“Why do I have no friends?” I’ve asked myself this countless times – even when I had friendships in my life. I always felt very lonely, misunderstood. I never like I had a friend who gave/was willing to give and do for me what I would always so willingly give/do at the drop of a dime.
I was the overzealous “how high?!” when any of my friends even HINTED at “jump.”
There are times in my life where I have felt more alone in friendships and romantic relationships than if I were to have been physically alone.
And that’s the thing about toxic friendships and relationships – they don’t ever prove to be anything more than a very temporary emotional pacifier. They are a bandage on cancer that ultimately, highlights the one thing they’re supposed to remedy: The “I have no friends,” “is it just me?” “am I the only one who feels this way?” loneliness.
I used to have a ton of friends. I had a contact list full of people I could call and social media profiles that proved to the world how BFF/maid of honor/bridesmaid/ride-or-die capable I was. I had plans every night of the week (for even the most mundane stuff) and I always had someone to talk to, listen to, or problem solve for.
I collected fake friendships because to me, they were badges of negation and exoneration.
1 part negation + 1 part exoneration soon became the gasoline that my emotional engine could not function without.
Because our relationships will always mirror the one that we have with ourselves, I had no choice but to rely on quantity. I assumed that a high volume of friends was a precursor to relational quality.
I used the high number of fake friendships I had collected to mind f*ck myself.
As I’ve said before, no one has ever mind f*cked, hurt, or screwed me over more than I have to myself. As long as I had all of these “friendships,” it validated that the problem was NEVER me – in my romantic relationships, business, familial relationships, and life.
I couldn’t attract a connected, empathetic, and mutual romantic relationship to save my life. But as long as I had a Rolodex full of “friendships,” it completely shut down the possibility of me ever being the problem. I mean… if I was capable of THIS MANY amazing friendships, I was clearly capable of being (and attracting) an amazing man.
There was a huge problem though…
Everything that these friendships seriously lacked, I was not only incapable of, but these incapabilities of mine were basic qualities that are essential to the kind of romantic relationship that I felt spoiled-brat entitled to.
Intimacy, empathy, connection, meaning… NONE of these existed in my friendships because they didn’t exist in the relationship that I had with myself.
This exoneration proved to be about as ridiculous as using my baby blanket as a comforter for my grown adult bed and then, complaining about the lack of warmth. I felt lost without my “binky” of emotionally vampiric, fake friends. I couldn’t do anything alone and felt worthless without a “friend” by my side. It was a bad look – but only to the right kind of people (the kind of people that I wanted to attract and be friends with). To the other sheep, I was a success. But all we were doing was following the follower.
Having a lot of girlfriends busied me up to the point where I didn’t have to deal with myself. I was always caught up in some drama, doing something lame, spending money I didn’t have or being someone’s on-call, “I’ll be right over!” therapist and cheerleader (never my own). This made me start to equate being needed with being wanted, which made me a magnet for toxic romantic relationships.
As I began to incur the cost of investing in the friendship masses, numbers and social media stats lost their luster. I was left with low-quality, lackluster, zero-connection-but-please-tag-me-in-your-photo, fluff.
And at that moment I realized… “I have no friends.”
“The realest people don’t have a lot of friends” – Tupac
Today, I have no friends (I’ll explain).
I keep to myself MUCH more, but I have the most profound, mutual, and gratifying relationships that I never thought I could have.
Here’s how + why the “I have no friends” realization isn’t really that bad.
Here’s what I’ve learned about the “I have no friends” feeling/realization + why keeping your circle small is the only way to go:
- Today, I have no friends. I have a few close relationships in my life that are so meaningful to me, referring to these people as a “friend,” would be an insult at this point. They are the family that I have chosen for myself, the lights that amplify my own, and the mates that my soul has recognized from day one. How did I finally attract this level of quality? I learned to enjoy my own company. I stopped auditioning in my relationships, started connecting and soon… quantity started to give me an emotional gag reflex because I had already experienced the heaven of quality. Of course, I have a lot of acquaintances in my life that I hang out with from time to time. These are people that I genuinely care about and enjoy. However, these relationships now have a more realistic place in my life. They aren’t my top priority because I’m no longer looking for volume to = meaning. I’m able to appreciate my acquaintance relationships on a zero-stress level because I have no expectations. There’s no longer this pressure to somehow grow a rose garden out of cement.
- As your circle gets smaller, the quality of the ones in it exponentially increases. If you’re thinking “I have no friends,” it’s because whatever friendships you’ve had/have lack meaning, connection and value. Tighten your circle, Even if it means that you are the only one in it for the time being. Stop watering dead plants (fake friends) and start watering you with YOU. Your health, new-found happiness and “so-this-is-what-real-friendship-feels-like,” future will thank you. Friendship is not a numbers game. It’s part of the JOY of being – not the bullsh*t/drama/never appreciated/MISERY of tolerating. I keep my circle very small, but the level of trust, joy, meaning, and connection makes me PROUD of that number, never ashamed.
- What really matters in life. If you’re in friendships where you feel undervalued, unappreciated, never truly understood, and taken advantage of… what the hell is the point? It took me having a serious health scare years ago, getting off my emotional ass and CREATING a life of my own to realize that I only have so much time and energy. I became very aware of who I was spending my time with, how it affected me, and where I was subsequently channeling my thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
- You’ll attract soulmate-status relationships in your life when you surrender. Surrender to the “I have no friends.” Surrender to your dysfunction, your patterns, and quietly observe it all until you’re so sick of it, you become more worried about staying on a treadmill going nowhere than you are of potentially falling, but finally being OFF. Own it. Really feel every ounce of it and then realize this: You’ve been rolling with the most badass best friend all along: YOU. You are the only one who’s been with you through it ALL. And here you are… still right by your own side. Once you start to enjoy your own company, don’t be surprised by the allergic reaction that others have to your evolution. I coach a billionaire and he is one of the loneliest people I know (except when he’s around other billionaires, which is few and far between). When you’re a billionaire, it’s hard for even your millionaire friends to be able to afford the things you like to do. So, everything is usually always on your dime. When you become an emotional billionaire, you realize that engaging with the fake friendship masses is always going to be on your emotional dime. And just like that… It doesn’t seem so attractive any longer. Substance starts to outweigh meaningless numbers, likes, comments, and having Friday night plans that only highlight your loneliness.
If you’re thinking, “I have no friends” and you are working on loving yourself, having your own back, and obliterating stagnation through evolution, consider this…
I can’t tell you how many readers from all over the world have made the most incredible friendships on this site. All through the comments section below these posts and on my social media.
You are never alone. And if you ever find yourself surrounded by fake friends, guess what?…
There is someone, somewhere in the world, who is reading these very words right now. Someone who is just as giving and just as hungry for more. Someone whose soul can recognize yours.
You are not alone.
Written by: Natasha Adamo