Thursday, 20 September 2018

Having No Friends Is One Of The Hardest Things To Admit | How Social Media Affects Me | And How To Fix It. | It's OK To have A Small Friendship Group


Saying the words 'I don't have many friends' are perhaps one the of the scariest words to utter, as a 30 something women who is supposed to have it all, the great job, the house, the husband and of course the amazing friendship group. I've never had a big group of friends, have always been on the outskirts of friendship groups and always felt more like an outsider than someone who just oozes confidence and could attract friends like bees to a honeypot. I've just floated along and hoped I would eventually find my tribe. 

I found a couple of friends at primary school and the one at college and these three wonderful ladies have been with me through everything, through all the ups and downs of my life and theirs and I honestly believe I am the woman I have grown up to be because of them. 

I am always grateful to have them in my life and despite moving away for work we can pick up from where we left off whenever we meet and it feels like no time has passed at all. I don't feel the need to add to this core group of women they know everything about me and there's no need to start explaining everything again or trying to impress them so they'll like me enough to befriend me. All that's done and so we can just get on with catching up with our news. And yet..... 

Like I said I moved away for work and having been here for two years now, I haven't really managed to make many friends here, having suffered from social anxiety when I first arrived it didn't make it easy to go out and meet people in crowded places. I felt very isolated and alone during this adjustment period because of it. 

Eventually, mainly because of getting out with work colleagues and braving social events through my blog, I became braver and braver, getting out more and meeting new people. Victoria (of The Harrogate Girl blog) became my first friend in Harrogate and if you were to ask me now where I met her I honestly couldn't tell you but it was probably at one of her many events and I am so thankful to her for taking me under her wing and nurturing me. 

She has been there for me through some tough times and I her. Through blogging we have built a friendship built on mutual understanding and appreciation of the other and I feel so lucky to know her, especially as she is always so busy! 

I have also now met other ladies via blogging and am very thankful that this hobby of mine has brought some truly wonderful ladies and gents into my life whom I now call my friends. 

That being said though, social media does have its role to play in the feelings of loneliness I can and often do experience. Despite seeming to have so many new friends around here, they're not the same as my friends back home. The ladies who know me so well they can tell something's up just from a Whatsapp message. I

 really miss having one of my best friends around the corner from me, whom I could go and see whenever I wanted to. She was there for me when I was unemployed, taking me with her on shopping trips to Tesco so we could have a catch up in the cafe or into town for a mooch and a coffee in our favourite department store (where it was cheaper than Neros!). 

She was one of the first people I told about being bisexual and having her there (as well as my other best friends) meant so much to me and their support allowed me to be brave and be the person I am today without judgement. 


So you can see why moving away was so hard for me, because now I'm all alone in Harrogate without any close friends at all. And it makes me sadder than you'll ever know. Not having anyone to message on my days off who is free to meet up for lunch or a quick cup of tea if I'm feeling lonely. Seeing groups of friends out and about together in Harrogate, not to mention the ones on social media, does nothing to lessen this and makes me miss my friends like nothing else. 

There doesn't seem to be a group for those of us who are feeling lonely and who find it difficult to make friends for one reason or another. We're all supposed to have a 'girl gang' a tribe who we meet up with regularly for coffee dates, brunch and photo sessions. 

It makes me sad that I don't have that around here, that the friends I do have can't meet up when I'm free and I don't feel as close to them as they do to their friends. Usually I'm okay being alone but sometimes you need a friend and I seem to have lost that along the way somewhere in the move, does anybody know where I can find it?! 

There have been a lot of posts floating around recently about this very subject which leads me to think that there are a lot of people (girls especially) who feel the same way. That we're led to believe that as women we're supposed to have loads of friends, available at a moment's notice, ready to hear all of our problems and pose for that ubiquitous group shot and caption it #squadgoals #girlgang #friendshipgoals #girlsquad. 

It can make those of us without one make us feel very lonely and like we're not quite living our lives right. Like I'm doing something wrong by not having a strong group of women friends who I hang out with constantly and share the resulting pictures on social media. 

Where did this come from?? This need for us to have a friendship group and feel lonely if we don't? I don't remember there being a fuss about this kind of thing when I was growing up, it was just go to school make a friend, keep that friend through secondary school and beyond and that's that. 

Social media wasn't around then which probably has a lot to do with the way I and a lot of others have been feeling recently. Scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing so many photos of other bloggers/friends together only serves to heighten these feelings but who knows what lies behind those pictures? Perhaps those ladies are feeling lonely themselves and we just don't realise it, we all know (or should!) that social media can lie to us and we shouldn't believe what we see but somehow it doesn't make it any easier. 

At what point do you accept defeat and admit that, in fact, you can't make friends, are lonely and buy yourself 100 cats because I'd really love to know! Anyway, I hope this post makes some kind of sense to you, all I hope to get across here is that you shouldn't be made to feel bad about feeling lonely or not having a close friendship group. There are a lot of others feeling the same way about this so please don't feel too bad. Reconnect with the people you may have been neglecting and perhaps reach out to someone in your area who may be feeling lonely too. You never know how many friends you could make! 

Let me know your thoughts, do you suffer the same feelings as I do?? 

Love, Sarah
xoxoxoxoxox
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