How To: Make Friends - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2018, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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How To: Make Friends

Step One: Went to therapy so I could be my OWN friend first and had things to offer.

Step Two: Each time I hear a voice in my head saying "You aren't good enough. They are better than you and you will probably get hurt (AGAIN). You don't have the level of attraction, wealth, intelligence...." I tell it to shut up and remind myself everyone deserves friendship. Including me.

Step Three:
Smile. It's the human equivalent of dogs sniffing butts or animals offering their belly. Smiles are scientifically proven to promote bonding and make the person smiling increase in confidence. It doesn't require talking. Whohoo!

Step Four: Tell myself to stop thinking about myself and be genuinely interested in the other person. Think about how I could improve the quality of their life or show them that they MATTER. Find out what makes them cool or what we have in common or what I can learn from them. Think less about what they can do for me and more about what I could do for them, in the spirit of friendship. Ask questions. Listen.

Step Five: Be willing to risk rejection. Ask if I can have their social media or phone number (to text), or ask them if they want to do something together. Imagine the worst that can happen (getting hurt, feeling like garbage, them preferring others to me) & then remind myself rejection is part of life and with no risk; there will never be possible rewards either.

Step Six: Assume they like me unless they directly say otherwise. Realize people think about me less than I assume. Remember life should be fun :P Resist the urge to over-analyze and review/regret.

Step Seven: Read, talk to people, learn, create, have hobbies, do things that interest that I have something to offer. And, so that even if my friendships end or change...I still have myself to enjoy spending time with.

Step Eight: Don't expect one person to fill all my gaps. Realize some friends are kindred spirits, some are just to do social things in common, some are like family.

Step Nine: Communicate. Tell people when I am down or about my challenges, but only so they know. Not focusing on them as my identity.

Step Ten: Put in the work. If I am not up to talking or I am busy, try to at least send a song or picture or joke to say "You matter to me". {I suck at this honestly, but recognize it's importance and am trying to improve.}

I still am working on ALL of these by the way. Sometimes I do worse and sometimes better (blush).

What have you guys found?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 07:26 AM
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Thanks for the tips, bro. I can totally relate to the smiling thing. It makes you feel more happy. Unfortunately I can't say anything because I have isolated myself and stopped talking with all my friends. I don't talk to them anymore at all out of fear of rejection, and that fear only seems to grow with time. But I'll get better with time, I think. Love and peace.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 07:49 AM
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Be open, available, and be willing to put in the effort to make it work. I find that the best friendships come naturally want to be with/around that person and vice versa.

~ How can I build Your kingdom if I'm building my own
How can You be my treasure if I'm digging for gold
How can You be my fire if my heart has grown cold
How can You be my future if I've made this my home ~ Love & the Outcome
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I struggle with making friends due to my avoidant personality. Hope I can get the courage to do so.

"...if we can carpenter a home in our heart right now and carve a palace from within.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-06-2018, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 09:56 PM
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I prefer to make friends with People with social anxiety or depression,i feel i am more genuinely interested and can talk to them about anything with less effort.

Hope to overcome my social phobia,facing it since i am young.I think my social phobia is childhood experience and genetic factor
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-13-2018, 11:53 PM
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Ahh prozac took care of all of this for me. I didn't have to work hard at all. Now it's even harder to keep anyone in my life. I feel like I am bothering them, like texting too much or thinking they deserve better. No good living like this. I wasn't even making friends, I was making boyfriends! Ahh those good ole' mindless times.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by HiddenFathoms View Post
lol, that's literally how I got my first friend (kindergarten). It might be a false memory, but I remember it being that simple. "do you want to be my friend?" "sure".

I also clearly remember a girl asking me the same question in class, but I was so shy I didn't even know what to say, so I never answered. Just pretended I didn't hear her ask.


I know this is going to sound really lame, but I remember reading "How to win friends and influence people" maybe when I first went to college, and found some of it very helpful. I now know most of the stuff that was new to me is actually common sense to most people. I think the advice about being "interested" in whatever the other person is saying / doing is really on point. I still do it sometimes when I talk to someone and I start asking questions, then basing my next questions on which questions they were more enthusiastic about answering, etc.

The only problem I have with this approach is that it only makes a relationship more of what it already is. So, if I use it with a coworker, we become better coworkers. If I use it with a FB friend, we can chat more, because it's still a conscious thing.


I think my experience with close friendships is similar to what @Kevin001 was saying. I just felt naturally more comfortable around the person. I wanted to spend more time. I wanted to listen to what they had to say about everything, and when I talked about myself I never felt guilty about it because I wasn't "really" talking about myself. It was always something they enjoyed listening to. No one was putting effort in anything (when it comes to spending time together anyway).

Ma 'alena
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 07:23 AM
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Wow thank you for this.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mobc1990 View Post
I prefer to make friends with People with social anxiety or depression,i feel i am more genuinely interested and can talk to them about anything with less effort.
IKR. This was so much easier in high school, where you sat together in groups based on social the lonely virgin shy nerds...we all ended up together by default anyway. In university you are put into dormitories so it forces social interaction.

But now...its just work and home. I've tried bar hopping, but everytime I go bar hopping alone, I don't meet anyone of genuine interest, and ppl usually seem to be in their own cliques already.

I have so far been unsuccessful with co-workers their afterwork activities usually range from...going home to spouse or family.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 06:41 PM
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Very nice list. While a list is nice to reflect on, I just go by what I'm truly like, being real. but sometimes it's possible to see something that you never thought of and that is ok to me too.
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