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Why Is It So Hard to Find New Friends After Suffering a Loss?

Category: 

Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Mar 14, 2017

Why Is It So Hard to Find New Friends After Suffering a Loss?

You never need friends more than you do after going through a loss. That's true regardless of the nature of the loss—a divorce, an estrangement, a death. After someone you love dies, it's difficult to make new friends. That's both unfortunate and ironic since you need people you can open up to, a support network. Once you reach a certain age, it's harder to meet new people anyway. Cultivating friendships following a loss is fraught with issues that relate to the death itself.

Old Friendships Can Get Awkward

People don't always know what to say after you lose someone. They don't know how to act, either. There's a stigma surrounding death, a taboo, a miasma of superstition. It's as if people fear that bad luck will rub off on them if they spend too much around you. That's unfair and hurtful, but it regrettably happens. This can cause the old friendships to fade away, which in turn makes you wary about forging relationships with new people.

There an Innate Fear at Work

Losing someone is devastating. It can also create trust issues through no fault of your own. In turn, you project that fear of loss onto other people through no fault of their own. Someone you loved left you. You can't rightly blame the deceased, although it's perfectly natural if you do anyway. All the same, that resentment can bleed into current and future relationships. In other words, you avoid or fear making friends because you're afraid that all the people you love will leave you.

Engaging Is Exhausting

As long as you're still mired in grief, doing anything is exhausting. You especially don't have the mental or emotional energy to devote to anything. For that reason, discovering and nurturing relationships with new people sometimes seems more taxing than it's worth. It's not that you don't want to, you simply don't have the wherewithal to pursue friendships, follow up with new acquaintances, or create opportunities to spend time with potential friends.

You have to work through the fear and the exhaustion because those are your issues. It will take time, and you shouldn't rush the grieving process. Maybe you're not ready yet, but you will be in time.