A guide to keeping yourself happy—without friends

Spending a lot of time alone doesn’t mean being miserable


Tricia Drumm, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

Grab a tissue and get ready for a sob story. I have a grand total of about five or six friends (two or three go to Mill Valley and the rest live out of state), low self-esteem and a lifelong case of introversion. In short, I spend a lot of time alone. Honestly, I’ve never been good at making friends and used to want a verbal invitation to play with the other kids because I didn’t have the courage to walk up and join them. Despite my social hardships, I’ve improvised and found ways to keep myself happy.

All that being said, don’t pity me; I’ve always preferred to be alone. When I was younger, my mother used to force me to play with my sister even though I was fine on my own. I am perfectly happy on my own, and if you take my advice, you can be too.

Before I begin, my advice for getting by without friends doesn’t dismiss the idea of friends. My guide is mainly for those who keep to themselves and don’t spend a lot of time with their friends because they’re antisocial or don’t have the time to be with friends.

You shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t like spending time with other people”

— Tricia Drumm

To me, a good first step is to start something new. This could be a multitude of things: a new hobby, Netflix show, book series, music artist, etc. This could be anything to keep you occupied and get you out of your normal routine. Find a new activity that doesn’t force you to have company. For me, this is writing; if you’re looking for a creative outlet similar to writing, try dance, doodling or something along those lines. Yet, the way you keep busy doesn’t require being creative. In fact, a lot of people lean toward video games to occupy their time.

By yourself or not, something you should always do is treat yourself. Take some time where the only person you need to care about is yourself. See a new movie, buy yourself lunch or simply buy something new. If money is an issue, find a way to have fun by yourself. Check out POPSUGAR’s “Fun Things to Do by Yourself” and The Simple Dollar’s “The Frugal Introvert: Fifty Ways to Have Fun By Yourself on the Cheap” for inspiration.

If it’s impossible for you to stay happy by yourself, take a chance and take the first step. It sounds hard, but putting yourself out there might be the answer you’re looking for. In fact, most everything I’ve listed can be used as a springboard for reaching out to potential friends.

In the long run, don’t beat yourself up over being alone. If you’re me and only talk to who you’re comfortable with, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. With my guide for staying happy sans peers, being alone doesn’t mean being despondent: it means realizing that you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t like spending time with other people.

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