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I can’t seem to make friends

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I really want to make friends, but I can’t seem to. I have never been the most popular person in any situation, and though that’s not my main goal, I strive to make more friends. I’m not quick on my feet and I don’t have much life experience, so carrying on a conversation is hard. I also skipped a grade, so I feel that my classmates think I’m less mature than them, though I know I’m not.

I go to a very small school (~75 people in a grade), so my pool of possibilities isn’t very big. I have also been labeled as “gifted”, and my mom loves to drag me to gifted events, where I don’t connect with the people there. Because I am closed in this “gifted” box, my mom (who pretty much controls my life) disapproves of “normal” people; and those people are exactly the kind of people who I want to befriend.

I have been to several psychologists, and it seems like they just want to help me cope with my issues and not actually help me. But I actually need help! How can I be more outgoing? I feel like I am an extrovert, but I am shy. Is that possible?

I can’t seem to make friends

Answered by on -


Yes, there is something called an ambivert, which means you may be both introverted and extroverted. But the label doesn’t give many tools, so let’s see if we can come up with some ideas.

First I would have a mature conversation with your mom. Explain to her that you realize you have talents and skills that are different than others, and one of the things you need to grow is contact with others who have very different backgrounds than you. In other words, ask your mom to help you nurture your gifted features, since she is so invested in them. Let her know you need more and different social activities to grow.

Find something you like that you can learn about outside of school. Dance, guitar, photography, tennis, horseback riding, yoga, etc. are all possibilities, and that will allow you to connect with others while learning something. Expand the size of your pool and I am certain that you will flourish.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I can’t seem to make friends

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). I can’t seem to make friends. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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