March 30, 2012 - submitted by Sabada, Bangladesh

I'm unsocial and I want to make more friends. I'm beginning to hate being a loner and I have no idea why I can't manage to have many companions. I love people and I care about them a lot too but yet I am a loner.

The Oracle replies:

There are some people in the world who are loners and happy to be, it's the fact that you are not happy that concerns me. There's nothing wrong with being a loner if that's what you want. It can bring about great things. I hear you though, I just need to make sure you're not assuming you should be sociable, popular and have many friends. Don't put pressure on yourself. School & work don't automatically bring friends, just people.
It's not necessarily easy to make new friends but as you love people and care about them, I'm sure we can help.
Maybe you could start by volunteering. That would bring you into a social circle and you'll meet people that could eventually become friends.
If you're looking for like-minded people it'd be great for you to investigate local clubs, groups and organizations that might have activities you like or interests you share. Many people make friends at social gatherings throughout life whether that be church, mother/toddler groups, art classes, book clubs, events or joining a sporting team. These are just a few examples of which there are many.
There are also adverts in local newspapers for people seeking new friends. Follow the guidelines though to ensure your personal safety but maybe you could place an ad yourself?
If you can, surround yourself with people and start conversations. It may be hard at first but it will certainly improve your social skills if you practise them. Good luck.
Over to you, starting with a potential new friend...

I've got the exact same problem as you! So I guess my answer won't be very useful, but at least it shows you're not alone. One thing I'm trying to do about it is understand what's wrong with me. Like you, I love being surrounded by people I care about, but just can't seem to be able to do what it takes for this to happen. In my case I think it's a confidence problem, I'm worried I'll get rejected by those people who seem so fun, I fear I won't have anything interesting to offer. Might that be an issue with you too? The solution is as simple as the late Whitney Houston's song Greatest Love of All - learn to love yourself. Another problem with me is that I actually don't always mind being alone, I've become hardwired for it. I therefore tend never to include anyone when I have a project because I don't feel the need to. But just like you I suffer a lot from it once I'm not busy anymore and I look at my life. I feel so lonely and it's a vicious circle destroying my confidence. My solution to that is forcing myself to go against my habit! So try and understand why you're alone. Have a deep look into yourself and see how you can act at the source of the problem. I sincerely hope we both manage to bloom out of our shyness to enjoy life J Colleen, France.

You just said it yourself: you love and care about people. Therefore, making friends is not impossible. I think that the most important thing to remember when meeting new people is to be yourself and not be who you think they want you to be. If you are true to yourself and confident about your personality, others will notice that too. Simply saying "hello" and striking up a nice, casual conversation can lead to life-long friendships. Other times, it takes much more time and effort. As for why you can't figure out why you don't have many companions at the moment... there's not really a definite answer to that question. Sometimes, people have a hard time connecting with others, but that is never permanent so do not give up! Just remember this: Be happy and be yourself. I wish you luck. Medina.

Sababa, I know what you are going through. I'm an artist and we are generally loners, but I also have an adventurous side that makes me want to explore new things and that includes people. It would be easiest to connect with like-minded people, so try joining a club, taking a class, doing something in an area of interest and see who you meet. Don't be too quick to let them in, just listen and little by little reveal parts of yourself over time, lessening the chance of being used and hurt. In the beginning, it is all about them and making them feel comfortable with you, then it is how you both interact and if you feel safe with that interaction. I've seen it happen too often that someone feels they really connect with another (same and opposite sex) and when that person is done with you or feels you've become competition, too clingy, etc. dumps you. You only need one or two close friends that really know you and you them. You can have several friends that you are not as close with, that you can go out and do things with. Let yourself shine and people will be drawn to you, don't force it. If you desire good friends, they will come into your life when you need them, if you just cling onto just anyone you will probably get hurt. Sorry to sound so dramatic, but when we are desperate, we don't make good choices. Dawn.

The best way to get to know people whom you'll get along with is: GO TO PLACES WHERE YOU KNOW YOU'LL FIND PEOPLE WHO SHARE THE SAME INTERESTS AS YOU, WITH WHOM YOU HAVE THINGS IN COMMON WITH. For example, a person who likes playing basketball will naturally make friends if he or she joins a team and starts training or taking classes with them. Or a rocker will go to heavy metal bars.
It happened to me. I'm a really sociable person and I always try to make new friends. But it was hard for me to make friends before because the school that I used to attend was a public one, everyone was really lazy, even the teachers. I was like an odd person there, the different one. But now I've taken up all the things I've ever wanted to, such as French classes. And overnight I made a bunch of friends, cause we all like learning languages, and travelling and getting to know other cultures. Naturally we started going out, planning meetings... So what you need is be surrounded by people more or less like you.
And another advice. Try to appreciate what the others do, try to show interest for them by asking questions about their lives or their activities, try to offer them to go out on the weekend... try to be the one to always start the conversation, don't wait for them. Great things could come out of this. Good luck, Caro.

Sababa, not knowing your age or environment it is a bit difficult to help you. However, some social activities are the same all over the world at every age. Friends chat, do things together, joke, laugh and console each other. Having always been a bit of a loner myself I understand your longing for interactions with others, but I also enjoy and value alone time and my independence. So should you.
That being said, you need to slowly work your way into social circles. Start with people you already talk to a little or have befriended even, e.g. people at work, school, sports etc. Talk to them more and suggest doing things together. With time you can suggest that they bring some of their other friends whom you then talk to and become friends with. You need to step out of your comfort zone and take some chances to get what you want. Just to be you, but push yourself to say more and be more outgoing. A compliment is a good icebreaker, just be genuine. Smiling helps a lot. Show that you care about people.
If you have no idea where to start you can begin a new social hobby or volunteer. Having something in common is a great foundation for friendship.
Good luck! Julie, Denmark.

We all have different personalities and so it can be harder for some people to make friends than for others. However, you can easily make friends with people by just being friendly. Smile at someone and they'll usually smile back. You said you're very caring towards people which is important, it might just be that you're too shy to talk to them. A lot of us are, but to be a good friend you first have to be one, even if that means taking the first step, even if it is outside of your comfort zone. Next time you see someone that seems nice, just ask casual questions and eventually a conversation will develop. Don't let shyness cover up your beautiful personality and maybe get in the way of lifelong friendships. Free yourself from all those worries that might keep you from talking to people, because as you probably know, we all get lonely sometimes, and its nice to have someone there. Wish you the best. Love, Darem.

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