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Why would somebody be middle aged and never have had any friends?

(64 Posts)
nuttymango Sat 25-Jun-16 22:13:21

Somebody I know very vaguely was talking the other day and I asked what they did when they went out with their friends (they asked me the same question). They said that they didn't have any and that they'd never had any friends even when they were at school.

I was quite shock and hmm about it, I mean how can somebody get to that age and not have made a few friends along the way? AIBU not to know where to go from here, I mean they must have told me for a reason.

monkeywithacowface Sat 25-Jun-16 22:17:10

Depends on their definition of friends I guess, maybe they didn't want any? Maybe they don't want you to do anything with the information? Why do you feel you need to go anywhere with it? Did it sound like they were unhappy about it or were they quite matter of fact.

I can easily imagine some people never having friends either through choice or being shunned by those they meet sadly

ConfuciousSayWhat Sat 25-Jun-16 22:18:23

I have no friends I can call friends. As in people I'm comfortable phoning if I need help or people who invite me places or who want to spend time with me.

I blame being seriously bullied at school, proper nasty psychological girls bitchy nasty stuff that I couldn't then escape when I got home because my sister then did exactly the same as she is a queen bee type. Because of that I just don't trust people, ive also never learned how to form a friendship, what's expected of me for example, where the boundaries are. I missed out on that crucial bit of development because a group of girls and my sister saw fit to take it from me. I've tried to learn it as an adult but I can't. I just feel really awkward and uncomfortable and like they're going to turn on me any minute.

But that's why I don't have any friends can't speak for the person you know

StripeyDeckchair Sat 25-Jun-16 22:23:07

There are loads of reasons why someone might not have friends going right back to childhood - moving a lot, carer for a parent or sibling, abusive home life, let down by someone who should have stood up for them and being unable to trust, bullying etc etc

Don't judge too harshly, maybe you could extend the hand of friendship?

ClaireHW1978 Sat 25-Jun-16 22:23:33

I have very few friends, none that live in my town. I have acquaintances here but it takes me a long time to make friends and they are very few and far between. I'm in my mid thirties, work in a profession, have a DH and DC but only have 4 real friends, none of whom live in my county.

It doesn't bother me, I don't need more friends than that and the friends I do have are very good friends. I could call anytime for help and know it would come, as I would for them.

monkeywithacowface Sat 25-Jun-16 22:23:35

flowers confuscious. I can relate to that a bit, although I do have a small circle of good friends I find it overwhelming to spend to much time together and often find myself shutting myself off for periods if I've spent a lot if time with one person. It's just exhausting constantly worrying and over thinking every conversation

imsorryiasked Sat 25-Jun-16 22:26:15

Probably due to complete lack of confidence. I'm crap in social situations, don't have anything in common with my work colleagues, don't have any hobbies etc. Like pp I was bullied at school and hideously shy.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 25-Jun-16 22:27:31

We see some children in school who never make friends. We do everything to encourage friendship and teach social skills but they just don't. Its like they have no need for it. They are fabulous kids but seem to be missing the friendship gene. Maybe deep inside they are miserable but they appear happy and content to float around in their own little zone..Often they are very bright and sometimes borderline aspergers

nuttymango Sat 25-Jun-16 22:28:05

They didn't seem to be really upset but they never seem happy either, I will talk to them when I see them. I was just surprised that they were in that situation, it's not the norm is it?

maggiethemagpie Sat 25-Jun-16 22:28:42

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

monkeywithacowface Sat 25-Jun-16 22:33:02

<of course I didn't blame her for this I pitied her>

Gosh how very big of you hmm

Hawkmoth Sat 25-Jun-16 22:48:45

I've got no friends either!

Junosmum Sat 25-Jun-16 22:51:15

A guy I consider to be a friend called me an acquaintance until I explained that I was offended by it (at that point I'd been on holiday with him, had him stay in my house several times and invited him to my wedding). He told me he'd never had any friends, just people he knew. Turns out he was just very insecure and couldn't understand why anyone would consider him a friend.

SingingSamosa Sat 25-Jun-16 22:57:54

I've never been great at making friends either. I over analyse things and am absolutely hopeless at small talk. I do have a best friend, some old friends from school and a few people I count as friends and could definitely count on in an emergency but not really anyone I pop in and see for a cuppa regularly, or ring for a natter. I really need my own space and to be alone frequently so I don't really mind not having 'proper' friends. If I made a bit more of an effort I could probably change things but I'm fairly happy as I am at the moment!

maggiethemagpie Sat 25-Jun-16 23:04:35

Yes it was big of me monkey

Every one else blamed her and called her a PITA

maggiethemagpie Sat 25-Jun-16 23:07:03


the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the sufferings and misfortunes of others

Not sure why you seem to be saying I cannot pity someone who is unable to make friends?

tinytoucan Sat 25-Jun-16 23:10:21

I don't have any "proper" friends, as in people I feel I can really count on if I'm in trouble. I have a few friendships at a more superficial level I suppose, it does make me quite sad when I think about it. I used to have lots of friends at school but then moved away, and I lost a lot of confidence as a teen and never really got it back. I'm pretty crap in social situations now so I find it hard to put myself out there- I usually assume people find me boring.

monkeywithacowface Sat 25-Jun-16 23:55:56

I know a fair few people on the spectrum, they'd probably tell you to shove your pity up your backside tbh. I'm not saying you can't pity them but you're misguided if you somehow think that you deserve a pat on the back for it.

EnidButton Sun 26-Jun-16 03:39:38

Leave them alone. I doubt they told you for a reason. They were just answering your question. Questioning them about it will only make them feel like shit. It's much more common than you think and if they didn't seem upset about it then perhaps they perfectly content.

Or you could try making friends with them if you like them. Don't do it out of pity though.

EnidButton Sun 26-Jun-16 03:41:40

Or maybe them asking you about your friends was their way of trying to start up a friendship with you.

Do they have a partner? For a huge amount of people their DP is the only friend they want or 'need'.

Ironmanrocks Sun 26-Jun-16 03:51:38

Anyone up? I really can't sleep and I've been awake since please! X

Ironmanrocks Sun 26-Jun-16 03:52:22

Sorry didn't mean to post on here!

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sun 26-Jun-16 04:15:54

If you're a reserved quiet type, either on the spectrum or not, it can be hard to make friends. You may also be on the spectrum and be quite outgoing, but just be too much for other people (my niece is like this - she is so EXTRA everything, that they find it overwhelming).

And then there's being bullied, which might come from the above, and might just be one popular person taking an aversion to you and making sure everyone else does too.

But if you don't find the right people who want to engage with you, who don't have the time to find out who you are, or who have tried but found you offputting in some way then it's quite easy to end up with no friends.

Some people are just so introverted that they don't even WANT any friends - they prefer to be by themselves.

You might have a large circle of acquaintance, but no one you could call on to help in a crisis, and no one you could tell your troubles to, no one you could go out with for fun.

It's not as rare as you might think - and it's not always through lack of choice.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Sun 26-Jun-16 04:39:15

Maggie Aspergers is a social communication disorder. Not a "selfish one". How fucking ignorant.

timelytess Sun 26-Jun-16 05:18:47

I have Asperger's too, Maggie. On behalf of whoever 'she' is in your post, could I gently advise you to take your pity, roll it and stuff it? And I think I'd have a similar view if I wasn't on the autistic spectrum, but of course, I don't know for sure.

I don't have friends. I can't cope with the responsibility. But I know a lot of nice people. That' works for me.

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