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How Do I Learn to Be Social?

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From a young teen in Israel: So… i feel weird.. i don’t know how to contact people like others do… i get depressed because of it and i say “i wanna die” to my new class mates who are kinda cool, i think they annoyed from me because im not that popular i almost didn’t had friends before that i can talk about life with them, my parents never listen to me and don’t understand me.
i got bullied in middle school because i was diffrent and didn’t had friends.

i feel lost. i got to mental health center for 4 months for no reason…i got in my life to 3 psychologists and i feel they didn’t understand me. i don’t wanna die i just say it because i cant tell what im exectly feeling, i really think that i got ptsd because of my major bullying when i was in middle school,

somtimes i just hate myself because i cant talk like others do like normal people do how they do it? unknown for me.
how they have long nice talks? i dont know. no one can understand me thats sad. i dont have any support in my life.

i moved to a new school where everyone starts in 11th grade so yeah everyone new there and i kinda got a new friends but i dont know how to keep them, i hope i dont get bullied again and skip majorly school.

How Do I Learn to Be Social?

Answered by on -

A.

Being bullied often effects kids for a long time. It’s difficult to trust other kids again.

Often kids who were bullied try to be “invisible” so they won’t be bullied again. It’s understandable. But what starts as self-protection can become isolating and lonely.

The good news is that you and everyone else is in a new school. My guess is that there are others who share your experiences and who are just as shy as you are. It’s a great chance for everyone to start over. Other kids don’t know each others’ pasts. You can decide how you want to be seen.

One way to get over your fears is to “pretend” you are more comfortable than you are. By acting “as if” you are friend material, you can become one. After awhile, you will feel more and more at ease.

Another good way to start is to join in an activity or sport that you like and just be a friendly, contributing person in the group. That takes the pressure off for making an instant friendship. By doing something together, people naturally get to know each other. Eventually a friend or two will emerge from it.

As for keeping friends, you might find it helpful to read this article: The Care and Maintenance of Friendship.

If you are still unable to make friends after making a good effort, do consider seeing a therapist for a few sessions. It may be that you need more help to get over the bullying than what I was able to say here.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Learn to Be Social?

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). How Do I Learn to Be Social?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 14, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/11/01/how-do-i-learn-to-be-social/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 31 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 31 Oct 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.