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No friends, no boyfriend, no social life...what am i doing wrong?

invisible_girl1
Community Member

Hi all,

So i'm the type of person who is quite shy when meeting new people and i find this make people loose interest in me quickly. I don't have any friends from childhood because coming from an airforce family i was at a different school every two years. I also seem to think differently from most people, so im not interested in most social fads (twitter, instagram etc, ), i have a completely different sense of humour from most people and i hate public events and crowds.

as it stands im 28 have no friends, rarely had a boyfriend and i can't figure out how to change this. its not like im not trying. I'm part of a trivia team and a dragon boat team, i walk around sydney most weekends with a walking group but all i ever seem to make are acquaintences. I try my best to make friendships but i often find myself with no one to hang out with or feeling alone in a crowd. I'm not the kind of person people invite to an event or the kind of person people contact on a rainy sunday to hang out with. No one seems to care if i'm ok.

I feel completely invisible and i don't know what im doing wrong. As a result i feel painfully lonely most of the time and i spend a lot of evening crying and feeling nothing but self pity and self loathing.

i know my problems are small compared to some thing other people on here are dealing with, and i hate to make a fuss, but i was hoping i could get some advice?

15 Replies 15

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi invisible girl,

Welcome to the forums! I'm only new here myself too, but there's so many amazing people here that I wish I'd checked it out sooner. Your happiness is really important so I'm glad you reached out.

First of all, you're not doing anything wrong. It sounds very demoralising that you haven't found anyone yet who you really click with, and I imagine that would be really hard. But you're trying to get out and meet people and that is really great.

Aside from the trivia, dragon boat and walking, do you have any other hobbies you've wanted to give a go? Sometimes doing something new can give us the energy to get back out and meet more people.

James

blondguy
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Invisible Girl

I see that James has already given some great advice so I will keep this brief. I do feel your isolation and being 'isolated' at 28 isnt a good place to be in.

You are not making a fuss on the forums. Your post is gold. It takes mega courage to post and thankyou for having the courage to do so. Just my humble opinion but having a different sense of humour makes you special.

You must be in a sad place to be crying and self loathing. From where I sit in Vic you are a special and kind person who has a pro-active attitude. I used to cry a lot too after many years of self loathing...I hear you loud and clear.

There are many super kind people on the forums like James that can be here for you. Your sense of humour being different is a great personality trait. Do you have a small amount of friends (support network) that you can bounce off?

It would be great if you could post back about anything you wish.

Kind Thoughts for you

Paul

invisible_girl1
Community Member

Thank you for your comments guys. it was very helpful. Together with what ive read on here and the wishes of my family i went to the doctor today and he has referred me to a psychologist

i hate the idea i might have depression and i feel like such a whiny little brat when i talk about it. but i acknowledge that i need some help.

i dont really have any other hobbies im interested in but im trying to just get really involved in my current hobbies. but sometimes i find it hard to get motivated and i think, whats the point, it wont change anything. ill probably be alone forever.

Hi invisible girl.

I'm new here too and this is my first post / reply. I've been looking and reading this forum the last couple of days and wish I had gotten on here earlier. There is a lot of caring and helpful people on here.

It's great that you're going to see a psychologist and that you've opened up here to talk about things. I found I bottled things up for a very long time and didn't seek help which pushed me right to the edge. I wouldn't be here right now if I hadn't reached out to my friends.

If you don't have close friends to talk to about this then speak all you like on this forum. Everyone is going through their own battle but they are all willing to help out and tell us about their experiences which in turn will help us newbies.

I suffer from a deep depression so getting on top of this early will be a great benefit. Remember that any medication usually takes a couple of weeks to start working and you don't always get the right medication the first time so don't get put off and think things aren't working. Use this forum to chat all you like. I find I need to talk to people all the time or I'm constantly breaking down. I need to be around people or my mind doesn't stop and I get bad thoughts in my head. It's a constant battle.

Good luck and I hope I've helped a little. Looking forward to chatting some more.

IJG

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi invisible girl,

I am so pleased that you've taken the brave step to try and get professional help. It will be really hard at first, so you need to be prepared for that, but this is a really positive and brave move to even acknowledge that you need help.

I am amazed how accurately you described how I feel when talking about hobbies. My psychologist has just tried starting CBT with me and some of the early and apparently easy exercises is to just fill my day with things I maybe would consider doing. But frankly, thinking of things is hard enough let alone doing them. But I got out of bed today (after 2 hours!) and that apparently is good. I also forced myself to tell a friend of my "achievement" and they said well done. I may not feel great, but I don't feel worse, and that's a positive if anything is.

Please feel free to come and post when you feel like it. We'd love to hear how your session goes and how you feel about it. I got really nervous the first time!

IJG - thank you for posting and offering your help! It sounds very exhausting for you, so to offer your help is really kind. Thank you.​

LMG61
Community Member

Hi invisible girl,
i'm new to the forum as well and it seems the reason I'm here is very similar to yours 🙂 i'm in
my mid 50's and have struggled with this all my life.

Unlike you, I don't consider myself shy, however I find it really difficult to connect with people. I also often feel alone in a crowd, even with people I may know, as I don't feel I have anything much in common with them. I'm well liked by my work colleagues (as far as I know) and get along with most people, though intimate relationships seem to elude me. I nearly always say yes to social invitations, even though they often
fill me with dread.

I've not long separated from my husband of 15years and i'm feeling truly isolated at the moment as he was my social connection. We were very different socially.....he's quite a social butterfly, while I'd be quite happy to potter at home all week-end an not see or talk to anyone else. He could walk into the bar of a hotel he'd never been to before and within an hour, would know everyone's first name, have a couple of jobs lined up (he was a self employed carpenter) and invite to a bbq and be everyone's new best friend. I always felt invisible, and
really struggled to feel welcomed like he was.

Over the years i've joined quite a few different groups but have rarely felt a connection and have no ongoing contact with anyone that i've worked or played with over the years. Even at my current workplace, I have no social interactions with my work associates outside of work. My family consists of my mother and brother who both live 1½ away, neither of whom I am very close to.

I live in a rural area about ½ hour out of town, with no close neighbours as such and work afternoon shift so that also makes it difficult to connect in my local area as I moved here after I separated from my husband. I'm only just keeping my head above water financially, and that is also giving me grief.

I don't have any answers for you, other than don't give up just yet 🙂 FWIW, I didn't meet my husband until I was 35, and while I am now separated, am hopeful that I might meet another knight in shining armour in the not
too distant future.

I'd be very interested in hearing how your psychologist visit goes and if you think it will be of benefit to you and your situation. In the meantime, winter is half over and there will be less rainy sundays and more sunny ones,
and that's always a bonus!!

cheers

maree



jaysee
Community Member

Hi invisible,

I connect a lot to what you're saying.

I grew up in a very close-knit but also very exclusive religious community, and when I decided to leave (at age 18) due to feeling trapped, I lost all the friends and acquaintances I had made there.

Since then, I've stayed close to my sister and managed to hang on to one good friend for a long time, though I rarely get to see him, because of being very busy with work and him living so far away.

I feel particularly lonely on a Fri/Sat night, because no one I know seems to go out and party then, and where I live in the city I can hear an almost constant stream of "party people" yelling, laughing, etc, which is a form of mild torture. Haha

Anyway I'm working on it. I've been going to meet-ups and meeting various people, and I'm seeing a few prospects here and there for good friendships. They're not quite the young/party crowd that I *wish to God* I could join in, but they seem to be really nice, healthy and cool in their own kinda ways. Hey, maybe I need to be a bit flexible in what I want out of people.

I think you're been doing some good things so far. You've been putting yourself out there, meeting new people, trying different activities.

I think what you're missing may be intimacy. You have plenty of "friends" - i.e. people who you can meet regularly - but you don't have those few close, intimate relationships, where you can share deep emotions and experiences.

A few things I would suggest right off the bat, from personal experience, that have helped me:

1. Seeing a psychologist regularly is an AWESOME idea for ANYONE who can. Not just those who have problems. I know of at least one person who checks in with a therapist once every couple of months, just to see if things are going OK in their life. I try to see mine once a month. You may need to shop around and try a few different therapists until you find one you click with, but when you do, the result can be a wonderful long-term relationship of care and mentoring, which helps you to build a strong emotional foundation from which to navigate friendships, relationships and life events.

jaysee
Community Member
2. Discover yourself. A psychologist can help with this, but you can also do this on your own. Start keeping a small diary. Write your thoughts of the day, maybe songs you heard or something you read or watched that affected you. Write down dreams or memories from years ago that resurface. Try to look for interesting themes in your life. For example you mentioned you came from an airforce family. Maybe that's something to explore. Or maybe you're really into some genre of music. Explore that genre. The better you understand yourself, the better you'll know what kind of friends and social life you really want, and that's an excellent way to start building that life for yourself. I'm still discovering myself. It's been a long journey, but at least I'm not wasting time pursuing things that don't really interest me, just to get social approval. I'm looking for people whose interests and natures gel with mine.

3. Try a completely new activity. Something out of your comfort zone, or something that you have seen other people do from afar and imagined doing, but didn't act on it. This is part of learning what you like and don't like. Sometimes an activity that looks either unpleasant or a complete mystery from the outside is actually fun once you start doing it. For example, I used to hate swimming, but I recently picked it up again, with some help from a trainer, and I'm now starting to get good at it and love it.

4. Go to university. There's no upper age limit on uni, and more knowledge is ALWAYS a good thing. You mentioned that you're quite shy when meeting people. Uni can really help with this, because there's enough structure (classes, assignments, etc) for you to not have to take all the intiative, but at the same time, there are opportunities to slowly build connections. For example, if you're working through a bachellors degree, as you do more units, you'll start to notice some of the same people attending class, and they may also notice you. It can be a nice easy way to strike up a frienship. You can offer to study with eachother or just share lunch together. Lecturers will also be there to help you and you can build really nice mentorship relationships with them. Because it's a regular thing, the friendships can be more long-lasting and fruitful.

jaysee
Community Member
5. Practice listening. If you can, when in conversation, try to relax and focus your mind on what the other person is saying. Be inquisitive. Say they refer to some music festival they went to... ask them about it. How did they find out about it? How often do they go? Why do they go? People love talking about themselves! If you keep this up, they will begin to get curious about you and ask you questions. That's when you can ask them if they want to hang out for lunch/dinner to talk about it more.

6. Practice mindfulness. Download the free app Buddhify and use it EVERY DAY to meditate. Meditating can help you to relax and feel calm and peace. This kind of calm and peace will make you "chill" when in social situations, and can also help you to see the funny side of social interactions, which will bring out you sense of humour. Being chill and funny will instantly make you attractive (either as a friend or as more) to almost anyone.

Anyway, I'm still on my journey to reaching out and expanding my social life, and I can't say I don't still get incredibly lonely sometimes. But the important thing is to keep going, even if in just a small way.

Remember two things: life can change very quickly, for the better. And small things today - miniscule, tiny things - can turn into huge things tomorrow. It's not just feel-good platitudes, I have seen this happen in my life.