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Is anyone else not so good at making friends?

  • I have no friends and never talk to anyone except my cat

    Votes: 3 7.1%
  • It's true for me

    Votes: 21 50.0%
  • A little bit true

    Votes: 12 28.6%
  • Not really but a little

    Votes: 4 9.5%
  • Not a problem for me at all

    Votes: 2 4.8%
  • What? I don't understand this question, I've been friends with every person I've ever met

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    42
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Discussion Starter #1
I've matured a lot since I was a kid and definitely my personality has changed. One thing that hasn't changed however is that I'm not really good at talking to random people or even people I just don't know and or making friends. I feel like other INFP's are better or more sociable than me, I'm pretty introverted, I can really spend most of my time alone with my thoughts, so I don't really *need* lots of social interaction so to say. But sometimes I would just like someone to talk to, for example in a class I take, and there isn't anyone. It occurred to me that I've made only one friend over my whole time (now 3 years) at university. Sometimes I will get along with the people I have tutorials with but not in a way that's like, when you come back the next week you know you can talk to that one person about things.

Anyway. Maybe this is just a part of my personality that will never change, since other parts have and I've gotten much better or even more confident at a number of things but this hasn't changed, I am thinking that maybe it is. I know there are some generic advices that can be given like, oh you just need to talk to more people and be more sociable. That doesn't really work, since for me, either you click with someone or you don't. For the people who have been my friend or at least like what I'm saying I instantly feel a vibe from that person that I can talk to them easily, and I assume vice versa, and that they will understand what I'm saying or just be able to communicate easily. So if I want to talk to someone but they don't initially have this vibe then I don't feel like I'll ever have more success anyway.

So I made a little anonymous poll anyway for you to say how you feel you do at this. When I was a kid I didn't but nowadays I spend a lot of time on the internet. I feel like the responses here versus INFP's in real life will be a little bit more geared towards loneliness or maybe I'm just judging the internet too harshly.
 

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Like you, I have changed a lot since being a kid and a teen. My sociability is one of those things. However! I don't have friends. But it's not that I have difficulty making them, it's that I don't want to make them. I do this on purpose.

I don't have any problem at all talking to strangers, actually I do it all the time. I have lost a lot of my shyness on the path to adulthood. I'm still shy, but nothing like I used to be.

Child me: Difficulty, just because I wasn't interested in other kids. I was only interested in adults. I would hang out with my parents, uncles, aunts and teachers obsessively. I am reminded of a quote by Daniel Radcliffe a looong time ago where he explained that when he was filming HP at ages 10,11,12 he got used to hanging out with adults, and being talked to as an adult on set, and so he just couldn't connect with other random kids because kids spoke kid-speech, and he spoke adult-speech. It wasn't until he hit 13 that he started to get crushes on girls and feel like an adolescent and he realized then that he enjoyed being "young" and he started to loosen up a bit. This is exactly my story. Exactly.

Teen me: Became more interested in my peers with adolescence. I made my first friend ever at age of 11. It was an adjustment for me because I wasn't used to talking to somebody everyday, and I had never stepped a foot in someone else's house or bedroom, and meeting her parents was terrifying. I didn't seek this friend, she just happened. I didn't make any other friend in my class for 4 years because I was monogamous in my friendship, and this is a pattern I've always had. I am naturally monogamous in all aspects of my life, I don't decide to be this way, I just can't help it, it's nature. My friend had other friends and she would often go out with other people, so I would stay home painting and reading. I felt that I didn't need anybody else but her, I felt satisfied.
I broke up with her when I got tired of her 5 years later, and I made a new best friend. I did this natural monogamy again for a couple of years. We broke up, and then I made my next best friend -we lasted 12 years- and again I was monogamous. We introduced a 3rd girl and became a trio for 3-4 years, we did everything together, everything. But I was always in my heart monogamous to my first friend, not the second one. I would always call and text my best friend, but never my third friend. I would buy bday presents to my best friend, but not my second friend. Etc. They didn't function like this however. They treated the trio in equal terms, and they also had other friends outside the trio and they had other lives. I was never interested in something like that, I only wanted 1 bond, or zero.

Adult me: I have no friends and no desire for such a thing. If it happens, okay, if the pull is strong and we fall into place, I won't fight it. But I won't seek it either, I won't effort. I've been through enough shit with friendships, and I've witnessed enough shit in the friendships of my family and acquaintances and ex-friends and coworkers, and I don't think adults are capable of friendship. I only believe in nuclear family.
I stick to acquaintances, no friends. There's a difference. I loooove acquaintances. I love being social on a weekly basis, I love conversing with people, and experiencing aliveness. And interacting with people is part of this feeling of aliveness, because people have this life force in them, they have these curious personalities, interesting life stories that make me feel when they recount them, I enjoy the momentary connection. It's like having "friends with benefits" except instead of sex I have temporary connection and then I walk away feeling amazing. Hit it and quit it emotionally, inspirationally and mentally.

I know there are some generic advices that can be given like, oh you just need to talk to more people and be more sociable. That doesn't really work
Nope, it doesn't. That is terrible advice.
I would say that what worked for me was simple curiosity about the world, and discovering the feeling of aliveness and connection to life. Not to people, to life. I see people as just extensions of life itself, just like animals, plants, the ocean, my comfortable bed, the sunrise, coffee, and so on.
When I started socializing on purpose 4-5 years ago and made myself a plan on New Year's Eve, I did it from a place of curiosity about life & about myself.
I was thinking "I wonder what it's like to be in a bookclub, how would I feel there?" and so I joined a bookclub. "I wonder what it's like to...." and I went and did those things. I wanted the experience itself, to know myself, and to know life through myself. Because life happens through you, not to you. So I think that for Fi people, it's a matter of wanting to experience yourself in the world and grow as an individual. And you can't do this stuck in a room watching youtube videos. You can only do this by being exposed to the elements outside. Other people are elements.
It's not a matter of feeling confident, I have social anxiety and aaaaalways feel on the verge of a heart attack before leaving my house. It's a matter of... curiosity wins. My eagerness to know life and look at it in the face and get to know it, "Okay so here we are, me and you life, what is your truth?" When you have un-tameable curiosity, it always wins and confidence is irrelevant.
 

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It's not a matter of feeling confident, I have social anxiety and aaaaalways feel on the verge of a heart attack before leaving my house. It's a matter of... curiosity wins. My eagerness to know life and look at it in the face and get to know it, "Okay so here we are, me and you life, what is your truth?" When you have un-tameable curiosity, it always wins and confidence is irrelevant.
This right here ^, OP.

I had friends as a child, but I moved and lost pretty much all connection with them. It was very hard for me to build that back, and so I spent pretty much all my teen years with no more than acquaintances. Drifted away from my childhood best friend of ten years then as well.

This is the end of my third year in college, and I've spent most of this time out of my comfort zone (aka keeping to myself, studying, etc). I've joined many clubs (plan on starting two of my own), been on executive boards, volunteered at school, held jobs on campus as well, etc. I wanted to experience those things, though. And friends were just people that came along for the ride. I would say my social circle is very fluid. I changed schools, so I'll send a quick text to friends from my other school, but my focus is on the ones I have at my new school. It depends on what you are looking for. I put more effort into people I truly want to build a bond with. However, others I may only have activity/work related communication.
 
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It's easy for me to be friendly. But making close friends isn't something I'm good at.
Like this.

The problem also is, you have to impress other people in a very short time span. We live in a very hasty society where no-one has time for each other, where we always have a deadline and if you don't like to go out, there is almost no place except for work / study where you can meet other people.
 

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I try my best to be polite to everyone I meet, but politeness is not the same as friendliness, and I tend to be rather aloof and guarded. I tend to be a distrusting person and remain somewhat distant until I know I can trust someone, so this probably makes me appear cold and unfriendly to others. I also have a low social need and normally do not feel a very strong need to be outgoing and make friends. Giving off unfriendly first impressions and having an overall low social need means that making friends isn't my strong suit.

For the sake of the poll, it's true for me.

However, once someone opens up to me and gives me a reason to trust them, I'm often quick to reciprocate the friendliness.
 
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I've never been good at making friends. Even as a kid, I didn't have many friends. I was often bullied a lot and often spent a lot of time at home by myself, playing video games and whatnot. I had this one friend, but I often felt like we weren't really that close. After I moved and attended another school this was confirmed when she didn't make any effort to stay in contact with me.

After this, I was friendless up until about 11th grade when I met another girl who became my friend. I was so excited that I became talkative like I used to be when I was a kid. However, she turned out to be mean, abusive, and manipulative. There were red flags, but I was blind to them because all I could see was how much we had in common. I stopped replying to her texts and started ignoring her phone calls and drifted away from her. I've always had trust issues because of a lot of what I went through growing up, but I spent a great deal of time pushing people away.

I've spent several years isolated and that was fine by me. Sometimes, I might feel like I long for a friend, but then I'll remember the bullshit I have to put up with and I'll put it out of my mind. Most of the "friends" I have now are fictional characters I have in my head. I'm a writer and [day]dreamer, so I'm never bored or too lonely.

But seriously, social interaction in general for me is a lot like trying to handwrite a letter with a flaming pen. I can't finish the letter before I'm burned.
 

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Lost all friends because:

a) I am boring
b) Having a weird mind
c) Social anxiety
d) high (or narrow) standards for what friends are

My younger brother also not talking to me, he said i f***ed his brain.
 

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I only have a small number of close friends. It's always been that way. We've had some times I will always cherish.
Less-Close friends drift into my life often but I usually lose them once the location I'm in changes, simply because of my apathy. Sad but true.
I don't think, on either Facebook or Myspace, I've ever had more than 100 friends on either profile. It's tight-knit.
I will often 'test' potential friends by being intentionally provocative to see if they run away from me. If they don't run, I know I've found someone to trust and confide in.
When I was in elementary school, I could only make friends with difficulty. Later on I realized, I only want certain people as my friends so that difficulty was from trying to get closer to people I shouldn't have tried to get close to.

Very scattered thoughts, but that's friendship to me.
 

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To me it's not that I suck at making friends, I just suck at knowing when I should open up and get super anxious expressing my personal thoughts and feelings easily. I just end up with mostly superficial friendships. So I'm just bad at making actual deep friendships
 

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To me it's not that I suck at making friends, I just suck at knowing when I should open up and get super anxious expressing my personal thoughts and feelings easily. I just end up with mostly superficial friendships. So I'm just bad at making actual deep friendships
I understand this. Yeah. Kind of what @entheos said about having acquaintances. I like that. Not even because it is safer (although, that makes sense), but because I like the space and freedom.

I have two "best" friends, but honestly, I doubt I am the number one person in either of their lives and neither of them know me completely. They know me in different ways, and I guess I consider them "best" because I've disclosed certain parts of myself that I haven't to most others AND I trust them. My ISTP is more my action-oriented friend, and my INTJ friend is more my deep serious friend. Both live far away from me, and our relationship feels close to me, but it is long distance. And, honestly, I could see both going away at some point... drifting further away. I think I'm okay with that, actually.

Everyone within my proximity I would consider acquaintances.
 

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I've changed my expectations when I deal with people. Before I thought, if I was just more talkative, I could make friends with just about anyone. But most of the time what can be expected is an acquaintanceship or nothing at all. The average person only has like 2-3 LEGIT friends.

But I do put myself out there and I think that's important. I have to, because a lot of my job involves me being very social throughout every day I'm there. With most people it's a "Hi, how are you? That's good, and I'm well, thank you. Okay, take care." If there's something about them that stands out/is interesting to me and/or vice versa, we'll talk about that and then simply go from there.

None of this changes the fact that I don't really hang out with any one person that much, unless it's someone I like romantically. Most times I just prefer to go some place I've never been, talk to random people, maybe get some contact info if it goes that way, and then I do the same thing all over again another day/night. I still consider the people whose contact info I get, and whom I hang with every now and then, friends. My closest friends are the ones who know me the best emotionally and still care about as well as relate to me, and vice versa.
 

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I am not good at making friends if you consider it a deliberate effort to make someone a friend. Whenever I have tried that, it's like people pick up on the scent of "trying" and are repelled by it. I don't respond this way to people who try with me, and I notice others trying & succeeding, but "trying" seems to ruin whatever particular appeal I do have. My appeal seems to be in not caring too much, and then people wonder why I hold back....well, because when I care then you lose interest.

I also am poor at small talk and engaging with people I don't know well. I confess that a fair amount of this "problem" is that I often don't care. I think people pick up on the apathy and lack of inclination to make effort to talk to them and consider me rude or unfriendly or snobby, and yet, this same not caring is what will make some want to open me up or become fascinated by me. When I deign to care, once again, they aren't very welcoming.

In high school I was a loner, but for most of my life I have always managed to attract at least one very good friend, often one with whom there is a mutually obsessive quality.

Most of the time, I simply don't feel like I have the emotional energy for initiating with people or going out of my way to interact. Most interactions are draining and I've been trained to expect that, not an emotional reward, and so I almost instinctively avoid it. The people I clique with are those who don't require a great deal of energy from me, and over time, I am willing to invest more in them as I see they don't drain me. This might actually make me look clingy with a select few people. My friendships tend to be slow growing but will have depth and longevity because of this.

So over the years, I have made - or attracted - many good friends and even a fair amount of acquaintances, but I would not say it was because I am good at socializing or because I even make a lot of effort. Most of the effort I make is to simply show up and those who become my friend find me interesting and keep encouraging me to show up without demanding much.
 

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@Adonnus

1) My first question would be, How do you feel about that part of your personality? Is it ok for you or is something you think you should change?. If is the second, I think you should build a plan to do it, otherwise you will feel worse later and feel regret, which is a terrible feeling. If this help you, you could use your curiosity as a tactic, "why not try this....", "what happen if....". this strategy might help you to take action even if it require to be out of your confort zone; the important here is to take action, because as INFP we spend too much time daydreaming but not taking action, I know is easier to say than to do, but please dont assume that if your personality is WXYZ, you can't change, we are humans we are adaptable creatures. For example some months ago I started a self-descovery journey and have change some INFP traits, for example now I can control my emotions better and even become rational at my will, if is necessary.

2) When you say "make friends", what is the exact meaning of that in this post?. Are we talking about close friendship that last years or just be social and talk to people? If is the first is quite normal to have 1-2 or even zero friends because that kind of relationshio is hard to build plus we (INFP) have high standars on that. If is the second I think there are a lot of materials on Youtube that can help on that.

3) But let me tell you one thing I learnt from my self-discovery journey and this is to embrace failure. If "making friends" become difficult, be gentle with yourself, embrace the posibility to fail, this mentallity will reduce stress and ironically can burst the chances of success. When I said "embrace failure" Im not saying to be negative. I wrote a post that explain this concept better: http://personalitycafe.com/infp-forum-idealists/1105857-i-found-solution-erradicate-anxiety-perfectionism.html

4) Something useful that I'm implementing some weeks ago on my self-discovery journey is to keep track of my progress on all things I want to change or improve. In this aspect, you should try different techniques or even invent one that fits to you but keep in mind if you fail, thats ok... make the proper changes and try again. For example I invent my own technique, which is like a game, for example I have a goal "build the habit to wake up early" I assign one point everyday I achieve it. Every sunday I count all my points, if my score reach 24 points I get a prize (can be a fancy food on my fav restaurant) If I don't reach 24 I give money ($25) to my friend from my saving account. Assign a punishment make more exciting the game, and that excitement is what motivate to take action. I think you got the idea :) . Oh I almost forget, 30 points is the perfect score (if I do everything) but I know I'm not perfect (embrace failure) so I put 24 as my measure bar which is 80% of 30 which I think is realistic. If you think 70% or even 50% is realistic go ahead, 50% is a great improvement.

I hope these practical advices can help you or motivate you to take action :)

Charly The Rabbit.
 
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