June 29, 2012 - submitted by Anon, Ireland

I know this sounds weird, but I dislike most of my friends. There's only a couple of them I can even stand to be around but I don't feel close to most of them. Yeah I hang out with them but if I'm planning on seeing them I find myself dreading the event. I SHOULD like them but I just can't stand to be around them. Don't get me wrong, I'm a people person! I love strangers and I pretty much got an award for being friendly (to my shock)! When it comes to friends though, there's only 3 or 4 tops that I actually LIKE. I hate abandoning people once I get to know them but it's becoming a habit...
Can you help? Anon, Ireland.

The Oracle replies:

Well I think this could be solved quite simply. If you don't like many of your friends, they're not your friends just acquaintances so don't feel so bad.
I'd suggest just spending time with the 3 or 4 you like and don't waste time or energy on the others. You can't like everyone (in my opinion) and sometimes you inherit friends from other people within a group but it doesn't mean you have to like them all. You say you "should" like them but I disagree somewhat. You should like the people you hang out with yes, so if you don't - don't hang out with them.
The fact you're friendly and like some strangers makes me deduce there is nothing wrong with you or the way you think just that you've got yourself into a situation where you obviously give people time to get to know them and then ditch them if you don't like them.
The only thing I would warn against is not to feel the pressure to make new friends and then you won't have to ditch them.
Over to you.

Last year I had a fight with my best friend of three years shortly after she traveled to a different country and after that we lost touch completely. I found myself in a situation similar to yours. I have friends, but I never really found them as interesting. I hate hanging out with most of them in spite of how friendly they are to me, which makes me feel kind of guilty. But the truth is, you can't really help the vibe you get from a person; it has much to do with the fact that you may have different mentalities and perspectives that do not make you compatible. You shouldn't feel obliged to hangout with a person you do not like, because there's no point of it if you're not enjoying yourself. So, it's okay to say no sometimes. As for the "I hate abandoning people" part, I say you should not abandon anyone; talk to them, treat them well, just keep a little distance if it makes you comfortable. It's important that you learn to keep your relationships under control. For now, I say focus on the 3 or 4, whom you enjoy the company of and let the others know, when you need your space. I hope this helped, Randa G.

I understand what you're feeling. I feel the same way sometimes. You feel alone and like your friends don't understand you at all and you wonder why you're friends at all... But try to remember WHY you actually became friends in the first place and all the fun times you've had with them!!! I sometimes have mixed emotions about my friends. First I can't stand anything they do and feel like they are a completely different person than the person I love to hang out with and joke around with. Then I see them in a different light, and feel guilty for ever doubting them. Try to talk to your friends and tell them how you really feel, you might be surprised, it could help! And it's OK to have only a 3 or 4 close friends that you really like! Try to get closer to them!!! I'm not very good at this, but I hope it helped! It definitely made me feel better to know I'm not the only one who feels like this, too! Love, Mia.

There might be a connection between how outgoing you are towards strangers and the difficulty you have navigating your feelings towards the people you hang out with. After all, strangers don't demand much of your real feelings - and if you've got a sense of humour, then it's probably quite easy to make a connection in the short term. But life circumstances generally being what they are, the odds are stacked against you that those connections will last.
This might sound like an irrelevant point, but how comfortable are you in your own skin outside of the company of others? If you seek company because being alone is a struggle for whatever reason, then it probably makes sense that only a handful of people (or fewer) could fit the mould of what you feel you're looking for and need. And even then, they are probably treading on thin ice!
Constantly focusing on finding friends and feeling you SHOULD like certain people is bound to be draining. Perhaps allow the tides to turn a little. Your existing friends and acquaintances will of course remain as they are, but maybe it's possible to play the 'waiting game' a bit? – Be open to who likes you, and who wants to invest time in making friends with you, and be wary of squandering those opportunities. In the meantime, you might be able to invest in your own life & interests - becoming a better friend as a result. Dymock.

I think your friendliness might be making you feel guilty.You want to like everyone and be friends with them, but that's pretty much impossible. There's nothing wrong with having just a small group of close friends. I guess it depends on the person, but I think 3 or 4 close friends is fine. Especially if you talk to a lot of different people. You can know a lot of them and be friendly and nice, but that doesn't mean you have to be best friends or anything. I mean, why hang out with people you don't even like? It's your life, hang out with the people that make you happy and you can trust. I think it's worse when you try and force something too, so I wouldn't suggest forcing yourself to try and like all these people that you know you don't like. Don't feel guilty, everyone is different and into different things, there's nothing wrong with that. Wish you the best. Love, Darem.

If you find yourself dreading meetings with these friends, maybe not being with them is the best option for yourself as well as for them. I'm not saying to just leave them, just like that. Take time to let them go easily and painlessly. If you don't like these people and don't consider them to be true friends, I think it's unfair to keep hanging out with them and pretending to have fun. If you don't think you have enough strength to stop being friends, then I think the only other thing you can do is talk to them and try to make an even bigger effort to bond. I wish you well, and luck. Medina.

The biggest factor here is that you don't want to offend them, because they very well could be offended if you outright tell them "Hey, I don't like you, so we're done!" I imagine you don't enjoy being with these people due to a difference of opinions, that's how a lot of friendships end; if this is the case, then I'd suggest you to make your opinion known, but not outlandishly.
If this isn't the case, then just stop hanging around with them, sort of drift away, into a crowd you are more comfortable with. Just as long as you don't be rude or hostile to them in anyway.
Also, I'm going to beat myself up later if I don't say this, but make sure you give them a chance before you brush them off! You never know what you could be missing out on, if you decide to cut them out of your life. I almost made that mistake when I was a kid.
Best wishes! Bradley H.

Get new friends! B.

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