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LPT: If you're not good at making a lot of friends, put all your effort into making one good friend who is.

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1.1k points · 6 months ago · edited 6 months ago

And then you get attached to your friend and realise that while you have that one friend you depend on, they have many and will not have the time for you, that you have for them. Technically you have a friend, yes. As a bonus, you get growing dread, the feeling of being the third wheel and, if your are very lucky, an incoming depression.

Edit: This is getting a tad more attention than I suspected, and with that more controversy than thought.

I do not say that you should not make friends. I just want to point out the dangers of this way of going ahead. It will be beautiful if you actually find that person that will appreciate you as much as you do them.

The problem is the devastation that comes from being invested in someone for whom you are one of many and with whom you maybe are happy about time shared, but are even more pulled down by the feeling of worthlessness whenever that person prefers anyone above you and you know exactly that you have no right for more. Either you learn to live with that, or you leave what you started. But breaking true affection is easier said than done.

People just should know the risks of this and not take it for an instant happiness scheme.

This is very accurate. I speak from experience.

As do I, and soon there will be some people following this advice up top, and then proceed to follow us into the same pit.

Same. I’ve basically had the same friend for 25 years with various friends in between who have came and went. I’m lucky to have the one though so I cant complain too much.

Appreciate that one friend and don't let go. I haven't lived 25 years, but if there is one thing I see happiness in is appreciation of those you can call genuine friends. Even if it gets hard, fight for it. They are not replaceable.

well when i was here @ 25 my friends pretty much no longer existed. One day tho, one day.

We're all in it together fam.

Hi ho. Hi ho. Off to the pit we go.

From my experience, this 'extrovert' guy won't be a close friend but will probably introduce you to people who will eventually become close friends.

And as it turns out, it often turns out that the person who became the close friend wouldn't have ever interacted with you if not for the extrovert either.

I had this happen when she would invite me to most things but she grew tired of me after the girl she used to bully switched schools. When she grew tired of me I started to get dropped from plans and realized that the friends I made through her weren’t my friends at all

This is exactly how I felt recently, I had a friend (3 years) whom I talked with everyday about everything. A few weeks ago, she made up with one of her old best friends (had a fight a long time ago). Now she rarely talks to me, I've had to learn to move on.

Maybe it's better that way. Go find yourself someone for whom you are the priority, not the filler.

And until then, don't give up on people. Even if it is hard. Even if they disappoint you again and again. Someone out there is like you. Just out your money in the law of large numbers.

That's called a relationship. If you want to be someone's ultimate priority you aren't really going to find that in a regular friendship

Be friends to both of them.

Yeap. I had that one friend whom I spent college + 2 years with. Then he started dating this girl in his masters degree abroad phase. Turns out girl is sooooo different than me or our friend group. (Don’t mind the friend group here, they’re nowhere near intimate or close actual friends) Girl of course didn’t like me. (First person ever not to since I’m so easy going to the point of almost being a pushover)

My friend had troubles(same trouble actually) with their relationship in the beginning so he ‘hate texted’ me about her all the time. We joked around and laughed at her in those texts, he wasn’t even that serious with her. She read those later, on his phone. She attempted a break up, blamed me for the messages. My friend being a wuss made everything he could including distancing me to keep her. When I confronted he said he’d rather be with her even though he knows they’re not perfect than be single again. Fast forward 2 years, we seldom see each other or text. He’s still together with the girl and only calls/texts when she’s away. After I spent the first year very depressed about this I’ve come to the conclusion that I overvalued him in the beginning anyway. Girlfriend issue is just a litmus paper.

I’m having quite a similar issue with the love of my life girlfriend of 2 years now. After my college friend’s resignation I became very attached to her, and she did to me. But the ‘feeling worthless’ whenever her attention is elsewhere is still here. I don’t know what my issue is.

Don't beat yourself up about it. I know exactly how you feel and you just can't but help feel that sting whenever she has something else in mind when you just want to do something with her. What I would try in your position is talk to her about it. Not trying to sound like it is her fault, but still bringing across how you feel is important. Tell her how you don't want to feel like that, but that you do. Maybe she can help you come to terms with it. Maybe she will understand you and try to make everything as transparent as it needs to be for you to feel good. Just do not pressure her, but I guess that you will know that.

Hope you will be able to get through this feeling.

Thank you for the reply random stranger. I really need a talk. Thing is, she’s really outgoing and social. A few months before she started dating me she lost her dad to cancer (he had recovered after 5 years but passed away of a flu due to lack of immunity in a week) and destroyed a career because she ‘didn’t believe in it anymore’. She was and still is in depression. She took a few steps back in her life, that’s not an easy feat.

This 2 years of relationship has been as transparent, effortless, beautiful as can be. We never keep things from each other. I helped her a lot in her recovery from said depression and gave a lot from myself into the relationship. I’ve seen pure love. Now I feel like I don’t get the same sensitiveness and care she got. She knows this, agrees with it. For the past few months we’ve been having fights at least twice a week. We love each other deeply and because of the transparency she keeps apologizing all the time, yet repeats even though she promised to pay more attention. Because of the depression her main enemy is herself. Inner she detests herself. So today when I had the same ‘feeling of worthlessness’ again she was fed up and angry to herself again. She said that this relationship is not going good and isn’t as good as it used to be. She hated herself again for not being able to keep the only beautiful thing she has together. She said maybe we should consider a brake as talking hasn’t been solving things. She reassured me that I was the love of her life and she wanted to spend her life with me, but because she can’t solve her problem with herself she was eating me up.

This is true to some extent. I’m in a situation where if I put my feelings to the primary she is apologetic but can’t do anything about it. If I don’t I’m not transparent and if this relationship isn’t transparent than it isn’t any different than any other relationship. So yeah, I’m fucked. I love her very much I’m sure about that. Yet I’m lost because of the same reason I lost my best friend. Spare any wise words random stranger?

I’m not the previous poster but am currently going through the exact same thing. All I can say, as cliche as it is, is to keep living day to day and eventually you’ll stop thinking about them as much.

It’s been tough for me for the past few months but I’m making progress.

Good luck!

How do you even make progress? Like what defines it?

Not feeling that way anymore? Holding your feelings back and not committing as much to the relationship deep down inside hence ruining the magic?

3 points · 6 months ago

The best way for me was trying to be a better person and improve my quality of life. I stopped smoking and stopped drinking. The ultimate ingredient is time tho.

The longing for the person will fade away over time. If you’re a loner, like me, it will certainly take longer than when you’re quick to find a new person.

I can relate.

I can't say much about what you can do, but I agree with the general consensus in here so far. All I can say is that I was kind of in your same position, except that I was the one dealing with the death.

In the end I pretty much ruined the one good thing we had going between us. So um yeah, it probably won't end well for her or for you. And taking a break will probably only lead to a break-up, because it's only a matter of time until both of ya'll realize there are cracks in the foundation that may be irreversible. May be best to focus on your strengths, improve yourself and kick any bad habits right now you've formed over the years, because there's a good chance it gets worse before it gets better.

Don't thank me. We are sitting in the same boat, in some way or another.

To your problem. This sounds like a very precarious situation. You both want to make the other happy, but don't know how. There certainly is something in the way.

What I think I would do in your situation, if you haven't already, is to talk to a professional about this. I don't mean partner counselling or something like that. I don't think that the relationship itself is the problem. Actually the fact that you try everything to keep up transparency is great. What I mean is going to some kind of therapist, together. There seems to be some point in all of this that, I would guess she, isn't able to consciously see, but that makes it so hard for her to show the same empathy to you.

You just have to try not to blame her. It can hurt at times, but she isn't trying to make you feel bad. To the contrary, it seems like she wants you to feel as good as you can.

Just getting in a word from a professional might tell you why she has such a hard time of being there for you at times. I think that she tries, as little as I know her.

Thank you. Really needed this.

I thank you for being open and showing not just everyone else, but also yourself that you haven't given up and are still fighting.

Just try to find what hinders her. She is in a hard spot, I know that you know. Just keep in mind that the thought behind her actions may be very hard to grasp. It may not always sound logical to you, but it does to her. That is why I think that a professional will be able to help you. Just keep your trust in her.

Codependency. Your issue is codependency.

Anxiety separation? IANAD! Just throwing this in the ring.

Try compassion without attachment. If you remove attachment, you remove all the fear. No action is good or bad, right or wrong. Only intention can be good or bad. So do things with good intention and be truthful. What happens is not in your hand soley. It's only an illusion if you feel that sometimes.

5 points · 6 months ago

Thank you

Nothing to thank me for. I'm just trying to point out the risks that some people can have with this.

First time a Reddit comment hit me like that..... damn

You don't seem to be alone. Take some relief in knowing that many people run into the same problem, make the same mistakes, sit in the same pit.

It at least can make you feel like you haven't made a dumb mistake. It is easy to get yourself into this situation and in the end you didn't have bad intentions. You don't deserve something like this. It just happened to be like this.

Try to learn from your mistakes. If you are still in such a relation, try to mend it. Try to convey to the other person how much they mean to you and maybe they will try to keep that in mind. But under no circumstances expect them to change.

If you aren't anymore, try to stay open for new people. Learn from mistakes and don't overinvest into someone you don't know enough. Always be a bit more invested than them, but not much more. You need to get the friendship closer, without being bound to them more than they are to you.

And in the end, never try to manipulate them, or force them to change. That will not make any of you feel better. If the friendship grows close, it should happen on its own.

4 points · 6 months ago

I feel like this is more a result of being insecure than having a small friend group

Well, people who don't have real friends tend to have problems with self-confidence. Can't blame anyone for that. And even the strongest confidence can break if you are emotionally bound to someone but feel like you are just a weight they have to drag around. When someone stands in the middle of your view, suddenly ever single action, every sentence, yes, every single word even suddenly gets so much meaning.

If you want to accomplish anything, find someone who's already done it and do what they've done.

Being around someone is Secure in themselves, can help you learn how to not be insecure

Yeah crying for a few hours because your only friend ignored your text, or being incredibly jealous anytime they hang out with anyone else, being scared to get in an argument or speak your mind because if they leave you you have no one.

And no matter how affectionate they are and how much they care about you, being paranoid that they secretly hate you and are never going to talk to you again, and then you'll have no one and be alone for the rest of your life m. And you always feel like you're a burden to them. Like they're babysitting you.

Because your a fucking child who can't make any other friends or have social interactions. Because unlike them you have no life outside of the friendship.

And you frequently wonder if they still actually like you, or if they feel obligated to talk to you because they know how lonely you are and are afraid you might kill your self if they stop talking to you because every time they don't reply to a text you spam them with things like "please don't hate me".

And eventually you start to think they would be better off without you and you should just kill yourself. Because you're just holding them back, and they need to realize this.

Because you think that it would be better for the both of you if you just died.

Yeah that's a great experience I highly recommend only having one friend

Your happiness (stupid concept of pursuing happiness as a life goal, but that's a different topic) should never depend on one person. Doesn't matter if friend or SO.

Your missing a step. You are supposed to make friends with your new friend's friends.

Yeah, I guess that would alleviate some of the problems. But I wanted to get through to the people who maybe don't want many friends, who just want someone.

Even if you plan on getting through to more people with this, it is still easy to mess up and hurt yourself. I feel like it is still a valid point.

Nothing related to this subject, could ever hurt you

Feeling and emotions, are not the same as pain

You could just as easily, interpret those thought and feelings as pleasure

Its all up to you

Original Poster5 points · 6 months ago

Thank you for putting some thought into this response. I meant this as more of a general way to take the first step with more people. Building a solid friendship is definitely a process and comes with challenges and setbacks. However, they all start with a little moment like this.

As long as people keep this in mind. It is a process, right. But it is easy to destine yourself to misery the moment you decide that this person is your friend.

That is just the thing that is hardest. Not to go all in as soon as it feels like it might be right, but also putting in the effort to be someone who people will want to be friends of.

Just trying to keep people aware of the trap that such thinks can be, as much as they can be great. It depends on how you deal with it and, to be honest, on luck.

Going through this right now with a long time friend. Shes pretty much my only friend honestly. I have others, but not even near as close as her. It started to dawn on me recently that she didnt really care as much about me as i did her, essentially just wanted to vent onto me whenever something was wrong, which im fine with, but she never asked about me. Been giving her the cold shoulder for a month or so. I miss her, i feel so lonely.

That last thing is something that, even though it feels like something that may make the situation better, you should never do. Far better would be to talk to her abut how you feel. If she really can appreciate you for who you are, she will understand and try to be more empathic. If not, then ignoring her won't bring her closer either. If she decides to accept that you ignore her, it is far better to have tried to talk to her. The worst case isn't worse than where you are going right now.

It me

This is my life.....

I had the opposite experience. I used to not be able to make friends very easily. But one of my best friends is the most charismatic people I've ever met. When I started hanging out with him and going out with him alot I would meet alot of people that he was friends with and learned to be more charismatic. It's really helped me alot. And even if it didn't I still gained one really good friend

I'm happy that it worked out that well for you.

The problem that people can have at this point is that they might not want to be good with people over all. They might not want many friends. They will be happy if, and only if, they have a friend of whom they know that they can go all in for them and that they will be fully dependable. Sharing someone with other friends is just hard for these people. In that situation it is easy to build a strong bond with someone who isn't interested in doing the same. At that point it can get very painful. It won't feel like sharing. It will feel like you are merely someone who is unimportant. They can't give you the attention you yearn for and you can't just accept what they can give you.

You could not be more right.

2 points · 6 months ago

I agree with this post. I thought I knew the risk of dating my best friend of three years for just four months. First time I was ever in love, but it was a terrible mistake. We text every so often now. From best friends to lovers to... acquaintances?

Great risk may or may not grant great reward.

Yet sometimes it is the only way of ever getting the chance of great reward.

It hurts, but don't beat yourself up over it. It could have been great. Just because it wasn't, doesn't mean it was a bad decision. If you don't think that you can grow closer to that person again, maybe try to get someone new. As you already made it so far, that the other person was even romantically interested, you should be confident that you can do it again. Try to stay on a purely platonic level. If it happens to become more, it will. If not, you have a great friend.

And in the end, after the first shock of love has fallen, only those who can be close friends will be able to stay a couple. Maybe you will get what you want yet.

The guy who's good at making friends will not be a close friend most of the time

But he will almost certainly enable you to find someone who will.

Speaking from years of experience in following this LPT

Well then, I hope that many people will be able to get someone this way. The program that most will have is, that it is very easy to take the first person you get close to and put them into the spotlight. If that happens, then it will be hard to see someone else as a possible close friend.

If I get the time and remember, I will try to edit the original comment again.

I understand that, absolutely.

I mean I can understand how it can potentially be an issue, how you attach and get detached from, but that's not that dude's fault, that's just his vibe.

Take what you can from him that helps you, because he will probably move on just as easily. It'll maintain your friendship with that person too, albeit as a not-so-close friend. At least there won't be any internal resentment.

Make a group of friends. 'Do you mind if I sit here?', is a good opener often. No, is just no. Don't get offended, they might have plans for the additional seat. Just shrug to yourself and move on.

That is a great way to proceed for many. If you have more people to rely on, a single person not having time for you, suddenly seems like no big thing.

But there are many who aren't comfortable with having many friends. They just want one single, very close friend. This can work, if the other person thinks the same. They don't have to isolate themselves from others, they will just happily place each other in the spotlight, whatever happens. Others can play a role in their lives, they can spend time apart. But the feeling of having someone who will always be there for you, no matter what is going on is what many want.

Having a friend group where for everyone there you are just one of many, there just isn't this feeling of dependability that some just long for in their lives.

Absolutely! I couldn’t agree more. (I am one of these people.)

Even for us, it’s important to make friends with your new friend’s friends. (Their family, acquaintances, etc.)

It will help you see your friend from different perspectives, and you will be able to team up with them if your friend needs more help than you can provide on your own.

Different strokes. Good synopsis.

Great point.

I will like to weigh in on a tangential to suggest that the whole reason to this phenomenal it the expectation of reciprocity. If there's such expectation, then there's a threat of the shift in powers due to dependency tendencies. Thus, the only way around addressing the need of having companionship without risk of anxiety, developing dependencies, becoming disappointed, feeling jealousy or possessive, is to learn to accept loneliness (as in being "ok" with it). That way, you aren't pressured into making new friends allowing you to enjoy the process more (especially when hitting it off), thereby providing a better quality of interaction increasing the probability of others wanting to be friends with you as they perceived you to be more enjoyable.

I know it sounds like asking someone if they tried not being poor or depressed. So just take it with a pitch of salt. This isn't kind of a protip, just an opinion.

If you can achieve this, it will certainly make everything much easier. What I can tell you though is that it will probably not stand for too long. From experience I can tell you that before this friend, I was very much OK with being alone. I didn't feel lonely. I found stuff to do. Even when not, I felt bored, not lonely.

That was until I became closer friends with them. They were a delight to be around. When you are alone then, it suddenly feels much worse, just by comparison. Suddenly you can't stand being alone, as then you feel truly lonely.

If one could find some way to really stick with that mindset, then that will make everything easier. But if not, then it will just topple the moment you see the extreme of company.

This really.. I just had this happen to me a few weeks ago, I invested a lot of time in only 2 people and now that they’ve both gone I’m in a very shitty state right now

It feels bad to be in the situation you are in. All I can try to tell you is to see this as an opportunity to start over with someone. Rather than indulging in the misery, as much as it feels like the right thing, try to find at least someone new. Someone you think could be a good friend. But take it slow with them. Don't immediately make the mistake of thinking of them as your closest friend. You should always invest a bit more than they do, so that you can bring the friendship closer and closer. But never make this difference too big. If you out far more value into the relation than they do, you pave your way into the same pit, and the only way out is either through sheer luck of them investing as much in you, or going the path of misery again.

But stay open, as much as it feels like a risk.

Thanks for the advice! I’m trying my best to be optimistic about this and hopefully I can move forward

It's great to hear that. Should you feel bad, or if there should be some throwback, but also if you have success and feel like sharing, don't hesitate to tell me. Maybe you'll find some comfort in having someone who can understand you.

So true. I am going through right now, and while I cherish the friendship - it is very difficult to be one of many who he has to spend time with.

There is always the possibility to talk with him about it. You can't expect him to change the way he manages his friends, but maybe it will make you feel better if you hear from him personally that he at least doesn't take others over you explicitly.

Over all, being communicative can make many things much easier.

This is why I'm best friends with myself. Myself has no other best friends, so I know myself won't be thirdwheeling me with other friends. Myself only has myself as a best friend, so I know myself will always be there for me. One of these days though, I might get a dog, so me and myself can have a second best friend.

I've been having this problem for some time. But now I'm learning to be content with myself more, finding activities or hobbies that I can do on my own comfortably.

Your main source of happiness should be from yourself, then your friends are there to improve upon that happiness. Learn to love yourself so you can love others. It all starts with oneself.

I love my friends, and I know that they love me (and I keep reminding myself about that when my brain fills me with doubt), even though they cant be there all the time. We're just humans after all :)

Strongly agree. I've experienced it myself. This is a terrible idea. Don't rely so heavily on one person, one day they WILL hurt you, no matter how big or small. And it feels awful.

2 points · 6 months ago

no offense, but I think "investing into someone and staying the third weel" can be traced back to a lack if empathy. A friendship is based on trust. A person is not simply something you throw compassion at and get compassion in return. You have to understand what moves them, what they like or dislike about you, feel their perspective of you, and realize where you end up to short. And then you change into slmrthingthey can apprechiate! It's a pathway. The path towards becoming a better human. It's what will bring you moee friends in the first place, by the way. :)

I don't think that just throwing blind compassion at someone is the way to go. But as much as you try to understand them, as much as you grow close to them, there is never anything close to a guarantee that they will reciprocate your feelings.

And having to change yourself, in the sense of cashing yourself as a person, putting on another personality, will make things even worse. It just adds to the insecurity by making you feel like whatever they like about you, it is not actually you. That makes it even harder to feel close.

1 point · 6 months ago

No. You aren't static, my friend. I mean don't engage in a hobby you dislike. But you can slways improve as a human being. Being a good friend requires work, and it requires a set of qualities. You must be able to give. Be on time. Forgive. Have conversations. Respect. Be thankful. But also known when to push back because you dislike what just happened. Relationships must be mutually beneficial and if you bring nothing to the table well, its only a matter of time before people turn away from you. Just work on yourself.

That is completely true. But that will not necessarily help you in the situation if being one of many friends. As much as you can be a good friend, no one owes you the same in return. Out of personal experience, I wouldn't say that I am the best person there has been in general, but with this friend, I feel true compassion. I do all these things, completely voluntarily. But after quite a while of doing such things with feelings of the friendship being stuck at some status quo you don't like, or even somehoe degrading, it begins to get harder and harder to remember the happiness you brought to that person. At some point it will feel like the most happiness you can give them would be by leaving them alone, freeing them from yourself.

1 point · 6 months ago

Yeah I feel you. Yoz might want to challenge your friend, hint that you're unsatisfied with what you're getting in return. But yeah, sometimes you just have to withdraw.

I completely understand that none of this is their fault and it's just a reflection of my own insecurities but it's like a catch 22. Don't have other friends because of mental health issues, which are made worse by having no friends.

So you cling onto the only person you have and never let them go, even though you know spamming them with texts when they don't reply will only make things worst, it makes you feel a bit better, if even just for a second.

And no matter how affectionate they are and how much they care about you, being paranoid that they secretly hate you and are never going to talk to you again, and then you'll have no one and be alone for the rest of your life m. And you always feel like you're a burden to them. Like they're babysitting you.

Because your a fucking child who can't make any other friends or have social interactions. Because unlike them you have no life outside of the friendship.

And you frequently wonder if they still actually like you, or if they feel obligated to talk to you because they know how lonely you are and are afraid you might kill your self if they stop talking to you because every time they don't reply to a text you spam them with things like "please don't hate me".

And eventually you start to think they would be better off without you and you should just kill yourself. Because you're just holding them back, and they need to realize this.

Because you think that it would be better for the both of you if you just killed yourself,

2 points · 6 months ago

Been there, trust me. You are in a depression, though, my friend. It's hard to blieve for you, because you are in it, but they hopelessnes with which you just described life can be traced back to a depressive phase. You need to get back on track.

You are in a situation your mindset is not built for: no friends. It's chaos for you. You don't know what to do, you can't trust your own instincts and you question things you thought you knew because it didn't work when talking to others. Makes you question if you are simply a broken human. Well, you're not.

I recommene stoicism. Takes a lot of burder off your shoulders. It's also nice to heard about a coherent worldview that makes sense and encompasses almost all aspects you are going through, so maybe listen to what Jordan Peterson has to say. Read about psychology, and maybe go to a psychiatrist. How about a good book about the topic, e.g. "How to win friends & influence people"? You're not out of your options.

I think everyone goes to something like you at one points. Its part of human developement. Its how it works: We have our ideas how things are and things work ("worldview") until you get somewhere your worldview doesn't fit and you get "punched in the face by life". You fall into a crysis, work through it, and come out on the other side stronger with a better worldview. I promis you that you will look back on this time proudly, for you will have risen up from the very bottom. Just keep pushing. Things won't seem as bad as they do now later, trust me.

or, In my case, you get a text from them saying that they dont have time to text or hang out with you anymore, because they're "too busy with other people"

This is how I lost my best-friend growing up. He was great at making friends and popular, I wasn't. I was bullied and frowned upon.

Life isn't a fairy tale.

Not a bad LPT, as long as your friend knows you suck at socializing I suppose. I've only experienced one side of how it can turn out.

Your friend knowing that you are bad at it isn't enough. They have to understand it, they have to really be able to see where you are coming from. If they don't, they will be unable to take your situation into account. Then it will feel even worse.

Yes this is such a great point.

In college my first friend was very good with people, I am not. It worked out very well for me as I had many friends who I met going out and hanging with this one guy.

100% agree. This has happened to me all my life. Now, I have no friends where I live and do t have the energy to try and make one. I'm done with it.

Don't give up and you are not given up. As long as you are able to put in some effort, you can find a friend you can be happy with.

Whenever you meet someone of whom you think might be such a good friend, try to build a basic relation at first. Don't invest to much into them. As soon as that stands, gradually, but slowly, get emotionally closer and closer to them, see if they do the same. If they don't, stop. Try to see if they just take longer, or if they have a reason for not growing closer.

Just don't get to much more invested than they are. You have to be a bit over them, so the friendship can grow, but don't take it to far too quickly.

And being on recipient of those kinds of feelings can be exhausting. I had a friend who was like this and holy shit he made me so tired. Texting for one day burned me out.

It's good to have close friends or a close friend, but have your own life and understand that they have their own lives too.

That is just the problem that comes with differing preferences. There are just some people who prefer having one very close friend over having many. When to people like this meet and decide that each other is the one they want to be their friend it can grow into a friendship that just won't end.

When people of different preferences meet, it quickly becomes a point of conflict. They want only you. You are much more important to them than anyone else. It is just the way they treat their friend. But on the other side, you have more people to manage. You want to spend time with them all. But the more friends you have, the more time that one person will sit there and be sad because most of the time you can't pay any attention to them.

Just try to see it from their perspective. They aren't trying to get on your nerves. It's just how they show affection. Either barely anything or all in. Being on your side easily becomes hard and frustrating.

I'm afraid that I can't even tell you what you could do in this situation. If you aren't interested to be a closer friend, the only thing that I can see is that you should maybe tell them as directly and clearly as possible. Try to break this bond on your own. If they manage to stay friends on a lower level, great. If not, you at least freed them from this emotional binding, even though you lost a very dependable friend.

ow this is too real

Everyone's scared of this, right? I'm in my early twenties and trying to make friends as often as I can (I think I'm finally getting good at it too) but I'm constantly having to break through a barrier with almost everyone I begin to get to know. And this fear is what I think is the reason. Or at least that's what I can see from where I'm sitting

Use your situation to alleviate your fear. Keep in mind not to invest to much emotionally into a person before you know if they will do the same. Take it easy. Don't form stronger bonds than what is needed to take the friendship just a bit closer. Only when you know that you are comfortable with the other person and that they see you in the same light you see them should you begin to really make a emotional bond with them. Only then give your all.

If it doesn't seem to work out at times, try to spend some time with others. If you feel like the person you want to do something with right now can't give you the attention you went at the moment, try bridging the time until they can with other people.

That is currently how I am feeling right now.

I was never very good at making friends, was always pretty reserved and introverted. So I made a frw good friends I still maintain contact.

Lo and behold they all date and go to parties and I am the biggest third wheel of all. No girls, no parties unless they bring me.

I feel stuck, like there is nothing I cam really do, i feel depressed that I never had success in my love life so far and that my friends don't have the time anymore to hang out and chill like the good old days.

It slowly eats away at you and when it blows up, it blows up very badly.

Maybe you are searching at the wrong places? Many people you will find at generic parties will not be people who search for a close friend, much less a partner for their life.

Maybe try to adjust where you go to who you search. Find what interests you, what you like, where you would like to be. Go there and see if there are others who might be interested in a friendship.

And if you are interested in having a real partner, go the way over friendship. Being lovestruck will make you feel like the other person is perfect. They are definitely not. Being a friend will teach you how to learn with their imperfections and the other person will learn of yours. If you can have a stable and very close friendship, you have a good foundation to build more upon.

I appreciate the advice. But im at a point where I have effectively given up on romance and the like.

Literaly just gave up because im tired of being hurt with no progress. I know its the easy and cowardly way out but in my current state of mind, its the only recourse I have.

Its not that I don't try, I try, I adapt, correct my mistakes and still every time its failure. I've never had any woman romanticaly interested in me, regardless of place of meeting and the like. Never had any success, and I probably never will.

Its just that seeing my friends having success when I know they didn't go through as many difficulties as me (Emotional anguish, being used by women who didn't care about you, being disrespected and looked down upon and the like).

I will still focus on work and my studies, but I will not expect to find anyone, ever. And I fully accept dying alone now.

I don't want to convince you to just turn your thinking around. I know it is hard, if not even possible.

But one thing I can tell you is that you are in a position where you can try to look at it more pragmatically. You are still happy enough with your situation to not give up on the rest of your life. Use that. Do whatever you think can keep you happy while not damaging you.

Use your time to get other goals, do what you personally like and don't focus to much on finding someone. After all, you sound like you are relatively young. You might find someone perchance and it would be fully stressfree as you never expected anything from it anyways. If not, then you can worry about it later.

Especially because maybe other people currently have other desires. More and more people change to wanting just someone they can be with. Until then do everything you can to not get bitter. To stay open, to encourage contact.

I belief that you just get the people out of the wrong group. Wait till you come into a group of people that has the right mindest for you.

That's why I make 3 friends with 3 different groups.

i think it works if you go into it with the idea that spending time with this person will help you meet other people - and you are ready to look for new friends that way and get invested in other besides this one friends with a huge network. i'm thinking that's what OP means - but yea, it could backfire esp. if you are someone who is struggling to make friends b/c you have anxiety getting to know lots of people, being one in a large group of people you don't know well, etc.

1 point · 6 months ago

This just turned into r/ShittyLifeProTips.

213 points · 6 months ago

Introvert 101

No matter how much you want to say no when that friend invites you out make sure you say yes as much as you can stand.

If you say no too many times, the invites WILL stop.

Once you've been hanging for a bit, share with them that it can be hard for you to hang out too much, they'll understand and you can start saying no a little more.

This also I found that I would start to enjoy it when I forced my self to hang out and started wanting to do it more

Yes! I am the most anti social person you could ever meet but was invited to a friends birthday party, which was last night.... I always say no to social situations, and I mean all, but I decided to say yes to this, even though I only really knew my friend there... and I’ve been nervous all week in the build up.... but I had a fucking blast!! Everyone was amazing and lovely and I left knowing I’d met people who are totally on my level and I can see being good friends with!

Say YES!

So... Get a puppy?

Original Poster8 points · 6 months ago


Learn to love and hold value in yourself before anything else. This plan is destined to backfire horribly otherwise.

63 points · 6 months ago

I just realized that it's been 3 years since I had a friend. I'm a mess...

Im down to 1 friend. Its my birthday and hes too busy to see me. Guess im pretty much down to family at this point.

12 points · 6 months ago

Happy birthday! 🎂

Happy birthday, mate!

To me and my whisky

I've been spending my past few birthdays with that same friend! I'll have one for ya tonight!

Times get hard. It's easy to feel like everything is your fault. What matters in the end is that you get happy. If a friend is what you need, you will have to keep on trying, keep on searching, keep on doing your best and staying who you are.

In what kind of environment are you? School, college, work, or something else? Whatever it is, in most cases there is some way to establish contact. Never expect anyone to be the first to kindle friendship, do it yourself. Try as long as it takes that one person that embraces that spark you give and with whom the fire of this friendship will warm you up again. Just take care not to burn yourself. Take it easy, don't expect to much until the other side shows genuine interest.

I hope you get to live with the light of that fire guiding you forth soon enough.

Hey there friend. How's your day going? :)

shitty as usual, friend

Well that sucks! Want to chat, maybe you'll feel better?

Nah, I'm good thanks.

If you ever feel like talking I'm here bro. You're not alone!

I had a couple of good friends. I gave everything to those friendships, having fun and being supportive, always giving whatever they needed. That's what I thought you do for friends. And in the end I lost them both because the one time I asked for their support they couldn't give it. Not even a compromise.

I've learned that you can't be the only one who is always giving. And that loneliness can be survived. Most days.

Just got to focus on something fun! Then one day along the way, you just might make friends! Or you'll just be really good at shooting 3-pointers alone..

I mean win-win either way, right?

And here i have a friend where we just randomly text and ask how were doing. No hardcore "i do this, you do that" just "hey whats up, been a while" we would not talk for months and just say hi. Maybe you should stop giving (physically) and just find friends who actually just wanna be there (emotionally and mentally) no need for helping me move or go party. Just a little checkup.

(Side note idk if its related, but that friend is a female and boy do females actually talk to you more than the bros)

thanks to spacejunkie for starting this thread.

I'd say "If you're not good at keeping lots of friends, put some extra time into two or three. Start by doing more things with one who you can easily talk with. "

After moving to a new city just a couple years ago, I have one key friend right now.

Met him by adventuring out and trying new things that were of interest to me. The theory being, that if I enjoy something, and I meet someone who is doing that thing, likely they are at least interested in doing it too. Therefore we have something we can comfortably talk about.

But on the evening I met him, I wasn't looking for a hook up, or a long term friend, or any other agenda. I was just doing the thing that I was doing (happened to be pokemon go, fwiw).

And so we got to talking - about the game. He knew some things, there were other things I'd figured out, and so on.

Whenever we get into a rough patch - he gets busy (he's the one who was popular through school etc ) or someone said something awkward, I just gave it a rest for a few days or a week or so.

And then if one of us had something to say, we'd usually start by "going back to normal". Which was usually a quick text about something in-game. One of us would screenshot a new monster we caught, or ask a Q about an update, whatever.

Never get into "why don't you hang out with meeeee, " or any of that. Big yuck. Would have sent both of us running out of the friendship in opposite directions.

If I have something legit (or illegit, your choice) I want to invite him to, I just do that. eg: thinking of heading over to the city, you maybe want to go with ?

A year and a half later, he and I are really good friends. We've learned things from each other, help each other out from time to time, give each other a lot of space.

Oh - and if he's not available, I just work on myself, treating myself as a friend (watch a movie, take myself out to dinner, say something encouraging). And/or call up one of my other peeps most of whom are in my old city.

I love your laid back attitude and your general positive outlook on the topic! It's a breather compared to the pity parties around. Keep up what you're doing, because it seem like you've got this friendship sorted!

7 points · 6 months ago

Why should I want to make a lot of friends? I prefer a few good friends.

"Lot" is relative...

No one wants to be my friend ;(

Original Poster31 points · 6 months ago

I'll be your friend! don't be sad, sadshoe

Be a friend and someone will be your friend. Not everyone will want to be. But as long as you don't give up you are not given up. Just find the right person, even if the failures on the way burn. It will be worth it.

I don’t think the failures on the way are worth it anymore. I’m giving up.

I’m not even good at making one friend XD

AND... then learn from your friend how to communicate with other people

Study what they do, and how they behave

Huh. So the NSA just wants to be a better friend.

5 points · 6 months ago

Make friends with a cow. Got it.

I've moved and changed jobs so much that I'm a bit burned out on making friends for the sake of it.

And if you have no special skill to bring to the friendship, bring loyalty and reliability.

Its harder to build a strong relationship than build a lot of weaker ones, just try going for the weaker ones and some will slowly become stronger and others will fall.

Or try to meet an extrovert who will adopt you and drag you everywhere and to everything

Until they eventually ditch you for all their other great friends

No thanks. I used to be like this.

3 points · 6 months ago

Don’t put the pressure on someone of them being your only friend. I’ve done it, they felt smothered. Just be patient and find like minded people.

People who want to be in your life are. Friendship is simple that way. Dont pick someone to focus on. Focus on your self and you will find your real friends.

This seems kind of shitty. “Pretend to like someone social, so that you can mooch off of their social status”. Just be yourself and seek out other people with similar interests lol

Original Poster3 points · 6 months ago

I wasn't saying to pretend, I meant to make a friend you genuinely like who could bring more people you may like into you life

I get what you’re saying, something about it just doesn’t sit well with me. Idk.

and then that friend turns into a significant other and then that significant other turns into an ex and you're back where you started.

1 more reply

I wish I lived closer to cows.

Maybe figure out why you aren't good at making friends in the first place?

Couldn't disagree more. If you're not good at making a lot of friends, put your effort into observing and listening for the others who are also not good at making a lot of friends, and make friends with them.

Been there, done that. Twenty-five years on, it's still a great life tip! Here's to another twenty-five.

I'm good at making friends, but not good at keeping them. I don't talk to people enough.

That’s one of the reasons I married my wife.

Really shitty advice

I have zero friends. How do I get one regular friend first ?

First, get to know ypurself better (your hobbies, interests, weaknesses), work on your weaknesses while meeting new people, but don't treat this like a race or "all or nothing", because you'll come off as superficial. Talk to these new acquaintaces until you find the one(s) you get along best. But don't discard the others either, they're people too. And remember, always have a laid back, no strings attached attitude or else they'll feel pressured. Well, I'm no expert on the matter, so these are more like suggestions as each person is different.

Actually good suggestions. Thanks

Not good advice. You can't put all your eggs in one basket. Especially if you don't know the Reliability of said basket.

Is actual human connection that important? I am pretty sure I would be okay without ever seeing anyone again. I do only because I have to.

It's very important for yourself, your mental health and in general. It's great interacting with others to expand your views on the world, realising what is ok and what is not ok to do and even getting ideas and support for more delicate matters, like starting a business or what to do in life

But why would I care what I think the rest of worlds major cities do and don't do? What is the benefits?

In a society, it's vital knowing what your fellow peers are doing in general so you can better become a part of society. It also helps forming informed opinions on politics and whatnot, but it's optional.

Very optional. All I hear is people bitching and complaing and arguing over each other who is right about dumb things. I guess if you call that fun. Have a ball.

2 points · 6 months ago

This is not a lpt

2 points · 6 months ago

If you are not good at making friends, work at it. It is a skill that can be improved with practice.

I - this doesn't mean you should stay having only one friend. It means that knowing a few people with expansive friend groups will help you integrate into them instead of going into a group alone. That's ABSOLUTELY true.

And then they get a new job and move 100 miles away..

Original Poster3 points · 6 months ago

Long distance friends work too!

Careful to not make only one good friend. I did that and while we were very close, once they got busy once they got a job and became busy, I got horribly depressed and lonely.

Having a small friend group helps you shuffle around schedules.

One of the reasons I married my wife. Everyone loves her...

True facts, I have done this my whole life and it’s pretty legit. I’m the guy people sort of know due to the one friend. Takes the edge off of the social anxiety

I had a friend with Dissassociative Identity Disorder, I feel like her personalities and the different aspects of her really corrupted my life in some ways, I felt obsessed with deeply with her, and felt like I wanted to be around her all the time. But I didn't do this, she always wanted my attention but for really nothing but cheap socializing, and some other stuff.

Yea that works!

Until he moves to the other side of the country for school...

1 point · 6 months ago · edited 4 months ago

This is a hopeful scenario but not often how it plays out. To give you an idea, I have a hard time being outgoing with new people, but not anti-social. My closest friends at work are those who were in my training class, & on my training team.

My best friend is who I sat next to for the first couple of months. After ~2 years at this company he is now genuinely friends with e v e r y o n e (massive office, like 1500 employees). In no exaggeration, everyone knows who he is and has some interaction with him to some degree. Although it's clear I am his closest friend at work (hanging out every weekend, traveling together...etc) those other people at work have no interest in developing a friendship with me.

We always seem to eat lunch with different people based on who he interacted with that day and although I contribute to conversation and ask genuine questions to get to know them, our friendship ends as soon as the lunch hour. But OP you are correct, it is nice to be friends with someone super outgoing, but that doen't mean you're going to suddenly multiply your circle.

This is actually great advice. Because you’ll pick up the skills just by being attentive and learning from that friend.

Worked for me :)

This is why I'm glad I have a sibling with social skills :)

It's always weird for me. I'm very good at being social. People enjoy spending time with me. I always get the "why don't you come out more often?" I'm ok at social situations. But they don't understand it takes all my energy. I am comfortable being an intorvert. I like to be alone. Sometimes.

I'm introverted and a bad friend. Life's great.

Happy without friends.

^ this. my entire D&D group is people i met through my one best friend who ive known since i was 9

A small group of good friends is better than a large group of associates

Spoken like a proper sociopath!

Uhm, ... okay. But first, have to make one good friend.
Uhm, ... lots of friends? Is there some reason I'd actually want that?

3 points · 6 months ago

It would make you happy for sure! The question is if you could handle them. And the answer to that is: depends on how much practice you have. :)

One good friend makes me pretty happy. Don't know that lots of friends ever made me happy.

1 point · 6 months ago

To be deeply liked and respected by mutiple people at once is one of the most beautiful feelings in existance... it's like a letter of acceptance from reality, telling you that you belong into this universe

Hmmmm, ... paint me skeptical. Don't know that it would ever make me feel that way. But may well work for (most) (all(?)) others.

1 point · 6 months ago

Ok. I personally doubt that you work fundamentally different from the rest, but you probably don't believe me, so eh

I don't know about fundamentally different, ... but substantially different, yes. I used to think I mostly wanted more-or-less the same things as everyone else, mostly wanted to be treated the same way - or more accurately, that they mostly wanted to be treated as I wanted to be treated, mostly thought the same way as most other people, etc. Boy was I very seriously wrong on a whole lot 'o that. So, ... yeah, ... significantly different.

Just one semi-random, but highly significant example: For the most part if I'm wrong on something or screw something up, I want to be told about it - immediately and to my face - or at least as close an approximation to that as feasible. Don't want someone to gently dance around the issue, just tell me clearly, point blank. No need to be "delicate" about it, etc. No need to be a nasty prick or cr*p about it either - just flat out tell me - period. Likewise, if I toss some idea out there, I don't want a lot of "yes, that sounds great!". F*ck that patronizing sh*t. I not only want all the pros (in case I didn't think of some of relevance), but I also want all the cons, and all the alternatives - I also want to hear every reasonable counter-argument telling me why it's a bad idea, or less than best idea, and what's better and why, and what I f*cked up and missed considering in what I think/thought was a good idea or approach. Anyway, the vast majority of people do not want to be told nearly so darn point blank. Typically have to tell them quite gently - and often very indirectly - if at all. You can point out facts, data, information, but if it conflicts with their world view, most of 'em will take it quite negatively, often even get downright pissy or angry about it. So ... often "golden rule" - do unto others as you'd have others do unto you - I often have gotten royally screwed over by that - or perhaps more accurately screwed others over - by presuming they want what I want, and want to be treated and reacted to as I do and would want to be treated and reacted to. Yeah, ... major "oops". And that's just one quiet significant example of many many many such examples. So, ... I used to think I was more-or-less "about the same", "average", "typical", etc. Well, ... that model doesn't fit very well. Sure, for some/many aspects, rather to quite the same, ... but also for a whole lot, very different compared to not only majority, but often overwhelming majority. E.g. there's also a whole lot of stuff I'm very interested in, and care quite a bit about, that most people couldn't give a flying f*ck about, and likewise, a lot of stuff most folks (or most guys) are rather to highly interested in, that I couldn't give a flying f*ck about. So, ... fundamentally different from the rest? Maybe, maybe not. Significantly different from the rest - or at least most? Yeah, definitely that.

What a darn shame..

Yup, ... life, ... humans, ... rather sucks, eh?
I often wish I had no emotions, no "need" for any human contact or whatever, ... would be a lot easier, eh? But, ... dang it, ... I'm still human.
And so it goes.

2 points · 6 months ago

Yeah. Well, let me just tell you - I used to think the same way, I thought I was "different", much more cold, scientific, raw. I just want to know the truth. Later, I discovered I was just a shitty person and didn't want to recognize it. I don't know.

Unless you are at your job, social gatherings aren't really about knowing your mistakes. It's about having fun. About loving each other. Learning from each other. People don't just criticize you because they like you and don't want you to get hurt. They recognize qhat you've invested and then gently help you in a better direction. I'm certain you wouldn't like it if someone just came to criticise youe project. Also, you know, liking someone isn't trivial. Being social is a constant showing and receiving love, but always telling people what you like or disliek, tell them where they're behaving wrong (when things get awkward, or when they dislike you), it's a very complex activity. You're reducing it to something robots would do. "Hello! This is my project". "Well the color sucks. Otherwise ok." "K." "........".

Honestly, I'm saying this again, and I'm not judging you, I went through the same phase: You're lacking social skills and are supressing the fact. You might also have a pinch of narcissm. Idk. Just make sure you don't regret not engaging in social activities later down the road.

This! I’ve never been good at making/finding friends. However my boyfriend has a million friends and is always finding new friends. So now I just use him to make friends and hangout with people. It’s great! I would def recommend !

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