Very few people have real friends, and I believe that most people's friendships are not deep or profound, but rather they are acquaintanceship that become habitual.
Many people tend to band together in little groups or cliques, and often become exclusive. That, however, does not mean that they are close friends. Many people are too selfish or too tied up in their own lives to have real friends. They are hard to get.
I am like you, in that while I have contacts with lots of people, having lived in the same rural location for many years I have good relationships with them but I don't have friends with whom I feel a need to spend time with, although I have great affection for people, in general.
Perhaps you expect too much of relationships. Perhaps people take you lightly because you don't project your personality strongly enough to see that there is a decent, kind, and interesting person behind your quiet persona.
It is possible that you suffer from an anxiety
disorder called social phobia, which can be readily treated with talk therapy. Here are the official criteria for this common disorder:
Diagnostic criteria for 300.23 Social Phobia (from DSM-IV)
A. A marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears that he or she will act in a way (or show anxiety symptoms) that will be humiliating or embarrassing.
Note: In children, there must be evidence of the capacity for age-appropriate social relationships with familiar people and the anxiety must occur in peer settings, not just in interactions with adults.
B. Exposure to the feared social situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed Panic Attack. Note: In children, the anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or shrinking from social situations with unfamiliar people.
C. The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. Note: In children, this feature may be absent.
D. The feared social or performance situations are avoided or else are endured with intense anxiety or distress.
E. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared social or performance situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.
F. In individuals under age 18 years, the duration is at least 6 months.
G. The fear or avoidance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Panic Disorder With or Without Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, or Schizoid Personality Disorder).
H. If a general medical condition or another mental disorder is present, the fear in Criterion A is unrelated to it, e.g., the fear is not of Stuttering, trembling in Parkinson's dsease, or exhibiting abnormal eating behavior in Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.
Specify if: Generalized: if the fears include most social situations (also consider the additional diagnosis of Avoidant Personality Disorder)
Let me recommend a couple of books to you that my clients find very helpful in better establishing friendships.
I know that these books will help immensely.
If you would like to try some professional self-help workbooks instead of seeking a therapist, then I recommend the following book:
It does, basically, what a good therapist will do.
I hope this has helped.
I would very much appreciate positive feedback for the great effort I have put into helping you. I wish you great success and shall continue to keep you in my prayers.