Ask an Expert Question: I have no friends. I’m lonely and ashamed. Can I make friends as an adult?
Help! Where do I begin?
I’m 35, moved interstate for work with my partner two years ago who decided to break up with me middle of last year. And I have no friends. None. I feel embarrassed, lonely and ashamed and honestly I’m sitting here wondering how my life got to this.
I’ve never had this issue before. At Uni I had a small group of friends who I loved. We did EVERYTHING together. Peas in a pod. I could tell them anything. No judgement…ever. But now, I feel like I’ve completely lost my ability to make friends (is that even a thing)? I know that I invested all of me into my relationship and the new friends we made, well let’s just say that it’s been hard to connect after the breakup. But I’m a professional, I’m kind, interesting (or so I’ve been told), so why can’t I make friends? Is there something wrong with me?
So I guess my question is… can you make friends as an adult, and if so, how? Is it just me (please say no!!)?
Ask An Expert – Response:
Great question Sasha and thank you for getting in touch. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the difficult situation you are in but I promise, you can re-build your life with new friends around you! Many people struggle as adults to make good friends and it does become more difficult when you move to a different place.
Focus on the Practical
First of all, let’s focus on the practical. Try writing a list of 20 things that make YOU happy. They don’t need to be big things (good coffee, a nice bath) is fine. Also include on your list activities that you enjoy which could include sports, creative stuff or anything that makes you feel good. Then aim to do one thing from your list each day. Don’t worry about doing these things alone for now. The more you do what you enjoy, the more likely you will be to meet likeminded people. You will also start to feel better I promise! Also, why not look online for Meetup groups in your local area?
Be brave and go along on your own at first and I am sure you will meet other people. It may take time though so just be gentle with yourself. Is there anyone at work that you could ask if you could tag along with on a night out?
Look at your Self-Talk
Now, let’s look at your self-talk. It seems to me that your thoughts are focussed on ‘ It is difficult to make friends’. I know this is how it feels but we want to move away from thinking this to believing ‘ I have made friends in the past, I am on my way to meeting all types of great people’.
Try soothing your negative thoughts instead. Try phrases such as ‘ It won’t be long before I meet some great people’ or even ‘ I am really looking forward to connecting with like minded people who I love spending time with and they love spending time with me’.
Most of all, be really kind and compassionate with yourself right now. You have experienced some big changes so keep on reminding yourself you are a great person and there are plenty of people who would love to be friends with you.
With over 19 years’ experience, Lisa Phillips is a leading confidence, resilience and well-being facilitator, coach and speaker. Lisa is also a qualified Counsellor. Lisa founded ‘Amazing Coaching’ in 2000 while living in Sydney, Australia. Now based in the UK, she works with clients all over the world. What makes Lisa stand out from other professionals in her field is her leading-edge techniques, engaging personality and the unique style of warmth and vivacity in which she delivers her work. Her high energy, depth of knowledge and great sense of humour builds rapport and trust easily. Lisa is the author of ‘ The Confidence Coach’ book and her work is regularly featured on TV, Radio and a wide range of business and lifestyle magazines. She is also a popular enrichment speaker on Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises.Lisa has also won 3 Stevie awards for her work as a coach assisting people with their con-fidence and emotional wellbeing.