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No Friends: Am I The Only One?
Feeling embarrassed at having no friends creates a barrier to making them.
About two years ago I had so many friends, mostly from my last job. But then, hundreds of us got laid off/fired. Only a handful of folks kept their jobs. It was a wonderful company and I miss seeing my friends each day.
Although I try to keep in touch, none of them seem to miss me (I miss them all terribly) or even want to get together. They’ve all moved on, got other jobs, or relocated.
Also, two long-time friends got married and are no longer interested in hanging out with me.
I’m 52 and embarrassed that I’m friendless. Yikes!
Indeed, workplaces can offer a perfect opportunity to bond with co-workers and even make lifelong friends. All those hours spent together, working consistently toward a common goal paves the way for friendships.
But it’s not always so easy when businesses shift and undergo massive changes, especially in the years following the pandemic. When they do, it can create chaos for those who are laid off as well as for those who are left behind.
One possibility for the loss of friends? Many people may have residual hard feelings about the downsizing and may not want to associate with their former colleagues. Instead, they want to relegate unpleasant memories in the past, where they think they belong.
You also mention that many of your former friends have had significant changes in their own lives since they left, including new jobs, new marriages, and new homes. Changes like these can be disruptive to friendships although they aren’t necessarily deal-killers.
It sounds like you’re used to making many of your social connections at your job, which is understandable, given the amount of time spent there.
Now your situation has changed and you realize you want more friends than you currently have. How about finding new ways to meet new people—whether it is at another place of employment, in your neighborhood, or as part of some other organization?
Do things that are interesting to you, and maybe you’ll likely find some kindred spirits. As you learned in your last job, seeing people daily makes it easier and gives you a common bond.
Now that the dust has settled, you may want to resurrect some of these old work friendships. Time can dull sharp edges and people may now be on better footing and more open to reconnecting.
For example, try reaching out to friends with whom you felt close to who got married or moved to another town. You may not have the same type of friendship that you had when you saw them every day, but you can develop a different type of friendship. Your shared history and experiences can make reconnecting that much sweeter, and give you an opportunity to create a friendship not built strictly around work.
Most importantly, please don’t feel embarrassed about having no friends!
It happens more often than you think. Life changes, and with that, so do friendships. It’s not personal, it’s situational, we promise.
Feeling that way can create a tremendous psychological barrier that prevents you from reaching out to others. Remind yourself that many people in the same situation want to find friends as much as you do.
Hope this helps.
Irene & Sheryl
Feeling embarrassed about having no or few friends can pose a barrier to making new ones.
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