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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm curious how many of you out there are totally alone or like me, the Fringe Friend as I am going to dub it. Where you are always stuck in that "acquaintance stage" of social interaction but never ever on the inside of a group of friends. I did this quite well in high school. I was casual friends (friend still seems like a strong word to me, when I say friend I mean acquaintance I talked to occasionally or sat next to when there was no one else) with several different people in high school. However, none of these people were in the same group of friends, but from different circles. I didn't hang out or fit into any of the other friend's groups...I just hovered on the edge, hanging on the outside looking in and thinking about how much I'd love to go places with them or how well I could talk about the things they talk about. This lifestyle left me enough people to talk about with my parents to make them think I had friends, but no real friends to hang out with. In school, I had the acquaintances but the second I left the schoolgrounds I was alone again. It's why now, in college, I'm even more alone. I'm not stuck in one building all day with the same small number of people. I'm nowhere near any circles anymore.

I encountered this problem at work as well. I talk to coworkers and generally get along with others. That's the plus side of being painfully polite sometimes and hating conflict. However, I never crossed over into friend zone. I honestly have no idea how others do that! No one ever asked me for my phone number or if I wanted to go get something to eat after work. But I could see everyone else around me hanging out and calling each other while I floated off in the netherspace of Casual Acquaintance-land.

I've never had one consistent friend, let alone a group of people I regularly call my friends and hang out with. There is no gang to go out with. I occasionally brush the outer rim of a circle but never ever get inside one. It's deceptive at times. Sometimes I feel like I have friends but then I realize that I really have no one. At the end of the day I'm still solo.

Anyone else here living/lived the fringe friend lifestyle?
 

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That sounds like me right now. I don't have any real friends but I am aquainted with several people and talk to them sometimes but I'm not really a part of their group or anything.
 

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yes, and i dont know what to do about it :(
 

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This was very hard for me too, but I found a way to make at least a handful of friends. One way is to keep asking acquaintances if they want to go and hang and do something that the both of you would enjoy. Another way is to figure out what it is that you do well and join a community group or school group or something that focuses on your talent. You can then show this to others and advise them on how to improve themselves. All you can do is to keep trying and eventually something clicks with something. When you feel burned out and like nobody wants you, come here and get some support from people who understand. You have valuable talents and assets that are of benefit and interest to other people (everyone does), so get out there and show them off!
 

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Yes... I could have written that.
 

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I thought I had close friends in high school. Yet everytime we're talking together I always become painfully aware of the amount of 'fun times' the group spends together without invitiing me. So often when we sit down to talk about high school, there are so many house parties, weekend camping trips, road trips etc. stories people share, and I am not part of ANY of those stories.

Because of course, people always forget to invite me.. its only natural.
 

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I've been on the outside my whole life (I'm 27). It's safe there, but it's also incredibly lonely. I've had five or six close relationships but still I somehow felt fundamentally different and misunderstood. The only way I've ever been able to fully convey my feelings has been through music. I honestly haven't had a friend in three years. Part of this is because I've relocated a few times, but even more than that, I haven't put myself out there to meet anyone. I've met a lot of people at school but not anyone who I really wanted to hang out with. I'm an engineering student and I'm good at the math, but I'm also a very emotional and creative person. Most of my peers are engineers and I find that most of them are boring (no offense to Engineers out there but we tend to have very little in common). I just want to let you know that I know how you feel (you: meaning anyone who reads this that is emotionally isolated).
 

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I used to have many friends in high school, and belonged to my own little group. i suppose i am still in that group of friends...thing is, now we're all in college, and i only see them on occasion. I've noticed that now that i'm in college, i am friends with many people, i talk to a lot of people, and it seems like when i'm out walking people are always yelling my name or walking with me to chat. I even sit by someone in every class. BUT, I don't actually hang out with any of them. I've completely just stopped hanging out with people in general...It's been really depressing me since I'm a very social person. I wish i could figure out how to get back into the swing of hanging out with friends.
 

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Yeah I was a fringe friend alot! Somehow I belonged but somehow not, since I almost never went to parties or other activities with 'em.
 

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Yeah I was a fringe friend alot! Somehow I belonged but somehow not, since I almost never went to parties or other activities with 'em.
i HAD that problem when i was younger. Loads of people wanted me to go places. But i didn't want to go, i didn't actually like many of the people that asked!

These days though i am completely isolated. So hardly any invites to do anything ever. I would probably still turn people down because i'm afraid of groups of people and social gatherings.
 

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Yep that's like me, i talk to a few acquaintances at uni but as soon as my lectures are over i just go home. Sometimes it doesn't bother me but then i constantly hear people going on about their nights out and it makes me feel like i should be enjoying myself like a proper uni student cause i know i'll regret it when i leave and haven't had the proper university experience. I thought i had made at least one proper friend but he has recently started hanging around with another girl alot so i feel kinda pushed out. Although he has asked me to come out with him and his friends a few times and i only did this once. I kick myself for never going cause they are my kinda people that i would hang out with. After a while people just stop asking because they know they'll always get the same response so it's a vicious circle.
I've never been apart of a 'group' but i'm more of a one-to-one person, everyone i meet always has a best-friend so it's always been difficult for me to become involved without feeling like a third wheel all the time. Perhaps if i had one close friend i'd go out and have fun more
 

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I always had a lot of people to hang out with in school, but they almost never asked me to join them after school... Wondering, what was wrong with me?

Now I'm in college, I don't have even that close friends...
 

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I was a 'fringe friend' (love the expression!) for most of my life. There was a period when I was in a band that I was actually in the group, but that was short lived.

These days I wander around different sets of friends every now and then. I think the reason is that I have to in order to meet closer friends. I only like spending time with one other person at a time.

I'm a major introvert; I don't see friends more than once a month and probably see someone outside of family maybe once every 2 weeks.
 

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I feel just like you and it's sad...

I feel exactly the same as you, thread starter. Every time I start somewhere new my goal is to get friends that would want to hang out with me. And so I'm asking myself why this is never happening to me, but it seems to be happening with everyone else around me. It's embarrassing not to have real friends and I feel awful sometimes seeing people having fun with their friends, because they're mutually interested in hanging out with each other (I guess, usually). So I'm starting to think what characterizes people that will end up in a group? This must be the answer to why we're so unsuccessful in being invited etc. ? There are probably many and diverse answers to this question.
Some of my thoughts are:
- that you're actually saying YES to meeting up with people
- you're confident and does not make people uncomfortable
- you're easy going and a quite positive person
- you know social rules
- you have some kind of social value to many people (socially attractive/ social status)
- that you have integrity and your own world that is exciting to others and make them curious about you
- that you're making yourself available to social situations
- physical attractiveness to some lesser degree

Do any of you have some thoughts to add? There must be more basic things here that I've missed. Maybe exposing yourself more to other people, so that they can 'see' you and thus LIKE you quicker?
 

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I remember this from high school - I would try to will myself to talk to a diverse selection of kids everyday, and would hope that they would ask me to hang out with their friend-group and go to parties with them ... but they never did.

Seeing everyone else belong to a group, and having fun, when you belong nowhere, is difficult. Last year at college, I basically had no friends and gave up on trying to form new friendships, as they never seemed to materialize. Hopefully, this year will turn out better.
 

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I relate to this sm, im in highschool and I kinda have friends but not rly, im in a big circle but this yr i barely have any classes with them and afterschool when we all gather together to talk, im quiet and detached from them. Most of them would just walk away and leaving me and my other friend like they don't even care or notice. Nice to everyone, but im never close with anyone, and it sucks. One friend i used to be rly close too, then we grew apart and shes friends with other ppl now.
 

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Yeah this was me in high school but a big part of me was to blame for this because I had a group of close friends and they invited me a few times but I had severe social anxiety so it just didn't work out and I started distancing myself but still was close enough for them to be around me and they always talked about the things they did after school or things they would do.

I also did this in college where I started hanging out with a group of guys who were really close with each other and I felt like I could have probably eased my way into this group even more cause we really just clicked but I guess I also had another group of friends at the time who weren't even in college who I guess you can say i leaned on so I didn't feel the urge to want to get closer to the group I was hanging with in college. Now I barely hang out with my close group since I've graduated or practically anybody at all.

I don't really want to find a new group or focus on being in a group per say. I mean I just want to find a best friend again and possibly form a group this way. From elementary all the way up to high school, I always found someone else who I just instantly clicked with and become best friends with and then someone else would come along and we would end up forming a trio. Now that I think of it, it was always a trio in elementary, in middle school, and in high school for me.

What sucks though is that at the end of my freshman year my best friend had to move out of the country and so did our mutual friend so I was left to either start over sophomore year but ended up being by myself and this was when my social anxiety became very severe so my development was halted in these years.

I then found another group to hang out with and get close with but their group had a total of 4 people sometimes 5 or 6 and I wasn't use to socializing in such a large close group along with having severe social anxiety so I ended up being in the outside always looking in whenever I hung out with this group at school.


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