Social Question

Fred931's avatar

How do I make friends?

Asked by Fred931 (9392 points ) October 26th, 2012

I’m up for some wit, per me placing this in Social, but I’m really looking for help.

First time seeing me? Here are my previous two questions.

It seems like I finally need to interact with people. I am that characteristic introvert at a high school, with literally no friends. I am just clueless when it comes to meeting people for the first time, at high school in particular since there really isn’t another place to go. Or, maybe, that’s just how clueless I am.

I really don’t know how to begin talking about it, even. Wow. Help. ◉︵◉

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22 Answers

janbb's avatar

is there a philosophy or a writing club you can join at school? Doing something you like is the best way to meet people you like. Trite but true.

mangeons's avatar

I used to have the same problem, but it has gotten better for me throughout high school. Try striking up conversation with people who sit near you in your classes; and try to find something you have in common. Talk about the TV show that was on the previous night, or even just last night’s homework for that class. Just casual conversations like that can build a friendship, and the more you talk, the more the conversation will expand to other topics and the better you get to know someone and become friends.

You could also join clubs that you are interested in to find people with the same interests as you. This will give you a good starting point for becoming friends, since you know there is at least some common ground between you.

Be friendly and interested in other people, and try not to worry about it too much. Confidence is attractive, and people will be more drawn to you if you believe in yourself. Even if you don’t have the confidence, fake it until you make it! Pretend you’re confident, even if you’re not.

I hope this helps you, and good luck in your friend-making endeavors. :-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Don’t try to make friends. Just relax, be calm and confident. Keep an open attitude and be open to meeting others, but let them make the first move. When I let people come to me, they’re open and honest. If I push myself on them, they get defensive.

marinelife's avatar

What interests do you have? Computers? Chess? Is there a club at school for these interests? If so, attend.

As to making friends, you make friends by being a friend. That means sharpening your listening skills, showing interest in others and their concerns.

Is there another outcast at school that you could join for lunch in the cafeteria? Just start asking them questions and then really listen to their answers.

Fred931's avatar

@mangeons This seems like what I have already tried to do. I sort of try to pick up on what others around me are already discussing. I know NASCAR, some about technology, this existential “thing” I am dealing with…

I think that may be my problem. I’m just not interested in anything the people around me talk about. I know one person who I really seemed to hit it off with. He is a tech GOD. he set up a wireless-streaming television studio setup at the elementary school, the first of its kind in the state of Alabama. He was denied a job with the Best Buy Geek Squad because he was “overqualified” for the starting position.

So we did talk a lot for awhile. It fell apart pretty quickly. He was very quirky and awkward with others, and me, always straying instantly to other conversations and making inappropriate jokes. Then at one point, the school finally went after his “gray-hat” ways when he hacked into a network “switcher.” He was suspended and disallowed certain computer priveleges. He seemed fairly unfazed and quickly sought some sort of redemption out of telling others his sob story of how stupid, irresponsible, and disrespectful he truly was.

So yeah.

ninjacolin's avatar

^^ Very agree with @marinelife.

The most important question you need to know for introductions and getting along with people is: “How has your day been so far?” and/or “What’s your day been like so far?”

Then shut up, listen, wait for a question back or a point of interest to jump on. Never echo a too-short reply like: “good”.. with “good.” Because that closes things off. If you give people a few seconds of silence, they’ll tend to offer more.

Try it on cashiers when you get a coffee, at the store, or whatever.

Also, look people in the eye and smile. Takes practice.

ninjacolin's avatar

Oh, but you don’t HAVE to look for another outcast if you don’t want to.
You might want to tackle the coolest mutherfukka (girl/boy) you know. May as well.

Just because someone is a jock and you an elitist philosophical know it all.. doesn’t mean you couldn’t for some odd reason get along super well. Mysteriously, people are consistently more complex than they seem at first.

Bellatrix's avatar

There is a theme emerging here @Fred931. I concur with my esteemed Fluther peers that one of the best ways to make ‘friends’ is to do it while engaging in an activity you like. You want to actually form friendships with people you can organise to do things with, so start with what it is you like to do. So, what are your hobbies? What gets you excited? Music? Photography? Sport? Google that thing in your area and then force yourself to join a club or two. Look into bush walking or even a walking for fitness group.

If you are religious, join your local church. If not, see what events are on at your local library or your university, or state library. Our libraries have film showings, book launches, guest speakers. Go and talk to people. You will quite probably find the same people turning up time and time again. Talk to them about your shared interests and take the opportunity that opens up to say “hey, there is a xxx event on next week, would you like to go with me?”

Oh and don’t leave things to chance. Don’t say “we should organise…” so that nothing ever happens. Instead, “how about I organise a bbq at the local park for us to [insert activity here]. Get their phone numbers/email addresses and do it as soon as possible while people are in the mood.

gailcalled's avatar

Which classes do you enjoy?

Do you have any interests outside of academics? Such as?

Fred931's avatar

The communal suggestion, as in what all of you are saying… Is like a big, flat fucking wall to me. Nowhere to dig in, no tools to begin with. Just approaching someone or going on my own to something “social” takes a ridiculous amount of balls and fortunate timing from me.

I did go to a cruise-in and did talk a lot with the people there. That was a night where only 10 or so guys showed up because it looked like rain. Every other time I’ve gone, though, when the lot was packed, nobody bothered me about my ride, and neither did I of anyone else. I haven’t gone again yet.

This is really making me upset. I hope my therapist can help when I meet him again next week. Thanks in advance and now for the effort, but it’s not helping so far, though I don’t know what else there is to suggest. It’s something that should be innate and I haven’t picked up on it.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Have you tried sirloin steak necklace any dog will LOVE you. jk

Join a volunteer club, help serve at the soup kitchen. It will make you good and maybe meet some other volunteer people in the serving line.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Fred931 making friends isn’t innate. It is something many of us, even the most confident of us, struggle with. So please don’t feel there is something wrong with you because you find this hard. The key is to take all opportunities to interact with like minded people. Not so you make friends, but so you are out there, having fun and as a side benefit to that, you make friends. As @Tropical_Willie suggested – volunteering is a great way to be helping other people but has a side benefit of meeting people who both care about others or who are probably feeling pretty vulnerable and alone and would value even a smile from you.

Please also remember, many people only have one or two people they really consider ‘friends’. They may have lots of acquaintances but true friends are rare and valuable. All you need are a couple of people you connect with.

JLeslie's avatar

Once you kind of hit it off with someone, invite them over or ask if they want to go to a movie or grab some McD’s or pizza after school, or whatever interests you. I assume guys do that? I’m a girl and that’s what we would do. Ask them for an opinion on something (makes the other person feel like you value their opinions, which makes them feel good).

LuckyGuy's avatar

For me the best friends and strongest bonds were formed when I was doing some activity where we had to work together under pressure. It takes 3 or 4 times to prove you are trustworthy. You can’t show up at a meeting once and expect a miracle to happen. You have to show up consistently and be a part of the action.
My lifelong friendships were formed when I worked for an ambulance service. One stressful call where we had each others’ back started a friendship that has lasted decades and will likely see us both to the grave.
I know that type of activity is not easy to find in high school but surely there is something.
How about Geocaching? I am sure there are groups in your area. Look into it. Go to the Sunday breakfasts and spend the afternoon with total strangers geocaching. Ask questions. Find out about the equipment they use. What were their favorite caches? Find a dozen or so caches with them and then find some yourself. Which ones can’t you find? Show up at the breakfast and ask for help. If you attempt a terrain Level 5 with someone else you will form a special bond.

augustlan's avatar

In your situation, I think volunteering would be great. Getting a part-time job might be good, too. As others have said, it’s not so much about making friends, but about living your life and making friends in the process. And remember, you’ll be going to college soon, and that’s a huge opportunity to make friends. Most people there won’t know anyone, and you can even reinvent yourself to your liking when you have a fresh new start.

Buttonstc's avatar

Just remember this. Most people enjoy talking about themselves and their interests.

They don’t have to mirror yours necessarily. You can learn new things from others. Just start asking questions about any of their special interests. It’s a rare person who won’t respond to the opportunity to talk about themselves.

Try volunteering for something totally out of your usual areas of knowledge. Most volunteer people enjoy giving guidance to the newcomer. And eventually you’ll be one of the ones the newbies are asking for help.

There are so many enjoyable volunteer opportunities no matter your location. Nobody questions why you’re there and it’s pretty hard to be a wallflower or bystander when part of a group with purpose. Connections happen quite naturally and you always have an immediate topic of conversation, namely the mission of the group. Plus people who volunteer are generally kind and friendly and there is an absence of forming cliques, picking on others and judging them that goes on in so many high schools nowadays.

It’s a totally different type of atmosphere and you don’t have to be afraid of being judged for being yourself.

Here’s a good place to look for opportunities near you. I bet you’ll fond several that spark your interest.

www.volunteermatch.org

amberliy8's avatar

Lots of wisdom here, but you can find people to hang out with that share similar interests with you, join clubs or afterschool activities, and always e yourself, those who accept you for you are good friends, those who want you to change are not worthy to be your friend. Hope this helps (:

gailcalled's avatar

You have asked intelligent questions about car maintenance.

Is there an auto mechanics club at school?

Shippy's avatar

They say “You have to be a friend, to make a friend”, whoever they are!

Fred931's avatar

@gailcalled I was taking a class at the trade school, actually. That was pretty much the “club.” Just a bunch of wanna-drop-outs that went bananas when the instructor left and a replacement wasn’t found for weeks. Yyyyyup.

I haven’t really made friends through volunteer work in the past. Sure, I am very well acquainted with the teacher sponsoring the Interact group at our school now, but it just seems like everyone else is in there so that they have something to put on their college apps. Example: Every year we have a steak cook-off in our town. Out of the 50 or so members who are in the club, me and maybe 8 or 10 others showed up this past time. As is usual for me in a workplace situation, I worked my ass off. I would wind up being the only one left, finally leaving at least an hour after every other member had left, or I did not just see anyone from the school on my way out. I did wind up with a $20 tip from one of the Rotary members, though.

I’m also very, very good acquaintances with my co-workers at my job. It really shows when I talk to them that I’ve solidly earned their respect over the last 3 months.

I guess I might really be “too mature” to make a high school friend. Their discussions and attitudes, especially in an environment that really should be only about education, can sometimes drive me nuts. Not particularly my classmates, but the student body in general, from the worst to the best.

janbb's avatar

@Fred931 Some kids don’t really find true friends until college and that might be true for you but things will improve.

FreshlyBaked's avatar

Dear Fred931, I’m much older than you, and I have the same problem. This sounds strange, but you are not alone. You’ve received some valuable ideas in these answers. Use them.

For all my years, I have few friends. Working quietly alone at home was always my way, and it didn’t lead to getting out into the world. I recently joined a group that plays Scrabble. It gets me out of the house at least once a week.

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