September 22, 2012 HOW TO MEET NEW FRIENDS WHEN YOU’RE SHY This question comes from Isabelle. She writes: I just got into high school this year and I just don’t have any friends. I did talk to some people on my bus, but they didn’t really like me that much because I’m really shy. I feel alone all the time and I can’t find anyone with the same interests as me. How can I overcome my shyness and make some friends? My advice: Hi Isabelle! That’s stinks that you feel all alone. I’ll do my best to help! I think it’s always TOTALLY nerve-wracking to be in a new school, so that probably has a lot to do with how shy you feel. I’m not in high school yet, but I bet I’ll be SUPER nervous around sophomores, juniors, and seniors. When you’re in 8th grade, you’re the oldest one in school, and then all of a sudden you’re starting all over again. I bet you’ll feel less shy if you meet some cool people who you like…the kind of friends who seem to really get you, like Chloe and Zoey get me! It’s kind of tricky to meet friends like that, because you have to talk to a lot of different people to find them, and that’s not all that easy when you’re shy. Maybe it will help if you think about all the cool things about you, so when you talk to people you’re not worrying about what they’re thinking. That’s what I do sometimes when I feel shy. Like, I just KNOW MacKenzie makes fun of me in her head, mostly because she does it all the time out loud! Sometimes when I talk to other CCPs, I worry that they’re mean and nasty just like her. I try to think about all the things Chloe, Zoey, and Brandon like about me. If THEY think I’m an awesome friend, then other people should too! I also try not to ASSUME kids are mean. This one time I saw a girl in the mall who looked JUST like MacKenzie, and I thought FOR SURE she was going to do something evil, like trip me or steal this cute hair clip I bought. But she was NOTHING like MacKenzie! She held the door for me in the bathroom and told me she liked my shirt. I was freaking out for nothing! Another idea is to do stuff to build your confidence. When I did those tattoos and everyone loved them, I felt SUPER confident in myself! What are you good at? Could you join some kind of club or team to do it after school? That’s probably the best way to meet friends who have the same interests as you. If that doesn’t work, then maybe you should work in the library. That’s where all the shy people hang out, and I’ve had a TON of fun there! So that’s my main advice: Talk to different people, remember why you’re AWESOME, and try some new activities to have fun and meet people who are into the same stuff as you. What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Isabelle?