Hi Aadya, I need advice. So I’m quite a shy and quiet person. I don’t talk that much in public, and I am definitely NOT outgoing. I want to be more outgoing, because if I am shy, no one will be friends with me. I want to make friends, but it’s hard. Especially during online school, you can’t interact with people as well as you can in real school. I have a few friends, but I know it’s important to have friends. I want to make more…but…I just can’t! Can you please help me? Thank you so much!
Hey there, Friend Fiasco!
I totally get you. I’m also a big introvert. I’ve got a reputation for being the quiet nerd in my class. Well, except for when I’m with my friends. Even though I’m introverted, I’m fine with just a few close friends. Of course, everyone is different, and it’s obvious you really want more friends. Alright, let’s just get to the advice.
First, it’s okay if you’re shy. I don’t like speaking up that much, either. Especially not when there are a lot of people gathered around me. But you can still make new friends! So, just once, gather all your motivation, and when the time is right, say something. Anything. “What’s your favorite subject?” or “What did you guys get for Christmas?” (of course, that wouldn’t be a very good question to ask unless it’s late December or early January) or even “What’s the most boring book we’ve read in class so far?” Who knows? Maybe you’ll start an exciting conversation.
Another good trick is to observe people. Notice them, notice how they behave. You said you have an online school, right? So, maybe, during recess or something, you can chat with them through the chat feature in whatever video communication program you’re using. Talk to them about a topic they might like. Of course, don’t overdo this. Observing should NOT turn into spying. Last year, I had a friend who I thought wouldn’t be a good choice. But one day, she asked if she wanted to play Minecraft with her, and I agreed. We had the same interests, so, yeah. Another example is that girl in my karate class. One day, I asked her, “Do you watch Miraculous Ladybug?” and then we became really good friends, mostly because we are both HUGE fans of Miraculous.
In my class, my friends and I set up Zoom meetings for just the three of us during lunch. We have a BLAST! In fact, that’s how I became their friends. Last December, a guy in our class started doing this, and I asked if I could join. My two friends started joining those meetings a few days later. Anyways, by volunteering to hang out with people, I don’t feel lonely like I did at the beginning of the year! Maybe somebody in your class thinks you’re awesome, and they really want to get to know you better. I have a really shy friend, too, but I could never forget how everyone though she was the coolest girl in our class last year!
I really hope my strategies for making friends are helpful. Good luck!