There’s this girl who’s really quiet and always alone. So, I finally worked up enough courage to ask her to sit with my friends and me during lunchtime, and she said yes. The only thing is that she never talks to us and always reads a book. I don’t have anything against reading; it’s just that we NEVER get to have a REAL conversation with her! Sometimes I feel like she doesn’t want to be around us anymore because of it. What should I do?
Hi Awkward Silence,
Okay, so first of all, it was super nice of you to invite her to hang out with you guys! Especially since it took a lot of courage. Go you!
Here’s what I think: Some people are just really, really quiet. That doesn’t mean they don’t get lonely, though. I bet it made her feel SO good that you invited her to sit with you. And I bet she really enjoys it, or she would just go back to sitting by herself. It might seem like she’s not really a part of your group if all she does is read, but I bet it means a lot to her to feel like she has friends.
Maybe you should just let her do her thing without pushing her. Know that your kindness means a lot to her, and carry on chatting with your friends like you always have. If she ever enters into the conversation, don’t make a big deal about it, because that will make her feel weird. Just act like she’s been talking with you guys all along. (Remember how you needed courage to invite her to sit with you? She probably needs a whole lot more courage to consider herself a part of your group!)
I totally understand that you want to get to know her – that’s cool! Why don’t you try inviting her to other stuff, aside from just sitting together at lunch? Stuff where a book really wouldn’t be appropriate, like grabbing some froyo, playing a board game, or hanging out at the mall. Or better yet, invite her to a sleepover! 🙂
Be prepared that she might say no. But if she accepts, that might give you more of a chance to get to know her. Maybe start by asking her about her favorite books—I bet that’s something she’d really enjoy talking about! Ask her for book recommendations, and tell her about your favorites too.
If your other friends enjoy books, maybe you guys could have a book club at lunchtime! Like you could all read the same book and then have a lunchtime discussion about the book while you eat. You could ask the new girl to pick the first book to discuss!
I hope this is helpful. Mostly, just know that you’ve done a really nice thing and she’s probably really grateful to feel like she belongs somewhere, even if you can’t tell. Keep showing up and letting her know you’re a friend, and I believe that, one day, she’ll open up. (And then she’ll probably go back to reading, because sometimes a book is THAT GOOD!! 🙂 )