Having no friends sucks.
Nobody likes spending Saturday nights alone. So even if you’re the biggest introvert in the world, socialization remains one of the primary human needs.
When I was addicted to video games, they became my go-to replacement for any social activity whatsoever.
And after a few years of neglecting my social life and prioritizing video games, I came to a horrific but grounding realization: I have no friends. Nobody to talk to, no one to do fun stuff with, and nobody to crack jokes together.
You might have read the classic advice you get online – stuff like “just get out there” or “find a social activity,” but you haven’t had any success.
It’s time to change this for good.
Having No Friends Isn’t Necessarily Bad.
As you reach adulthood, it’s normal that it gets increasingly harder to find new friends. Most of your old friends move away, get married, or have jobs that “force” them to live in another city.
Even young adults struggle with this sometimes.
But having no friends doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or you don’t know how to socialize.
Often, life’s circumstances lead to you having no friends. It’s not personal or something “wrong” with you. But just as life can take your friends away, it’s also possible for you to change it.
If you have no friends and want to change this, it’s time to start focusing on yourself first. Since you probably have enough time to focus on yourself, it might be wise to invest time into your physical and mental wellbeing.
The more comfortable you can become with yourself, the easier it will be to make friends in the future.
Is Video Game Addiction Preventing You From Having Friends?
The first step to finding new friends is to learn what is stopping you from having them.
If you are suffering from video game addiction, you may be isolating yourself from social opportunities to make good friends.
Many people develop their addiction because of past trauma, such as being bullied in school. Video games become their escape from reality where they can’t be bullied. It becomes a coping mechanism for them.
And this creates a never-ending loophole of wanting friends but not having them because of an addiction.
One of the most common symptoms of video game addiction is jeopardizing relationships and friendships to play video games. As a result, gaming becomes the dominant activity in your life, and you neglect other activities, including socializing to play.
Suppose you’re suffering from video game addiction and don’t have friends because of this. In that case, it’s best to talk to a therapist or consider our Respawn program, which will provide you with scientifically-based action steps to get gaming back under control.
But how do you know if video game addiction stops you from having friends? Be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
- Playing video games is the dominant activity in your life, and you start to neglect other activities like school and work.
- You start suffering in your personal and professional life.
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t play video games.
- You need to play more and more to satisfy your need for gaming.
- You’ve tried to control your playing time but weren’t successful.
- You have no friends, lost old friends, and burnt down relationships to accommodate your video game playing habit.
Other Possible Reasons for Not Having Friends
If you have no friends, then there might be other reasons for it as well. Here are some of the most common reasons for not having friends.
Shyness and Social Anxiety
Do you have social anxiety, and that’s what’s stopping you from having friends?
Social anxiety is the feeling of discomfort and extreme fear in social situations. For example, you don’t like being judged by other people, so you avoid possible interactions.
Social anxiety is a common comorbidity of gaming addiction. And these two go hand-in-hand. Those who are socially anxious are more likely to become addicted to video games and vice-versa.
Shyness and social anxiety are often lumped together as two disorders because they are closely connected.
Suppose social anxiety is the main reason you don’t have friends and why you might revert to playing video games so much. In that case, it might be time to start therapy, which can be quite effective through cognitive-behavioral therapy. Read this article on how to find a good therapist online.
Moving Around a Lot and Life Circumstances
If you move around a lot due to your family or career, it will also make it more challenging to have friends.
Or maybe it happens because your old friends have moved away because of jobs or their lives, and you’re left friendless.
If that’s the case for you, you shouldn’t worry that much. It happens to everyone who changes their surroundings.
It will take you some time to meet new people and make friends with a bit of effort.
You Don’t Know Where to Start.
This is a common reason why many people might not have friends. You might want to find new friends, but you don’t know where to start.
Maybe you have a lifestyle that doesn’t allow you to meet new people all the time. For example, perhaps you’re working from home, as many people do nowadays, and you don’t go to other activities that would allow you to meet new people.
This might leave you wondering where to start again. If you don’t have a lot of experience with socializing, then it might all be baffling for you.
The good news is that you can always change this. All you need is to take action. Do things you like doing and meet people doing those activities. But, of course, you’ll need to be the one to take the initiative to meet new people.
This issue can easily be solved by doing new activities or trying a new group hobby.
The Benefits of Having Friends
The first and the biggest reason why having friends is good is because it leads to a happier and more fulfilled life. This has heaps of research and studies behind it (1,2,). One study by Harvard Medical School even found that having a happy friend can increase your happiness by up to 15%!
Having many friends also helps you build your social skills, an invaluable life skill. It will lead to more satisfying relationships and new interactions, which will allow you to constantly meet new people and build that social muscle that you need to develop to be happier and more successful in life.
Another key benefit of having friends is their support in your life. You’ll be able to let your feelings be known to the friends that are close to you, which is one of the crucial steps of overcoming future problems in your life. This is an important aspect to consider if you’re fighting against video game addiction, for example.
To meet others working on getting their gaming under control, join the Game Quitters Forum.
Last but not least, having friends is linked to better physical and mental health, according to a study done by Casie McMillan in 2019.
How to Find New Friends and Keep Them
So now that we’ve gone over why having friends is beneficial, let’s look at some ways to improve your social life.
Always Be on the Lookout
If you’re serious about meeting new people, then you should always be on the lookout for new friend opportunities, wherever you may be.
Whether it’s the library, cafe, church, gym, grocery store, or even your neighborhood, you should always be open to meeting new people. So talk to them, see where that leads you. Being a bit more friendly than usual can bring good results.
The more people you meet, the higher the likelihood you’ll meet someone who would be interested in becoming your friend.
Go to Activities
Now, this might sound like a cliche piece of advice – try a new group hobby or activity, but it works.
You can try our hobby tool to see if there’s something you like there. For example, you can select filters for the kind of activities you have, and then you’ll be able to see a list of some great hobbies you can try based on those filters.
Just do something you like, and eventually, you’ll have a lot to talk about with new friends you’ll make doing that activity.
Take Time to Get To Know Acquaintances
I’m sure you have many people on your contacts list or friends on Facebook that you’ve been friends with before, and you haven’t talked to them in a while.
Well, maybe it’s time to check up on those people to see what they’re up to. Who knows, perhaps some of them will make some time for you and become friends?
Stop Playing Video Games!
Last but not least, if you’re addicted to video games or suffer from other forms of tech addiction, the first step will be overcoming that addiction.
Gaming addiction might be the biggest reason why you don’t have friends. If you prioritize video games over anything, including your social life, then it’s time to change it.
Your best course of action is to consider therapy.
Here at Game Quitters, we also have tons of other resources that you can use, including our Respawn program. This program is specifically aimed at people like you who suffer from video game addiction and don’t know how to find friends.
We also have other types of content, including:
- Reclaim program for families of gamers
- Free articles where you can learn more helpful tips like in this article