Why do some people seem to be social butterflies with friends all around them, but others struggle to find meaningful relationships? How can you make new connections with people when you don’t exactly know how to go about it?

Making friends sounds so simple, but why are so many struggling to find someone they can welcome into their inner circle? Thankfully, this list of 11 reasons why making friends is hard may be able to help.

11 Reasons Why Some People Struggle to Form Friendships

Once you can identify the areas you struggle with, you can see how you need to change your approach to widen your circle. What would life be without people who love and support you walking beside you?

1. You Expect Them to Appear Magically

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It’s easier to make friends when you are in school. However, when you graduate from high school or college, making friends becomes a whole new ballgame. The structure that helps you form relationships is gone.

Once you reach adulthood, you must create opportunities for yourself to make friends. It would help if you came up with a strategy that works for you. You can’t make friends sitting on the couch watching television.

The fix:

You need to get out and mingle a bit. Show up at places where there are people of like interests. When you leave things up to time and chance, you’re taking a big gamble.

You must take the first step and get out there with others. Not only making yourself available will increase your friend circle, but it will also feel good to get off the couch and do something fun.

Some places you can try are book clubs, art galleries, clubs, churches, conferences, and the gym. Additionally, when you have children, it’s easy to trust them and hook up with their parents as you form a bond with your kids.

2. You Need to Learn That Making Friends Is Like Dating

Do you ever have invites to an office party or other social event, yet you always turn them down? These sessions are excellent places to mingle with people outside of the office. You could hit it off well with someone while you’re there.

Think outside the box — instead of planning all your time with your love interest, schedule time with your buddies. You can have a “girl-date” or a “guy-date.” Make plans as you would with a romantic partner, and then stick with the plan.

The fix:

If you hit it off with someone, then schedule a get-together and put it on your calendar. Why is it that having a social life seems much like going on a date? You meet someone you like; you get their number, pencil them in, and make plans to do new and exciting things.

After you meet someone you like, don’t be like a scared guy to call for that second date. If you feel a spark of friendship between the two of you, then you need to jump all over that feeling. The chances are that they feel the same way about you.

3. You’re Afraid People Will Think You’re Weird

Many people are scared to put themselves out. You may be afraid that they will think you’re weird or that you have horns coming out of your head when you speak. Sadly, this is all a figment of your imagination.

It’s just as hard for some people to make relationships in school or life because they find themselves socially awkward. If you think that you’re a bit creepy, then the chances are that you’re not. The extraordinary people are the ones that have no clue that they’re a bit odd or eccentric.

The fix:

Change your mindset to a more positive note. Think of it this way; even if you do come off as a bit weird, the other person might enjoy it because they walk to the beat of their own drum too.

4. You’re Not Using Your Connections

If you have one friend that seems to be the life of the party, then why not ask him or her to introduce you to others? The chances are that if she likes you, then any friends that she has will also like you.

The fix:

If you don’t know where to start making friends, start by going to the people you love and trust the most.

Why not ask your friend to organize a get-together where you can meet some of the others in her circle?

5. You Don’t Know What You Want

It’s challenging to make friends if you don’t know what you want. Some people will just become friendly with whoever is around because they’re there. Don’t just pick the first person you see; you need to meet people that complement your taste.

The fix:

You should connect with your friends, and don’t be afraid to be selective about who you let in your circle. Look for people that have the same ambition, style, and character traits as you. When you have similarities, then you will likely remain friends longer.

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6. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Unique

Don’t ever lower your standards or be something you’re not just to make friends. It’s okay if you don’t like someone, and it’s okay if it takes several friend dates to see if you click. Remember, relationships in the platonic world are like those in the dating world; things take time.

The fix:

If you don’t like someone, then you don’t have to ask for another date. You can be kind and respectful and back away. There is no obligation for you to act a certain way or pretend to be someone you’re not. Relationships built on falsehood will crumble. You should find someone who fits you like a sock and shoe.

7. You’re Trying to Avoid Drama

Perhaps you’ve had a relationship that went sour, and it’s left a bad taste in your mouth. Don’t compare other friendships with any potential new friends. Not everyone who comes into your life will be a gossiper, backbiter, or someone toxic.

The fix:

It’s not fair to judge potential friendships on blunders of the past. Would you be happy if everyone judges you on things you’ve done previously? To make friends, you must be willing to move on from past events and live in the future.

8. You Don’t Feel Social Enough

You may see yourself as an anti-social person, so you feel inferior about making new friends. There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t have a lot of close buddies. Some people need to be surrounded by people, while others prefer the solitude of going solo.

The fix:

Work on taking a strong dose of self-love!

There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t feel embarrassed because you don’t have a long list of friends to invite to an event. If you have one or two good friends, then you have found one of life’s greatest treasures.

9. Making Friends Takes Skills

If you have some self-confidence and excellent communication skills, then it can help you to make friends. However, you don’t need those things to form a connection. Your emotional intelligence, sense of humor, and presentation will draw people to you.

The fix:

Why not build your sense of humor by learning a few jokes to help you break the ice? People like to mingle with those who have something to offer, even if it’s just a good personality. Develop some social skills to help you know how to win some new friends.

10. You’re Too Private

Are you a private person who doesn’t want people in your business? It’s okay; you don’t have to spend every waking moment with your buddies. You get to choose the type of social life you want to develop.

Maybe you want someone to go to the movies with or out to eat on occasion, and that’s perfectly okay. Some people like friends at their house every day, and others prefer distance. Do what feels right for you when it comes to your buddies.

The fix:

Build relationships up slowly, and you will begin to trust a little at a time. There is nothing wrong if you choose to open up carefully!

11. You Don’t Know Your Worth

Are you afraid to get out there and mingle with others because you don’t know your true worth? You may feel that people will judge you, not like your personality, or feel embarrassed to be with you. That’s just your low self-esteem talking.

The fix:

Can you offer warmth and coziness or a shoulder to cry on? If so, then you already have the perfect foundation for a good friendship. Your kindness is a gift anyone will treasure.

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Final Thoughts on Making Friends

An old proverb says to make friends; you must show yourself friendly first. What are you doing to enhance your inner circle? If you want someone to tell your secrets to and a shoulder to cry on, you must also become those things.

Put yourself out there, and don’t be afraid to take a chance on new experiences. You get to make the rules and decide what’s best for you. However, life is too short to go through it without a strong support system of friends by your side.