Making friends is one of the major problems a digital nomad has. We are always on the go and we hardly spend more than couple of months in a single place, which makes any relationship difficult to maintain. Especially a profound one, like friendship. Not to mention a romantic involvement! But that’s another subject. Back to the lonely live of a digital nomad, we also have the “luck” of living in a mostly lonely society, where the face to face contact has been diminished due to the high use of digital devices.
Traveling is not the only reason why you can’t make friends, so join me in this article and let’s speak the naked truth about loneliness, work, travel and friendship, then find the solution to the problem.
As I said, each person struggles with multiple obstacle which prevent him or her from making friends. And here are they – most of them.
You think everyone already has friends and they don’t need you
A lonely person tends to focus on the number of friends other people have and how happy they are together. This is in a lonely person’s nature, but it prevents you from noticing there are many more lonely people out there. Moreover, even those who do have friends might be really lonely – not everyone has the right friends!
Most friendships are shallow and most people prefer to hang out with other people simply because they are afraid to be alone. Each human craves closeness, so don’t get fooled by the appearance of close friendships. Even if someone is in a group of friends, you might discover they are more than happy to meet you and befriend you.
You think friends are disappointing
If you start from the assumption everyone disappoints you sooner or later, you will be forever alone. Yes, you might have been disappointed by a friend in the past and chances are you will be disappointed again in the future. But don’t leave this become an obstacle in front of your desire to make friends. Take these disappointments as lessons and learn from them how to spot a problem-person and back away from that person before you are disappointed again.
You are worrying people won’t like you
Fear of rejection is strong with all humans and can be a huge block in front of your desire to meet new people. Many digital nomads build themselves a sort of mental fortresses against this factor: if someone rejects them, they can just pack their things and move on, to another place, other people. But this is not a productive approach to this problem. You will meet lots of people and many times your attempts to become friends with these people won’t work. You won’t know the cause, so you will speculate that you are the problem, because you don’t know these people, but you know yourself and your own faults, so it’s easier to blame yourself.
Ditch this thinking and start with a fresh perspective over making friends! An encouraging one, which can actually help you see the reality, which is more complex. When someone can’t hang out with you, they might be too busy, hurt or they might have another personal reason not to make new friends at the current time. Stop guessing what’s the problem and stop blaming yourself and you will see you will be able to make friends easier.
You are too afraid to let your guard down
A digital nomad needs to keep up his or her wits, because the world is filled with scammers and people who really want to hurt you. But this can lead to a dangerous situation: you might become too afraid to reveal who you really are. This is an essential for any new relationship. If you’re not ready to open up – not completely, just a bit – you can’t make new friends.
Don’t go to extremes: start by chatting about general things, the famous “weather talk”, then open up a little and see if the other person does the same thing. A friendship is a giving and receiving situation, it has two ways, so don’t open up completely to someone who doesn’t do the same for you. Vice verse is also valid. Build the relationship gradually, learning about each other, before you start sharing your own secrets.
Recognize you need friends
Many digital nomads become too accustomed to their independent lifestyle and start to believe they don’t need other people in their life. This is one of the extremes we usually stumble upon as remote workers and one of the common reasons why many nomads are isolated. But independent people don’t have to be lonely. Having friends is not going to make you less independent, but it’s going to enrich your life. You are not obligated to stay in a friendship if you don’t like how it goes or you are not happy with the other person. You have the power to choose with who you hang out and still be an independent remote worker.
A loner’s habits are strong
After living alone for some time you start to develop habits and the most important of them is the habit of living without friends. A lonely digital nomad is prone to do things which might automatically deter new people. Ditch these and set a goal of making new habits which can allow you to meet new people and start a friendship.
Don’t expect instant results
Great results don’t show up instantly; you need to wait for them. When you go out with the goal of making friends and the people you meet don’t seem to respond, you might become discouraged. But persistence is the key: don’t give up on making new friends. Your social skills might be asleep, so it’s time to wake them up and put them to good use. You can’t count on a single out night to make new friends; you can’t count on a single habit to meet new people. You need to go out, get social and become comfortable with these new habits.