01/26/2022 - I really want more friends
After noticing I only have 3 friends, I got really sad. I have three people that I talk to everyday. Sometimes they aren't even available and since I don't go to in person school and I don't even know the first thing to say in a conversation, I kinda gave up. But now I'm looking for new friends, what do I do?
Thank you for messaging us. Your question was such an important one that a lot of us are struggling with right now that five volunteers wanted to answer.
Hey :) I’m really glad you messaged us. And I think friendship is harder now than it ever was. I think it’s pretty normal to have a few friends, even people who seem like they have a ton of friends typically only really talk closely with a few people. It’s pretty amazing that you have three people that you talk to regularly. How did you meet? What do you have in common? What do you like about them? I know getting back into socializing is pretty hard, I’ve definitely had my fair share of awkward interactions and I’m a bit rusty. But I try to remember that’s how everyone is and that I’m really not alone in not knowing how to be or how to act. I really hope you give it another shot and just try out different versions of you and see what fits. I usually start with a hey what’s up? And ask them about their week. Then depending on what they said they did I ask them more questions about the things they’re interested in. Like oh you walked your dog? What kind of dog do you have? What’s their name? How old are they? And if I have a dog I’ll share stories or pictures about mine. And if I don’t I’ll be like hey there’s this cute dog video that I thought you’d like. Honestly I try to ask as many questions as possible because it’s a lot easier when someone else directs the conversation and people love talking about themselves. Common topics I love to use is: animals (who doesn’t love animals), random funny things I found on the internet, video games, tv shows, hobbies, school stuff (people love being helpful), etc. I find meeting people by doing things I love also really helps. Like if I’m feeling crafty maybe I join a group about crafts or a club/forum/group. The library also does a lot of cool events that are online rn and you can meet other pretty chill humans. Maybe you join a book group, maybe you join a choir, maybe you volunteer somewhere. And at least for me when I’m feeling lonely, I use the time I’m alone to become an even better version of myself. I work on learning new things, getting better at a hobby, and trying to be a person I’d want to talk to. And when you have time alone it gives you an opportunity to find something to talk about at your next encounter like a funny story or something you created, etc. I’m really sorry you’ve been feeling lonely lately. It’s such a hard time to try to make friends when people are at home more than ever and the places to make friends are so limited. Whenever you’re feeling alone I hope you know we are here to talk. We are here via email and texting and calling and we’d love to fill some time and learn more about you :) we hope to hear back from you soon!!
Hello, thank you so much for reaching out to us. I understand how you feel, sometimes it eats away at us when we feel like our social life is not meeting our expectations. I am so sorry you have been feeling sad, I hope those feelings pass. My favorite way to meet new people is to join extracurriculars, like clubs and such. I understand you aren't attending in-person school right now so I imagine this could be difficult. I understand how you feel though, I have had the same friends for many years. I worry about making new friends too, especially in the future. Starting conversations is also hard, but once you get talking to someone I'm sure you will be able to connect with others. I hope you are able to find many new opportunities to make friends. Good luck, and give us a message or call if you would like to talk further :) -Tessa
Thanks for reaching out! It's natural to feel lonely when you're stuck at home and can't go to school. One way to make friends from home is social media where you can find people that you would normally go to school with or that might live around you that you can hang out with! If you have any hobbies, you can use social media to connect with other people who might have these hobbies. It can be scary to meet people online but if you find people that live near you or that go to your school online you can connect with them while at home. If you do go online though make sure you follow some online safety guidelines. Try to find people you might have already been familiar with or that go to your school. Don't give out any personal information and block anyone you think is acting weird! I hope your able to make some new friends!
Hello! I'm so glad you decided to reach out, making friends is surprisingly difficult! But far from impossible. I've found the easiest way to make friends is to talk to people you might see more than once, you can make small talk and gradually build confidence around them. If no one comes to mind that's okay! You can always try an app specifically for making friends, which can be pretty sketchy so fs be careful and !!dont meet up anywhere that's not super public, if at all!! If anything, it helps you get comfortable carrying on a conversation :) Friends take a whole lot of patience and persistence, so dont give up!! You are capable of making friends, you just haven't met the right people yet. Keep trying and you'll get there, I believe in you!
Hello! Thanks for writing to TeenTalk! There's nothing wrong with having just 3 friends, and it sounds like your friends are quality ones that appreciate your company. However, I also understand the feeling of wanting to expand your social circle a bit and it's always nice to make more friends. I'm not sure how you made the friends that you currently have, but I am guessing that you are a bit of an introvert like me, and it's harder for introverts to get out there and make new friends. I would suggest joining some clubs at school, finding places to volunteer at, or by joining groups online with people that share some of the same hobbies as you. Joining a club at school and talking to others there can be pretty intimidating since it often feels like you're the outsider there, but it's a good place to find others who share similar interests, and thus things you can talk about with them. There are often icebreakers at club meetings, or activities they do at the club that force you to talk a bit to others, and from there, try asking others one question, and then follow-up with what they say. Finding a place to volunteer at is also another good place to make friends, since you'll find that you're often volunteering with people around the same age as you that also share similar goals and values. When you're volunteering, I think that gives you a chance to engage with others in slightly deeper conversations since you can ask them why they're volunteering, and people normally give a deeper response that shows you something about themselves. Finally, you can try joining groups on the internet, like on discord of people who might like the same games or have the same hobbies as you. This option can be a slightly safer one if you feel more comfortable talking to people online, but you have to be careful about what you reveal to people. Try to avoid revealing personal information like where you live, your real name, where you go to school, etc. You can still form connections with people online though, sometimes deeper ones than the ones you form in person, since some people open up a bit more online than in person. A good way to start a conversation that I've found, is asking a clarifying question about something. It can be about procedural stuff or about someone that you have to talk to, like if you're in a breakout room online. Asking a question helps you get a bit of a foothold in a conversation, and then the next time you see them, it will probably be easier to talk to them again if you've done it once. That's basically all the advice I have for you now, but I'm sure the other volunteers will also have awesome advice for you too! Good luck making new friends, and don't be scared to speak up or ask questions when you're trying to break the ice with someone! It might be really intimidating, but you just have to get the words out of your mouth, and then go with the flow from there. I'm sure there are probably other people who want to talk to you too, but they might just be waiting for someone to speak first, like you. :)