Nobody Talks To Me – SOLVED

“It doesn’t seem like anybody is interested in talking to me. I’m not really sure why. Maybe I’m weird. Or maybe I’m boring to others. I want to have conversations with people, but it seems so awkward, so I mostly just keep to myself. What should I do?” – Chris.

Are you wondering why nobody talks to you? Do you feel like you’re alone and can’t make meaningful connections with others? Have you considered the reasons for this issue?

If it seems like nobody talks to you, it’s worth considering the root of the problem. Let’s get into some of the common variables.

Coming off as unapproachable

Whether you realize it or not, standoffish body language may indicate to other people to stay away. On the other hand, if people perceive you as open and warm, they may feel more inclined to talk to you.

Although body language is subtle, it’s incredibly powerful. Some examples of unapproachable body language include:

  • Standing with your arms crossed.
  • Avoiding eye contact when talking to others.
  • Constantly fidgeting with your feet or hands.
  • Hiding your body behind things (such as a purse, phone, book, or drink).

If you think you struggle with looking standoffish, consider approaching people as if they are already your friend. If you take on that mentality, you may feel more inclined to look and smile at others. If eye contact still feels challenging, focus on looking at the space between or slightly above the eyes.

To learn more about this topic, check out our guide on the best books about body language, and our guide on how to be more approachable.

Not knowing how to make small talk

Small talk is often a necessary skill when it comes to building social connections. Small talk can help build rapport, and rapport is what makes people trust and like you.

This article on the FORD-Method focuses on how to engage in universal conversations.

Not knowing how to make conversations interesting

Mastering small talk is one skill, but it’s also important to have follow-up questions and answers.[1] Think about the question, why should people want to talk to you? What do you have to offer them?

This may seem somewhat nerve-wracking, but it’s important to do this introspection. How do you learn how to have interesting conversations? You need to focus and commit to the process of becoming more interesting yourself!

Luckily, people who practice being truly interested in others tend to come off as more interesting themselves. Focus on getting to know people and in between your sincere and thoughtful questions share reflections and bits and pieces about your own life.

If someone tells you that they, say, are a writer, there are different ways you can respond.

  • If you only respond with an “OK”, you’ll risk coming off as disinterested or even boring.
  • If you say “my cousin writes, too”, you’re a little bit more engaging, but still not very interesting.
  • If you ask what type of writer they are, and then ask what they like the most about their job, the conversation becomes more interesting.
  • If you now, after having asked a few thoughtful questions about what motivates them, reflect about what you like about your job, and maybe even find mutual things that you are motivated by, you’re likely having an interesting conversation.

Read more in our guide on tips for making interesting conversation.

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Sharing too much

Sometimes we can become overly excited when we finally do connect with someone. However, instead of reading social cues, we blurt out things without thinking. Typically, this is a response to both anxiety and insecurity.

Of course, this strategy can backfire. Oversharing is similar to overdoing anything. You may not realize it’s happening until it’s too late, and then you tend to feel ashamed or embarrassed about your disclosures.

To avoid oversharing, aim to be more conscious of your word choices. How often do you use the words, I, me, myself, or mine? Think about it the next time you talk to someone. Focus more on you, yours, yourself.

The goal isn’t to only talk about others, nor only talk about you. Friendships tend to develop when there’s a balance between sharing and learning about the other person.[3]

Not having self-esteem

If you struggle with low self-esteem, your negative thoughts about yourself may prevent you from creating healthy relationships. Building your self-esteem doesn’t happen instantly. It’s a long process, but people with higher levels of self-esteem tend to have a more satisfying social life.

First, it’s important to remember that we tend to overestimate how well people can spot our anxiety. Most people are focused on themselves. They aren’t paying close attention to your feelings or reactions.

This guide on becoming less self-conscious delves more into how to value yourself and cultivate unconditional self-worth.

Complaining too much

Negative energy can be off-putting, particularly if it’s the only way you connect with others. While you don’t need to be inauthentically optimistic, complaining about everything can make you seem like a victim.[2]

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Insight is the first step for managing your pessimism. Consider placing a hair tie or rubber band around your wrist. Flick it whenever you hear yourself complaining. At first, you may notice that you’re flicking the band often. That’s okay! This conscious exercise will help you become more mindful of your negative energy.

For more on using this rubber band technique, check out this guide by Lifehacker.

It may sound trite, but positive mindsets can be contagious. After all, people want to be around people who feel good.

Responding with one-word answers

When someone asks how your day is going, do you just respond with a fine or good? These are considered closed responses, and they make other people “dig” for more information. Over time, this digging can become burdensome.

Instead, challenge yourself to respond with an answer and a question. For example, if someone asks you how your day is going, respond, “It’s going okay. I’ve been busy all day with work. I’m going to the gym in a bit, though, so that’s good. How is your day?”

This same mentality also applies when asking people questions. Don’t ask questions that lend a hand to a “yes” or “no” response. For example, instead of asking someone if they liked a movie, ask them what their favorite part was. Instead of asking, “are you okay?”, try saying, “I’ve noticed you seem more withdrawn. What’s been going on?”

Not putting effort into relationships

People want to be friends with people who are willing to put in the work to be a good friend. If you don’t take responsibility for your actions, people will lose interest.

What does it mean to put forth effort in your relationships? First, it means seeking opportunities for spending time together. If you’re always declining social invitations, people will stop asking you to hang out.

It also means reaching out when you think someone needs support. This doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple text like, “I’m thinking of you. I know you’re going through a lot, and I’m here. Can we meet up next week?” is sufficient.

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Not having had enough social practice

It’s impossible to engage in social skills if you’re isolated at home all day.

Commit to “being in the world” as often as possible. This means choosing to run errands instead of ordering things online. It means getting involved in sports, hobbies, or social groups- even if you don’t necessarily know anyone.

Getting out in the world is challenging. This isn’t about being comfortable. It’s about having the willingness to take risks and practice new social skills.

Commit to taking baby steps with other people. For example, say hello to a neighbor when you get your mail. Ask a waiter how her day is going.

Remember that you will make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Most of the time, these mistakes won’t be as humiliating or unforgivable as you think they are.

Overthinking

In some cases, you might be making broad generalizations about other people’s feelings or behaviors. For example, you might assume that their lack of reaching out means they don’t like you.

But this may not be true. Sometimes, people are busy. They might be focused on something happening in their own lives. They may also be worried about rejection, and they’re waiting for you to initiate the conversation first. And at times, people can just be flaky- they mean to talk or spend time with you, but they forget or get preoccupied with something else.

It’s helpful to avoid judging the quality of your relationships based on who begins the conversation. Remember that most people aren’t trying to offend or hurt you. They’re just trying to take care of themselves. Keeping this in mind can help you feel less isolated or upset.

It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re keeping yourself busy. If you don’t have any interests, you may become more fixated on what other people are doing. Focus on building more meaning in your life- hobbies, sports, spirituality, and learning new skills can help with that.

Not having real friends

Real friends engage in mutual and ongoing conversation. When you have this kind of authentic relationship, you feel understood and connected.

Friendships are two-way streets, and they require work, effort, and respect. See out our guide “I have no friends” for more tips on how to build a social circle from scratch.

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Nicole Arzt, M.S., L.M.F.T. is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She provides therapeutic services for individuals, couples, and families. Nicole received her master’s of science degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2014.

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