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My daughter (14 y.o.) doesn't have any friends and she's always lonely.?
Family & Parenting / 1:37 AM - Monday November 11, 2013

My daughter (14 y.o.) doesn't have any friends and she's always lonely.?

She's 14, she will be a freshman next year and i'm actually kind of worried. At first me and husband thought it was just a phase but this has been quite long to be a phase. You'll see, she's a good student, great daughter, I could not be more proud. She's not like other teens of her ag. She's always lonely, teachers always say she doesn't have any friends, we took her to therapy but she doesn't wanna go there, she refuses to go back there and she always says she just wants to be lonely because her classmates and people of her age is just stupid and plastic and that she doesn't like anyone.
We beg her to make at least one friend, but she always say things like: "why? Is that actually important? I mean, friends are not necessary."

I don't know what else to do.

- Asked by Female, 46-55

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Is she happy being alone? If she's happy then let her be. Friendships can't be forced, it's an organic process.

- Response by whvtever, A Thinker, Female, 22-25, Montreal

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Aren't there any introvert/nerdy clubs she could shine in?

Book club, drama club, chess club, sports....she needs to find a likeminded group of people she can facillitate friendships with

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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Not everyone needs or wants friends, some including myself are perfectly happy by myself and enjoy my own company. She may be an introvert, loner and/or highly sensitive, none of which are wrong or require therapy. Please leave her alone and let her be her normal natural self

- Response by sunset77, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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I think that it is important that you are aware of your daughter. I think for a teen therapy may be to uncomfortable. The benefits come threw a long process. And if she is just a quiet introvert therapy will not help that at this time. Usually only those who seek help benefit from it.
You mention that she is lonely , it that your impression or is she actually saying that to you. And she is right kids at her age can lack depth. She will find like minded people. I had been a loner until I met people that I had common interst's with. Even as an adult that is true. I never tried to fit in. But I did develop very good relationships as time went on.Usually with much older people.

- Response by morningdust, A Creative, Female, 56-65, Self-Employed

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Between the ages of around ten and 18, I was pretty much a bookworm with little need for company.

My physical appearance was a problem, because it got people's attention when I didn't want it. Because I wasn't perceived as "needy," I was perceived as "strong," and actually got some degree of popularity because of this. I used it to edit my school's newspaper.

Try to guide your daughter into activities that will let her put her insights to use; don't tell her she shouldn't think the way she does--many people her age ARE very plastic and stupid; your daughter may be very intelligent. A higher than average intelligence quotient does have its complications.

In any event, whatever you do, don't act like there's something the matter with her. I didn't feel like I had a "real friend" until I became friendly with my college professors. I'm still friends with some of them, actually. And my husband is--guess what--a college professor, just like I am. Many gifted people have problems adjusting (that is, finding ways to make a positive contribution while avoiding boring and trivial nonsense that they find they can't tolerate; often one's emotional intelligence level isn't on the same par as one's intelligence quotient, and that disparity causes issues. For example, when I was four years old, I had the cognitive abilities of an eight year old--I found it difficult, as a result, to tolerate the company of other four year olds).

Eventually your daughter will realize that she has to socialize enough to be able to make a positive contribution to her world, and learn to work with people of whom she doesn't think highly. Don't punish her or behave as though there's something wrong with her because she doesn't think highly of people who haven't earned her respect; just teach her that she has to be able to speak to such people in a way that makes them feel at ease with her in order to contribute to her world.

Focusing on your daughter's ability to make friends her own age is probably the major mistake you're making--let her make friends with someone she chooses, and find a way for her to socialize with people who are more on her cognitive level; have her IQ tested by a psychologist and work with the psychologist to come up with venues in which your daughter can circulate and find people that will share her perceptions and even admire them. :)

- Response by electragold21, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, New York, Teaching

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Just wait, she'll find friends when she wants them. High school will be an entirely new experience with a new set of people, and if not there is always college, the military, or work later on.

- Response by borninthemeadowcourt, A Creative, Female, 18-21, Student

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I was like that at that age, but in my case people kept coming towards to be friends and I gave up my guard and then realised friends aren't such a bad thing.

You shouldn't expect her to want something she has never had. It's like asking someone to miss someone they don't even know. She doesn't know what she's missing, so you can't expect her to want it.
People make friends because at a very young age, they had friends. Did she attend day care centres, play dates and other social kids stuff? I think it's really important to put a kid in a social situation if you want them to be socially inclined.

Anyway that isn't important now. I advice that you tell your daughter straightforward that if she wants to make it in life, she needs to know how to be social, how to talk to people, how to be friendly, and in short how to build her charisma. You need to stop spoon fooding her and waiting for her to say yes, I want to make friends. You are the mom, she's the child. So understand your role and act it. Get her to visit a neighbour, attend at least one club at school. Give her an ultimatum, like no friend, no allowance money. This might sound strict, but this is sometimes the only way to get a kid to do something. And she would definitely thank you later in life. You don't want your daughter growing up as a social reclusive. It's your responsibility that your child turns out the best she can be. Being good at school and at home isn't enough, frankly speaking. She needs to face reality. Cheers!

- Response by emeraldkk90, A Creative, Female, 26-28, Fitness

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Sorry for whoever said you were a shitty parent for being concerned with your daughter's well being and worrying whether she was clinically depressed. He'd be the first person to slam you for ignoring your daughter if she did something to harm herself and you ignored it.

I asked my 17 year old son his thoughts on your daughter and he just remarked that there are some kids who could be outgoing but for whatever reason just aren't. Your daughter reminds me of two friends' daughters who also are excellent students but both mothers have remarked to me that while they want their daughters to socialize more, the daughters won't. In both cases, having talked to both girls, they're both lovely and clearly understand that they're going on to higher education and would rather spend time at home. Both mothers have both asked their daughters to go out more but in both cases, the daughters both said no and wouldn't they rather that their daughters be where they know they're not getting in trouble.

When we first moved to where we lived now, we knew no other kids except for their two female cousins who are older. In order to fill their time, we did super interesting things as a family. I signed my kids up for the swim team (as they were already champion swimmers where we were). We also joined a climbing wall center as a family (I bought a bunch of guest passes) and enrolled them in competitive skiing as they were excellent skiers. I did this to build up their confidence and to see if they might meet other kids there. In fact we ended up hosting birthday parties at the climbing walls and bringing kids.

Are there solitary activities she would consider? For instance one of the two girls I mentioned is on the same swim team as my son. She's not at the same level as he is but she has to interact with him sometimes and others often because they're on the same team. Swimming is such a solitary sport and is so good for you. Because the kids are with each other 3 hours a day 7 days a week, they've become closer and closer.

It doesn't have to be swimming, there are lots of intellectual activities you can pursue as a family. We're not religious but I imagine church activities are quite social at some level. You can also volunteer at various charities. My kids belong to a UNESCO organization where they've met and travelled all over the world to do work in 2nd world nations. She could stay in first world nations and meet other like minded kids who feel they want to accomplish something tangible. There are other families that volunteer a the food bank where the kids are accomplishing something real and important as it sounds as if your daughter wants to feel like she's accomplishing something tangible. Most likely when she goes on to higher learning, she'll meet other like minded people.

Good for you for being concerned. If i was you, I would investigate things you can do as a family where other like minded kids are participating.

- Response by patresi, An Intellectual Guy, Male, Who Cares?, Who Cares?

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Okay I can tell you from experience the "therapy" was a huge mistake. I was like that as a kid. Her saying friends are not necessary is a defense mechanism because deep down she wants them but doesn't know how to go about it. Once she starts making friends she will realize that it is great. The main step is getting to that point. All I can say on that is that it will just take time. Let her go at her own pace. I still share her feelings about most people, but I've found a few good ones. She will too.

- Response by An Alternative Girl, Female, 22-25

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all you can do is be patient with her.....and just be there for her right now..... "good luck"...

- Response by osieboo, A Thinker, Female, 56-65

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I would not take her to therapy as it's too early to tell. I would make sure that you and her are doing activities together and stay close to her. I would also, make sure there is a dog or cat in the picture. Perhaps, having a pet she can love would help her loneliness as well. Just my humble opinion. Don't pay any attention to the posts made her by idiots.

- Response by ereculus, A Creative, Male, 46-55, Boston, Other Profession

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I gave you good advice; but if you care so little about your daughter that you're willing to take advice from someone who can't spell "narcissistic" correctly, then by all means, take her advice. I will just have to feel sorry for your daughter, and helpless to help someone I don't know, if you really are on the same level of such a person (that is, someone who believes that someone's stating of facts, which she simply doesn't like, is a sign of "narcissism"; I don't feel it would be ultimately helpful for me to lie and say that I'm the village trash collector in order to make that respective poster feel better about herself--and that's something that that respective poster finds impossible to understand.).

It's up to you to judge whose advice you find more valuable--that of someone who actually wants to help and identifies with your daughter's social plight due to her own experiences and sense of empathy; or someone who merely wishes to be insulting and destructive because of her own personal problems with inferiority (which seem to be sparked by random encounters she makes with anonymous people on the Internet; you can judge for yourself who actually could use some professional therapy. Hint: It's not me, and, due to the information you've given us, it's not your daughter, either. ;)).

- Response by electragold21, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, New York, Teaching

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MAybe she is wiser than her age and she does not want to get invovled in the trouble that some her age are. Also, she may have had something occur where she might have been outcast. Maybe for something you would be proud of, so don't look at it in a negative way. Just keep up with her and make sure she is happy being alone, some people do like not having others cause issues in their life.

I would suggest maybe telling her that if she is comfortable this way you are fine, but you just want to make sure she is happy. That is all you want in life as a parent correct?

- Response by juandontbeg, A Career Man, Male, 36-45, Self-Employed

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it may be a problem in her life that is keeping her from making friends (I.E. bullying, ect)
sit down and talk to her. making friends and getting to socialize is essential in full maturity.
you may need to talk to her school guidance counselor and maybe get some professional help.
take her to church and get her interested in something. maybe get her intersted in girl scouts, police atheletic league; school functions. good luck.

- Response by flwoodpecker, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 36-45, Other Profession

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My son suffers from a social anxiety disorder and as a result he doesn't get involved in social activities. Now he does have friends (I've seen it at school), but outside of school he just likes being alone. This worried me and still does at time, but I am learning to accept that this is who he is and if he's happy then I have to accept that he's not a social kid.

I think the difference between my son and your daughter is he does have friends at school he just doesn't like to go to football games, dances, group activities, etc. I think you are right to be somewhat concerned. I think checking in with your child regarding their mental health is important. My suggestion would be to maybe find an activity she likes and encourage her to get involved. This can be something she can do alone and/or within a group, but she needs to find something that gives her purpose.

- Response by kdtxchic30, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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So you want her to get pregnant or get arrested? Be grateful she isn't interested in friends, they only cause TROUBLE. She needs to make good greats, get into college, get a degree and a career. Friends are not anything at all you should even be thinking about.

- Response by Cigarettes_and_Wickedness, An Alternative Girl, Female, 22-25, New York, Artist / Musician / Writer

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You have had some good advice here, now here is mine.

Pay attention to the narssasistic posts of the "college professor" and decide if you really want your daughter to end up like her.

If you see any resemblence, then get your daughter hell quick, although there is no cure for a personality disorder, you may be able to get her therapy for me machanism to keep it in check.

- Response by rumloverreturns, A Cool Mom, Female, 46-55, Glasgow, Other Profession

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I'm reminded that sometimes, the greatest barrier to my children's healthy emotional development is - me.

- Response by inotnuts, A Father Figure, Male, 36-45, Newark, Retired

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Her answer worries me and I am thinking of Asperger's where they have lack of social skills and maybe even feelings. Kids like that are potential trouble, you gotta do something. The best thing to do is to put her in a situation where there are lots of kids, like a camp. Is she your only daughter ? Only children often become loners. I always had just one best girlfriend and actually I always felt the other kids were immature and stupid, I was a good student too, but I outgrew my lack of social skills and became extremely friendly.

- Response by ana325, A Career Woman, Female, 66 or older, Other Profession

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