I Cut Off My Toxic Friends: Here's How to Make New Friends

By Krista

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Last Updated: January 20, 2023

American entrepreneur Jim Rohn has said,

“You are the sum of who you surround yourself with.”

In other words… If you’re hanging out with people you don’t strive to be or admire you in one way or another, you might be hanging out with the wrong crowd. And you might even be becoming someone who you don’t want to be.

Maybe recently, you came to this realization. All the red flags were there. The group of friends you surrounded yourself with is toxic. So, you cut them out. But… This inevitably left a huge gaping hole in your social circle.

  • So, now what?
  • Can you make new friends?
  • Is having no friends okay?

In this article, we get to the bottom of all of this.

 

 

What to Do With Your Life When You Have No Friends?

Just because you don’t have any friends now, it doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.

And here’s a little flip of perspective: You can use this season of life to your advantage in more than a few days (many of which don’t actually involve having any friends!). 

Plus, spending time with yours truly presents many opportunities to grow and find activities or things that fulfill you. So, why not try some new things out here? The following list can help you brainstorm how to spend your time and find fulfillment (even potentially eventually helping you make new friends!):

  • Cook a nice dinner for yourself
  • Get out of your comfort zone and try a new hobby
  • Read more! Learn more!
  • Start that veggie garden you’ve always wanted
  • Try some DIY projects
  • Start meditating
  • Get outside and run, cycle, hike, or explore!
  • Learn a new language
  • Start journaling
  • Make a vision board

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, so get creative! Even de-cluttering or finally rearranging your home can significantly improve your life in leaps and bounds—no friends required!

Related Article: 6 Sad Signs of An Unhealthy Friendship & 4 Ways to Tell a Good One

 

 

What Are the Psychological Effects of Not Having Friends?

While a little bit of time to yourself can be a good thing, social isolation is not.

Extended time socially isolating yourself can lead to a slippery slope of unhealthy habits, stress, depression, and anxiety. 

Not to freak anyone out, but there’s also a study showing that increased loneliness can lead to an increased 30% chance of stroke.

As humans, we need socialization. Sure, we also need downtime and time to ourselves. But an extended amount of time doing this can lead to serious mental health effects. At the same time, don’t force those friendships if they aren’t serving you! This doesn’t help anyone.

Additionally, the level of companionship each person requires varies from individual to individual. For instance, one person might perfectly tolerate a week alone without talking to anyone. For someone else, this could drive them mad.

Knowing yourself and what your needs are in terms of socialization can help a lot in this regard.

The problem primarily arises when loneliness begins to fester. Another thing to note here… Usually, our instincts are bang-on! If we don’t want certain friends in our life, there’s probably a good reason why. If we don’t feel a need for more friends, there’s also probably a good reason why.

 

 

What Do You Do When You Are Lonely and Have No People?

Alright, so you’re feeling the lonely vibes. But you’re lacking friends. Here are a few things you can do about it. 

1. Make New Friends

Easier said than done! But not impossible.

If you’ve dealt with toxic people in the past, you’ll also have a good handle on how to gauge what makes a good friend and what doesn’t. Plus, you’ve got a clean slate here. And this means you can find friends who you might have more in common with, such as by:

  • Joining clubs
  • Taking classes
  • Being open-minded
  • Doing the activities you enjoy

It can also pay to be direct. Telling someone you enjoyed their company and asking for contact details is a great way to foster a friendship. Don’t be shy!

Related Article: Shy & Introverted? Try These 4 Things to Find Friends & Build New Connections

 

2. Volunteer

At the end of the day, most of us need some form of social interaction.

While friendships may take some time, a great way to get some of that socialization time in is by volunteering! There are also so many ways to do this.

You could volunteer at an animal shelter, homeless shelter, hospital, rehab center, or for similar charitable events throughout the year. Find something you’re passionate about, and go for it!

 

3. Get a Pet

Research shows how having a pet can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness. It’s like having a happy and non-judgmental companion around (and one who is always super excited when you get home!). Having a pet also comes with many more benefits including:

  • More opportunities to get outside and exercise
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Reduced stress
  • Lowered chance of depression and anxiety

 

4. Write Down Positive Memories

Reminding yourself of the good times can help with reassuring yourself that there will be more of them.

It can also offer the feeling of nostalgia, which can enhance optimism, increase inspiration, boost self-esteem, and help offer purpose. This can even help you get out there and make new friends.

Feeling inspired? Why not try that new hobby? Feeling particularly optimistic? Maybe you’ll be more likely to strike up a conversation! 

 

5. Get Into a Routine

When you feel you’re lacking friends (particularly after possibly getting rid of toxic ones!), the best thing you can do is work on you.

  • Who do you want to be?
  • How can you get there?

Start a routine based on these aspirations, such as going to the gym each day or making healthy meals at home. 

This can also add purpose and feelings of productivity to your day, partially and temporarily overshadowing a lack of socialization. Again, making new friends takes time so you will need to find other activities or hobbies to fill that time. Nothing beats working on yourself!

 

 

Make New Friends As An Adult: It’s Not Impossible!

In fact, you might just make the best friends you’ve ever had.

Live and learn, right?

Mostly, making new friends all come down to your actions, mindset, and potentially getting a bit out of your comfort zone. You can do this.

And remember, there’s no greater friend than yourself.

Read Next: 8 Important Ways You Can Start to Nurture Your Friendships

Photo by ELEVATE

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