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11 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Many Friends

11 Reasons Why You Don’t Have Many Friends

Finding and keeping friends in adulthood is different from the days when you played on the playground at recess. It takes work to maintain friendships over time. If you don’t have many friends, it’s important to consider the possible reasons why.

1. You Complain A Lot

If you’re constantly complaining about your job, lack of money, or unfair life, people won’t care to spend a lot of time with you. Complaining gets old fast. Try to develop a more positive attitude and look for more interesting topics to discuss rather than what’s going wrong in your life.

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2. You Ditch Your Friends When You’re in a Relationship

If you’re guilty of ditching your friends every time you begin dating someone new, it’s likely your friends won’t sit around and wait to hear your breakup story. Instead, they’ll move on without you. It’s important to find a balance between spending time with your pals and your latest romantic interest.

3. You’re Selfish

Consider whether or not being selfish contributes to the fact that you don’t have friends. Friendship requires you to give sometimes, even when you don’t feel like it. If you’re only willing to do what you want, when you want it, it’s unlikely that your friends will tolerate it for very long.

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4. You Don’t Care About Your Friends

If you don’t care what’s happening in your friends’ lives, your friends might not keep you around. It’s important to show interest in how your friends are doing. People will likely grow insulted if you don’t care to ask about them or you don’t care about their feelings.

5. You Stir Up Drama

If you’re guilty of stirring up trouble, it’s likely that people will try to avoid the drama. If you blame others, don’t keep secrets, or try to irritate people on purpose, you’ll likely have difficulty convincing people why they should stick around.

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6. You Keep Score

Keeping score has no place in true friendship. If you try to keep score about whose turn it is to choose where you’re going to dinner or whose turn it is to call who, you will likely turn your friends away. Be willing to give to the relationship, rather than focus on trying to keep everything fair.

7. You Get Jealous

If you feel jealous when your friend buys a new car, gets a promotion at work, or enters into a new relationship, it’s likely going to lead to problems. It’s important to celebrate with your friends and feel happy for them when they succeed. If you’re always feeling jealous, you’re attitude will likely shine through, even if you try to hide it.

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8. You Expect Too Much From Friends

If you expect your friends to always be available or always meet your needs, you’ll be disappointed. Your friends will hurt your feelings sometimes and will likely disappoint you from time to time. But that doesn’t meant they aren’t good people or that you shouldn’t remain friends with them. Practice forgiveness when your feelings get hurt.

9. You Gossip

If you gossip non-stop, people will recognize that you likely talk about them as well. Don’t talk negatively about other people or spread rumors. Instead, show that you can be trusted to respect people’s privacy.

10. You Bully Your Friends

Bullying doesn’t end in high school for many people. If you’re guilty of bossing your friends around or making demands, it’s likely that people won’t like you. It’s okay to be assertive with people, but make sure you don’t cross the line into behaving aggressively. Respect other people’s rights and work on developing healthy relationships.

11. You Don’t Get Out Enough

Of course, there is also a good chance that not having friends isn’t related to a specific character flaw. Instead, it might just be because you haven’t had the opportunity to meet people whose company you enjoy. If that’s the case, create opportunities to meet other people based on your interests and activities and be willing to take a chance on striking up a conversation with a stranger. It just might turn into a lifelong friendship.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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