don’t have is any sort of deep connection to anyone. I crave the feeling of having someone who I can share shenanigans with, talk with, share sorrows and joys with. What makes these cravings worse is I get glimpses of this now and then. With my auntie who needed me and now doesn’t. With my best work friend, whom after I left that job and needed someone desperately during my deep depression, just couldn’t be bothered because of her “new” life after she lost a bunch of weight. Those few “friends” that I finally found…. only to have them ghost me as soon as they found a boyfriend or didn’t need a shoulder to cry on anymore. Over and over again… I’m like a lost child who is almost begging for that connection and for someone to hold onto. A friendship that isn’t just a passing need or is easily tossed aside. I’m so envious of those with the friendships that last. The ones that time and distance can’t touch. The ones that constantly reconnect and keep those bonds of sisterhood through good and bad, no matter spouse or children. The ones who BOTH make the effort. I watch on Facebook as old friends lead their lives as if I never existed or care of how I am. I reach out when one of them is in need, with some sick hope that maybe just maybe they will need me again. That I can help them and I will again be cherished by them…. I am in constant hope that someday someone will call me and ask to go do something. Lunch, coffee, weekend trip like in the movies. Someday I won’t have to beg for a scrap of time. Someday my fierce loyalty and need for companionship will be welcomed and reciprocated. But I think it’s time to stop holding my breath….

  • Shelley says:

    I would consider myself as not having any best friends. I had many in high school …but they have moved, or have big families, work and don’t have time for friends. I had a small group of four really tight friends back then…then a dozen or more, we were always doing things together.

    Fast forward 20 years, and I’ve noticed that I don’t pick friends, or have friends like I use to.

    Now, my friends are co-workers, and they aren’t a bunch of cliquish females.

    They are of all ages, genders, color, ECT…and I don’t spend hours on the phone or hanging out, since everyone has responsibilities and work.

    I’m independent, and I’m not a teenager anymore…so if I get lonely…I find something to do.

    I have 2 friends from work, that occasionally I give shopping or out to eat with. I don’t get too personal, or rely on them for my safety or self esteem…like I did as a kid.

    I thunk feeling lonely is something we did even as kids, and it goes into adulthood…even when you have friends, unless you have learned how to cope and deal with that aspect of yourself.

    The only people I know who still have codependent and reliant relationships on others…is young kids, teens, and the older retired women who have time, and even then…they have healthier boundaries from years of experience of being alone.

    The friends in my age group 30-55, are busy with kids, work, ECT…they don’t have time to pal around and keep me happy…we connect if our kids play the same day, we work the same shift, go to the same events, ECT.

    I think the older I get, I will have closer bonds with other retired or older friends who are in the same boat as me, and have time.

    The only people I know who have time for those friendships in my age groups…are alcoholics and singles…and they are still lonely.

    Loneliness is how you feel…you learn to transform that feeling into more productive things…and grow.

    I can spend a night out with friends now, and I’m good for several months, or longer.

    I don’t feel a reliance on, or insecure if I don’t have friends.

    I can talk to my neighbor, boss, son, grandmother, co-workers, cashier, elderly men and women from church, have lunch with younger men and women…you name it…and consider them all friends.

  • Dana says:

    It’s very annoying when people say “I have no friends” and yet they have like two or three. I don’t have ANY. 0. Be grateful for those few that you have.

  • Lean says:

    I know people I could call from school days. The only thing is I don’t think they really like me bc they always seem to be trying to compete with me. If something good happens for me, they seem upset. That seems a telltale sign of someone who isn’t your friend. Some people aren’t like that it’s just if I don’t do everything in the relationship they never reach out, not so much as a text how are you? Like for years. So they aren’t really my friends either. Others if I mention one difficulty in my life they’ve gotta get going, and I start to realize thru one clue or another that they were trying to use me but realized I wasn’t doing so great. So basically I had a lotta people I thought were my friends but they weren’t once I came to my senses. Do I wish I had spent my 20s in more equitable relationships where I wasn’t always giving, assuming they would do the same if I needed an ear, or always rationalizing their signs of competitiveness or disrespect? Yea. Honestly, it’s hard to have a huge chest and a pretty face. It seems weird to complain about, but women don’t want me around too much, and men just wanted to use me. I feel like if I looked more average and wasn’t so tall etc..women would want me around more. I dunno. I really don’t. I always tried to be a really good friend and I think a lot of people liked that, they just didn’t have any intention of reciprocating it, and I guess for a long time I didn’t really put it to the test. Hard too when you think people are lying to u or talking behind your back. I’ve learned to stop ignoring hunches. I just wonder if I could chosen my friends better. At least I have my little family, my partner and our kid. My parents and sister turned out to just be the worst people as I grew older. My sister literally stole my social security and started buying phones etc. Almost ruined my credit score. I had to file a police report to get the phone company to leave me alone. Then I finally realized it was her, but my mother manipulated me into dropping it. My father and mother were incredibly bad parents from teens on. My father wanted me to be a violinist, once I decided I wanted to be a visual artist he completely lost interest in me, and even discouraged me from finishing college, all this even though he doesn’t even play an instrument. That’s the thing. I’ve had not such great luck with friends but just terrible luck with family. Doesn’t help being biracial either, not fitting into both groups.

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