Social Anxiety Support Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I realized today that I haven't made a friend since 5th grade, being in my first semester of college now, that's a long time. So then I thought, well how did I make those friends? The answer, I don't know. It's like everyone else went to a special school on how to make friends and socialize, I must have missed that. I also realized that when I went to junior high, I lost most of my elementary friends, but I never made any new ones. So its like Ive pinpointed the moment that I became socially unacceptable. Then I started homeschooling at the end of 7th grade, probably my biggest mistake ever. I really wish I had gone to high school, I keep trying to convince myself that It wouldn't have made a difference in my social life but that's impossible to know. I have yet to make a friend in college, there is one girl who recognized me from my job at sears which was kinda cool, she seemed nice, and attractive by the way, but I don't know how to even start making friends with anyone.

Just writing stuff down here, but if anyone has any advice on socializing in college, it would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
I'm in a very similar situation. I went through that thought process, too--"Well, how did I make friends before?" which caused me to realize that I'd only really made one friend from scratch (for lack of a better phrase) since middle school. The rest were either people I'd known for ages or were introduced to me through friends I already had.

Okay, so the way I made that one friend was by approaching her and saying I liked her shirt. That's usually a good conversation-starter. Another is to start a conversation with someone in one of your classes about the material, the professor, whatever. I've been trying to do all this. Some people are more receptive to random conversations than others, so don't be discouraged if it doesn't get far. Don't invest all of your hopes on one conversation; try to get into a lot.

One thing I was doing when I first got to college was to beat myself up over not making immediate friends. Doesn't it seem like everyone else did? But really, there are plenty of people in your school who are probably feeling the same way as you are. You'll meet people. It will take time. Right now I'm to the point where there are a couple people I regularly make small-talk with in class. Doesn't seem like much, but it's a step up from where I was a couple weeks ago. So I guess my point is, don't be afraid to approach strangers, and if you can't think of something to say, you can always fall back on the old, "That's a great shirt!" or "Do you understand anything in this class?" lines.

I know a lot of people recommend joining clubs, too. I haven't done this but I can imagine it would be a good idea if you can find one which interests you. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I am in a similar situation.

I made my last friend in the 6th grade and I am already finished with college.

Also, like you, I started homeschooling when I was supposed to be in the 8th grade (my mother decided to skip me up to high school coursework though). I too feel like people had some special education in socializing.

It seemed easier back in school because people gravitated toward one another to form cliques. In college, that doesn't generally happen, at least not from what I could tell. The only way you'll get something like that is if you join a frat/sorority.

I was too anxious to do something like that. If I could redo it, I think I would join some social clubs, create more study groups, and invite people out for coffee or just some weekend activity.

It also helps to invite friends with myspace/facebook etc. If nothing else, it will make people aware of you and shows that you are friendly.

Of course, I give this advice and can't actually use it myself. I just get too damn anxious >.<
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,814 Posts
Your probably just not very confident about how to make friends. It's really not that you aren't capable but rather because it's been so long it seems bizarre and almost difficult for you. I used to have this strange notion that all my friends were going to be very, very, very close to me as most were in the past. This notion was probably derived from the fact that, although I wasn't looking for friends, those who did become very close to me initiated contact and stayed in contact. Fortunately, I was open and cooperative and that made for a great friendship because I didn't have much else going on and they loved to stay in contact, so things were always agreeable. When I grew up a bit and started wanting a more social lifestyle (which I really don't care THAT much for anymore) I realized I too didn't really know or felt confident in doing so. What I found was that most people welcome others to be their friends. The hardest transition for me was trying to learn how to take initiative and make and keep in contact with people. I often found myself really not caring if I hung out with people or not, and sometimes my only motivation was to meet girls, so I later came to terms with how I like my solitude, even though now I have many friends I could call. Making friends isn't that much harder than finding and keeping a job because for both things you have to put work into them. However, friends, unlike a job, are sometimes spontaneous and unpredictable. I have one good friend I hang out with every now and then but other than that all I really want is a good girlfriend and that should be enough for me. I specifically remember about 2 years ago I made the decision I was going to make friends just to see if I could. Turns out, it was really easy but, like I said, I lost motivation to want to hang out and they never really kept in contact with me after that, BUT I learned I could always call them and hangout again if I wanted. Oddly enough, I made those friends just to see if I could and test what it was like having and hanging out with friends a lot, and because I did I no longer was attracted to that lifestyle and opted out. I'm glad I did so because it taught me good things about people and now I don't have that linger voice in the back of my head that says I'm a social retard but rather I MAKE THE CHOICE TO be solitary, and I actually prefer it! For me, it's a great feeling to know I can make friends whenever I want and that was all I was really trying to prove to myself I suppose. Still, some friends you see all the time on purpose and other friends you see once in a blue moon but they stay and remain your friends once you cross that line because it's mutual from there on out. Just some input anyways...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
133 Posts
Well, you hit on a good topic that plagues us Social Anxiety people. I was the same way, having made friends rather easily when much younger like that age, and then all of a sudden making friends was a complete mystery in college. What I found was that as a social phobic, I tended to seek deeper friendships with fewer people, rather than more shallow friendships with more people, which is what it seemed most people at college were seeking. That made it hard and rare to get friends. But, I had to adjust, and what worked for me was to constantly join different groups until I found ones that I could relate to. I ended up making a bunch of great friends because we had a lot in common. It took a long time, but it did happen and it was wonderful when it did. Try to join small groups and clubs that focus on activities that you enjoy. Eventually, if you keep an open mind and keep trying, you'll find the right one, and until you do, people are here at this site to help you out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I had a really similar experience. I switched schools in the eighth grade (BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER) and all of my friends sort of moved on. Now I'm sort of stuck here... I mean I have friends at school but we're not close. People prefer to hang out with others instead of me. It hurts, and I always think, why is it so easy for them to get close to someone? It's not like I have always been a loner, I had some really good friends up until the seventh grade. It used to be so easy to talk to people, and I had interesting conversations. Now I struggle to even think of things to talk about.

Sorry, so much about me in there ^-^' Let's focus on you. I haven't been to college yet (3 more years!) but I'm assuming it's more open and you have more free time. What I usually do is force myself to talk to people. It can be about anything, maybe the two of you have something in common you can talk about. It feels really uncomfortable at first. It always feels good afterwards though... I don't know if that helped at all. I hope it did.

Good luck!
 

·
Still Running
Joined
·
387 Posts
I had a really similar experience. I switched schools in the eighth grade (BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER) and all of my friends sort of moved on. Now I'm sort of stuck here...
Good luck!
I'm with you, I went through school up until junior high in the military and switched schools about every other year. By the time I was in 5th or 6th grade i was a complete loner and didn't want to make friends out of sheer terror of having to leave them behind again, or in some cases they left me behind. Perhaps that is why I am in the condition I'm in now, I don't know?
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top