As more and more people read my eBook, Get The Friends You Want, or get coached by me or someone in my team, we typically receive many questions. Some, however, are more like excuses than anything else. It’s true that some people have reasons for why they’re not socially successful… one or two are absolutely fine! We help them overcome all of them and get to where they want to be socially.
But having dozens and dozens of reasons why you don’t have the friends you want means there are probably some straight excuses there.
Frankly, I’m a little sick of the excuses! I think most people can do much better if they focus on how to get better, rather than the multiple reasons why it’s not working. Being pessimistic does not bring you closer to your goals.
Here, let’s talk about just FOUR of the latest excuses I hear about why people aren’t successful socially, and why these excuses shouldn’t stop you from getting the friends you want.
1 – “People Are Mean…”
“People are mean – they’re hurtful / I’m afraid they’ll say something to upset me, or tease me, and I’ll feel embarrassed…”
No they’re not. Maybe they were when you were little, at school, but now they’ve learned that being jerks just won’t cut it; they’re adults! Most of them anyway. If people actually do act like jerks to you, then you move on. You won’t be the only one desperate to leave them behind, many others will, too. Move on.
2 – “Nobody Wants To Go Out Anymore…”
“People are unmotivated to go out… I suggest plans to people but no one wants to take me up on them.”
True, people are spending more time alone, and going out less. But they’re also more desperate than ever for your company. If you take initiative and suggest plans, maybe they’ll be lazy the first time – or even the second – but after a bit they’ll realize: “I’m lucky this wonderful person is trying to hang out with me! Everyone else is content to just sit at home checking Facebook! I’ve got to take them up on it.”
Don’t give up, keep at it… you’ll find people who want to hang out. It may take a few times to break people out of their comfort zone, but give them a chance. If they’re lethargic and uninterested, laugh it off and move on.
3 – “They’ll End Up Betraying Me Anyway…”
“They’ll act as friends now but they almost always end up hurting and/or disappointing or betraying me.”
First of all, I spent several years studying this stuff… and I found that most disappointments are about unmet expectations.
You have an IDEA of what a person is like… and then they behave DIFFERENTLY from that idea. Well, it’s your idea of them. Sooner or later, you’ll realize that your idea of that person isn’t exactly right. Especially if you haven’t known them for any real length of time.
Be careful not to develop an idea that is detached from reality. Also, and I have to say this now, be careful about what people put on Facebook… sometimes we forget that there are actual people behind those profiles. Someone’s online image is not necessarily who they really are. They’re not always inspired, they’re not always super honest, they’re not always cheerful, and they’re never, ever perfect.
If you keep a check on your ideas of people, you’ll be much more comfortable with a variety of behaviors from friends and acquaintances… and you’ll be disappointed less and less often.
4 – “The Socializing Chicken-And-Egg Problem…”
” Yes, but you have to have friends to go out with… so you can meet new ones…. I don’t know anybody I can go out with.”
It’s true that it’s easier to meet new people if you have an already built small entourage. If you have a group of two to three with whom you can go out, it’s certainly more ideal. Plus, you get to invite new people to hang out with you and your existing friends, which gives them more of an incentive to see you.
However, you can’t fall in the “chicken or the egg” situation: “Well I gotta have friends to make friends… but wait, how do I get those?!” That’s how you get yourself stuck. Starting from scratch is the way to go. And you’re not the only one who found themselves in a situation where they had to start over from no friends at all.
In fact, I’ve known socially successful people who go to a new city and find that they have to build a social circle from scratch. It also happens when people have had enough with their old circle and want to start fresh. Some just have neglected their social lives because of work/family/other issues, and when they want to go back to being social, they find that they need to build it all up again.
So, please stop thinking that starting from scratch is a fatality, it happens to everybody.
When you learn how to make groups of friends starting from nothing, that’s a huge boost to your self esteem as an adult! You become the sort of person with that feeling of “I’ll never end up alone! I can make friends wherever and whenever I want.” That feeling of control over your social life is very empowering – you will love it.
How To Blow Through The Excuses…
Again, having a few of reasons why you’re not making progress socially is totally fine… as long as you’re doing something about it. We can help you overcome all of those reasons.
It’s when you get completely stuck because you think there is no chance you can improve that I start to think that you’re not being fair or honest with yourself!
I say get on with life, let’s figure out the pitfalls and shortcomings, and let’s solve them together. Hey! it’s not like I haven’t written a book about how to overcome this stuff and get to where you want socially 🙂 The eBook helps you overcome blocking elements like shyness, hesitation, and loneliness – it helps you master conversations and essential social skills – and it helps you meet, connect with and make (and keep) the friends you really want in your life. It also helps you build a social circle that grows by itself so you don’t have to work at it all the time.
It is a good start! And I hope you can see how blowing through the excuses about why you’re not successful socially is the right thing to do.
Best of luck!
– Paul Sanders