By Diana, 61, USA via UN Volunteers
I believe every person should have at least one trustworthy friend in their life. Life is beautiful but it is even better to experience it with someone who sees through the same lens as you. It is okay to be comfortable with being alone but it is enriching to know that you have someone else other than you to count on.
If you have no friends, firstly, don’t feel bad about it and secondly, don’t blame everyone else or yourself. Friendship is a two way street and sometimes no one is to blame if no one walks your path. If you are comfortable with having no friends, embrace your independence as long as it is what keeps you happy.
If you are comfortable with being alone and yet you want someone to depend on, embrace doing things independently but never cut off other people completely. The thing about friends is being with someone or doing things for another without feeling used. If you like to be alone but sometimes want to have someone to lean on, make sure that you do not only seek this person when you feel like – that is not real friendship. Be there for others when they need you even if it means sacrificing a little bit of your privacy or freedom for them. That’s what friends are for.
However, if you hate being alone and still find that you have no friend, take some quality time to study your surroundings. Do you live in an area with people in your age group, are they the kind of friends you want and how could you make them your friend?
Don’t be afraid to make the first approach when it comes to friendship, you never know if the other person is only shy. Do not fear rejection because if the person you intended to be your friend doesn’t respond favorably, perhaps they wouldn’t have been a good friend after all.
Being a people pleaser and doing favors for others for the sake of friendship is a tricky way to make friends because no sooner they don’t need you they will leave you or that friendship could easily be replaced by someone else.
Diane lives in the United States. She is now retired.
She says: Throughout my life, I've felt it was important to be my own person and not let stereotypes define who I was to become. When I first started working, I ran scientific tests in a laboratory and then later decided to move into the field of IT and computing. In both of these jobs, there were very few women so I felt motivated to do my best and show others (and myself) that I could have accomplishments equal to any other person. I found work to be rewarding and purposeful.
The main purpose in my life, however, was to raise a kind, talented, and fun son. He is an adult now and, although he lives some distance from me, is close to me in many ways. I love my life and hope that I can encourage and help others love theirs as well