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Extreme difficulty making friends


BrianneVx

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I'm a 22-year-old female, currently attending college (This is my first semester at this particular university). I have a lot of difficulty making friends, and I'm all but convinced I'll be completely alone through the entire semester.

 

This problem has been going on all my life. I was ostracized and picked on in middle school and early high school, although I probably deserved it due to being a bit eccentric. When I began paying attention to my appearance and understanding how to be "normal," people started ignoring me instead. I'm very shy and geeky and have little confidence when speaking, though I try my best. Even when I think I'm making interesting comments and not sounding too nervous, I still get the impression nobody wants to hear what I have to say, which is extremely frustrating. I guess I lack charisma.

 

I managed to make a friend last semester who became my boyfriend, a miracle in itself (But I guess that means I'm technically back to having no friends...). Being in a class with someone I was close to definitely boosted my self-esteem; I felt like I belonged there, and that people appreciated my contributions to the class. My boyfriend always had a compliment about how awesome I am. I don't need someone else to compliment me to develop self-esteem, but it does help to know someone could get to know me and like what they saw.

 

But now I'm in a new city, and my boyfriend can only talk to me on the phone or via Google Talk. Though my roommates -- two more "typical" girls who go to parties and such -- are friendly enough, they all but ignore me. I feel like a freak when I'm in the same room as either of them, like they regret renting out my room to such a loser.

 

Even among people like me, people who also draw comics for the school paper and like the kind of things I like, I get ignored as the outgoing, charming ones dominate the conversation and seem to only want to talk to each other. I feel like I can't win.

 

I'm not unattractive. I've been told I'm rather pretty. And I try my best to use what I think are good social skills -- I ask questions about the other person, make jokes, and try to find common ground. But it never does any good. Maybe people can sense I'm trying too hard and are turned off.

 

I'm not sure why I'm writing this. Without meeting me, I really don't know how you can tell me what I'm doing wrong. But does this sound like anyone else?

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Much like your current boyfriend, I would say to give it time and you will meet someone else like yourself and have a grand old time. A university is a big place and I dont doubt that you will run into someone with similar interests sooner or later.

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I don't think this is going to help much but I'm the same age as you and I went through university without making any friends. The reason for this though was because I didn't try and I wasn't very friendly. I still have no real life friends now but I do sort of know where I went wrong.

 

I think really you just have to be as confident as you can, easier said than done but people always liked me more, and I came closer to making friends, when I actually made effort to talk to people, and this was mainly during labs and tutorials, as it's rather hard to make friends in lectures.

 

Also, you could try joining some clubs because this is something I wish I had done, as it'd mean you'd get to know people like you.

 

Sorry that this isn't helpful, I just thought I'd add my bit since your situation sounds very similar to mine, I had no friends and was bullied at school, and I find it hard to make friends now, I had a girlfriend while at university but no actual friends, but it would habe been possible if I had tried, which I guess is what you have to do.

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It might help to skip the charming and outgoing types--they're either too focused on attention-seeking, or they've already got enough friends. Try reaching out to other people who appear to be solo and who might appreciate having a friend who isn't a pack follower.

 

One of the most liberating things for me when I was your age (and surrounded by the superficiality that goes with it) was to make some friends with much older people.

 

This doesn't mean you need to ditch your goals of younger friends, it just adds some groundedness and mature perspective to your life. You can reach beyond campus to bond with older people over hobbies or causes or anything else, and as you spend more time with them, you'll find yourself relaxing into your true nature--and being understood and appreciated for this. This experience will bolster you and give you a foundation for the trickier stuff of socializing with a bunch of people who haven't found that relaxed place in themselves yet.

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Hey Brianne...aww I want to make you my little sister!

 

I used to have a lot of problems fitting in with people. I'm an artsy, eccentric type I'm six foot tall and every year I was from a new city, state or country. And it was hard. I ALWAYS stuck out...and then I had the nerve to think differently than everybody. When I was younger I would get picked on a lot and now that I'm older I'm extremely popular.

 

I really don't know how the hell that happened. I honestly used to be more of a bookworm introvert and now i'm more of a bookworm extrovert.

 

What people are telling you is true. You NEED to be yourself. I don't give a damn how weird you think you are.-'Typical' people bore me to shreds. People are attracted to people who are themselves and comfortable in their own skin: Lady Gaga, Nicole Kidman, Sharon Stone, and Walt Disney and damned near anyone who has done anything intellectually significant in this world all said they were "weirdo's" growing up. The world is run by "weirdo's".

 

When I was young it helped me a lot when I realized that everyone around me...all the "cool' people everyone where just as insecure as I was. Especially in the early twenties. Twenty-year old people breathe insecurity. Its how they live. Its like the excercize when you visualize people in the room with no underwear on. Once you realize how vulnerable other people are maybe it will help you understand that it's okay to open up.

 

And listen to the positive reinforcement. People like your boyfriend who say that something you said or did was cool. Anyone who puts you down because you are weird doing it because they are fighting their own insecurities and it pisses them off to see you being yourself. Secure people don't need to make others feel bad.

 

I really hope this helps you, Girlie!

 

MTB

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I am the same, almost word for word. Reading that felt like I was reading a summary I wrote about myself. My college roommates were even the same as you describe yours. I guess I'm just socially awkward. I chalk it up to being "eccentric" also, but I have learned to enjoy my own company and now I am totally fine spending most of my time by myself.

There has to be an interest group of some sort at college that is about things you like to do. I was pretty big into computers when I was at college so I went to a few computer groups and had decent success at making some friends. Granted, they weren't long term friends, but they were people to chat and hang out with while I was there.

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I like the suggestion about joining a group, I just need to figure out what kind of group I'd fit in. I still strongly suspect I'd be an outsider in it regardless. Might end up getting counseling (It's free at the school after all); it occurred to me I may have a mild form of Avoidant Personality Disorder, looking back at what I wrote. But I can't diagnose myself.

 

Thanks for the responses.

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I have a rarer? form of Avoidant disorder as well. I can't stand dumbasses or smartasses and choose to avoid conversing them whenever possible. The type of people I do enjoy conversing with are the child-like personality where they enjoy listening to me and seem genuinely interested in the conversation. (Wait a minute, isn't this normal?)

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