No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

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ManTheMyth
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No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby ManTheMyth » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:44 pm

Hello,

So I'm writing as I am curious if the way I am is normal to feel and whether I should accept it or fight it.

I'm 26, a male and consider myself socially introverted. I don't like hanging out in groups of people, but smaller amounts I do enjoy, like 3-4 people at most. I find if the group is larger I go into my shell and don't talk, and feel trapped in a social situation I don't want to be in. I don't like loud environments like pubs/clubs and generally prefer to keep social interactions to smaller bursts or smaller groups. That being said in the right environment I'm very good at being social and have had many friendships throughout my life, with many people. I do not struggle at keeping friends, in fact I think I am a very fun and outgoing.

So, I recently moved country on my own to start a new life abroad. I left behind all my friends in my home country and have been here 3 years now and still have no friends here. However, I have met a girlfriend, who has since become my fiance. She mentions from time to time how I should make more of an effort to make friends out here as you can't go through life without friends and that I will need them as support when the time comes. Personally, I have no urge to make friends. I do understand having friends is nice when you do want to go out and be social, but the prospect of finding friends is worse than missing out on social interaction. Plus, I quite like my own company.

As an introvert I find making friends challenging and simply put I don't want to go through all the effort it would take to do so. I've told my fiance I don't have a desire or need for friendship and am quite happy without any. If I make friends, great, if not, I don't mind. As an introvert though, you don't make friends without conscious effort. That's where the problem is. I'm happy to have friends, I just don't want to put the effort in to find them. The vast majority of friends I have had in the past have been extroverts and I've always found myself trying to be an extrovert in order to remain friends. I've finally realized I need to make friends who are like me, social but introverted. Finding these people is very difficult since, like me, they generally don't look for friendships. The odds of two introverts stumbling across each other and becoming friends is minuscule.

The only suggestion I've had to make friends is using Meetup, but I feel this is not a good place for an introvert either. Most meetup groups are larger gatherings of groups of people, and mainly for the extroverted type. Those that are more suited to introverts (not many) I feel are generally for socially awkward people, of which I am not. For example, the main group in my area is "extremely shy looking for friends". Cringe.

I'm at the stage now where I'd like to make an effort to make friends, I just don't know where to begin. I'm absolutely not the type to start a conversation with somebody in public for no reason. I could join clubs where I have an interest, but still I feel this would result in me enjoying the club, but not being comfortable to approach someone to be friends. It's that step from someone you know to being friends that is difficult for introverts I feel.

I've read some people have success using dating websites to find friends, which might be worth a look (I met my fiance on a dating website).

At the end of the day, I'm perfectly happy without friends, or with friends, does this sound normal? I'm told humans are pack animals that should inherently be social and that it's unhealthy to have no friends, but I feel a perfectly normal human being, with a good job, a lovely fiance and a happy life. I'm far from a basement dwelling, socially awkward, anxious, shy recluse, which I feel is the stereotypical thought of what an introvert is.

llw14
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby llw14 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:54 pm

You've just basically described my situation pretty much 100%. I basically feel the same way as you but that doesn't mean there isn't something wrong with us, lol, :whistle: . Is your fiancé an extrovert? I'm guessing she is as most women tend to be.

Like you, I've also had friends throughout my life but not so much since I've graduated college and entered into adulthood. There have been many lengthy discussions about this on this site. Personally I've always had a problem with the idea of "trying to make friends". Relationships should develop organically, or it just tends to be unpleasant and forced. It's like a romantic relationship in that you need to feel like you relate to them somehow for it to be sustained. I'm also pretty neutral about having friends; it's good if you have them, and if you don't, that's ok too. I've begun to think that maybe I just don't know how to make and sustain "adult" friendships. Like, what am I going to do with them? We could play golf but I like doing that alone. We could watch sports together but the vast majority of people in my city aren't interested in the sports I am so basically what else is there? I walk by all the pubs/bars/restaurants and see groups of people together and I honestly don't feel any envy.

You mentioned that you moved to a new country. I'm guessing that you don't really have anything in common with most of the guys you meet there (I think this is my main issue). Can you find expats communities with people from your country? That seems to be what most immigrants do. Can you recall how you started all the prior friendships you've had? Can those circumstances be recreated somehow?

Sounds like the desire to try to make friends is resulting from outside pressure to have them. It's very challenging to go against the grain of what's "normal". There will be many times that you'll question yourself but we have to realize that we're not responsible for our feelings. They are what they are. You shouldn't be forcing yourself to do something you don't really want to do. I say just continue enjoying your life as you obviously don't consider yourself deficient in any way so why sweat the small stuff? Besides, a friend will pop up when you least expect it, :drinks: .

ManTheMyth
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby ManTheMyth » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:37 pm

llw14 wrote:You've just basically described my situation pretty much 100%. I basically feel the same way as you but that doesn't mean there isn't something wrong with us, lol, :whistle: . Is your fiancé an extrovert? I'm guessing she is as most women tend to be.


Actually she too is an introvert, we're very similar. The reason she is suggesting me to make friends (which I have to agree with) is I enjoy certain activities that she doesn't, and she wants me to go and do them with other people instead of asking her. Namely, this is exploring the outdoors. I can also do this (and enjoy it) on my own. This is the main reason I am becoming open to finding some friends, I would like someone to do this with and it's not fair to drag her out to do it if she doesn't want to.

llw14 wrote:Like you, I've also had friends throughout my life but not so much since I've graduated college and entered into adulthood. There have been many lengthy discussions about this on this site. Personally I've always had a problem with the idea of "trying to make friends". Relationships should develop organically, or it just tends to be unpleasant and forced. It's like a romantic relationship in that you need to feel like you relate to them somehow for it to be sustained.


This is very true. It would feel quite odd to force myself out of the house, attending things I don't want to go to just to make friends. I'm quite particular in the kind of person I like too, so I feel I would have to rummage through a lot of junk (to put it bluntly!) to find a friend I would like. I can't think of anything worse than actively trying to make friends only to find yourself stuck with a bunch of people you can't stand.

llw14 wrote:I'm also pretty neutral about having friends; it's good if you have them, and if you don't, that's ok too. I've begun to think that maybe I just don't know how to make and sustain "adult" friendships. Like, what am I going to do with them? We could play golf but I like doing that alone. We could watch sports together but the vast majority of people in my city aren't interested in the sports I am so basically what else is there? I walk by all the pubs/bars/restaurants and see groups of people together and I honestly don't feel any envy.

You mentioned that you moved to a new country. I'm guessing that you don't really have anything in common with most of the guys you meet there (I think this is my main issue). Can you find expats communities with people from your country? That seems to be what most immigrants do. Can you recall how you started all the prior friendships you've had? Can those circumstances be recreated somehow?


Yeah I moved from the UK to Canada so it's not a huge difference in terms of the kind of things people like. I do think you may be onto something regarding finding adult friends though. I find most people my age are still, dare I say it, quite immature. They like things like alcohol, music, clubs etc. all of which I hate and most of them still live at home with no responsibilities and act like students. I enjoy watching sports (in all forms) but sadly this generally goes hand in hand with the personality of extroverts I find. I would rather stay home and watch the football, most people want to go to a bar. I also enjoy the outdoors, which is very popular here in Vancouver so I'm sure the issue isn't really down to interests.

I know how all of my prior friendships started, school/university. I think a lot of folks have this issue. During education you are forced into being friends with all sorts of people. When I finished education I realized my group of friends were all a bunch of extroverts and I just had enough. We gradually grew apart when I wanted to stop living the student, extrovert lifestyle and calm down. They still, to this day, live that life. So as for recreating how I used to make friends, it's not really possible. I've never in my life had to consciously try and make friends. Now I'm working in a small office where I don't meet many people day to day.

llw14 wrote:Sounds like the desire to try to make friends is resulting from outside pressure to have them. It's very challenging to go against the grain of what's "normal". There will be many times that you'll question yourself but we have to realize that we're not responsible for our feelings. They are what they are. You shouldn't be forcing yourself to do something you don't really want to do. I say just continue enjoying your life as you obviously don't consider yourself deficient in any way so why sweat the small stuff? Besides, a friend will pop up when you least expect it, :drinks: .


It is largely outside pressure yes. Like I said I don't need friends, but there is a social pressure to have them. My fiance brings it up to her family and I do feel kind of embarrassed about it. I see her point in how having friends would be beneficial to not only me but her too. Personally I think we need to find our own group of friends. Her current friends are also just leftovers from University who, she has admitted herself, she would not be friends with if she could find "better" friends. They are extroverts too, but she feels she can't cope with no friends at all so she keeps them around.

We could both do with finding a couple of friends we both get along with who we can hang out with when we feel like it. I just don't really know where to begin as it feels so unnatural and uncomfortable.

tongue35
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby tongue35 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:53 pm

honestly i dont think you are "perfectly happy" without friends or else you wouldnt be looking at possible ways of making them..i mean, if you are happy without friends, why are you looking at possible ways of making them, it doesnt make sense..i think you are like me, for the most part you are fine going about your days by yourself or with fiance BUT there are those days and nights where you wish you had a few buddies or maybe just 1 to go somewhere with..yet, the biggest problem here is meeting this person(where and when?) and then going through the awkwardness and drudgery of the first few stages of friendship..for an introvert, this means wading through the small talk and forcing yourself to go out with this person etc etc.. then you have to maintain the friendship which can be difficult, it all depends on that persons social life, whether they have family, friends, kids etc etc..

ive tried 3 different meetups and so far i have found them useles for making friends..i have found that its hard to go out or somewhere with the intention of making friends, it doesnt work like that for me..the only way i have made friends in the past is by being close to someone day in and day out, and this is by working or going to school with them..over time a bond is formed but when there isnt work or school to help force you to be around someone on a consistent basis, it gets much more difficult as YOU have to put in a ton of effort, u have to go to certain places and force conversations and even if you are good at socializing, this isnt something us introverts enjoy...im exactly like you OP, i have pretty good social skills but its just not in me to just go up and talk to someone or strike up a conversation..

so again, im somewhat confused OP, do you want recommendations on where to meet friends or are you just asking if others are fine without friends..you seem to be asking 2 questions :)

tongue35
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby tongue35 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:55 pm

oh and like ive said several times on this forum, you are in your mid 20s when people for the most part are still willing and eager to expand their social circles and make new friends...many are not established with family yet so you still have a very good chance at making new friends..once you hit your 30s, it gets much much more difficult so hopefully u have luck!!

LL14-from what i have learned recently, what most people do with their friends is a lot of just "hanging out"..you go to that persons house and sit on their porch or living room, maybe have a few beers and basically socialize..its either that or you go out with your friends and their husband or wife to a bar where usually you meet up with other groups..some people like to get together and play cards all night long but ive learned the mainstay of most peoples friendships is sitting around in groups and socializing, thats it, nothing fancy..this is also probably why i dont have more friends or am hesitant to make more because if its one thing i really do not like doing is sitting around and socializing for hours on end..its draining and not enjoyable to me, never really has been even though when i was younger i was able to tolerate it much better..honestly after an hour or so im bored to death generally ..then when you have friends and you go home early enough times or decline their invitations to bbqs or other social gatherings, your friends will think you dont want to hang out or that you arent that fun or not interested in them so they stop asking...ive went through this pattern a few times in my life..what OP mentioned about "i dont want to have to do things i dont really want to do just to keep friends" well i have found out for us introverts, we pretty much have to if we want a circle of friends..i have never been able to keep friends in the past by not pushing myself to do things i didnt want to do..

ManTheMyth
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby ManTheMyth » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:37 am

tongue35 wrote:honestly i dont think you are "perfectly happy" without friends or else you wouldnt be looking at possible ways of making them..i mean, if you are happy without friends, why are you looking at possible ways of making them, it doesnt make sense..i think you are like me, for the most part you are fine going about your days by yourself or with fiance BUT there are those days and nights where you wish you had a few buddies or maybe just 1 to go somewhere with..yet, the biggest problem here is meeting this person(where and when?) and then going through the awkwardness and drudgery of the first few stages of friendship..for an introvert, this means wading through the small talk and forcing yourself to go out with this person etc etc.. then you have to maintain the friendship which can be difficult, it all depends on that persons social life, whether they have family, friends, kids etc etc..

ive tried 3 different meetups and so far i have found them useles for making friends..i have found that its hard to go out or somewhere with the intention of making friends, it doesnt work like that for me..the only way i have made friends in the past is by being close to someone day in and day out, and this is by working or going to school with them..over time a bond is formed but when there isnt work or school to help force you to be around someone on a consistent basis, it gets much more difficult as YOU have to put in a ton of effort, u have to go to certain places and force conversations and even if you are good at socializing, this isnt something us introverts enjoy...im exactly like you OP, i have pretty good social skills but its just not in me to just go up and talk to someone or strike up a conversation..

so again, im somewhat confused OP, do you want recommendations on where to meet friends or are you just asking if others are fine without friends..you seem to be asking 2 questions :)


Hello,

Yeah for the most part I guess you are right. I don't feel I need friends and I'm pretty much perfectly content without any. There are times, sure, where it would be nice to just have someone to hang out with.

I guess I did have two questions, firstly if it's normal to be fine going through life without friends and secondly how to make friends as an introvert should I want to go down that path.

I think you may have hit the nail on the head with how you have made friends in the past, it's been the constant being with someone day to day, like I said during education. I don't think I can just go out and make friends by seeing someone once every few weeks. The establishing of friends is the part that sucks.

My parents actually have no friends as well, so perhaps it's a common theme in my family haha.

Sorry that your meet ups didn't work out, that's what my fear is for them. I envisage an awkward few hours stuck with people for no reason. I think the purpose of the meetup has to be something you enjoy and if friendship comes from it, great, if not then never mind, you enjoyed the activity.

Have you ever tried a dating site? When I used online dating for dating purposes I noticed a ton of people there just for friends. I liked dating online as you could establish a connection/friendship etc. without the hassle of meeting in person to determine if you even like each other. I don't see why it can't work for friends too.

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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby Daisy » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:24 am

Welcome ManTheMyth, I can't add anything that hasn't already been said.

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Emusing
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby Emusing » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:52 am

I think most people here can probably identify with your experience, myself included. You are very normal, even if observers might think you need fixing. As long as you are happy, don't worry about it.

When against all odds you do meet someone who you connect with and is worth the effort of befriending, you will have a different story to tell. In the meantime don't force yourself if the need is not pressing. I often read on pop psychology sites how being popular in a big social circle determines one's self esteem, and how people with few friends should force themselves to attend social gatherings - this can actually be stressful for introverts and there's no sense in it. Friendship can seldom be forced, it usually happens organically. As long as you have your partner, small family or a couple other dependable contacts in your life I'd say you probably have enough social support to meet all your social needs.

I am in a similar situation as you. The only thing I fear is how my life would be shattered if my partner were to die before me, which sounds like a dark thing to be dwelling on while I'm still young, but having basically no other best friends, it would truly devastate me.

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MrCawfle
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby MrCawfle » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:21 am

Emusing wrote:The only thing I fear is how my life would be shattered if my partner were to die before me.


Truer words were never spoken.

llw14
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby llw14 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:20 pm

In the end, it comes down to being able to connect naturally with someone and this happens when there is enough in common between people. We often feel drained in the company of others because we simply don't have enough in common to sustain anything. More than an hour of small talk will become painful for anyone, I'd imagine. From what it seems (for myself and it seems around here as well) is that it's hard to impress us. There are lots of hobbies, interests and life experiences that make others go, "WHOA!!" but for us it's just, "meh". Because of this, we tend not to engage in mainstream interests and so we have little to talk to others about and can't really relate to them; its not that there's anything necessarily wrong with us, unless you consider being hard to impress a deficiency. As tongue mentioned, most people hang around at get togethers just talking and I'd bet that for most of us they're talking about things that we have little interest in so we don't engage and thus don't connect. If we found people that are truly like us, it wouldn't nearly be a tiring to be around them...and yes this is the challenge but it is what it is.

tongue35
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby tongue35 » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:18 pm

^^^ive forced myself recently to attend some of these social gatherings and yes, for the most part, the conversations revolve around local gossip(not interested), work(this topic gets old within minutes), sports(its ok) or a big thing ive noticed is much of the talk is centered around their children and what they are doing in sports, school etc etc..im in the mid 30s group and i do not have kid so this makes it much more difficult to stay interested and in tune with the conversation..

MantheMyth-i think it is strange or not normal to go through life without wanting friends..again, i think most of us on here to some degree want some sort of friendship..i know i do but to me, a friendship isnt where we talk to each other on the phone every day or go out 2-3 times a week..thats overkill to me, im perfectly happy with seeing my friend maybe once every few weeks if that..ive found it very difficult to find someone that understands my boundaries and respects them..

the establishing of friends is the hard/grueling part to me as well as it means some awkwardness(do i ask them to do something, and if so, what?) and it means a lot of small talk initially..at work or school this comes naturally but out of the workplace, where do you meet people to where you can carry conversations like this?again it would have to be some type of sports league or club but around my area, you usually have to have a team already to even sign up to play in the first place unless you go to an open gym type atmosphere where you just sign up to play basketball or workout..then you will still have to go on a very consistent basis in order to make things work..

meetups i went to involved hiking which i like but heres the rub, i generally like hiking ALONE or with my dogs..at these meetups i went to, i met people, they were mostly nice but either out of my age range or we didnt click..im like you though, ive never consciously set out to make friends so for me, going to a meetup to meet possible friends just felt very awkward..

the thing i dread most about making new friends is the stage right after u meet them, inviting them to coffee or over to my house for the small talk..ugghh

im on a dating site but rarely use it..i see women that are looking for friends but i cant see how that would work long term without feelings..lol

i definitely think us introverts are pickier than most people when it comes to friendships..i think we want a deeper type of relationship, not a typical flimsy one that has no meaning or depth to it..we want someone we can really talk to and click with, not just someone to call up to hit the bar with..

chasingthemoon
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Re: No Friends But Don't Care - Is This Normal?

Postby chasingthemoon » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:12 am

I have found that setting boundaries is very, very helpful in navigating social situations, especially while meeting lots of new people. For example:

-Always have my own way to get home so I can leave whenever I need to (bike, car, walking)
-Set a time frame for when I leave, sometimes having an excuse ready ("I have to go now, I work early tomorrow"... Night time activities are harder for me than day time activities)
-Limiting alcohol intake or abstaining from drinking
-Allowing myself alone time as a reward for social time :)
-Bringing a book along so that I know I have an escape if I really need it, though I would rather just leave and go home than be awkward and disengaged! But sometimes just having it with me feels good and powerful.

Try thinking of what boundaries will work for you and write them down. Then, try to follow one or two next time you are meeting new people.


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