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Unread 04-26-2015, 11:25 PM   #1
AntonJackson
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how can i make friends?

hello all. wellll I'll keep this short I'm really awkward and shy but I still want to make friends but I always mess up can I get help here please
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Unread 04-27-2015, 12:59 PM   #2
Jei-Cos
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Well, how do you "mess up"?
The thing about making nw friends, is being honest and nice..If you start to have a conversation with someone, maybe tell them you aren't very good at conversing with others but you'd really like to try, and I'm sure they will understand. At least that way, they know ahead of time that if you do something that usually pushes people away, (like maybe, saying the wrong thing, or bad social skills) then they will be ready for that and not take things the wrong way.

For example, if you usually don't talk much, and it makes people just leave without making a real connection, then tell people that you may not talk much, but you'd love to stick around, and say something like "I might not talk very much, I'm not used to it, but I thought I'd let you know so you guys don't think I'm ignoring you or anything". Or something along those lines..So they know ahead of time that you aren't trying to be unfriendly. In fact, that sentence has something in it. You let them know you want to be a part of the conversation, so they might actually try harder to get you to open up, like talking at you directly. Maybe all getting to know each other, so they ask you a question directly, instead of making general statements. That way they give you a chance to get better at being social. It should help at least.
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Unread 04-27-2015, 07:32 PM   #3
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Do you make a misstep, or say something that doesn't go over well, and decide that those people aren't going to like you and stop talking to them? I get this feeling that you probably do.
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Unread 04-28-2015, 12:11 AM   #4
AntonJackson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jei-Cos View Post
Well, how do you "mess up"?
The thing about making nw friends, is being honest and nice..If you start to have a conversation with someone, maybe tell them you aren't very good at conversing with others but you'd really like to try, and I'm sure they will understand. At least that way, they know ahead of time that if you do something that usually pushes people away, (like maybe, saying the wrong thing, or bad social skills) then they will be ready for that and not take things the wrong way.

For example, if you usually don't talk much, and it makes people just leave without making a real connection, then tell people that you may not talk much, but you'd love to stick around, and say something like "I might not talk very much, I'm not used to it, but I thought I'd let you know so you guys don't think I'm ignoring you or anything". Or something along those lines..So they know ahead of time that you aren't trying to be unfriendly. In fact, that sentence has something in it. You let them know you want to be a part of the conversation, so they might actually try harder to get you to open up, like talking at you directly. Maybe all getting to know each other, so they ask you a question directly, instead of making general statements. That way they give you a chance to get better at being social. It should help at least.
I do tell people that but they just lose interest in me and stop talking to me
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Unread 04-28-2015, 12:14 AM   #5
AntonJackson
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Originally Posted by Mangochutney View Post
Do you make a misstep, or say something that doesn't go over well, and decide that those people aren't going to like you and stop talking to them? I get this feeling that you probably do.
I dooo........ but most of the time they stop talking to me im at the point where I've given up but I feel like I should try again at talking to people
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Unread 04-28-2015, 08:50 AM   #6
Ilafatyu
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You don't really make friends by talking to someone once. It's more of a string of short interactions that eventually lead to real communication. I met one of my best friends because every morning, she would sit next to me on the school bus and talk to me incessantly. I found another because we had the same English class and I kept forgetting my book, and she let me read over her shoulder. I've met a few friends through cosplay, too. Meeting people at conventions, trading FB Pages and eventually friending each other, now a few of us chill and watch movies together and bring our dogs to play and all that. It's not an 'end goal' kind of thing, you know?

To get used to making conversation, compliment people. Little things, like "I like your earrings" work well. If someone's wearing a fandom T-shirt that you're interested in, comment on it (always positive!) and maybe they'll be open to a short conversation about it. I used to have a crippling social phobia, but after some practice (working as a cashier doesn't hurt) I'm now able to do things like order pizza and ask my professor questions without shaking much afterward.

The key is to not force it, but don't pass up opportunities. If you come on too strong, people shy away. Most people don't like deviating from their schedule to talk to someone too long, so don't worry if it's a short conversation.
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Unread 04-28-2015, 10:04 AM   #7
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Friendships are built on common interests and experiences, and strengthened by trust, respect, and vulnerability. They are hurt by dishonesty and selfishness.

A friendship will be a lot less work if you start by trying to engage with people who like what you like or do what you do.

It's sad but true: the best way to make people like you is to get interested in them. What Ilafatyu said, about complimenting earrings you think are pretty, or pointing out a fandom you like, are great ways to let them feel important to you. Just make sure you're telling the truth, and then it's not bad.

Once you've got that down, you can start asking them questions. This is an artform, and will take practice, but it is the easiest way to break the ice. If you are too pushy, invasive, or creepy, it'll make people go away. If you ask relevant, honest questions (like about their earrings, or a fandom tee-shirt, like Ilfatyu said), then you're offering them a bridge on which you can make a connection.

Another way of keeping a conversation going is to echo what they've said and then build on it. Echo doesn't always mean agree; it's about telling them that you've heard them. I've even had conversation like this:
ME: What's your favorite lunch food?
THEM: I love grilled cheese sandwiches.
ME: Really? I've never had one, because I'm allergic. Have you tried that trick of using an iron to toast your bread when you make a grilled cheese sandwich?

The point is, you don't have to be a "yes-man" and agree with everything they say. I honestly use grilled cheese sandwiches as a substitute for a bad word, because they are nothing but poison for me. But if someone expresses a love of them, I don't have to insult their food; I can still find ways to talk about grilled cheese with them, even though it's not my thing. I could segue into "warm sandwiches vs cold sandwiches" or toasted sandwiches, etc.

I think of a conversation like two people playing catch, or an improv session. When two people play catch, they toss the ball back and forth. In a conversation, each person takes some of the time to keep the topic "in the air" and passing it back and forth to keep things going. In an improv class I was in, they offered us an exercise where after everything the other person says, you respond with, "Yes, and..." When someone says "no", it stops the flow. When you say "yes, and..." you build on what they gave you and try to give them something to build on too.

Over many conversations, you will both get an idea if you are compatible (meaning that you like some of the same things, and you don't annoy each other, and you like helping each other out, and you generally find yourself glad to learn more about that person). It becomes a great friendship if you get to the point where you help each other grow.

I recommend you try making things all about them for a while, until you become more comfortable with the process. Always remember, though, that your end goal is a 50%/50% split of contribution and time between you and your friend.

In general, though, when I get really shy and don't know what to say, I'll ask a question so the other person does all the talking. Then they think I'm brilliant, and I feel better that the pressure is off me!
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Unread 04-29-2015, 12:04 AM   #8
EvilLittleKiss
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I have Asperger's, so I totally understand what it's like to have trouble making friends.

Try going to events that interest you. If you like books, a book club would be a good place to start, for example. You already have something in common with everyone there. You can start a conversation by asking people what their favorite books are, what they think of the book the club is reading so far, who their favorite author is, what genres they like, etc. As you start becoming friends, you should talk about subjects other than books, too, and as you learn more about others, it may come more naturally since now you have more subjects to bring up.
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Unread 04-29-2015, 01:15 AM   #9
sooyong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilafatyu View Post
The key is to not force it, but don't pass up opportunities. If you come on too strong, people shy away. Most people don't like deviating from their schedule to talk to someone too long, so don't worry if it's a short conversation.
I agree. I think with the majority of my friends, we only talk periodically, and if it gets to be too much, I step away for a while. Even my best friend I don't talk to every single day.

I wish there was some advice I could give, but given I don't have the level of anxiety that you do, I'm not sure what to say. All I can say is that, I've talked to and lost regular contact with many people throughout my life, but the ones that I can call close friends are the ones who always approach me to see how I'm doing. I used to be shy and am introverted, so my friends tend to be less shy people who reach out to me, rather than the other way around. The only thing I can think of is to try not to let your anxiety be the defining factor of your personality. It's okay to openly tell people that you're shy and not exactly a social butterfly, but make sure to offer something else about yourself for people to focus on instead of the "socially awkward" part of you. Discussing common interests and asking the other person questions is a good start.
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Unread 05-06-2015, 05:14 AM   #10
Injustice
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Just be yourself! If there is some one you think you would get along great with. Just talk to them about things you think you have in common and be yourself. If you cant be yourself then they cant be your friend. Also have confidence in yourself and your awkwardness! That's who you are and own it. People will see how awesome you when you see it, because lets face it you're pretty awesome!
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Unread 05-06-2015, 01:50 PM   #11
kuroki-neko
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First off id like to second what everyone has said so far in this thread.

I am somewhat in the same boat as the OP, I am just really bluntly honest and direct. Some of the time my confidence comes off the wrong way with people and that scares them off. Honestly though some people are really timid and won't leave their comfort zones or they have a closed circle of friends and do not want to let anyone new in.

That being said, it is perfectly fine for you to go at your own pace, because the pace you are going at will grow into something grand.
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