I don't have many close friends (actually, I don't have any).
Mostly, we drift apart. I still keep in touch with friends/acquaintances on social media but it's not good enough.
I'm going through a really rough time now and I feel a lot of it has to do with not having a large support network. My boyfriend (and my cats!) is/are my best friend(s) and while it's amazing I have is support, I know it's not healthy to "hide" away from the real world.
My social anxiety has really worsened over the past 6 months. I feel awkward meeting new people or reconnecting with old friends. I haven't developed any close friendships in my job and I have been there for 9 months. I'm not close with my family either.
I study part time online, but it's hard to develop connections with people. I'm 27 years old and I don't know how to make friends.
My psych always discusses the importance of friendships as part of my therapy for depression/anxiety but I don't actually have any friends.
I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else struggles with maintaining/creating new friendships - or if anyone has any tips on meeting new people.
Welcome to the forum!
I can relate to how you feel about friends and social connections. Between 2012 and 2014, I limited myself a lot socially. A bad bout of mental illness in 2012 led to me isolating myself almost completely. Before this, I was already someone who didn't socialise that much. What helped me get out of this lonely patch was my oldest friend. She was the only friend who I contacted when I was hospital. Besides her and my family, I didn't tell anyone else.
Two New Year's Eve's ago (2014/15) I told this old friend that I had no plans for NYE. She said I could come with her and her boyfriend to a small NYE party, so I went with them. After this night she invited me to small social catch-ups with a group of people from that night, and they are still the group of people I spend time with.
My boyfriend is actually the guy who hosted that NYE party back then! We've been together for almost two years now. If not for my old friend, I never would have met him, and that is a sad thought. My boyfriend is a bit like my best friend too. I'm really glad you have a supportive boyfriend like me 🙂
Does your boyfriend have close friends? While it's important to have your own friends too, could you spend some time with your boyfriend and his friends every so often? I'm not suggesting that you invite yourself to an all-male poker night with his friends or anything 😛 But if there is an event on or if he is spending time with a mix of friends, maybe you could go with him. My boyfriend's best friend's girlfriend is now a regular part of our group. We don't think of her as "the girlfriend". She is our friend now too.
I have found that meeting others through a mutual friend (or even a cousin or family friend) is helpful. If not for my friend, I would never have met my current friends or my boyfriend!
The fact that you are working through your social anxiety with a psych is great. Given time, I think you will be able to start making social connections. Having a few close friends is honestly more important than having a large social group/network, especially when what you crave is close support and a genuine connection.
Hi Kitty128, I know you posted this a little while ago but I thought I would reply and offer some understanding. I'm 41 and relate entirely to what you have written - I have never had a close friend (you know the friend that you ring daily who knows everything about your life!), and have only a handful of friends that I might see every few weeks but we don't keep in touch in between.
I realise this is unhealthy and have joined Meetup and am booked to go to an event tomorrow evening. It remains to be seen whether I actually go. Perhaps you could do something similar? They have a range of activities depending on your interests and whether you want to try something new.
I'm happy to chat if you want an understanding shoulder, Cheers
I can relate so much to your post.
Its very difficult for me to make friends and I just can't keep up the social interaction to maintain a friendships.
I too have thought about joining a social group to try to force myself to be social.
Yes I also make lots of excuses not to interact with people socially, or cancel so I don't have to interact.
How was your meetup event?