Why is it so hard to make friends? I'm on my own and haven't made any real friends since school and I'm sick of it. Everyone I make friends with seems to end up using me. I don't know what to do, I'm so unhappy and lonely, any suggestions?
Sorry to hear you're feeling so lonely. You'd probably be surprised to hear that lots of people feel exactly the same as you. But it can be hard to find people you care about and trust. Even people who appear to have hundreds of friends often say they only really have one or two real friends and that they too often feel lonely.
Meeting new people can seem daunting. Lasting friendships are often built on common interests. The best way to do it is to go to places where you'll meet people who have things in common with you. Why don't you think about what do you like doing? If it's sport, why not join a local sports club or gym? If it's theatre or music, find out about local choirs, groups or amateur dramatic groups. Perhaps you could take an evening class in something you're interested in. Why not use the internet, public notice boards, your local council's website or the local paper to find out about local activities? You could even try volunteering in something that interests you.
But from what you say it sounds like it isn't meeting people and making friends that's the problem, so much as keeping them. It appears various people have hurt you and you feel you've been used. Perhaps because you are so keen to make friends you haven't always been as discriminating as you should have been and have trusted the wrong people too easily. Next time you meet someone try to give the relationship time to develop. Get to know the person before you trust them. Think about what you have in common and what you like about them; don't be swayed just because they're being nice to you.
Remember, not everybody you meet is going to become your best mate. Some friendships last a lifetime, others are transitory and other people are only ever acquaintances.
Should you ever feel really lonely or desperate and need to talk to someone, any time of the day or night, please call the Samaritans on 08457 909 090.
Question answered by Our Relationship Advisors