Now, I have to say I'm no professional therapist or anything. I have no credentials regarding making friends, BUT I do have some experiences that have made me run for the hills upon interacting with people for the first time off this forum who are seeking friends.
I realized that maybe some people who say they don't have friends may be going about it the wrong way. First impressions do count and often if you give a bad one, people run or ghost or wait until you log out and unfriend you.
Maybe this list of DON'TS will help someone: (ALL OF THESE I AND MY FAMILY HAVE EXPERIENCED FROM PEOPLE ON THIS FORUM SEEKING FRIENDS)
1. When you get a positive IM from someone who introduces themselves and would like friendship - DON'T quickly adjust your profile. For example: by changing your relationship status to single, removing partners from your box or picks, adding things into you LIKES pick that match the person messaging you. More than likely the person who IMed has already checked your profile and this sudden change will be noted.
2. While we're on profiles - also please DON'T alter your profile to reflect your pixel "assets". It sends a certain message when someone reads your profile before messaging you and you have like 3 ordinary picks and within minutes of the conversation your have maxed your picks out, displaying each little plot of cartoon land you own.
3. Also on that note.. please DON'T - within minutes of an introduction - pass a notecard with LM's to all of your cartoon land masses. Now if it's a shop or some other commercial place then fine. But, if it's just personal homes or something please... save this for a later time. And DON'T spend 15 minutes bragging about all the assets you have in SL. There's really no need to try to impress people this way. It's SL - if you change $50 USD to lindens you're wealthy. Not very impressive.
4. PLEASE DON'T within minutes teleport your new potential friend to a BDSM dungeon. If you are looking for a playmate, post in the correct section. Someone who responded to a friendship post will more than likely NOT engage in BDSM sex with you within 5 mins of meeting. Just saying.
5. Ladies... PLEASE DON'T upon meeting a potential male friend start asking if he is interested in having a wife, kids and all that. Also please don't start talking about your aversion to men "cheating" or ranting about past relationships. You did advertise for a FRIEND... if you need a romantic relationship please post in the correct section. Trying to lure a man in this way is not good. Fastest way to send him running to the hills.
6. When meeting someone face to face for the first time I get that you want to look nice, but nice isn't synonymous with half naked. There's nothing quite like tping someone for a first friend meet and greet in a coffee shop with your SL family there and they show up in BDSMish attire, ball gag in mouth and once even a dog head mask on with hands bound. Please try to look presentable. And again, you did advertise for a FRIEND. Not a sexual encounter.
7. Upon meeting a new potential friend DON'T sit there and constantly IM the person as you make nasty comments about people in the area. For example: "WOW, her avatar could use a burger!" or "Why do people give their avs such fat asses and thunder thighs??" I mean it's SL. We all have to face enough scrutiny in RL. SL should be a place of free expression. Leave the judgement at the log in screen. This behavior also gives off a very bad vibe and says a lot about you as a person.
AND TO SAVE THE BEST FOR THE LAST!
8. Ladies.. please DON'T have an entire romantic relationship in your head - from start to finish - and all within hours of meeting a potential friend.
Imagine messaging a woman at 9am SLT for prospective friendship. (nice profile, let me see what she is about)
12 noon SLT meeting face to face and having conversation. (She's dressed nice, nice conversation - cool)
12:30pm SLT - excusing yourself to go afk to handle some RL stuff. (I have to go to RL, but will definitely message her later. This was fun!)
12:50pm - you get an IM from the woman, stating that she noticed you're still online even though you said you had RL stuff to do and she writes a paragraph about if you didn't like her you could have just said so. (:o WTF - I'll ignore this)
12:55pm - you return from RL and find a novel in your IM from her as she rants about "drawing a line in the sand" and you have to make a choice to cross it and find happiness or stay on the other side. (0_0 okkk, she's nuts!!)
1:15pm SLT the woman is back! This time she is furious and calling you every ill name in the English language and pointing out everything wrong with your avatar. She states that she will unfriend and mute you. And so she does. (:O - speechless)
Well... I do hope this list can help some. It was not done to be funny or malicious. Just BE YOURSELF! No need to impress anyone.. also don't false advertise. No one wants to answer an ad for a blue Mustang for sale and when you get there the dealership says "oh we don't have it, but we got this red Honda. Want it?"
There are tons of people out there in SL who can offer great friendship. Just give them a chance.