Suppose you're never going to have any friends for the rest of your life
August 23, 2013 9:19 AM Subscribe
I have no friends. I have no reason to believe I'll ever have any friends. Is it even possible to have a worthwhile life?
posted by dekathelon to human relations (164 answers total) 94 users marked this as a favorite
I've lost all my friends at this point. I talk to no one. I have entire stretches of no social contact, and "entire stretches" at this point is threatening to turn into "most of 2013." In addition, I'm in a field where everyone else's friendships are flaunted and obvious. It makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with me that they can reach out to them - in some cases awful people! We're talking abusers, convicted criminals, sanctimonious pricks sometimes - but see me as beneath that.
The problem is it's been that way all my life. I have never had any real friends, and I don't see any indication that it will change soon. I go to meetups but I feel so different from everyone, and they see me as different in a bad way, so even if I've been going for years no friends come of them. I've tried going on dates (this was a roommate's suggestion), but I'm not attractive enough to get many dates and none of them have ever resulted in friendships, which is to be expected when the waters muddy.
Besides the obvious crushing loneliness and feelings of being pointless as a person - without friends you are basically expending resources until you die - having no friends has several tangible limiting factors on your life:
People see you as a horrible person that everyone should stay away from. Like this, from a recent dating thread:
OMG - RUN.
This is truly abnormal behavior on his part. If he's alone, that's a red flag (does the man not have any friends??)
OMG, I don't have any friends??? HOW CAN SOMEONE NOT HAVE ANY FRIENDS??? Awesome: I'm a red flag. I don't think this is an uncommon opinion either. I think it is standard. And the only way to get yourself out of OMG YOU FRIENDLESS HORRIBLE FREAK is to lie about which form of square zero you're starting at. I don't like lying, but I also don't like people seeing me as someone to whom the proper reaction is OMG - RUN.
Reduced job prospects. Google "friendship economy" or "social capital." With the economy the way it is, more and more if you don't have capital-capital the only way to be able to put a roof over your head and food in your mouth and etc etc is to have friends who give you work.
Reduced leisure prospects. Nobody actually expects you to go places alone. You look like the weird loner, because people go places with their friends. You end up spending money (which due to the above you don't have much of) and feeling like you've wasted it. And when they do, they certainly aren't looking to meet people. When I was out with acquaintances, like at the beach or something, I know none of us were letting randoms join our group. Again, this is default.
Reduced safety. Never walk home alone. Oh. Okay. I'll just walk home with this group of friends I don't have. Never travel alone. Oh. Okay, I'll just summon people at will. Always tell a friend where you'll be. Oh. Okay. I'll just make a phone call into the ether. See what I mean?
You have to face everything in your life alone. What was the worst crisis you've ever had to deal with? Think of it. Now imagine that your support system just didn't exist during it, that you could never talk to anyone about it, and you have basically everything in my life. Certain things that happen are bound to wear people down by default even if everyone in the world loved and supported them. When you're alone, it's that much harder to handle or bounce back from.
So basically: how can your life be worthwhile when nobody in the world (please don't say anything like "OMG YOU HAVEN'T MET EVERYONE IN THE WORLD," I think I've met a scientifically sound sampling) wants anything to do with you?