Why Don’t I Have Friends?

A closeup of a sad teenage girl

“Why don’t I have friends?” asked Isabella in one of our phone counseling sessions.

Isabella, 25 and very attractive, was having a problem that many people have. Sometimes, if people don’t keep their high school friends or meet friends in college or at work, they may have trouble making friends.

Yet there are many people who seem to be able to make friends wherever they go. What is the difference between Isabella and these people who easily make friends?

Actually, there is a big difference.

The difference has to do with intent – with WHY a person wants to be friends.

Take a moment to go inside and be honest with yourself. Which is more important to you regarding making friends:

  • To get caring?
  • To share caring?

It was obvious to me that Isabella’s desire to have friends came from her ego wounded self. She wanted friends to fill her up, to entertain her and make her laugh, and to approve of her. She did not think of friendship in terms of what she had to offer, but of what she could get.

I thought of Chloe, another one of my clients, who had recently moved to a new city and already had a few really close friends. What was the difference between Isabella and Chloe?

Chloe is a naturally giving and caring person, with a quick and open smile. She is a good listener, and is the kind of person that you just know would be there for you if you needed her. The major difference between Isabella and Chloe is that Isabella has a big black hole inside her, while Chloe is full of love inside.

This is because Isabella makes others responsible for her feelings of worth and safety, while Chloe takes responsibility for her own sense of worth and safety. The result is that people feel pulled on by Isabella to fill her up and they back away from the pull, while they feel safe opening up with Chloe because they intuitively feel that she doesn’t need anything from them.

“Isabella, what is your idea of a friend?” I asked.

“A friend is there for you when you need her. She listens to you and wants to spend fun time with you.”

“And what is your idea of being a friend? What do you see yourself offering as a friend?”

Silence.

“What are you thinking, Isabella?”

“I’ve never thought about being a friend. I’ve just thought about having a friend.”

“It sounds like you want a friend to get caring rather than to share caring – is that right?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Is that wrong?”

“It’s neither right or wrong. It just doesn’t work well. Why would someone want a one way friendship with you?”

“I never looked at it that way.”

“Isabella, you don’t have any friends because you have a big black hole in you that pulls on others to fill it up. No one wants the responsibility of filling up your emptiness. Until you learn to be loving to yourself and take responsibility for your own feelings of worth, you will be pulling on others to do this for you, and they will back off from you. They will not be attracted to your neediness.”

“So what do I need to do to make friends?”

“You need to make friends with yourself first, by learning and practicing the Inner Bonding process – learning and practicing how to take loving care of your own feelings and define your own worth. Are you willing to do this?

“Yes!”

Isabella did do her inner work and was so gratified to find herself gradually making some friends. It took time, but it was worth it!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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