I'm wondering why some people have many friends (lasting friendship like friends since kindergarten to college)while some has almost none. I understand that it would depend on situations in present. But if there's effect from past, what would these be? From buddhism point of view.

6 Answers 6


Well you'll never know. From a Buddhism point of view, it could very well be a blessing in disguise:

On one occasion a certain monk, a Vajjian princeling, was dwelling near Vesali in a forest thicket. And on that occasion an all-night festival was being held in Vesali. The monk — lamenting as he heard the resounding din of wind music, string music, & gongs coming from Vesali, on that occasion recited this verse:

I live in the wilderness
all alone
like a log cast away in the forest.
On a night like this,
who could there be
more miserable
than me?

Then the devata inhabiting the forest thicket, feeling sympathy for the monk, desiring his benefit, desiring to bring him to his senses, approached him and addressed him with this verse:

As you live in the wilderness all alone
like a log cast away in the forest,
many are those who envy you,
as hell-beings do,
those headed for heaven.

The monk, chastened by the devata, came to his senses. ~~ SN 9.9 ~~


To have many friends, one needs to get others involved in good deeds. But being alone isn't always a bad thing. Especially if you can't find good friends.

Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let him resolutely pursue a solitary course; there is no fellowship with the fool. - Dhammapada(Balavagga) -61

If you do good deeds and dedicate them to attaining Nibbana, you will be born in places where you can hear the Dhamma and get to meet enlightened beings or at least those who teach the Dhamma. What better association than that?


Kamma is just one cause of happenings ,not the only cause of everything bad or good happened.

You didn't have friends the day you were born. By your good/bad actions you gain/lose friends.



Jealousy and envy are a cause for having few friends.Forgive me i forgot where I read this though...but I'm very certain this is the cause.

  • Yes this would make sense. Envying anything would create a lack of whatever is being envied in order to teach oneself the life lesson that one doesn't really need whatever that is (friends). Envy anything and it will be driven further away. What is better is to understand that everything is based on causes and conditions and cultivate those causes and conditions, without attachment or envy. Effortlessly, the goal will come to oneself.
    – Ahmed
    Mar 26, 2015 at 6:00
  • Im sure I read it somewhere but the suttas are too many to remember where..
    – Orion
    Mar 26, 2015 at 6:02
  • 1
    It's a mistranslation I believe. Jealousy and Envy lead to being born as insignificant. - cula-kamma vibhanga sutta Mar 26, 2015 at 16:59

From my own personal perspective, I think that not having any or few friends generate from many different factors. I have been betrayed by both male and female friends in the past. While i can be outgoing, i choose not to get close to anyone and thus i have one or two "friends" as im not very trusting and these friends i have had for over 15 years. I subconsciously put up walls so that noone is able to get close to me. While this might not be the case for all, i think it depends on the individual and their experiences growing up. From a Karmic perspective, i think perhaps i either lived a solitary life in the past and just continued it or i had too many people around me that in this life i chose solitude aka 2 friends. Perhaps i was a bad friend to others and this is my karma. One can only speculate on why this happens but i think you can find the answer if you examine your life and the context in which friends play an importance.

Hope this helps.


From a Karmic viewpoint, many people believe that vows made in previous lives are carried into the current life. If someone vowed to be a monk/medicant in a previous life, to abandon the world, and spend lifetimes in seclusion, then one could find the energy of that vow carried into the current lifetime. Everyone should reject all prior vows, of any and all lifetimes, that no longer serve in the current lifetime. This is clearing the decks, cleaning house.

Other Karmic causes from past lives could be: - Isolating or imprisoning others - Having lived as a solitary/non-social animal in a very recent lifetime - Having cursed people in general in the past - Lack of forgiveness in previous or current life

Keep up with your practices. Do what you can to be a friend and to share kindness with others. Kindness, forgiveness, and spiritual service burn karma faster than many other methods.

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