Why some people have no friends

The intention of this post is not to condemn people but to encourage them to examine their behaviour if they really want to have friends.

People have no friends not because people don't like their faces or they are too quiet; I know people who are quiet and aren't good-looking but others would still include them in group activities. People have no friends because of they way they choose to behave.

1. What's in it for me?
We all don't give something for nothing. But some people have the "What's in it for me?" thought at the front of their minds all the time. They don't give anything unless they know that they can get something back immediately. Or they are nasty to everyone but would suddenly turn "nice" when they need something. Nobody likes being around such people or wants to be friends with them.

Friendship usually starts with the question "What can I offer you?" It could just be a smile or holding the door open for someone to start with. It is give and take: giving first before taking.

2. Keeping secrets, being judgmental, gossiping
To build a deep and meaningful relationship with someone, you have to reveal certain private information. I'm not saying you have to reveal everything immediately but withholding certain types of information prevents free and open communication. If people don't reveal any of their secrets, they will find themselves imprisoned by it. I find that if I share my secrets, my friends would be more willing to share theirs. This brings us closer in understanding and supporting one another. People who won't even tell me what they work as or where they work are big question marks in my mind.

Building relationships involves risk. There's a risk that my friends might use my weakness against me or reveal information about me that I would prefer to keep private. I can't tell everything to everyone. I have to decide the right time and right people. It is often a hit-and-miss. Sadly, there are (judgmental) friends who avoided me after I told them my secrets. But I wouldn't know the outcome till after I've taken the risk.

If nobody wants to tell certain people their secrets, the latter should ask themselves whether they are gossipers and/or outwardly judgmental.

3. Skepticism and suspicion
Sometimes I am skeptical and suspicious of people's intentions. When guys want to get to know me, I wonder whether they are just after sex. There are guys who send me emails and after we exchange about ten emails they ask me out. When I turn them down, I don't hear anything from them again. Experiences like these make me skeptical and suspicious but I remind myself to remain open to possibilities that some people - perhaps one out of five people - might be sincere. If I were to close myself off, the possibility of having new friends would not exist.

4. Self-torture
Some people simply enjoy torturing themselves. When others extend support or kindness, they reject it. They push people away friends so that they can wallow in the self-pity of not having friends.

5. Emocentric and egocentric
Everybody likes to talk about themselves, but emocentric and egocentric people are extreme. They think the world revolves around them. They mock others' achievements and beat people down. What they want are admirers, not friends, to give them attention and boost their ego.

6. Boring mindset
Who wants hang out with someone who says "I'm bored" all the time? But there are people who keep saying that and expect others to want to hang out with them. If I turn my blog into an "I am so bored" blog, nobody's going to return (unless "I am so bored" is followed by "that I am posting pictures/videos of myself in bikini/bra/naked). Actually, you can put #4 and #5 people together and maybe they'll get along just fine.

7. Collecting friends
Collecting Internet friends is the latest craze. Before the Internet was widely-used, people collected friends too. People love having friends who "know them" or they love saying that they "know" so-and-so. In my mind, I would ask: You claim to know so-and-so but does he know you? I know some people who have so many friends that they can't even remember their friends' names! How can they call someone their friend if they don't even know their names?! It's ridiculous!

8. Ungratefulness
People with short memories forget what their friends did to help them. Not even a word of thanks.

9. Inability to be happy for someone else
Some people don't have the ability to be happy for others and celebrate their achievements and life events. A tinge of envy is normal but some people would say something bad or curse others, e.g. her husband is rich but ugly.

10. Unwillingness to invest time and effort
There are people who are always too busy to make time for their friends. If they don't invest time into a relationship, it's unlikely that it would grow. As the song goes, "Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold."

With their lives, however, it's "one is silver and the other goes."
People don't bother to show up or make an effort to keep in touch and they say they have no friends. So whose fault is it?

I am grateful for the 200+ friends who voted for me for the Favourite Sports Blogger contest. Some of them are friends whom I've not spoken with for many years or friends whom I've never met. A few friends have even gone the extra mile to vote on behalf of their siblings or ask their friends to vote!

I wrote the following paragraph risking offending some "friends". I wrote it anyway. I have feelings. I am only being honest about how I feel. I can't build relationships if I can't be honest. If you are offended it only means that you are guilty. You can either think about how you treat me, or hate me and never return to my blog.

There are:
- People whom I've spent time with in the past supporting and encouraging them who completely ignore me. E.g. ex-church friends - only 2 responded (thanks!), as for the others people delete me from Facebook if don't regard me as a friend anymore - it's really fine - our friendship in the past has served its purpose then.
- People who get free entertainment from my blog (which I spend an average of 1 hour a day maintaining - that's 365 hours per year) but wouldn't even spare a few minutes to vote for me :( Surprise me, ok? :)
- People whom I've spent at least 1 hr corresponding with who ask me "What do I get in return?", "You wrote to me to ask me this?" or "I don't know you that well so why should I vote for you?" It's not like I'm trying to borrow money!
These are people whom I wouldn't spend any more time trying to build any sort of friendship with.

I know I am a bit of all these 10 points at times. The important thing here is for me to realise that if I have no friends, it's my fault.
This contest is a good thing. It makes me re-think the way I treat my friends - it makes me want to do better. The coolest thing is: at the end of it, I'll know how many friends I have!

To all my friends: thank you for being here for me and supporting me! You make me feel happy and less alone in this world :))

Related post:
[10 types of friendships-for-convenience]


Rock Hard said...

To all the top 10 listed traits of friendless fools..

I'll have this to say, "You ain't no friend of mine!".

Anonymous said...

Hi Kym,

Friendship is hard to come by; especially in societies like ours.
I once took care of a lady in a considerate and caring way. She was single and living alone in Singapore. I went out of my way to make her stay comfortable.
I thought we had a great friendship.
The day I left my job and was no longer able to take care of her creature comforts, she does not even return my calls / mobile sms.
It hurt :(
I tell myself - friendship like all relationships, is the outcome of TWO persons efforts. Some people just do not value it as much.
I will miss your blog. Thanks for the great articles & shared discussions. Wishing you the best of luck in your future endeavors and I'll look forward to support your book/work.
Regards, Leo

Yu-Kym said...

Leo, that ex-friend of yours was rather extreme. It's sad. But you wouldn't have known if you didn't try. Sometimes I feel like I'm the one doing all the work and then I'm chucked aside after the person doesn't need me anymore.

Anonymous said...

so true!

Jyoan said...

You are so right. =)Now I finally understand why I had friends when I was an introvert, and when I think no one should have befriended me because of the way I look... (yes, inferiority complex back then).

Yu-Kym said...

Jyoan, you must be a nice person :)

Anonymous said...


Without intending any slight towards Jyoan...just purely for discussion ...how do u come to the conclusion that Jyoan must be a nice person?

curious cat

Yu-Kym said...

Because if she's an introvert AND not nice, she would have no friends.

Anonymous said...

absolutely Yu-Kym! how silly of me not to have spotted that! duh

I am an introvert too (although not in an extreme or unfortunate way) but forced to learn to be an extrovert so by inference I should have more friends! keke

curious cat