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I’m Having Trouble Making Friends

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From the U.S: So, i started high school freshman year 3 days ago, and I have made 0 friends. Before this, I went to an extremely small private school and this year I am in a giant public high school. Anyway, my mom told me that plenty of students also didn’t know each other. I know she was just trying to make me feel better, but she is terribly wrong. EVERYONE, even the shy introverted students, have a clique here. I have talked to a few people here, and they talked back, but it didn’t mean anything. I don’t have any REAL friends.

During lunch period I go to the library and work on homework. On the first day, I went to the lunch room and people were all talking to their friends and having a blast and I was just standing awkwardly trying to find someone who seemed welcoming or alone. After standing awkward in people’s way for about a minute, I just dashed out and went to the library, where I have been for the past days during lunch. It sucks so much, and I’m sick of being alone.

I realize it’s only my third day, but I have had countless friend problems in the past, and no one has barely looked in my direction. In Chemistry, there was a shy girl sitting next to me, and I tried talking to her but her answers were so concise I simply didn’t no how to continue the conversation. I believe I’m a natural extrovert in a way, but I come across as introverted because I don’t know how to begin friendships. I am extroverted in the way that once I have a friendship, i love it and don’t care about “alone time.” I have a couple super close friends from my old school who are friends with me simply because we have been friends since first grade. Back then, I wasn’t shy in the slightest — I was one of the most outgoing person in the grade. Every year, I got less and less outgoing. I’m shy and awkward, and whenever I talk to people i don’t know I say weird/stupid embarrassing things.

I’m terrified I am going to be this way for my whole life. At night I can barely sleep because I’m anxious for school and scared. My mom has a friend who she went to high school with, and her daughter is in my grade. So over the summer my mom and I got together with her and her daughter, trying to get us to be friends. Though it was a bit forced, I acted really nonchalant. She’s super nice and a little shy, but I don’t have any of her classes and I have only seen her once. I know this may sound pathetic/jealous, but I was kinda hoping she didn’t have many friends, only because I am better at creating a friendship with someone who is a little lonely, like me. But the one time I saw her in the hallway and said hi, she was walking with three people and they were all laughing and having a good time.

My sister is a senior at the high school, but she and I aren’t close so it’s not helpful. My eldest sister, who is in college, is awesome and funny and I right now (she hasn’t started term yet) when I come home and she’s sometimes there it cheers me up. I don’t want her to go to college, because she is the only one who understands me and cares. If i look sad at home, my parents just think I’m pathetic. I’m truly not — I care deeply about education and I get good grades.

I’m Having Trouble Making Friends

Answered by on -

A.

I know that there are people who would say to you that it’s only been 3 days and you should give it time. But you also said that this has been a long standing problem for you so I’m not going to say that. You need help, not just reassurance.

Being social isn’t easy for some people. It’s especially not easy if you’re the new kid in school. I think you will find it helpful if you shift your focus: Instead of trying to make friends right away, focus on finding the activities and opportunities in that giant school that will put you up close to people who share your interests. That could be a sport or the newspaper or something in the music department — whatever would kind of interest you. Then jump in with both feet. Get really involved in making that group successful. The secret is that when people are focused on and enthusiastic about a task, relationships usually follow.

You might find this article helpful as well: “When You’re the New Kid in School.”

Sitting alone and lonely at achool while imagining that everyone else is having a good time really is the pits. The only thing worse is sitting alone and lonely at home. I hope you’ll take my advice and get involved in something you think is fun and worthwhile.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I’m Having Trouble Making Friends

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I’m Having Trouble Making Friends. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/09/30/im-having-trouble-making-friends/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.