How To Make Friends When You Don't Like People

Some people want to make friends even though they generally don't like anyone. Your first thought upon reading may be, "If someone dislikes other people, why are they trying to make friends at all?" There are a couple of reasons:

Here are some broad ways you can try to make friends, while working around the obstacle of not liking many people. It's quite likely your search will be more difficult and take longer than someone with looser standards or a more bubbly attitude, but that doesn't mean it's a lost cause.

Figure out what kinds of people you do like and can tolerate, and specifically go after them

There are two broad ways to do this: The first is to go to a variety of events, but be selective about who you talk to. Only approach people who seem like your type, and quickly move on if it turns out you don't jell with them. That lets you meet and screen more people, but you'll also expose yourself to a range of individuals, most of whom will have nothing to offer, and may even downright irritate you. If you have a low tolerance for making small talk with randos, this may all be too much to ask.

The second option is to avoid the wide net. If you go to events, try to skip anything that attracts a broad mix of people. Instead, go to spots where the chances are good most of the other attendees will be on your wavelength. You probably won't get as involved in as many activities, but the odds will be better for the ones you do. Depending on how misanthropic you are, you may still feel put off by many of the people you meet, even when you're among your own type, but the situation is still way more favorable than if you went to a generic group.

You could also forgo showing up at events or meeting spaces altogether, and try to meet people through friend making apps, or by privately reaching out to individuals you've found online who you think you may click with (e.g., another alternative artist whose work you like).

Do your best to hide your more prickly behavior

Some people will claim they don't like anyone deep down, but they act friendly, positive, and polite enough on the surface. Other confessed misanthropes can't help but come across as hostile and grouchy. The first group obviously has an easier time making friends. They make a decent first impression and earn the time to get to know anyone who may be a rare match for them. The second group drives almost everyone away quite quickly.

This also goes to show that simply saying you dislike people isn't inherently off putting. If someone has a bit of charisma, and says in a joking tone, "I hate humanity. Humans are garbage!" a lot of people will chuckle and agree. Plenty of us have some mild unsociable tendencies. Who hasn't been stuck in bad traffic and half-seriously thought, "Ugh, I would vaporize 90% of these dumbasses if I could"? But if someone acts rude and grumpy toward us, that's when we want little to do with them.

Try to give half-decent prospects a chance

You're choosy. Only a select few people interest you as friends. That's okay. At the same time, it's also possible to be excessively, overly picky. I won't get into the possible psychological reasons behind it here, but it's definitely a thing. If you've met someone who meets most of your criteria, but you still reflexively find yourself thinking, "Ahhh, I don't know...", give them a little time to grow on you. You can still move on later if your feelings don't change. You don't want to accidentally ditch someone who's a good match, just because you're so accustomed to insta-rejecting everyone you lay eyes on.

Possibly work on any baggage that makes you dislike everyone

I'm not saying you have to change. That's always your decision. It's possible to be a contented misanthrope and build a life where you avoid most people, and only spend time with the few who don't completely aggravate you.

You may also decide you're a little too down on your fellow man, that it's making you overly bitter and isolated, and that you want to feel more positive about everyone. The goal isn't to completely shed your old mindset and start mindlessly loving everyone you talk to for five seconds, but to get to a more practical middle ground.

If someone feels excessively negative about people it's usually rooted in difficult past experiences they went through that damaged their trust and faith in others. That's not to dismiss or invalidate the legitimate mistreatment they suffered. Some humans are truly cruel, selfish, and thoughtless, and nothing can excuse that. Though when someone's had a rough past it can keep them from seeing and appreciating all the people who aren't as awful as their parents, or relatives, or former classmates, or so on.

It's too much to explain in this short article, but there are ways to work through your old baggage and heal those scars. Again, the idea is not to throw all your common sense or standards out the window and start blindly trusting everyone. It's to develop a more balanced stance toward people, where you realize some of them still suck, but not every last one of them.