Social isolation and the difficulty of making friends are two of the issues that, paradoxically, arise in a society where the internet has the capacity to connect all kinds of people.
Problems with forming friendships don’t just affect people’s moods and self-esteem.: We have also seen that loneliness is linked to a lower life expectancy.
- Highly recommended article: “Guide to meeting new people: places, skills and tips”
How to break the insulation?
Gaining a greater ability to make friends is a process that involves engaging on several fronts. Fortunately, it is possible to win in all of them if the right strategies are followed and a commitment to certain principles and ideas is shown.
Below, we’ll take a look at what people who have trouble making friends can do to get out of their isolation.
- We also recommend: “The 14 main social skills for success in life”
1. Work on self-esteem
It is a step which must be taken first but which must accompany all those who follow it.. The perception that missing friends by our side is often associated with the belief that we are not good enough for someone to want to spend time with us, which leads us to engage in behaviors that make it difficult to create friendship.
This is why it is necessary to analyze these beliefs in a calm and a little distant way, judging their foundations and seeing how they fit into reality. Social isolation is usually caused by the anticipation of failure in contact with others, the fear this generates and the lack of self-esteem that causes us to become defensive and give up on making friends. which in turn confirms our pessimistic beliefs.
This step can be started on your own or with the help of friends and family, but going through psychotherapy is also a good option to perform this cognitive restructuring.
2. Judge our friendship needs
Second, we need to stop and think about why or why we want to have more friends.. This will help us to know the nature of our needs, which in turn will allow us to be clear about the contexts in which we want to meet people and the type of people with whom we want to deal.
3. Find meeting spaces
Second, we will have to think about what are the spaces in which we could form new friendships. Here, we must consider meeting places, but also virtual spaces, especially forums where we can find people with common interests. Beyond social media, which is generally more geared towards one-on-one contact with people you already know, there are web pages with debate and discussion sections that bring together people familiar with the site: They are a good choice.
4. Find the exhibition
Losing the fear of exposing yourself to the opinions of others is absolutely essential in making new friends. To do this, we need to step out of the comfort zone and fight the fear learned from previous frustrating experiences when making friends. Following the self-instructions and “forcing yourself” to follow them on a difficulty scale is a good way to solve this problem, as well as being a widely used resource for social phobia.
5. Don’t follow scripts in conversation
Once you strike up a conversation with someone, you have to give up the option of following a more or less structured script in which we have included elements that we mean: they don’t work and make the dialogue unsuitable and unsatisfying. . It is advisable to seek spontaneity. For this, it is good to follow relaxation protocols (if possible with the help of a therapist) and to let yourself be carried away by the dialogue without thinking obsessively about the image you are giving. If we are confident and confident in ourselves, the most absurd conversation can turn into something fun and stimulating.
6. Demonstrate commitment
Maintaining friendships means building on the commitment that unites two people who consider themselves friends. It means making sacrifices and being clear that we too should be willing to contribute something to each other. This is a very basic point but one that is often overlooked, which causes relationships to deteriorate and become circumstantial, something instrumental.
If the phrase “I have trouble making friends” often comes to mind, we need to be clear about two things: on the one hand, that if we want to, we can be friends with a lot more people. , and on the other, that this process will cost us a series of efforts and sacrifices that will take us out of our comfort zone.
Having this clear up front is the key to not getting discouraged at first, which can cause this experience to be remembered as a “test” that friends are not made for us.