What do you do when you have no friends and aren't really comfortable with going out to try and meet new people? I'm out of high school and working and everyone I work with is older than I am and all have a wife and kids. It's not like I'm fighting with my friends and exaggerating the situation, I have 0 friends and the loneliness is really setting in now. I'm not thinking about suicide or anything, just being lonely is taking its toll on me.
I don't even know how to get out of the hole, which is the worst part.
[This message has been edited by Anthony320 (edited 06-26-2005).]
I 100% guarantee that every single person in exsistence on this planet, at any given time, will have felt some uncomfortableness approaching and getting to know people. For some it is harder than others. There are people out there who are absolute social butterflies, and can walk up to a random person anywhere and chat up a storm. And then there are those of us who are more reserved and only approach someone at an opportune moment...and then there are those of us who can't stand in a room full of chatty people much less make conversation.
But part of life is taking risks. And for you this sounds like a great place to start to improve your life in general. Honestly, friends can be of all ages and orientations. So having work friends that are older and are married is fine (how much of an age gap are we talking here? Just curious...)
For you it sounds like if you can get a good connection with one of two people, that would be a great start. Are there places that you enjoy hanging out, like coffee shops or bookstores? Those are often very good places to just meet people at random, w/o "trying", persay. I met my best friend totally on chance at the coffee shop I used to work at. She ordered my favorite drink and *boom*, instant conversation starter.
Sometimes it is just necessary to take a step into a direction that you may not be comfortable with. I know that probably isn't the answer you wanted, but it's the best one that can probably be offered. You may be surprised with yourself if you just take that little bit of initiative.
Are you going to college or planning on taking any community college classes soon or in the fall? If so, meeting people in classes is often a good start. If you're not going to college and haven't enrolled for any community college type classes, you may consider even trying one or two- find something you have an interest in and take the class. That way you can meet people who hopefully have similar interests in taking the class.
Since that is a bit more, looking at something that wouldn't start for a little longer yet; is there anywhere you can look at a community bulitain board or personal sort of listing? Like in a coffee shop or smoothie bar for example; or look in your local newspaper- local clubs and orginizations usually post about meetings or activities open to new members. You could look up an activity you're into or find interesting and try it out. Go try something new and meet the people there doing it; looking for common interests is a great way to meet friends within those interests, which often times will lead you to meeting more friends outseid that interest group if you have someone to go out with.
Much easier said than done guys, lol. If I go somewhere and just stand/sit by myself...you're saying I won't look like a total loser? Really the only interest I can even think of is my love for music. I suppose I could go to a local concert (by myself :eek , but I would still have my biggest fear intact. What do I say when someone asks me who I hang out with? Or what if someone asks me what girls I've gone out with? There's no way of getting around it without looking like a dork. Not a lot of people will want to be friends with someone who's a dork and won't be fun to be around.
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And plenty of people like having dorks for friends. I'm a total nerd, but my social circles run deep. I have lots of friends who appreciate me for who I am and what I have to offer.
I *love* concerts, and I go to many of them alone. If I feel like it, it's no big deal for me to turn to the fan standing next to me and strike up a conversation. If you're both at a concert, it's pretty obvious you have something in common: a mutual appreciation for the performer.
Joining a club or organization is easy and it puts you in with people who share your interests. If you're into D&D, then join a gaming group and play. If you're into God, go to church and join the youth group. If you like cooking, take a cooking class at the community college.
*you* are the only person holding yourself back from meeting people right now. And if you keep telling yourself no one will want to hang out with you, you will keep yourself shut in. You're definitely not oging to meet anyone that way.
So stop feeling sorry for yourself and PURSUE YOUR INTERESTS. friends will follow shortly.
Just because you haven't hung out with a lot of people or haven't had a girlfriend doesn't mean you're a dork.
It also seems strange that unless a person might know some of the people you usually hang out with they'd even be asking "Who do you hang out with" in the first place. I've never been asked that question, but it could just be where I'm from. I've also never heard someone be asked, "Who have you dated?" in early conversations unless you yourself were to mention having dated someone.
And if they ask, just answer truthfully; and you don't have to completely answer the question directly... for example, you could say
"Oh, well I've been trying to meet some new people in different areas/interests" rather than saying you don't hang out with anyone, and even if you did, I don't think you'd be wanting to hang out with peope so quick to judge you and what you do with your life anyway, if they were to think you were a "dork" for not hanging out with other people.
As for never having a girlfriend, you'll meet a lot more people than yourself who have never dated anyone. Never having had a girlfriend certainly doesn't make you dorky or uncool, some people just don't date until they can meet the right people to date and are a bit older. You're just out of high school, so what if you haven't dated anyone? Anyone who really cares wouldn't be a good friend for you, anyway.
Just so you know, youre not alone. I feel like that so much. Cause, I'm in high school.
Really life gets better. I was depressed. Right around the time, I broke up with my boyfriend. God, it sucked. And I felt like I had no one. Hope came to me. It was in the form of one friend. Man, he was the most wonderful guy. Just look for your oppourtunity of hope.
I have delt with a situation similar to yours in my own life. Due to a long period of social anxiety, (now treated), I often found it difficult to make/find friends. It seems like you have a lot of worries about meeting new people and putting yourself out there. So did I. The best way to overcome such concerns is to get out of your comfort zone.
As everyone has said, find clubs or classes that follow your interests. Believe me, people who share your interests are not likely to consider you a "dork."
Interacting with people will probably be difficult, even painful at first. Don't worry. With practice things will get easier. Keep at it and you will gain confidence and make friends.
And, as you are concerned about people considering you a dork, lets look at the worst case, highly unlikely scenario that someone does think you are one. What's the worst that can happen? Think about it. If they don't want to hang out with you, you're not losing a valuable possible friendship. Anyone who judges and dissmisses somebody like that will not be a good friend.
Also, as one who has suffered from anxiety herself, I recognize some of my past symptoms in you. Check out this online diagnostic test: http://www.paxil.com/test/st_sai.html. If you do happen to have anxiety, that's 100% okay and treatable. If you have it, getting treatment will make social situations far more confortable and positive. Before getting treatment for my anxiety, I was wretchedly lonely and miserable. Now I make friends with relative ease. My quality of life has improved tenfold.
And no matter what, you might want to consider finding a good psychologist who can help you work through your problem. Simply having somebody to talk things out with can make life a lot easier.
I wish you the best of luck! You CAN get out of this hole. Don't be discouraged!!!
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