I see a lot of questions on here about making friends and I think a lot of the answers aren't very helpful. "It's hard as an adult" "get hobbies" etc. But today I was reflecting on my friendship history over my whole life and had an epiphany about the similarity between game and making close friends and how some basic underlying personality issues might cause someone to be bad at both things. I'm curious to hear what you all think.
I'm in my 40s and have no close friends because my only close friend did some shitty things and I had to cut him out of my life. I'm a perfectly friendly and personable guy and have lots of acquaintances but throughout my life I've almost always only had one close friend, and I was reflecting on why that was and what's wrong with me and I noticed some patterns.
I think a lot of guys here with these problems were probably teased, bullied, or made fun of at some point in childhood for being different for whatever reason. A little odd, socially awkward, too skinny, too fat, too tall, too short, unathletic, wrong accent, wrong race, or your mom dressed you funny. It doesn't have to have been anything seriously traumatic, but I think that kind of stuff at an early age gives you social anxiety and you try to avoid interactions to avoid getting hurt. Same thing as avoiding romantic rejection.
When I was a kid I remember thinking "that person doesn't really like me" "they don't actually want to be friends with me" and things like that. So I didn't make any effort to be friends and probably missed out on being closer friends with people who actually liked me. Basically I had "approach anxiety" because I didn't "assume attraction".
I don't know if it's an innate personality trait or a coping mechanism that I developed, but I'm perfectly happy being alone. So I never developed the skills to build and maintain closer friendships. How could I learn and get better if I wasn't actually practicing "friend game"?
And then if I'm happy enough being alone, getting one close friend is even better. Why bother having any other friends? It's basically a friend version of "oneitis". And a lack of abundance. I take what I can get because I assume nobody else will have me.
So the only close friends I had were people who made all of the effort to be my friend themselves. Just like the only girlfriends I've had were women who pursued me. And as a result, these weren't always the best quality friends I could have gotten. A lot of my close friends throughout life were oddballs, had mental health issues, or people who did shitty things and burned all of their other bridges. People who were kind of desperate and latched onto me. And then I would assume that's because I'm a loser and only other losers would like me.
Having only one close friend meant I stayed too long in friendships with shitty people who I would have bailed on a lot sooner if I had a lot of other friends. Same thing as getting stuck in an LTR because of lack of abundance.
What do you all think? Does anyone else relate to this?
TLDR: Fear of rejection leads to fear of approaching leads to lack of relevant social skills and experience leads to settling for whatever falls in your lap, oneitis, and lack of abundance.