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  1. #1
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    where did you meet your friends and how did you keep them?

    Hey guys! So I'm a 22 year old girl who's never really had a close friend nor a group of friends. I've always been too shy to really be around people and never really figured out how to make a friend and keep him.

    There's nothing extremely wrong about me, except my excessive anxiety and the overwhelming shyness that used to keep me always quiet when I was younger. People would try to talk to me but I was so shy I'd make them think I wasn't interested. Then, when people asked me out for a birthday party or lunch or something, I'd always decline because I knew it'd be embarassing. For some time I "shut down" and although I always felt like I needed friends, I wasted great chances to talk to people who were there (classmates, housemates, workmates...).

    Now that my anxiety is at its peak and I feel like I'm collapsing to pieces, I realize that the most part of it is caused by my lack of social interaction and a supportive group of people who can help me through though times, give advice, hang out with me, etc. I'm now moving abroad to a big city and I know there's a lot of people there. My question is where to go to make friends? Where do I meet them, how to I let them know that I'm cool and that I want them to be part of my life?

    I've tried talking to some people in college but most of them already have their friendships and don't seem particularly interested, I go to extra classes and people there are also there pretty much just to learn and live, I joined a gym but the people who go there are either in groups or with their headphones plugged, I got a job and talk to my colleagues but they all already have personal lives and don't seem interested in after-work drinks.

    I've had a couple of boyfriends and we had rather okay relationships and I feel like it's easier for me to connet romantically than friendly. I'm a good looking young female so most people who spontaneously approach me seem to be male and with second intentions. That's quite frustrating. I'm still with my second boyfriend but he lives in a different town, hardly ever comes to see me and doesn't really have friends of his own here that could be my friends too.

    So, focus on the future. A big city. Where do I start?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2012
    Location
    Tennessee
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    First off, welcome to the forum Lucy91! As I'm sure you'll quickly find out, this place is filled with kind and helpful folk.

    Anyways, you're approaching social interaction with a very over analytical perspective. There are no specific coordinates to finding friendship. There's no particular longitude and latitude degrees that will pinpoint your potential friends. You say you've "wasted good chances to talk to people who were there", well, unless my theory of the illuminati (led by Jay-Z and Kanye) abducting the entire human race in a massive spaceship (think Independence Day) to be imprisoned and forced to listen to auto-tuned "rap" is true, people are still here and will be here tomorrow waiting to be spoken to. Potential friendship is all around ; all you have to do is say 'hello'. Potential friends are walking down the sidewalk, sitting on a bench in the park, misusing the equipment in the gym, on the bus, and so and so forth.

    You'd be surprised at how deep a conversation will go that started with 'hello' and a smile. Sidenote, (this is scientifically proven FACT because I'm a scientist and I say so) girls love to talk about themselves. In socializing regards, here's the double standard : women talking about themselves throughout the conversation is fine, however, when men do it, it's annoying. But that's a different topic for a different day, the point is YOU have the easy role in social interaction (especially if you're as good looking as you say you are). Say hello and ask a question, (whoever asks the questions rules the conversation) and thus, the conversation has begun and a potential friendship may sprout. Also don't assume that every guy that strikes up a conversation with you is looking for anything more; perhaps, he, too, is trying to hone his social skills (it's kind of a pretentious mentality, as well).

    "How do I let them know that I'm cool and I want them to be part of my life?" Lets dissect this one part at a time, shall we. How do I let them know that I'm cool? You don't. You can let them know about your political beliefs, about your childhood upbringings, you can even mention that thing you did at that place with that person that one time (decipher that however you please), but you CANNOT display to them that you're cool. That is their decision alone. You can't dictate who likes you and who doesn't. There are people who - for reasons unknown - will not like you. Don't change for these people. Just be yourself, practice striking up conversations with random people, and the friends will come. How do I let them know that I want them to be part of my life? Simple, keep in contact. You don't have to shoot them a text every day, but as long as you attempt to schedule some outings from time to time, they'll realize that you're a friend and are glad they're apart of your life.

    You used the phrase "don't seem" a lot. Don't assume. Have you actually asked your colleagues if they wanted to hangout sometime? What about your classmates? If not, then you can't assume they don't want to hangout. Just ask. If plans are made then awesome, have fun. If they decline, maybe they actually can't, maybe they're really busy that night, OR maybe they think it'll be embarrassing because THEY ARE shy(?) Consider all possibilities. Smile, ask questions, be genuine, schedule hangouts, BE YOURSELF and you'll have all the friends (and accompanied drama) you've ever wanted! Good luck with your endeavors my friend!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for commenting Duck Daffy! I really enjoyed reading your advice. I really DO think it makes sense. I'm over-analysing things because it was only recently that I realised that the reason I was friendless was because I WAS doing something wrong. Until very, very recently (say six months ago?) I was sitting alone in a little corner waiting for people to come to me. And then I got mad at *them* for never saying anything. As I said, people in the area aren't really going to waste time looking for who might be sad and alone since they already have enough stuff going on. They all have friends, buddies, boyfriends, girlfriends... they don't desperately need a new friend in their lives. I believe that I NEED to do something, to take the first step.

    I'm right now very obsessed with this because the fear of forever-loneliness is currently one of my anxiety's biggest fears. So I feel like I have to go out and knock on everyone's door and ask them to be my friends TODAY. Which is kind of obsessive and creepy and I know nobody wants to be friends with a needy, clingy, desperate person. xD

    But I kind of feel that I never really have the chance to talk to people, actually. People who go to class with me show up a minute before, sit quiet and leave the second class is over. I see them talk to each other but they already seem to know each other well from previous years. I see a girl or guy my age running on the threadmill next to mine but they're either chatting to a friend who's with them or with their headphones on, looking aloof.

    I've tried asking questions around (How does this machine work? Do you have any notes from last class I can borrow? etc.) but it always turns out to be a one-shot dialogue. People never ask me any questions back, never get back to me and I feel stupid always being the one to ask questions, whatever. My big problem is how to go from there to an actual potential friendship? I mean, I don't feel okay asking out the guy whose notes I borrowed *once* or the girl who helped me fix the machine at the gym. I'll probably never see them again or even if I do, I'll probably say hi but not know when to say more than that. Nor do I know when it appropriate to ask for their number or Facebook name or how creepy it might be to spontaneously add them! I'm really afraid of being creepy or sounding overly interested (even if I *am* interested!).

    Also, the thing with being a woman is a bit more difficult that you might imagine. I'm no model but I'm the right size, I guess I can be considered pretty and I often dress nice. My boyfriends kind of turn out to be a disapointment since at some point I realize they approched me in the first place because I was good looking and not because they "fell in love". My first later assumed he'd been with me in the first place because I had a "fine butt" and only then realised I was also a good person.

    Another example, the other day I met a french guy who was interested in giving me french classes and I'd teach him german in return. He was beyond nice to me the first time we talked and even kept sending me texts asking me how I was. I was delighted he was being so nice. Until his texts became rathe obviously sexual and, the second time we met, I realised he couldn't take his eyes off my breasts. I like the thought of being friends with him but I'm not interested in anything more so I'll probably have to refrain from being too close to him. Another guy in college who I talked to, sometimes, assumed today, also, that he'd talked to me in the first place because I was pretty. I don't think he meant it bad but it made me sad that my appearance had been the sole reason for his sympathy.

    But then I also realise I am often so quiet I guess people probably have trouble seeing past my looks. Maybe to most I'm just a quiet "pretty girl" and while I sure like the compliments, I'd rather be known for something more.

  4. #4
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    Hi there! Trying to make friends is hard, trust me I've had my fair share of struggles through out High School, but it got better eventually. I value the friends I made in college the most so that's who I'll focus on in this post. The way I made friends was simply to be patient and not try to bother others in my quest to make friends. It kind of just happened eventually. I luckily made really amazing friends that I will remember for the rest of my life. I only allowed myself to make friends with people who were nice to me/others and I really enjoyed being around. People who may not have had the same interests or beliefs but respected me and accepted me. I didn't allow myself to make friends just to have friends. I also wasn't too overbearing in trying to hang out with someone, I always start out a little slowly, and if we start to get along better when around each other then I step it up a notch. Slowly but surely hanging out with that person more and more but trust me I've been shot down countless amount of times. Honestly, I didn't make that many friends and I only made a very small amount of friends each year. It took a very long time and it wasn't overnight but I believe the quality of my friends are top notch. Maybe you can join a group or club, for example cycling or yoga, and use that as a stepping stone to make friends who have similar interests as you. Also, remember to hang in there and to not give up even though things may not be so hot in the friendship market currently. Oh yea one last thing, remember to smile a lot and simple compliments go a long way in showing someone that you are a nice person that they might want to get to know. Alright I lied one more thing, as for guys hitting on you I completely understand. It will get to the point where you are so use to it you just shrug it off.
    Last edited by Christopher H.; 06-21-2013 at 11:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    I'm very much the opposite of you! I'm almost 20 and never had a girlfriend, connecting romantically is hard for me. On dates I usually act like myself, who is pretty crude haha

    Anyways me and my friends all met in school because we are all really into heavy metal, fast forward 4 years and were still listening to the same good music and chillin!

    It's so hard to talk to people who don't share any interest with you, especially with anxiety.

  6. #6
    Ive always been overly anxious about not having close friends or even a group of friends that I could call mine. I struggled throughout high school with the fear of being alone or having no one to talk to. I am now in college and just talk to whoever is around and make my friends that way. If someone is nice to me and accepts me for I am then maybe we will become close eventually. My problem is definitely in the romantic area... I'm 19 and have never had a serous boyfriend. Yes, I have kissed a few guys at parties and what not, but never anything more. I'm terrified of never falling in love and experiencing something that might actually help my anxiety and depression.

    What i've learned from being anxious about not making friends is that if you worry about it you wont and if you don't worry about it and just go with the flow you will have friends in no time. To this day I still don't have anyone I would consider a really close friend but I have people I can talk to and hang out with if I want. That's all that really matters. Just be yourself and someone will see your a great person!

  7. #7
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    Louisville, Ky
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlstrom View Post
    It's so hard to talk to people who don't share any interest with you, especially with anxiety.
    I totally agree with this... Heavy Metal and all

    I am in a similar situation Lucy and unfortunately I don't have any advice because I am still in the gutter myself. If you make any progress please share it with us for some inspiration

 

 

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