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Perpetual Loner and Don’t Know What To Do

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I am 21 female and have not had any friends for 10 years. I am high achieving and am scoring really highly in my degree in Economics at LSE. It is not the work that is getting me down, it is companionship. When I was at school I cared but not as much about not having any friends because I was the highest performing so I saw it as necessary to my success. Now I am at university my peers around me all have social lives and boyfriends and so it hurts more now. I tried making friends but seem to have a perpetual block for the last 10 years. I don’t think I will kill myself – a desire for success and my family and my dog are protective factors. I used to snort cocaine every week or so when I was 11-14. I have been clean of everything inc alcohol and cigarettes for last 7 years. A psychiatrist noticed at a play group when I was 6 I seemed not to look at other kids and not know what to do. What should I do? (age 21, from UK)

Perpetual Loner and Don’t Know What To Do

Answered by on -


I’m sorry that you are struggling with making and keeping friends. All the success in the world can’t replace the feelings we get from experiencing closeness with others, so I’m glad you are concerned and want to remedy the situation. We all have personal strengths and weaknesses. From what you describe, it sounds like you have strengths in academic areas but weaknesses in social areas. Have you ever been tested for neuro-developmental delays or Asperger’s Disorder? Some very bright individuals can have delays in other areas.

I am also concerned that you used cocaine regularly during your developmental years, and from what you said here, it also corresponds with the time frame of lacking friends. Although you did mention that a psychiatrist had made some observations at an even younger age.

It might be easier to tackle these issues with the help of a therapist. Group therapy is an especially good way to improve social interactions and gain productive feedback in the context of a safe and confidential environment. Otherwise, in order to improve social skills and make friends, you have to put yourself in as many situations conducive to this as possible. Explore hobbies, volunteer, join a Toastmasters club, etc., and hopefully the friendships will come. You may need to put as much effort into this as you have your academics. Don’t be afraid to ask for constructive feedback from others along the way. I hope things get better for you soon.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Perpetual Loner and Don’t Know What To Do

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Perpetual Loner and Don’t Know What To Do. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 14 Apr 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.