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I seem to have trouble making friends and keeping them

Tagged as: Friends, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (2 March 2012) 2 Answers - (Newest, 9 March 2012)
A male United Kingdom age 22-25, anonymous writes:

This isn’t really a relationship question of sorts, but just something I’m curious about. It’s more of a confidence and friendship question if I’m honest :). Well basically, I’m having some trouble with things at the minute, mainly with my friends and making new ones. I’m 19 and I'm at university, so I have met quite a lot of new people but most of the people I have don’t seem to have any interest in me, when all I’m trying to do is just make some new friends who like me for me. I’d like to think I’m a nice person (without sounding arrogant!) and I think I usually say the right things when I talk to people. I always ask people how they are and what they’re doing with their life, if anything new is happening etc. A lot of the time I can meet people a few times but then they just completely ignore me, even when I say hi or something to them. Although I am very quiet sometimes in social situations, and I’m constantly worrying about what people are thinking about me. I think it annoys the friends that I have and pushes them away a little bit when I keep going about if they like me or not lol, don’t really do it anymore though :). I do have depression sometimes because of the way I am, although I’m sorting that bit.

I’ve never had a girlfriend and obviously I’m a virgin, I’ve lied about that too everyone I’ve met because it’s a bit embarrassing :/. My three housemates are all really confident and outgoing, and they constantly talk about their girlfriends and how much sex and everything like that they’ve had. Which makes me feel worse because I’m lonely lol. I’m probably just a weird person so maybe that’s the reason why?

I never actually do anything like this, but because I want to change everything so badly I had to say it somewhere. I’m not sure what to do and I thought maybe people who read this might have an idea on how I could help myself a little :).

View related questions: confidence, never had a girlfriend, university

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 March 2012):

Hi,

First I would like you to do something say something to yourself daily: "I'm awesome, nice and intelligent and I can make friends with anyone." This may sound silly but if you silently repeat it to yourself (often) it will boost your self-confidence. This is called a mantra or a positive affirmation. Work on feeling good about yourself and you'll find it easy to carry on trying to make friends with people whether they respond well or not. ;)

Now, about finding new friends, first, you could try and meet people with similar interests. You say you're at uni? Why not join a club or a society on your campus? This may not guarantee instant friendship but you will have a place to socialise on a regular basis. You could try online dating too. There is one that is quite popular with young people, but a google search will provide you with a list of websites that might be relevant to you. Another way to expand your network would be to try and meet the friends of your friends. If your friends could introduce you to other friends at a party, ask them to.

Now that I have listed a few options, let me come to the more complicated bit, building and maintaining friendships. As any relationships, friendships require care. I am no expert but I would advise that you keep looking for the people open to new friendships and then try to meet them often for activities. You also need to think about the qualities you would like to see in that friend: funny? smart? supportive? resourceful? excited about life? positive? Also what kind of friend do you want to be? These are just questions to ask yourself in order to connect to the right people. There is no magic formula but with perseverance and positivity you will find your people. Good luck! :)

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A male reader, jc2008 United Kingdom + , writes (4 March 2012):

Hey,

Well friendships are a relationship though not romantically obviously. First off, if anyone tells you there is anything wrong with being quiet, take no notice. Some people are loud, some talk a lot and some don’t. You are who you are, no one can change that and you shouldn’t either. Also don’t try too hard to get people to speak or open up to you. Just be yourself, some of these people you might not have anything in common with them anyway. If you are trying to be someone you aren’t then that will show through and people won’t know what to say to you. You need to take a more laid back approach to people, love yourself (not to the extreme) and stop worrying what other people think. I know this is easier said than done and once you learn to appreciate and forgive yourself then others will appreciate you.

Secondly, nothing wrong with not having sex with someone yet. Your housemates might be lying to you as well. There is no shame in being a “virgin” (god I hate labels) Just tell them you’d rather be with someone you love and not someone you need to call after a visit to the clinic! Sleeping around doesn’t make you feel loved, it makes you feel used so you’re not missing out there. Anyway I hope it all works out for you

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