When I was younger, I used to have more friends, but I would still feel lonely from time to time. In the beginning, I couldn’t understand what was going on. I would go out all the time, meet new people, and have fun.
So, at some point, I started to ask myself,
Why am I unhappy even though I have so much fun? Why do I feel lonely even though I have friends?
These questions helped me see the truth: I was just wasting my time on the wrong people and the wrong pastimes. This is what led me to cut off most ‘friends’ I hung out with. And you know what? I felt more peaceful and happy as a result.
If you feel lonely with your friends too, there can be a few reasons for that.
Why Do I Feel Lonely Even Though I Have Friends?
1. You are in the wrong company
The most obvious explanation is that you hang out with the wrong people. Your friends may not be your friends at all.
Maybe they are just passers-by in your life, and you are wasting your time in their company. Or something worse may be happening. You might be surrounded by toxic, fake, and overly critical people who damage your emotional wellbeing.
If it’s true, then it’s not surprising that you feel lonely, invisible, and worthless with your friends.
For example, when your friend doesn’t respect you, their remarks and attitudes can trick you into believing that you are a total failure. If your friend doesn’t care about you, it’s easy to feel like you don’t matter.
Beware of who you surround yourself with. For a big part, these people affect your self-image and overall mental wellbeing.
2. You’ve outgrown your friends
Some people are meant to be a part of our lives for a limited time. Have you heard the saying: people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime?
When someone is in your life just for a ‘season’, there is no deeper connection. This person is by your side just because you share a common situation, for example, the same workplace or college. As soon as this situation is over, you realize that s/he doesn’t belong with you.
At some point, you just outgrow such friends. You may notice that you are feeling bored and alone in their company, and all the conversations seem stupid. When you no longer feel connected to your school or college buddies, you start to wonder,
What’s wrong? Why do I feel lonely even though I have friends?
When you’ve outgrown your friends, the only thing you can do is accept it and move on. You don’t have to feel guilty about that. A wise strategy is to gradually distance yourself from them and be grateful for all the happy moments you shared together.
3. Your friendships lack substance
It often happens that we hang out with certain people just out of habit or because we fear loneliness. The irony is that you may end up feeling even more lonely with your friends than when you are by yourself.
Typically, such friendships lack substance. If you look at what you discuss with your friends, you will understand what I mean. Most likely, it’s just pointless talk aimed to fill the silence, such as gossip or chewing the fat over insignificant topics. Such conversations and friendships bring no value.
That’s why you’re feeling lonely even though you have friends. When there is nothing deeper that connects you with other people, it’s easy to feel alone in their company.
In essence, your emotional and communication needs are not being fulfilled, even though you spend time with others.
4. Your friendships are fake and one-sided
Sadly, one-sided friendships are common, and it’s not always easy to spot the signs. You may hang out with someone and be convinced that they are your friend while in reality, this person is just using you. Or finds you convenient.
If you pay closer attention, you will see the truth. Your friend will ever hardly listen to you or show any interest in your life. Most of your conversation will be focused on them and their problems.
And they will only be present in your life when they need something. If you are the one who needs help, your friend will most likely make an excuse or just disappear.
With this kind of situation, it makes perfect sense to feel lonely even though you have friends. In essence, you have surrounded yourself with people who don’t value you. Hence the feelings of being alone, unseen, and unappreciated.
5. Your emotional state is to blame
When you suffer from a mental health condition, it distorts your perception of yourself and other people. Mental issues such as anxiety and depression can easily trick you into feeling alienated from those around you.
Your friends, family, and significant other still care about you, but you suddenly feel like there is an invisible wall between you and them and no one understands you. Minor disagreements seem huge, and the connection you used to have is no longer there.
As a result, you may start to feel like you have no friends, even though it’s not true. It’s your perception that has changed, not their attitude toward you.
6. Your life lack something else, and it’s not friendships
Sometimes your friends have nothing to do with your loneliness. It is something else that is causing it — something that is missing from your life.
Yes, you go out and have fun with your friends, but it’s not enough. You realize that the friendships you have don’t fulfill all your needs, and there are other things in life.
Dissatisfaction with other aspects of your life could explain your loneliness. For example, if you long for a loving relationship but experience one disappointment after another, having good friends is not enough to make you happy.
You desperately want to start a family, but you can’t find the right person. That’s why you are feeling alone even with your friends. This can get worse if your friends have relationships and families of their own. It seems like everyone around you has found their other half, and only you are alone and unloved.
Your loneliness could also stem from the fact that your life lacks meaning. You follow a daily routine, have a job, have friends, but you still feel like something is missing. It’s not always easy to pinpoint the reason, so you just wonder,
Why am I unhappy even though I have it all? Why do I feel lonely even though I have friends?
Whether you are walking the wrong path in life or are in the midst of an existential crisis, feelings and questions like these are inevitable. While you are figuring out the answers, you feel lonely and disconnected from other people.
To sum up, we all feel lonely from time to time, even when we are with our friends and family. If you want to find the root of your loneliness, start with analyzing yourself and revising your social circle. You may discover eye-opening truths in the process.