Bestselling cookbook author Becky Excell admits she’s not had a friend since 2009 despite being ‘socially aware’ and joining clubs – and insists it’s not that uncommon
- Becky Excell, who lives in Essex, made the admission in a recent Instagram Q&A
- Didn’t keep in touch with anyone from school and failed to get close to uni pals
- Said it ‘almost feels humiliating’ to not have any friends, but since opening up publicly she’s been inundated with messages from people in the same boat
A gluten-free cook has revealed she’s not had a friend for 12 years and insists it’s not as uncommon as you might think.
Becky Excell, who lives in Essex, made the admission in a recent Q&A session on her Instagram page, explaining she didn’t keep in touch with anyone from school and failed to get close to anyone at university.
She said it ‘almost feels humiliating’ to not have any friends, but since opening up publicly she’s been inundated with messages from people who are in the same boat.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Naga Munchetty, the author of How To Make Anything Gluten-free said she is keen to address the ‘taboo’ subject and talk about it openly so that people feel less embarrassed.
Becky Excell, who lives in Essex, has revealed she’s not had a friend for 12 years and insists it’s not as uncommon as you might think
Becky added that she would like to make some pals but is happy and content having dog Peggy and her partner Mark as her ‘best mate’ and focusing on her career and upcoming new cookbook.
‘I’ve done all the things that people say so often like, join a club, if you’ve got a hobby go and join a club for that, and I’ve done that, and people think “oh, it’s easy, that will just result in having friends” but it’s really not like that, you don’t go to a club and suddenly everyone is there wanting to be your friend,’ she told Naga.
‘You might enjoy the thing that you’re doing but you know, other people come all together and there’s already a clicky group there.’
She went on: ‘I’ve always felt, with everything I’ve done, that I’ve always been on the outside of a circle trying to sort of push my way in, but never quite getting in to that circle.
‘And that’s happened time and time again, so it’s not a case of not wanting friends – I’d love some friends and I’ve really tried, throughout my whole adult life, university, work, in offices – but it’s just never quite worked for me.’
Becky made the admission in a recent Q&A session on her Instagram page, explaining she didn’t keep in touch with anyone from school and failed to get close to anyone at university
During her Instagram Q&A, Becky told how she went to three different universities and had several jobs in different cities which meant she never grew close to anyone – something she said was ‘her own fault’.
‘In all honesty my last friends I had were in 2009. I haven’t had any since. I’ve had loads of opportunities to so I’d say it’s my own fault really!’ she said.
‘My last friends I remember were when I was at uni in Manchester… I quit early and I never spoke to them again. I then went to two different unis and made absolutely no friends (my eating disorder played a huge part in this).
‘I’ve had jobs in London, Manchester and here in Colchester and never made friends through work either.
‘I’ve not kept in touch with friends from school or sixth form either. I do wonder what everyone is up to sometimes in life!’
Asked by Naga whether she feels there is some form of social code that she hasn’t fathomed, Becky mused: ‘Possibly. I feel like I’m very socially aware of everything, I kind of get stuff, but I don’t know what it is, and I guess if I did know then I would have friends, if it was that easy.
Speaking on Instagram, Becky said she believes it’s ‘ok’ not to have any friends and that people in her situation should ’embrace it’ and not feel uncomfortable talking about it
‘I think it’s probably just a case of loads of little things going together that have just made me be this “Billy no mates”, but I’ve realised that so many other people are in exactly that same position as me.
‘I put myself out there on the internet a lot talking about food and recipes and I get a lot of response from that, but I got even more, like the most response I’ve ever had in my entire life just saying I’ve got no friends.
‘The amount of people who said “me too”, or, for instance, “[during] lockdown I suddenly realised that I thought I had friends but now with lockdown I’ve come to realise that maybe I don’t, maybe they weren’t as close friends as they thought”.
‘So it seems like, it’s something that we don’t like to talk about and it’s a bit of a taboo subject to say I don’t have any friends, but if we all spoke about it a bit more and made it less embarrassing and less strange to talk about and less that we feel weird, maybe… it’s not as strange as you think.’
Speaking on Instagram, Becky said she believes it’s ‘ok’ not to have any friends and that people in her situation should ’embrace it’ and not feel uncomfortable talking about it.
She added that social media doesn’t help because ‘all we see is people being really positive and having happy experiences like going out with friends’.
Becky added that she would like to make some pals but is happy and content having dog Peggy and her partner Mark as her ‘best mate’ and focusing on her career and upcoming new cookbook
‘If you’re not doing that you don’t tend to share anything quite as much as you feel like you don’t have much to share, but we still have lots to share really,’ she said.
According to a report by the Office for National Statistics, the number of people reporting feelings of loneliness since the pandemic has skyrocketed from 2.6million in spring 2020 to 3.7million in winter 2020.
Gen Zers are five times more likely to report feeling more lonely, compared with millennials which are three times, and all have reported that this has negatively affected their mental health.
Since the pandemic, a quarter (26 per cent) of Gen Z reported that they had fewer close friends than before the pandemic. Two in five (39 per cent) also reported having less casual friends, such as old work colleagues, school friends or extended family, than pre-pandemic.
Searches for ‘how to socialise’ peaked in May according to social planning app Howbout, as people were eager to begin meeting friends again but wanted some guidance.
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