Why Is Making New Friends So Difficult ? – Don Charisma’s Opinion

I’m been blessed with some awesome friends. So, the question is obviously rhetorical, advice to me in first person is not appreciated or needed – you’d just be making yourself look stupid really 😀

As it goes I’m generally a fairly good judge of character, and tend to choose my friends carefully based on how I feel about them. My ‘Ass-hole-dar’ has saved me many hours of pain and suffering I’m sure …

Something that I’ve always liked and heard somewhere, but can’t for the life of me remember where :

The best way to have friends is to be one to others.


I don’t always achieve it, but always I try to start off on a good foot. If the other person doesn’t reciprocate, or is rude or unfriendly, then it’s “next”, we didn’t hit it off, nevermind plenty more fish. Screening undesirables is a positive thing, it’s streetwise, almost everyone does it.

Not everyone is friendly, warm, or even interested in being friends. In very competitive places such approach might been seen as naive or even foolish. Some people want and enjoy conflictual interactions. Some people will not like us whatever we do or however we act. Sad really, but c’est la vie.

So why do people find making new friends difficult ?

Some things that others do that turn me off almost instantly and might exclude them from being a new friend :

  • The want to sell me something that I don’t need or want
  • They want something for nothing, or they want to take something from me
  • They constantly talk about themselves usually whilst not listening
  • They exhibit bad narcissistic traits
  • They lie or cheat
  • They have delusions of grandeur
  • Their behaviour is or seems to be manipulative
  • A conversation with them is a constant put down or one-upmanship/one-upwomanship
  • They are overly competitive
  • They are in too much of a hurry
  • They are overly demanding, try to apply pressure, lack patience

IN a nutshell the things that turn me off potential friends, the most are – pride, arrogance, selfishness and behaviours that are likely to harm me, my friends or my loved ones.

The kinds of things that are likely to make me like someone enough to “be friends” are converse – humility, willingness to share, warmth … oh, and a good sense of humour is always a bonus …

Also, the importance of time as a factor is important, friendships take time to grow – this has a lot to do with trust taking time to establish.

So, the answer to the question “Why Is Making Friends So Difficult ?” is a complex one, there are many reasons why. It usually boils down to mutual respect, willingness to share, valuing the other, authenticity and collaborative rather than competitive perception of the relationship, OR a lack thereof, on both sides.

Oh and for me, “friends” are people who I want to spent time with, enjoy spending time with and we help each other in whatever ways we can. We have other words in the English language for other types of relationships – acquaintance, colleague, co-worker, contact, enemy, opponent and stranger all spring to mind. No reason really to call a “not-friend” a friend apart from tact and diplomacy, but what then of authenticity ?

Over to you … what do you think ?


Don Charisma

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Notes for commenters:

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Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma


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89 thoughts on “Why Is Making New Friends So Difficult ? – Don Charisma’s Opinion

  1. I recently moved and was hoping to gain insight into why I have such a hard time making new friends. What are your thoughts on finding people who have some depth to them? I don’t mind chit-chatting and gossip, but I really dig talking about bigger issues even tho I don’t think anyone would call me an intellectual.

    1. I think very like minded people are for most of us relatively rare, and we’re lucky if we have a handful of close friends, this is normal … the shallow chit chat I think is a way of integrating superficially into a group of people … which gives a broad choice, then one can narrow that down to the ones we want to spend our free time with on a more personal basis … and obviously screen the ones who seem incompatible … also I think that the superficial can be misleading, people are constrained by usually wanting to look good, so they may act and be a different person in a one-to-one basis … or put another way, it might be wise to give the benefit of the doubt when judging first impressions !

  2. I find that I am happy with the handful of close friends I have. Some even from high school days. I have an extended group of online friends for which I am very grateful. I enjoy interacting with them on the social networks and it makes my life more fulfilling and interesting. I am turned off by over aggressive people and those who are never satisfied. They are not on my Christmas list.

  3. Pardon me sir, if by any chance the message could be referring to me. I know you had gone your generous way to follow my blog, but I haven’t been returning the favour much. These days i haven’t had the chance to do any blogging as for the reasons that six weeks ago something dramatic had change my life and I was out of focus.

    One of this days when I can really concentrate, I will clear the air. Oh added to it also I was overwhelmed with this blogging that I realised I don’t know anything about it. That being said was a simple truth that I’m so scared to continue. The more I read, the more I think there’s something wrong with my blog. I shall continue to read yours and somehow maybe in due time I will have a better understanding of what I’m really doing. Thank you.

    1. Not at all, wasn’t directed to you … and I’m happy for you to say hello when you feel like it …

      Blogging goes like that sometimes, doesn’t always make sense, and best thing to do like you did is take a break and come back with fresh eyes 😀

      1. I was going to comment with my cheeky 2cents then I realised you warned against it… lol Why so serious?

        But what got me more (I must admit) was the image…
        Lions = my favourite animals. I’m borderline obsessed.
        Hell if I could I’d replace some human ‘friends’ with a few beautiful lions as life companions BUUUT that’s kinda strange and I think PETA would be on my ass…

        I want to own one someday, and love it insanely enough for it NOT to grow up and eat me.

        #lifegoals hahaha

      2. LOL it’s a hangover from a-holes thinking my blog is a forum for their verbal diarrhoea … generally I can spot a-holes from non a-holes, but my preference is not to have to deal with at all … I have an alternative disclaimer which I will integrate, at some point, it’s slightly shorter and clever’er, and less “serious” …

        Lions yup, beautiful creatures … hate to think what your meat bills would be feeding a lion, but then again your rich so shouldn’t matter :p

      3. LOL, That’s cheating though. You can’t just block the raging interweb commentators and critics.

        These are people with years of pent-up anger just waiting to destroy somene’s blog; half the time they are mad about things that don’t relate to the relevant blogposts at all hahaha Like not having a dad (#absent), or having lost a pet at 4y.o, or having a third and extremely hairy nipple (making an afternoon out at the public swimming baths quite awks for all involved).

        lol Royalty doesn’t necessarily mean rich; it just means that things have to “get taken care of” – without me really understanding how.

        All so taxing really, on the psychosocial side of things of course. Not to mention how the stress of it all has caused me to become less funny and less charming in my older years.

        Imagine people laughing at your jokes just because they are thinking back on how funny you used to be…

        Oh the perils of 21st century living

        Also, do you have any pets? A third hairy nipple at least?

      4. I just threw out a bag of flour that had weevils in it, does that count as pets ? Third hairy nipple, LOL, not last time I checked, all my equipment is still where it’s meant to be thanks 😀

        And yes very much agreed, years of pent up frustrations and then the release of being a wanker via an anonymous account … very highly evolved beings such as these should be allowed to vent their verbal diarrhoea everywhere … it contributes such magic and beauty to our society …

        As for your decline in stature humour wise, I simply don’t understand, I just keep getting funnier and funnier … well at least that’s what the voices keep telling me …


        What about your pets ? or at least a gimp in the basement ?

      5. Hahahaha such a character charisma!

        I’ve made it one of my life goals to feature in one of your beach-ception panoramas…without you even knowing of course.

        I’m afraid your little flour-friends don’t count lol But I once had a pup. Died way before its puppy-time…haven’t recovered from my failure as a “mother”/pet-owner so I’m still working my way to getting a new pet..maybe I’ll start with a fish.

        And I’m totes jealous. I wanna be funny too? Like really funny, so that it won’t be difficult making friends (see what I did there?) *sticks out a tongue at you!

        Happy 1st of Dec. Year’s almost over Charisma… hope you’re anticipating some kinda awesomeness next year 🙂

      6. Little behind on my comments … life balance and all those other cliches …

        My gerbils died when I was a kid, so yeah with you on that one … goldfish, yes that’d be a good start, but who knows where it might end, kids ?

        Funny I like, devious and conceited, well you’ll know if you’re being that … tongue right back atcha …

        Xmas nearly here, and then another year 2015, what’s next I wonder …

  4. Humbly beg pardon Sir for making lackluster effort to make friend or reciprocate on same scale as honoured self….Bah Humbug! Enough debasement for one response and its not even a blog.
    May one presume your post is not aimed my way? I’ll proceed as though the answer is in the negative since I’ve barely been around to put a comment anywhere recently.
    My mojo was stolen in the dojo and it’s hard to find the gogo to get my gogo mobile going. Very soon I hope.
    I trust this has cleared the air, if it needed clearing. If not I hope my pitiful attempt at humour has tittilated your funnybone temporarily.
    Blessings Susan 💖

    1. Hey Susan, you’re one of my longest followers, so NO absolutely not aimed at you personally 😀

      Happy that you do drop by, when you do … so consider air cleared and funnybone tittilated …



  5. Your post has left me feeling weird. While I appreciate that there are effectively givers and takers – and some are not capable of both – there are those, like me, who find it hard just to relate – with or with out any radar of ass-holeness. I just assume everyone is a fickle asshole, and then if they prove me wrong… I go from there. You have traveled, as have I – which broadens your awareness of culture, and where people fit and how they are in relation to what they know and have experienced. I am one of those intense and ‘heavy’ people so I am either loved or hated usually – which is why I think your ‘criteria’ list left me feeling disqualified. Not necessarily to be your friend of the year- but just… that life in general has churned out this ferociously loyal but ferociously misunderstood human being. So I don’t make friends easily either… but not because they have to be a specific kind of cool or easy going. Just because I like impatient people, or people who are direct to the point of being abrasive – because then I have clarity and I know whats going on. I am not a peace keeper, but I am an eccentric and good person. Possibly not friend material… but yeah. The word ‘friend’ is loose anyway. Just as the word ‘Love’ is. Each to our own interpretations. You are blessed to have some amazing friends, as am I. Our individual needs are met in the ways we are comfortable with, in the company of people who are comfortable with us. Thought provoking – thank you.

    1. You’re welcome, good to think, and feel 😀

      There’s an old saying about not being able to please all of the people all of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time … and I think the assuming everyone is a fickle asshole is a big part of the asshole radar … kind of a guilty until proven innocent, if you like LOL

      Anyway, I just say what I want these days, if it pleases some people then alls well … if it offends some people, well even better in some ways, any thing’s usually better than apathy 😀 … !

      I don’t make a connection between the impatient/abrasive and trustworthy, so I just plain don’t agree on that. It may be there’s some sensible reverse psychology going on, but impatient and abrasive don’t signal strength to me, they’re generally weak traits – abrasive is a lack of empathy which moves into socio-path/narcissist territory and impatient moves into addict and obsessive/compulsive territory … within that there’s room for people to freely speak their minds and be passionate about things to the point of being impatient, so I’m not saying all outspokenness and impatience is bad … it’s just not as black and white as that …

      I get that manipulators can and do use charm, so perhaps this is the reverse psychology … OR could be that screening of charming people leaves us excluding genuinely warm hearted charismatic people, who might have been a tremendous positive influence in our lives …

      And as for fickle assholes, well we’re all bad people sometimes someone once said … now where on earth did I read that ? … it’ll come to me later I’m sure …

      Good to talk …



    1. Same Elaine, your blog looks awesome BTW and I’ve been inspired to make my own humus, today probably, the peas are soaked and cooked, just need to blend them … just missing a little lime juice, Mrs will get some for me … I love raw garlic in humus, but it kills my sinuses so I’ll have to cook it somehow before adding, probably fry !

      1. Sounds good!!!! Lime juice? It’s usually lemon juice… I often use roasted garlic in my dips, it’s lovely and not as potent.
        I hope you’re well, I love your daily quotes, they’re always so positive and perfect 🙂 xxx

      2. 😀 … here in Thailand thais don’t do lemons, we can get them but they are very expensive in comparison … so I’ve learnt to love for instance pancakes with lime instead of lemon … I don’t also have a conventional oven, I have a grill in microwave or microwave or frying pan, so have to adapt all my cooking within that … so it’ll be fried for me, roasted is nice too 😀

      3. Cool! Adapting to local ingredients sounds good. I won’t tell you that my son is currently eating mini pancakes that I’ve just made for him covered in lemon juice and sugar…

      4. No don’t tell me that ! … I make my own with a protein mix, try and up my protein intake on my veggie diet … I’ve had to dilute the protein pancake mix I bought, otherwise my pancakes are more eggy than pancakey … rice protein powder I’m still trying to make work in my cooking, although I haven’t found a perfect way to cook it yet …

        Adapting to local ingredients I do my best, but recently found a source of fresh basil (by the kilo, yay!) for pizza/pasta, cheaper mozzarella for pizza and I bought a bag of dried chickpeas hence the humus 😀

  6. I totally agree, much of the time as I spread experience out between project to project I’ve recognized it’s wildly complex to make a friend because of the real simplicity of it – then it’s basically a butting contest or interest to one up you or you one up them what are both unnecessary, BUT the more of a friend you are in general the less you need to be hogging a solo ‘friend’ and can be increasingly fulfilled, it could be possibly rare for certain types to be reproduced enough to all make it to be pals together

      1. I’m never too busy to help like minds out I find it most appropriate with those that keep a look out like you their automatically added to my list of ‘appreciated’. If I can do it.. I will: -)

  7. I’ve often thought that we have a lot of acquaintances in our lives but not a lot of true friends – these are the people who would be there to help you, no matter what the circumstances, who accept you with all your warts. I like the list of things you look for in a friend, mine are much the same. Being a good friend takes work – giving of your time, providing an ear, and being non-judgmental but also being gently honest when honesty is needed.

    1. Very much, so honesty/not lying is a central theme … which does make me wonder how the game players find any true companionship, or is it just a lonely journey for them ?

  8. Like the list Don. I will try to avoid individuals who possess one of those listed aspects, in the sense of not letting them get too close. However, I also don’t try to completely avoid them either.
    Meeting them where they are could become part of a healing process.

    1. Thanks … and not saying I totally avoid people exhibiting traits on the list … just that I’ll probably never be relaxing in my home with them drinking a beer or coffee together, shooting the shit and sharing extended conversation … and yes the badly behaved could help one heal, but for me I’ll let that happen on my terms not theirs 😀

  9. Well, first we must decide what is a friend, and then again, what is a friend …

    Someone above used the term “friendly crowd” or something similar; now that’s a word I could become friend with. 🙂

    1. Yes agreed … Sharon mentioned facebook’s abuse of the word “friend” and asked if I thought it had weakened the meaning … as yes I do think so, there are many words in the English language for people we know, those words were brought into being because we need them … not so we can call everyone “friend” !

  10. Do you think that FACEBOOK using the term “friend” has weakened the meaning?
    As for the “get a friend” quote, it sounds a lot like the first half of Proverbs 18:24.
    I think the time investment is the big one in our society. We are too busy running around chasing our tails to build solid friendships. I talked on the phone for two hours today with a friend from high school (nearly 30 years later) and she apologized for taking up so much time. I was all, “I could have ended the conversation if I needed to go.” We are afraid we might be infringing on a person’s “personal” time.
    Thanks for this post. Sorry I haven’t been by to comment lately. I’ve been lurking😳

    1. LOL, you and I are too alike Sharon 😀 … I actually edited the paragraph out about facebook, as it seemed to be steering the writing slightly off course … and YES I very much dislike the facebook abuse of the word “friend”, English language has many words for the varying relationships we have for people everything from enemy and nemesis to lover and life-partner … perhaps this is why twitter with it’s only 160 characters fills a gap, having “followers” which is perhaps a truer representation of what’s occurring ?

      And yes we are busy, but I think friends are possibly what can make the world go round … so we do have to make a bit of time for them, the same as they do for us 😀

      I do monitor who’s liking what etc, so have seen you lurking LOL :facepalm: … happy for you or anyone really to comment as and when they have time or want to, there’s no expectation from me …

      BUT good to hear from you in any case, I hope the writings are going your way 😀

      1. As to writing….I got my first contract offer yesterday. Floored me completely. Why is that? Why do I expect rejections and not “I loved your story”?
        Anyway it’s a short romance story for an anthology entitled “Accidental Valentine” which comes out ….big shock…on Valentine’s Day 2015. Still working on the novel(s), but thrilled to have a publishing credit to add to my undernourished “bio.”

      2. Wow, that’s wonderful news Sharon, really pleased for you … you always been committed and persistent on your dreams and now they are starting to come true, more power to you … and valentines day, how cool is that !

  11. Enjoyed the post. I too value my own character radar. But what do you do when you’ve opened up a friendship with a co-worker that you see everyday but soon realize that this person is just not on the same page – how do you step back without creating ongoing awkwardness at work?

    1. Thanks 😀 … not an easy one as there’s an element of politics in there … so depends on things like what their position in the hierarchy is, how often you normally spend time with them etc … have you tried subtly and gradually distancing yourself ?

  12. You’re correct about willingness to share and respect being important in any relationship. I have found that my inability to share of my own happiness or worries does create a more one sided friendship. Now, I think what I’m guilty of is what most “givers” are guilty of, DC.

    What I’ve learned is that a friend is the person who incessantly pokes at me and expects me to share myself, during the moments where I’d much rather listen to them.

    I am guilty of offering advice and lending an ear to someone I know, which most takers will abuse. Doesn’t make them horrible people it just assures me that they don’t have time for a friend and only need to be heard. It’s okay that they need a friend and I’m happy to oblige, but it won’t be them that I turn to when I need a friend. Generally, those who need an ear all the time don’t have many friends because they haven’t learned to reciprocate the gesture.

    I have a short friends list, but an amazing good time crowd. I think we all do.

    Great to see a post from you. Hope you are well.

    1. Thanks Audrey, life has kept me busy busy, so doing my best ya know 😀

      I don’t think they are bad people, just that I felt more in company by myself than listening to uninteruptable monologues of other people’s thoughts … or put another way, I’d prefer my own company than being talked at … and yes, happy with my friends list, even if just you on it :p

      I do my best to provoke you into sharing stuff as and when I get the chance, not because I’m trying to be “friend material” but because it makes me laugh, with you not at you obviously … well occasionally at you, but I know you can take it and would do the same for me LOL

      Tongue little bit in cheek, for the sake of humour or humor if you’re a yank, which you are 😀

      1. Life and I have been busy, as well, my dear friend.

        Yes, I don’t begrudge your wish to be well enough left alone rather than bored to tears with one sided conversation. It makes you who you are. ..one who can muster through it and one who choses not…neither better than the other. I’ve missed you. I’d better be on it! 😛

        My rant wasn’t meant to make you feel guilty, Mr. Charisma. ..you do a fine job of making me feel like a friend. I’m happy to call you my friend. One who forces me to spit it out, but its why the devotion continues. Yes, I’ve proven to dish it right back and I’m happy to do so.

        Don’t be such a stranger, you Brat. 🙂

      2. LOL, no guilt on my side, I’ve mostly given that up over the years, although I still like to keep my hand in for the sake of “seeming normal” rather than a man with super-powers … oh, ah, and then sometimes I blame fate, when I don’t believe in it … go figure that one 😀

        Feeling’s mutual Audrey, you’ve taught me some very helpful stuff in our bowels of the blog improvisations, which I will forever be in your debt 😀

        And not a stranger on purpose I just get focused and busy, all my friends know it :p

      3. Well, well … Audrey and DC. But probably more strange things happen every day on this our beautifuk blue planet, I dare say … 😀

        Take care and enjoy a relaxating Sunday,

  13. Waves hello…. I grew up with my mum always telling me that ‘to have a friend you must be a friend’. My favourite quote however comes from the movie ‘RV man’ – the mum says ( or words to the effect) ‘We’re not friendly people’ and that sums me up. I like friends, I enjoy the company of others but I cherish time alone. For that reason a friend to me is one who accepts that important part of me …the bit I bring to friendship. So, to have ME as a friend they need to be open, sharing, caring but never needy in the sense of indulge ( eg why don’t you want to see me today….oh you saw so and so but didn’t invite me’) . But if they need me for a real tragedy , problem, issue I’ll be first there and last to leave.

    1. *waves back* … agree with you on that Kerry-anne and touched on it a little in my post … mutual respect for me would include allowing the person the space they need 😀

      hope all is well with you 😀

      1. All is great thank you. Heavy workload of this time has now passed, have had family celebrations of an engagement (my son) …now me time (time to sneak off quietly haha). Hope things are all good in your corner of the world. 🙂

      2. Alls well with me Kerry-Anne, my busy time hasn’t entirely passed, but I’m getting a little time to myself … enjoy your me time, as it doesn’t last for ever … Christmas I expect will be the next busy time for you ?

  14. Don I recently wrote about how women would make snap judgements about men in 5 seconds. I guess that could also be applied to making friends in general. We tend to stereotype people we just met by the way they look or what music they’re listening to. Its how we are and we would always be like that. Its in our nature to make friends with people who are generally like us. It justifies the famous saying, “birds of the same feather, flocks together”, and I know its a bit of a cliché but its true.

    1. LOL, don’t they just 😀 … and yes many people use stereotypes to save time, avoid “having to get to know someone” …

      Within that I do have friends who are very different from me 😀 … although there are certain topics that would bore me to tears to have extended conversation, so I do that too, to a certain extent …

    1. Agreed, well pretty much, my knowledge isn’t vast on narcissism, I do feel however it’s important we love ourselves, which is why I qualify with “bad narcissism” …

      1. Oh absolutely! We should love ourselves but the narcissist is in love and infatuated with himself/herself and therefore cannot ever love anyone else. The narcissist will never think of you unless he/she needs you. The narcissist doesn’t “do” emotions and has no empathy for anyone. The narcissist will subtly put you down and critize you to make themselves believe they are the most amazing person ever. The *true* narcissist is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Sorry if this reads like a rant but, as I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, I’ve had terrible drama and aggravation in my life lately because of a *true* narcissist.

      2. Not at all, I’ve learnt something … and sorry to hear of your woes … no consolation I know, but I think many people will have had similar problems with similar a-holes …

        Plenty more fish 😀

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