Lonely without friends. Cannot trust others.
This is my second time to post a thread.
I don’t show it in front of others but I have been feeling very lonely especially since I moved to Australia about 10 years ago. I tried to make ones by joining some local events etc but I was not able to get close with them.
One reason I think is I cannot trust others. I feel that they are all trying to deceive me or put me down, which some people really did in the past.
Life without friends is really sad and depressing but Its hard for me to trust others and open my hearts. How can I change this situation?
Hi Pink Grapefruit 👋
I’m sorry you’re feeling very lonely and find it hard to make friends. (Me too, at times).
Were the local events you joined things you enjoy? I find it helpful to keep my focus on the interest or activity rather than on my hope to start friendships. (Though the need for friends and a sense of belonging are vitally important). That way we can get to know people bit by bit over time. And they can get to know us in the same way. My closest friendship of over 20 years developed very, very slowly.
I am not a particularly trusting person either. But try to take the approach of sharing small things about myself (over time) that I won’t be distressed about the person telling others. And keeping in mind that even if they do, it may not have been their intention to be hurtful. (Though you’ve said some people have tried to deceive you and put you down in the past. I’m sorry you’ve had those experiences Pink Grapefruit).
Another thing I think is that some friendships are only meant to be for a period of time in our lives. When we are in school, when we are in a job, when we live nearby each other, the mums of our kids’ classmates. These friendships can peter out as people get busy, move towns, shift their focus in life. None of this is personal. (But it can still feel hurtful).
I am not a ‘social butterfly’, so don’t have any failsafe suggestions. But I saw that no one had responded to your post yet. And I wanted you to feel seen and heard. I wish you all the best.
Thank you for being open here. I can hear how isolated you feel right now.
It takes time and experience to trust others. If you don't try and get out of your comfort zone then how will you know?
Just remember, the past is the past. You are a new person and i am sure that most people would love to be your friend.
It takes time to find the right ones but i am sure you will be able to. Don't rush anything.
Stay safe and i am always here to chat.
Sorry to hear you are going through a rough time, thanks for reaching out on the forums.
Its good to hear that you are willing to change the situation, just perhaps you don't know where to start? I can relate to that. Your post jumped out at me, because I have had some trust issues in the past as well. In my opinion, it is something that can definitely become better and be worked on.
It is 100% understandable that you are having issues, moving and friendship troubles in the past are things that impact trust quite a bit. You are very resilient for going through that disruption to your social support and still be willing to try and reach out. Kudos to you.
For making friends, at least at the very start, you need to spend consistent time together with someone. So, for example, meeting them once a week for a few hours. If this doesn't happen in some shape or form, I've found (personally) that the friendship gets hard to keep up. Chatting online can be time spent together as well.
You say you have been to events, and that's an awesome way to go out and meet people. I'm just wondering if you may have had trouble because the events weren't consistent & often enough, or with the same group of people? (I have no idea, I am just throwing ideas at you just in case)
When it comes to trust, it can take time to break that barrier. What worked for me (again, just personally) was making a friendship with someone first, and then getting closer emotionally. Surface-level friendships can definitely be made without spilling your heart open. Especially if you have some kind of common interest. Once I knew that person was a genuinely good person, and was opening up to me, I could do the same as well. It may feel uncomfortable at first, still, the right kind of person is patient and won't rush you too much. Please be patient with yourself and take as much time as you need.
Opening your heart up to friends is like any new activity or habit. At first its a bit awkward and uncomfortable, you may not know what to say. Over time, you may become more comfortable with the other person and trust forms. As time goes on, you may begin to seek that person to talk to, because you trust them.
Trust is this big long journey sometimes, and its okay to be at the start of it. It doesn't mean you won't reach the end. I hope telling my story helps you. You can get there, 100%!
Last, researching Attachment Theory might help you.. the test gives some interesting information.
Thank you for your reply. I think I have been more focusing on doing something to build relationships and have not done something that interests me. I will try to find something that I am interested in and maybe I can make friends there. I hope it works one day in the near future as I don’t want to feel lonely for the rest of my life..
Hi Spl Spl,
Thank you for sharing your experiences. Also, I feel relieved that I am not the only one who has this feeling. When I was small, making friends was not a difficult thing to do. I guess I was hoping that way when I get older, which is not really the case. The local events I have joined so far was all short terms. I will try to find something that keep me around people regularly and for a long time so that one day I may be able to build good relationships and make friends there.
Hi Pink grapefruits,
I know exactly how you feel. I’m currently in that situation right now. I have been feeling very lonely and without friends its so empty. My long weekend and easter holiday was spent just lying on the couch with occasional binging but mostly fighting with my own thoughts. Few months ago, my best friend ( at least for me) , decided my friendship was too much for her to bear( emotionally) and have stopped interacting and communicating with me. She was my go to person and safe heaven but the emotional burden and baggage of my depressive behaviour ended that friendship. And sad part I miss her dearly and love her a lot. I could make other friends but I’m really slow to trust new people; as this isn’t first time i was hurt. So yeah its really difficult to navigate this loneliness. But if one person can do this is you. Most of my loneliness originated from boredom, continuous movements of thoughts , depression and desire to feel good. Friendship helps but not all people have capacity to understand what we are going through and as soon as they realise you don’t bring any happiness to them; most people; will find way to maintain distance.
Thank you for your reply. Yes I totally feel in the same way. It is hard to find someone who will be there for you regardless. If there are any risks there, I cannot even start getting close. Very lonely. Maybe I should not expect much from the beginning so that I may feel lucky if I have one..
Hi Pink grapefruit,
I think a lot of people feel this way - even some of those who’ve been in Australia their whole lives. And being in a “new” country to your old country can add to the feeling of alienation. Australia is not always the friendliest of countries I don’t think and depending on where you’re coming from some groups get a warmer welcome than others in my and some other’s experience. So it might not all be in your head. However if you have the ongoing suspiciousness maybe you could talk to a psychologist - the worst is you’re met some you find ineffective and stop seeing.
if you live in a city like Sydney or Melbourne you could seek out people from your background/ community who you can relate to better which can help.
Other than that, consistently participating in something that brings you into contact with others can bring friends through familiarity.
I hope things improve for you soon, have a nice weekend, A