20 Reasons You’re Finding It Hard to Make New Friends

If you’re struggling to forge new friendships, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Today’s world is plagued with numerous factors that hinder us from genuinely connecting with others. Busy schedules, social anxiety, or fear of rejection are a few reasons you may find it hard to make new friends. Meaningful connections require time and effort, but with patience and persistence, you’ll surely overcome these hurdles and build long-lasting friendships with others!

You Have Social Anxiety

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Whenever anxiety takes root in your life, in whatever aspect, it can be challenging to do things a certain way. This is because social anxiety cripples you by making you think about all the possible negative consequences before you even have a chance to act or try something new. When you have social anxiety, you fear being ridiculed or judged, which significantly affects how you interact with others and make and keep friends.

You Are Extremely Introverted or Are Too Shy

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Being introverted is normal. However, you should never let your introvertedness or shyness sabotage your ability to make friends. If you are highly introverted, you will find it difficult and tiring to engage with others. You would also overthink too much, leading you to believe others don’t really need you as a friend.

You Try Too Hard to Make Others Like You

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People need authenticity in their relationships. So, when you try too hard to make others like you, they may view it as you being fake or two-faced. Friends should love and care for you for who you are; you should never change yourself just to gain new friends.

You Don’t Have Time or Are Too Busy

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The everyday grind can make you believe you don’t have time to make friends. However, remember that people need meaningful connections to thrive; if we’re successful at work but don’t have connections with real people, life will lose meaning. Aside from that, busyness is just an illusion; one only needs to be able to manage oneself better.

You Avoid Social Opportunities

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When you have social anxiety, you tend to avoid social opportunities. This will then prevent us from making friends or doing things that bring meaning to our lives. Vox explains, “Perhaps the biggest indicator of needing more social interaction is, simply, feeling lonely.”

You Lack the Effort and Time to Build a Friendship

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Though people can just click and be friends, more often than not, friendship requires work and effort. Greater Good Magazines shared a study by Jeffrey A. Hall, a researcher from the University of Kansas, explaining how many hours it actually takes to be a casual friend, to a friend, and to a best or good friend. His research showed that it takes adults 94 hours to turn acquaintances into casual friends and 164 hours to turn those casual friends into friends. Lastly, it’ll take an additional hour or more than 260 hours for a friend to be considered a good or best friend.

You Fear the Possibility of Rejection

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The fear of rejection can hamper people’s attempts at making friends because, in general, we want to be accepted. However, if you let this fear take hold of you, you will undeniably be left with no one around you.

You Are Unaware of Where One Can Find New Friends

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This is often an excuse made by people who can’t make new friends. However, friends can be found anywhere on the planet! Even a stranger passing by or crossing the street with you can be considered a friend if you find some things in common and spend time getting to know each other. Aside from that, everyone in the world can be connected through social media.

You Expect Too Much From New Acquaintances

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Expectations are normal to have, but expecting too much from others can be detrimental to your relationships. Remember, true friendship comes without expectations, judgment, or pressure. In a genuine friendship, each person is a giver and a taker, and all their actions are voluntary—not expected, asked of, or stated. Additionally, it could be disappointing when your expectations aren’t met, leading to frustration or even a rift in your friendship.

You Assume Everyone Already Has Friends

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Yes, people could already have friends; in fact, it’s highly probable that this is so. But so what? Though people already have friends, there’s no limit to how many genuine connections you can have. People go through so many stages and phases in life, and getting new friends is as natural as letting go of others.

You Cut off Old Friends

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The busyness of life can easily make you feel like you don’t have time for old friends anymore. You can also feel like they were friends from an old you. However, remember that old friends are some of the most precious treasures you can have on this planet. Care for them, appreciate them, and don’t let go of them!

You Fear Putting Yourself “Out There”

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This fear is also rooted in the fear of rejection. However, your life will be stagnant and unmeaningful if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. Mental Health for Christian Women shares, “If you have anxiety, or you’ve been hurt before, or you have anticipatory fear, it can be hard to put yourself out there if you’re in that kind of state.” Even so, take a leap of faith; try to change your mindset and open yourself to others.

You Do Too Much Social Media

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Though social media is an excellent tool for connecting with so many people, it can also be harmful. Too much social media, after all, can expose you to negative things that could hamper your confidence and ability to make friends. Healthline adds, “Instead of enjoying quality time with friends, significant others, or family, you’re watching stories and Snaps of others with their friends and family.”

You Are Unaware of What You’re Bringing to the Table

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Insecurity is a big issue that prevents people from making friends. Insecure people get so caught up in the what-ifs that they ask questions like, “What if they don’t like me?” However, if you’re in this position, remember that everyone is unique, even if you don’t realize it! Don’t get so consumed with the what-ifs that you fail to put yourself out there.

You Overthink and Assume No One Will Like You

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Overthinking kills because before you can even do anything or take one foot out the door, in your head, you’ve already failed. Before even saying hi and introducing yourself, you’ve already labeled yourself a failure because you’ve assumed the other person wouldn’t like you. But think about it; how will they know if you’re likable or not if you don’t try to spend time with them?

You Have a Hard Time Trusting People

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Trust is one of the most essential foundations of friendship. If you don’t trust your friend, your relationship will likely be volatile and can crumble after a single nudge. In the same way, you’ll never be able to truly make genuine friends if you don’t know how to trust others.

You Only Spend Time With Your Partner

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One marker of a healthy relationship is the ability to grow independently and as a couple. If you spend only time with your significant other and forget about other aspects of your life, such as friendship, you fail to hone those aspects that make your life more meaningful. You also isolate yourself from others who would pour love, joy, and meaning into your life.

You Have Anger Issues

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In general, it’s challenging to make friends with people who have anger issues. Friendship, after all, should help you maintain peace of mind—not be the cause of its disruption. Aside from this, anger is harmful to one’s relationships. It can cause lasting scars and rifts in the relationships you value the most.

You Have Asperger’s Syndrome

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One reason you find it hard to make friends that’s entirely not your fault could be the fact that you have Asperger’s. Unfortunately, people with Asperger’s tend to naturally withdraw from social situations because their autism traits make it hard for them to immerse themselves in these situations.

You Have Bipolar Disorder

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Similar to Asperger’s Syndrome, bipolar disorder is another issue that makes it difficult for people to make friends. This is because other people find it hard to understand them. Other people usually lack the ability to maintain the empathy and patience needed to support an individual with bipolar disorder, thus making it hard to maintain any form of connection or friendship.

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.