There are many reasons why you might say, "I don't need friends." You may feel that friendship does not offer much value in your life. Or you feel that you already have a lot of social support from your family so you don't need a large circle of friends or acquaintances.
According to research, not having friends is more common than you think. YouGov, a market research and survey firm, found that 22% of millennials say they havewith no friends.
Whatever your reasons for rejecting friendships, it can help to think about the pros and cons of being friends.social careIt's important for emotional health, but a large circle of friends isn't necessary as long as you feel like you have the support you need.
This article describes why you may feel like you don't need friends, statistics on how many people don't have friends, and some of the benefits of making friends. It also discusses what you can do if you decide to add some friendships to your life.
Reasons why you feel like you don't need friends
If you feel like you don't need friends in your life, there are a few different reasons why you might feel that way. Some factors that can contribute to the breakup of a friendship are:
- you prefer solitude: Some people tend to prefer solitude to being with other people, especially people who tend to be moreintrovert.
- they fear disappointment: Like other forms of social connection, friendship comes with expectations and a need to give and take. If you are concerned that you will not be able to meet these expectations or that others will disappoint you, you may want to avoid making friends to minimize the risk of disappointing yourself or others.
- Are you close to your family?: You may also feel that your family members are your friends. When they provide the connection and support you need, you may feel less of a need to seek out friendships outside of your family circle.
- you don't want to get hurt: If a friend has hurt you deeply in the past, you may have trust issues. As a result, you may be reluctant to make new friends with other people.
- you are very busy: Building and maintaining friendships takes time and effort. When you're busy with other commitments, like family, work, or school, you may feel like you don't have the time or energy to spend with your friends.
One of the main reasons why people avoid friendships is that many people turn to their partner or other family members before turning to friends. Research suggests that people are less likely than before to rely on their friends as their main source of support.
For example, a 1990 Gallup poll found that 26% of adults with a personal problem would go to a close friend first; In 2021, only 16% of adults said they would talk to a friend before anyone else.
There are many reasons why you feel like you don't need friends. A preference for solitude, being close to family members, and preoccupation with other things are just some of the factors that may play a role. Fear of being let down or hurt by friends can also be a factor.
How common is it not to have friends?
How many people say they don't have friends? While it can feel lonely in your loneliness, it's actually more common than you think.
- One survey found that 27% of millennials said they had no close friends, while 22% said they had no friends. For comparison, only 16% of Gen Xers and 9% of Baby Boomers said they had no friends.
- Another 2021 survey found that 49% of adults reported having three or a few close friends.
- Other investigations have come to similar conclusions. An Associated Press poll found that 18% of respondents said they had one or fewer people outside of their immediate family they could turn to for help if they needed it.
Why do many young people report having few or no friends? While the exact reasons aren't entirely clear, increased use of social media and the internet could play a role.
Research has found that people who use social media the most tend to be more depressed and lonely.
Research also suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has played a role in changing the friendship status of many American adults. Among young women, nearly 60% said they had lost contact with some friends during the pandemic, while 16% said they had lost contact with most or all of their friends.
The research also suggests that young men also struggle with social connections. 28% of men under the age of 30 do not have close personal relationships.
While recent challenges have caused some people to lose touch with old friends, surveys also found that nearly 50% of adults have made at least one new friend in the past year.
Research suggests that having few or no friends is not uncommon. Millennials are the most likely to report not having friends, and these numbers may be rising due to social media, internet usage, and world events.
How to deal with changing friends
benefits of having friends
Research suggests that a healthy support system is important to your mental well-being, even if you don't think you need it. While you often feel like you don't need friends, having a supportive social circle can be important to your mental health and well-being. Research has found that a social support system is associated with less stress and anxiety.
Strong friendships can also help improve your physical health. Friends can increase the likelihood that you will complete everyday tasks, such as exercise and healthy eating.
Friendship is also associated with less loneliness.soledadIt has been shown to have a serious impact on health and mortality. Studies have found that people who have good friends handle stress better and experience even less stress.
Friends can also offer you emotional support if you need it. friends can helpValidate your emotions, listen to your problems and do things that help you feel better. One study found that people with strong friendships were morerobust, which means they were better prepared to face challenges and bounced back more quickly when faced with life's difficulties.
Finally, having friends can help you feelbelong to somethingthat brings meaning and connection to your life.
It is important to be aware that friendships can be an important part of your social support system. Social support offers a number of benefits, including preventing loneliness, strengthening connection, and improving physical and mental health.
Is it okay not to need friends?
While research suggests friendship may be important to your well-being, that doesn't mean you need to be around other people or have a long list of close friends to be happy or healthy. Whether your lack of friends is detrimental to your well-being really depends on your perspective and how you feel about it.
In other words, there's a big difference between thinking "I don't need friends" and "I do not have friends."
If you're happy and content without friends, it probably won't hurt you. In fact, being alone can also bring a number of benefits.soledadmispend time alonehas been associated with some beneficial effects, such as
- Better concentration and memory.
- Improvedself awareness
- Higher productivity
- More time for personal growth
The research also found that spending time alone can be important for improving existing relationships. In fact, some research has found that for highly intelligent people, spending more time with friends decreases happiness.
So when you do things for yourself, you can actually be more content and happy in the relationships you have with other people in your life.
The implications of not having friends may depend on your perspective. If you are happy and still have social support, then you are probably doing well with your social situation. However, if you're feeling lonely or isolated, it might be time to think about expanding your social circle.
Why can you feel alone?
Loneliness is the feeling of being alone or without company. You don't have to be physically alone to feel alone either; You can also feel this way when you are around other people.
It is a natural emotion and practically inevitable at some point in life. So if you feel lonely, even if you feel like you don't need friends, there are ways to deal with those difficult emotions.
- understand why you feel alone: If you feel lonely because you feel disconnected from others, there are ways to reach out to others, even if you're not seeking friendships. Spend time in social situations and talk to other people you meet throughout the day.
- don't delay: Keep busy and don't allow yourself to be alone for too long. Find something productive or fun to do.
- stop making comparisons: Do not compare your life with that of the people around you. Even if you have few or no friends, that doesn't mean your life is any less fulfilling or less worthwhile. Instead of envying what others have, celebrate what makes your life special. focus on your feelingsgratitudefor the things you have and love.
If you decide to find friends
Even if you feel like you don't need friends to be happy, it's important to have people you can trust and turn to when you need support. Human beings are social creatures and tend to thrive when they have quality connections with other people.
If you are interested in expanding your social circle andfind some friends, there are things you can do to meet people with whom you have something in common:
- volunteer for something: Find an organization or cause that interests you. Spending time working on something you enjoy is a great way to meet people with similar interests and passions as you.
- Discover a new hobby: One of the best ways to meet new people is to simply do the things you enjoy. Sign up for a community class on something you want to learn more about, whether it's cooking, painting, or computer programming. Joining a walking group, joining a sports team, or attending a book club at your local library are just a few ideas that can help you form new connections with people who could become good friends.
- Find friends at work: The workplace is where 54% of adults say they meet their closest friends. Time and experiences together are often the foundation of strong friendships.
Remember that making friends is often much more difficult as an adult than as a child. It can take time, effort, and willingness to put yourself out there. And once you've made connections with people, it's important to keep feeding and nurturing them.Maintain those interpersonal relationships..
A word from Verywell
While friendship can be beneficial, you may feel like you don't need friends. The impact on your life and health will largely depend on how the situation makes you feel. If you are isolated and long for social connections, your loneliness is likely to have a negative impact on your well-being.
Everyone needs social contacts and people to turn to. You may get this from your partner or your family members, which means you may feel less of a need to seek out friends. This is usually fine, but check in with yourself periodically to see if you need to reassess your needs.
It's also important to make sure you don't overwhelm one or two people in your life who may not be able to meet their social needs on their own. Having people to lean on, whether it's friends, family, co-workers, or other social connections, can play an important role in supporting your emotional health.
Ask a therapist: How do I make friends as an adult?