4

This probably sounds like an odd question, but I'm an odd guy. I believe friendship is established when two (or more) people are able to exchange ideas or emotions in a way which benefits all involved.

It requires a kind of mutual advantage, which I do not provide. When I attempt to talk to people, I often find that I am unable to engage them in any way. My conversational partner quickly and invariably becomes uninterested, no matter what the topic. If I'm talking about something that really interests that person, I provide no original analysis, and they end up getting bored.

(I initially included several examples demonstrating this, but removed them for brevity; please let me know if concrete examples would help.)

I am trying to make friends, but I'm not sure if I should have them given my track record thus far.

Note that I am 26 and that this has been my experience my whole life. Those who say I'll find my people eventually have been proved inaccurate for the last 10 years (when I first heard the expression).

closed as off-topic by sphennings, Rainbacon, Lord Farquaad, anonymous2, A J Apr 17 '18 at 3:30

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about interpersonal skills, within the scope defined in the help center." – sphennings, Lord Farquaad, A J
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Why do you say that you do not provide an advantage to your conversation partner? Maybe what they needed was a cookie from your lunch, not your opinion about politics or sports. – elliot svensson Apr 18 '18 at 14:17
4

Just by your existence you are worthy of friendship. All of us are. The challenge is finding those with whom you enjoy spending time.

Friendship is not about advantage; that is a business transaction. In friendship, you sometimes gain. You sometimes give more. In the end, without keeping score, things come out roughly equal.

To conclude: yes, you should. Being alone is not healthy.

2

Yes, I agreed with baldPrussian that everyone existence is worthy of friendship.

Usually I find the best way to make friends would be in times of hardships. You don't really need any communications here. For example, working midnight oil together for a project that is having a deadline on tomorrow, training together on a sport for an upcoming competition, and so on.

While it is harder to make friends when older but it is not impossible.

Some questions you could ponder on yourself:

  • Why do you think people get bored on your topic? Is it because of the topic itself, or the way you conveying it? Are you providing too much details or too vague?
  • When engaging in a conversation, are you one who will waits for the other party to ask question and you just answer?
  • Are you willing for a change? (which I am guessing will be a 'yes')

Then, to be able to exchange ideas or emotions with people, you will need empathy.

Quoted from this link here by Andrew Sobel, these are the eight ways you could do to improve empathy.

  1. Challenge yourself - Learn new skills or pick up new hobbies. Join those activities organized by community center. I find hiking is one good way to start out. You will also get to meet many new people there.
  2. Get yourself out of the environment - I would say is similar to point 1.
  3. Get feedback - Ask feedback from people that you feel comfortable with. You may begin with something like, "Hi, I've been trying to have a better interactions with people around me. Do you think what areas should I continue to improve on?"
  4. Explore the heart not just the head
  5. Walk in others' shoes - Basically to imagine yourself as others in a same scenario and try to mimic others' thoughts and feel instead of your own. Because what you think won't matters to you, might matters a lot to others.
  6. Examine your biases
  7. Cultivate your sense of curiosity
  8. Ask better questions

Always keep practicing, even if you one day you think you might have mastered it.

Last but not least, don't be disheartened when you think a friendship does not work out for you. Work out the reasons on it, and improve on it for the next one. Eventually when you found that one real friend, that will already be more than good enough in a lifetime.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.