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Aunty Bella: Miss. Always Losing Friends

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Aunty Bella is our  agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers. 
We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.

Hi everyone,

I’ve always been the reserved kind. I find it hard to make friends and even harder to keep in touch after making said friends.The only constant fixture in my life is my family. Looking back, I realise I always preferred my company to another person’s.

Recently though, I’m beginning to feel really lonely. The solitude I always craved doesn’t seem to work anymore. I don’t have much friends since all the friends I make at a stage of my life tend to disappear at the end of that stage.
I’m not very free with guys and being the kind of person that I am, relationships always seemed like a chore.I mean, you have to consider the person when making decisions. You have to create time, make calls etc

Now, I’m 22 and still schooling. I started to make attempts to connect with guys, but it’s like I lose interest after few weeks. When a small issue comes up, I just tell myself it’s not worth the stress, and I withdraw.

It’s the order of things now. I meet someone, develop an interest and we connect for a while; then, he does something I’m not very happy with, and my old self shows up. My friends say I’m cold and short tempered.
How do I adjust after avoiding them for so long?

Photo Credit: Suprijono Suharjoto | Dreamstime.com

40 Comments

  1. Temmy

    April 6, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Friendship isn’t by force. I used to have a lot of friends before. I later realise they bring me more headaches than when I’m by myself,I recently tried making new friends, and I discovered that our orientation isn’t the same. I can’t force them to change and vice versa. So just keep yourself. The realers will come

    • A Real Nigerian

      April 6, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      Well said. OP take this advice.

    • CONGLOMERATE

      April 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Pls read again, your contribution makes zero sense. If by the age of 22 you are unable to make or have one single long term friend that gets and understands you, chances are, you are the real problem.

    • A Real Nigerian

      April 6, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      Go away and stop contributing to OP’s dilemma with your s%%tty advice. Not everyone gets to make friends and it is not a do-or-die affair.
      OP don’t listen to CONGLOMERATE. That is society speaking and attempting to make it seem as if something is wrong with you. Don’t listen.

    • Seriously

      April 7, 2017 at 12:03 am

      It’s good to want to be by yourself but it’s also nice to learn how to deal with others. You can’t keep running away from conflicts or simply because someone doesn’t share the same expectation, ideology as you. Sometimes, you might need to be more open, expressive and be vulnerable.
      Yes, you don’t need a lot of friends, just few people who you connect with.
      Work on yourself, use good judgment and live life.

  2. A Real Nigerian

    April 6, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    You don’t need friends! Friends do nothing for you and they are mostly a bunch of fake, pretentious people who only derive pleasure in seeing you fail. To hell with them.
    Except me of course, I’m a good person. I ditched all my friends long ago and since then, my life has been glorious!
    Be like me and be happy.
    And I can be your friend if you want! [SERIOUS]

    • Kelly

      April 6, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      I thought you said she doesn’t need friends.

    • Darius

      April 7, 2017 at 6:51 am

      @Real Nigerian Nigerian, now I understand why you are always on BN; you don’t have friends. We are like minds! Lolzzzzzzz!

    • Seriously

      April 7, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Good Company is a positive thing. The problem is some people make friends with the wrong crowd. Take a look at yourself too, you might be the problem. Since you ditched all your friends, I guess no one will attend any events relating to your life. It makes sense now though why you are so bitter and sound very lonely.

    • @ Seriously

      April 7, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      Seriously? OP ignore Seriously’s comment. Important events in your life just buy whatever number of “friends” you need, people are easy that way. First make tons of money.

    • Sonia

      May 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Ahahn! You need friends oh! Someone to talk to in time of stress, someone to share your problems with, you just have to be careful and choose your friends wisely.

  3. A Real Nigerian

    April 6, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    BN, POST MY COMMENT AND STOP CENSORING MY VOICE!

  4. Sibo

    April 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Some people enjoy their own company. It is not anti social it could be that you are an introvert .The sooner you begin to understand yourself and accept who you are the better, happier and more content you will be. its when you try to be something you are not that’s when you encounter problems. why don’t you use your valuable me time to explore your talent, i.e introverts are usually quiet creative hence they need their space to get those creative juices churning. On the othe hand you might not be an introvert , then you might want to ask yourself are you depressed, anxious . It all boils down to you at the end of the day. I hope u do find out what your issues are so that you start enjoying life to the fullest. Remember tomorrow is not promised.

  5. Ronks

    April 6, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Don’t listen to people who say your okay the way you are. If you were you would know it, we are not created to live in isolation, you have to learn how to make connections, there is nothing wrong with you, you just need to sit down and do the hard work of figuring out why you have a hard time connecting with people. You may be introverted and not need a lot of friends, that’s fine but you must start to do the critical work of learning how to have safe and healthy relationships. For you to thrive in life, romantic and platonic relationships are key. Even in the Bible (if your xtian), the Lord sent people to encourage others e.g paul and Titus. You can do it and you should do it! You need safe spaces ( relationships) where you can learn to love and be loved! Where you can thrive and reach your full potential. Read books like Safe people like john Townsend and Henry cloud, talk to counselors if you can, do what it takes but make those connections!

  6. Honestina

    April 7, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Man, know thyself. Accept that you’re an introvert and build your life around that.
    I’m a loner too but I’m never lonely.

  7. Single Shalewa, Bitter Bintu!

    April 7, 2017 at 12:43 am

    We do need friends, not lots of friends but we do need friends in life. You also need to be able to differentiate between acquaintances and friends. Maybe you need to stay in touch more, it’s probably you not them. No one wants to look like they’re forcing themselves on you. Find who you connect with, stay in touch, allow them check up on you and do the same too.

    I don’t have friends like that and it hurts me a lot. I relocated to Lagos in 2012 after my wedding and I do feel bad that I don’t even have friends that come check up on me or that I do go see. Saturdays, no owambe for me. Now my baby is almost due and I didn’t know when I started crying to hubby that no one is throwing me a baby shower. Once I get back to work, I’ll have to change my ways.

    No, one doesn’t need like a battalion of friends (too much drama) but we sure need good friends around us. And let’s not forget to be that good and dependable friend also.

    • bee

      April 7, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Babe what is your issue? is it the baby shower or friends? these are two different things. I was actually going to offer you my friendship until i saw baby shower gist.

      that is not friendship and except you are particularly into a kind of social circle where stuff like that are intentionally a part of your schedule you will not have such circle of friends in this phase of your life.

      At this stage you are with people who have more issues to deal with and are more realistic and/or value adding (marital, children, health, religious, finance, career). its different from your happy-go-lucky school or single life type so what you need now a committed support system. Life has changed for you and a lot of people that will be around you.

      except you have that understanding and realistic expectations of your relationships, you will just keep getting offended for no just cause.

    • kemmmie

      April 7, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Sweetie, then throw yourself the bestest biggest baddest funniest baby shower EVER!!! Live it UP!!! You only live once. Buy yourself a gift. Invite as many people as you can. Your little bundle of joy is on the way…..Be HAPPY!!!! Celebrate yourself even if nobody does. Be you own BIGGEST FAN. LOVE YOURSELF, you are having a baby!

    • Chychy

      April 7, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      I will like to throw you a baby shower.., make your favourite meals and massage your feet. Let me know if you are willing.

  8. CurvesAndEdges

    April 7, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Friendships don’t maintain themselves. Every friendship/ relationship that lasted is because people made an effort. If you’re introverted, invite the people you like to try out the things you like to do, and also step out of your comfort zone and try some of the things they like.

    And this old self that you talk about – if it is an old self you do not like, work on it. Recognize the issues and address on them. Everyone is a work-in-progress. The biggest lie anyone can tell themselve is to say ‘This is who I am, I cant change’.

    • CurvesAndEdges

      April 7, 2017 at 12:47 am

      address* them

  9. alwayshappy

    April 7, 2017 at 2:31 am

    No stress yourself , this reflection you have done is good. Nothing is wrong with you, and being lonely is not a bad thing, embrace the loneliness by working on yourself, enjoying yourself and discovering more of yourself. Along this process a few good friends will journey with you. Remember you must be a friend to have a friend, but do not keep shitty or toxics folks around just for company.

  10. sweetzie

    April 7, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Speak to a counselor if possible. Maybe you’re​ depressed. When one is depressed or has anxiety, it’s difficult to maintain lasting relationships​. Its important to take care of your mental health first before making new connections. If you dont, same pattern will repeat itself and it can be overwhelming. If depressed, you might experience loss of pleasure, moodiness, isolation…Etc. read more about it. If you’re not depressed or don’t have mental health related issues, you’ve got to make effort, step out of your comfort zone and make effort to keep in touch with your friends. Good luck.

    • bee

      April 7, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Na wao. everything now is depressed!!!!

  11. Precious

    April 7, 2017 at 3:38 am

    This person is just me right now!

    • Ada

      April 7, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Dont tryy to kill youself.. be happy life will get better.

  12. Catherine

    April 7, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Hello dear,
    Kudos for sharing this challenge you are facing. I understand how you feel but do not beat yourself up about it.
    My humble opinion, in addition to what others have said- instead of focussing on the challenge of not having friends, you could rather focus on fine tuning and building up the necessary skills and traits for handling healthy relationships including friendships; for example good communication skills (listening patiently, speaking encouragingly, questioning openly, following up etc), discerning skills (being able to decipher between positive and negative influencers), love (this helps to let things go, not be too negative and critical and also to be open minded that we are all different), forgiveness and others
    The above make it easier to start and maintain good healthy friendships.
    Also, have an objective for your friendships, and let them be pure and honest with no intention of hurting the other party
    It is also good to keep in mind that you are an individual with lots to offer the world, and it would be a pity if people around you do not get to benefit from that; let your light shine my dear.xx

  13. Papermoon

    April 7, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Learn to love and accept your self. KNOW yourself first, then you will be confident enough to reach out to people or you will reciprocate when people reach out to you. Sometimes its successful to let people into your life when you have issues and you can’t figure them out. Some people just love being alone, enjoy it; others shut people out to work on their issues, keep working at it; ? Others can work on themselves and still make friends, of course enjoy it.

  14. pretty

    April 7, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Some people are just selfish, they only reach out to people when they need help. Then later they will start complaining that people dont check on them. They dont either

  15. Canary

    April 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Everyone or most people need friends in their lives obviously not ‘friend master flex’. Just be cautious of people you let into your life, be there for people who are in your life so they can be there for you too. That been said I need friends in Lagos as I don’t have any and it’s effing boring.

  16. Tony Blaze

    April 7, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    There is an adage that says if you’re not losing friends, you’re not growing. There is nothing wrong in losing friends, you’ll have to at some point eliminate some people in your life if they simply don’t add value to you. Friends affect you in two ways; they either break you or make you. A true friend is one that supports and helps build your dreams to achieve your aims, the one you inform of starting a business and he says I’ll assist you with some money, will help you like and promote your products on Instagram, will collect and market for you at my work place.

    However, the ones you don’t need are the type that demoralize you as a person, for instance your dream is to study at Harvard and the moment you tell your friend he goes like don’t think about it, that’s impossible, not in your lifetime. Discard such friends; I call them stabilizers they destroy your motive when your current is high and you trying to move mountains.

    Roll along with people that make you happy, brighten up your day and bring out the best in you. The type that when your down will lift you up. Also, like others have said you surely don’t need too many friends, just like the saying goes the more money the more problems, it’s just the same thing with friends, too much of them gives you headache. On Facebook you might have five hundred friends in total but you only have four mutual friends, that’s how it should be in the real world. Have the circle of friends that matter to you the most.

    The truth is that the fewer friends you keep the easier for you to achieve your targets. There are three factors that will determine who you will become in future, the books you read, your environment and the company you keep. Therefore, pick the friends you need and let the others be casual friends. Also, let me add that you losing friends should not be a worry to you because there are a thousand and one friends out there and you can pick the one you need at no cost, so why bother yourself in the first place.

    Also, most often you tend to come across bad friends because the good ones are hard to come by but I’ll recommend the church, it’s a conducive atmosphere to find and make good friends that make you relevant. Be wise, all the best.

  17. olajumoke

    April 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    You do need friends however the reason for the friendship must be checked. If you have friends who you check upon often and they dont bother to check on you back, just know that those are not your real friends, Friendship must be mutual and also you need to work on checking upon people so that you are not termed “cold”… I am bad at checking upon people and so i really dont expect anything in return … i have only two best friends and am okay with it.

  18. Exotique

    April 7, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I enjoy my own company a great deal but it’s always nice to have friends. @Canary @Single Shale was bitter Bintu: I live in Lagos, Lekki to be precise. We can be friends. [email protected]

  19. jefka

    April 8, 2017 at 8:38 am

    It all depends on your definition of friendship and the values you attach to them.
    I have just four friends. I used to be a crowd puller. However, it turned out that I didn’t need that many. People are users; we all are. The difference is figuring out those who have your back when shit hits the fan. Those who you wouldn’t mind going the extra mile for.
    Mind you; you can only achieve this when you have finally understood yourself. I didn’t get to this point until I clocked 25.
    In essence, give it time; enjoy the peace and quiet whilst it last. Soon everything will call into place.

  20. maa

    April 8, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Read up borderline personality disorder

  21. mela

    April 8, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    I believe that people come into our lives for a reason. And when that is up they will leave or you will leave. I guess ur major issue is even friendship with the opposite sex. Don’t let that border you….when you met d right person u will know. Just keep being friendly to people

  22. Zara

    April 8, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Please bella naija.. where can i post my story to. I posted it on [email protected] but i havent seen it yet.

  23. onika

    April 17, 2017 at 1:32 am

    is op still here……………you just talked about me,would be 22 july ,about to leave school,and i know my relationship with everyone i kinow may end there…….really sad,……….genuine people are scarce,some are genuine but no productivity,like yu may just be their baby sitter……..osumi

    • lolly

      May 11, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Sure,m here…..guess we juz nid to learn ow to put up wiv pple wivout judging…trust me,tz hard buh friendships dah ar worth it start 4rm sumwer…

  24. Louda

    September 30, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Sis its a good thong you observed that somehing is wrong. As someone in her 30s who just found herself in the same place as you, I have a few things to say. Not having friends is a problem. Dont mind those saying there is no issue. Man cannot exist as an island, we all need each other yes. But then you need to ask yourself what you really need in a friend. Having too many friends is not good either. Remember he who needs love will have to give love also. You need to be more friendly with people too, call them, send them messages during birthdays and other special events. if they dont reciprocate dont kill yourself over it. There must be one or two who will reciprocate your love. Also know that human beings are so imperfect, so condition your mind to forgive people wen they annoy you and not always run away from friendships and relationships simply because someone did something wrong. Try to do things that make you happy, like join a social club or your church group and you will soon make all the friends you need. If you love sports go join a team, in that way you will spend less time being lonely and find people who love the same thing as yourself. I have also lost FRIENDS who I dont regret loosing. Bear it in mind that some friendships never last forever. 20 children cannot play on the same field for 20yrs. One secret I also discovered is that you need to learn how to love yourself first before you can love others well enough. Are there things about you which you dont like and you keep hating on yourself for those flaws, try to forgive and accept yourself in those areas too. You can also google self coaching and other psychological articles to help. Peace.

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