Don't you feel close to anyone? Why and what to do | social self (2023)

"I don't feel close to anyone. Not even my friends or people I've dated. I don't know how I can feel closer to people when every conversation seems so superficial."

While it may seem like some people are born with the ability to get close to others, it's likely a skill they've developed over the years. Someone who grew up close to family members learns what it's like to feel close to someone, and it's usually easier for them to develop closeness in other relationships. Luckily, you can learn to approach people at any stage of life.

Reasons why you might not feel close to anyone

  • You are not vulnerable.You won't feel close to others if you don't share your feelings and true self.
  • You are afraid to approach.If you have trust issues that you haven't dealt with before, this might be the caseunconsciously sabotagedtheir relationships and prevent people from getting closer. You may not recognize the signs that someone is trying to get closer or away from you when things are feeling intimate.
  • You don't see anyone regularly enough.takes the time to do itmake close friends. Simply seeing someone regularly can be enough for us to start liking each other, in a process known as the sheer proximity effect.[1]
  • You have not found any compatible friends.It can be difficult to get close to people when you don't have anything in common with them or don't respect them.

How to feel closer to other people

1. Rate your current friends

Look at your classmates, co-workers, and other people around you. How close do you feel to them? Are there people you would like to get closer to? Or do you need to try to make new friends?

Once you've decided whether you want to get closer to those around you or make new friends, you can begin the necessary steps.

Keep reading our guidedon't have close friendsehow to meet like-minded people. If you are unsure if your current friendships are healthy, see our article onSigns of a toxic friendshipuseful.

2. Ask questions

In order to feel close to someone, we have to know them. While some people are willing to share information about themselves, others are more reserved and wait until someone asks them. Show that you care about people and want to know more about their lives.

We have a list of210 questionsto give you some ideas on how to get to know your friends better. Do you find it difficult to be naturally curious about people? We have some tips on thatHow to be more interested in others when you're not naturally curious.

3. Tell something about yourself

Relationships should be give and take. Sharing something about yourself will make people feel closer to you as they get to know the real you. As a result, they are likely to feel more comfortable posting about themselves as well. Being vulnerable can be scary, but the payoff can be worth it.

It may take a while to find out when andhow to open up to people, so don't despair. You want to get to a point where you can, in the right mindset, let people know what's going on with you without "emotionally unloading" them.

It's important to note that nobody in the world gets it right all the time. Everyone has times in their lives when we feel like we've shared too much or perhaps missed an opportunity to share if we didn't realize it. Don't embarrass yourself. Remember, you're learning.

4. Do fun things together

Being close to someone isn't just about getting to know each other. Shared experiences are powerful tools to bring people together.

Be open to trying new things with your friends. If someone invites you to try an activity or go to an event, give it a try. Are you looking for exciting activities or events, such as B. a guided hike, a sculpture course or a new form of movement.

5. Give each other space

When we want to get close to someone, we may feel that we need to spend as much time with that person as possible.

But everyone needs some time to themselves. Spending time apart can give you different experiences that you can come together to tell and share.

Too much closeness can make us feel entangled and even trapped. The result can be intense but brief relationships. To build lasting relationships, take your time and give yourself space.

6. Be responsive and consistent

While giving space is important, making sure your friends feel seen and heard is crucial. Answer calls and messages. Don't let your friends down. Let the people in your life know they can trust you by showing up when you make plans, keeping your information private, and sharing any problems that arise.

Try to regularly see and talk to people you want to get close to. Remember that it takes time to build strong and lasting relationships.

7. Identify and address underlying issues

We often find that childhood issues and past experiences prevent us from feeling close to people.

For example, you may find it difficult to ask for help or recognize when you are receiving it. Compliments can be uncomfortable. You may find that you constantly feel let down by your friends and other people around you. Maybe you give too much and get frustrated when others don't meet you. Or maybe you havetrust issuesthat feed your fear of intimacy.

Work on building your confidence about what's keeping you from feeling close to others in your life. Is it that you've never felt close to anyone or a current issue? If something has changed recently, try to find out what it is and address the issue head-on.

8. Make positive affirmations

We all like to feel good. Compliments make us feel good about ourselves and, in turn, about the people who compliment us.

If there is someone you want to get closer to, there are probably things that you like or admire about that person. let them know Tell your friend that you appreciate their positive attitude, their organizational skills, or their looks.

9. Get therapy

Building a relationship with a therapist can be a fantastic training ground for other relationships.

You may think that a relationship with a therapist doesn't count because they're paid to listen to you. But a good therapist will invest to help you master new tools that you can transfer to other areas of your life.


Don't you feel close to anyone? Why and what to do | social self (1)

For example, in therapy sessions, you can practice asserting yourself when you feel your therapist didn't understand what you were trying to say. You can practice toomake eye contactwhile sharing personal information and many other skills that help you get closer to others.

In addition to practicing new skills, a therapist can help you identify and understand why you have a hard time getting close to people. Understanding how past experiences affect how you feel and act today can help you integrate with others and move forward.

We recommend BetterHelp for online therapy as they offer unlimited messaging, a weekly session and are cheaper than going to a therapist's office.

Their plans start at $64 per week. Use this link to get 20% off your first month at BetterHelp + a $50 coupon valid on any SocialSelf course:Click here to learn more about BetterHelp.

(To receive your $50 SocialSelf coupon, log in using our link. Then email your order confirmation from BetterHelp to receive your unique code. You can use this code for any of our courses. )

10. Try support groups

Support groups can be another excellent opportunity to practice closeness with others, whether you don't have access to traditional individual therapy or as a supplement.

Support groups can provide a platform to share your experiences with others who are facing similar difficulties. Most support groups have a policy against "crosstalk," which means members don't comment on what other members have said. This means you can share what you're going through without feeling judged or taking advice.

You can try online video support groupsCentral self-help groups. Trained moderators run these self-help groups. Other self-help groups are led by colleagues. If you prefer a peer-led group, you can try itAdult children of alcoholics and other dysfunctional families.

11. Refine your basic soft skills

In some cases, a lack of social skills can prevent you from connecting with others. These articles can help you develop key skills:

  • The Best Social Skills Books for Adults
  • How to read and pick up on social cues
  • Improve your social intelligence

Common questions about not feeling close to anyone

Is it normal not to have close friends?

Many people go through periods in their lives when they don't have close friends. It could be due to lack of social skills, being too busy with work or family life, or many other reasons. If that bothers you, you can learn to make new friends at any age.

Why am I afraid to talk to someone?

Sometimes we are afraid to get close to someone because we are afraid that this person might hurt or betray us in some way. At other times, we may feel unworthy of the care and attention of others. We may fear that people will be disappointed when they get to know our true selves.

show references +


  1. Baker, PM (1983).The friendship process: a developmental model of interpersonal attraction.Sociological Spectrum, 3(3-4), 265–279.
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