author: jabbering jimothy | contributor
I want to make new friends in classes but I’m nervous to talk to people. Any tips?
Making friends has come a long way from just finding the kid with the sixty two-pack of crayons. It’s about finding someone that can say the words out of your mouth before you’ve spoken them, making you laugh so hard you pee while walking across the street and simultaneously finding someone who will ruin their livers with you (50 per cent off tequila, I’m looking at you). Having people who are close to you is extremely valuable, but finding them can be difficult. Hopefully, I can provide you with a few tricks on approaching new people and choosing the people that will be positive figures in your life!
— I find it easiest to open with something about the person I’m engaging. People enjoy talking about themselves, so to start I’ll find something I like about their outfit (how lame, I know, but hey it works!). If you are in a class with someone, you can maybe ask if they’ve done the readings for the week. Usually you end up bonding about how neither of you has even opened the book. Basically, finding something the two of you can discuss that is easy and light. Keep it fun!
–Being relaxed is always something you’ll want to keep in mind. People can usually tell when I’m sweating enough to open up a public pool in my palms, and although I have made some friends this way, being calm and collected can never go wrong.
–This is something that has come over time for myself. Keeping in mind that if you approach someone with kindness and they shrug it off with attitude, then they are the ones missing out. Realizing that the worst that can come from an interaction with someone is having a new story to go home and tell your mom or pet or S/O, then heck yeah, I’ll risk it for the biscuit.
–Remaining present and in the moment while speaking with someone sounds like a no brainer. Actually, though, when I’m nervous, I find my mind wanders. Can they tell that I’m totally putting it on the line right now? Do they like this shirt I’m wearing? I don’t even like this shirt I’m wearing; oh god it’s over. And before you know it, you’re walking away while they’re telling a story! Remember that part of a conversation is listening, and when you’re stuck in your head, it can be easy to slip away.
Approaching people can be very tough, but when you remember that they are just other simple humans wandering this earth, hopefully it will be easier. Sitting close to people or finding others that have no one in the class can facilitate conversation, because distance isn’t an issue. Finding people who share your values and ethics is super-important. Removing the stress of starting the conversation makes doing it easier and easier!
My best friend seems to have time for everybody right now except me. Every time I suggest plans they are too busy, but then I’ll see Snapchats and Instagrams of them with other friends… I understood at first because I realize they’re busy, but it’s been a few months of this and I’m starting to wonder if I’m the problem.
Look, I’m the first to admit that I am 100 per cent guilty of accidentally leaving friends I love on “read.” I will admit to cancelling plans from time to time. I think everyone is guilty of being a crappy friend on occasion, but now do the cons out weigh the pros? If your friend is finding time for everyone but you, then there is obviously an issue occurring somewhere in the friendship. They could be overwhelmed with new friendships and they’re finding it difficult to manage it all.
There are a number of things that could be behind your friend’s sudden distancing. The best way for you to gain understanding and peace of mind is to bring it up! “What? Bring up how I feel? No!” I know it can sound daunting. “Am I going to sound needy?” “What if I don’t like what they say?” Holding issues inside is both mentally and physically exhausting. You owe it to yourself to find out what is up. The best thing about bringing it up is they may say they are totally sorry and didn’t even realize, and boom, you guys are solid. Obviously, that’s not what you’re afraid of.
Now, I wanted to correct you in asking whether you were the problem. Never, unless you have done something (and you would know it, like steal their S/O or get them fired), they would have no reason to start ghosting someone who was a friend. Even if they say they have just been growing apart from the friendship, this is nothing wrong with you. This, as sad as it is, is a part of life. People change over time, and sometimes they can grow together, and sometimes the can grow apart. As hard as it is, the best thing to do right now is to bring up how you feel in ways that don’t attack them. Use phrases such as “I feel this way…” When people feel attacked, they enter defense mode and usually put up walls instead of creating an open discussion.
I hope you and your bestie end up just cuddling up with some ice cream after all of this and in the occasion it doesn’t go as planned, then you no longer have to put time and energy into a relationship that isn’t reciprocating the awesomeness that you are giving!