Hi! I’m going to be a sophomore in high school very soon and I want it to be better than my freshman year. My freshman year, I didn’t make any friends, people didn’t really like me, I didn’t really talk much and I hated every moment of it. But, I want to turn that around this upcoming year.
I’d really like advice on like how to start conversations, make friends and enjoy the supposed “best four years of my life” (even though I totally bombed the first year).
Please help! Thanks!
One thought on ““How do I make new friends?””
Hi there! First of all- a lot of people don’t find high school to be the ‘best years of their life’, rather quite the opposite. It’s overwhelming to have so many changes going on. On top of it you are expected to figure out a large part of your future. It ends up that most people I talk to find college, or even their 30’s to be much better than their teen years.
Here are are a few tips on getting to know people:
Offer to help out- If you keep your eyes peeled you can find people who need help in something you’re good at. If you don’t know what you’re good at, I advise you start paying attention to your strengths as well. This is not to say you need to sacrifice your own needs for theirs, rather offer occasional support.
Accept help- Research shows that when we help others, it makes us ‘invested’ in them. That said if someone offers, don’t hesitate to say yes.
Join a group- Generally speaking if you begin participating in something you are interested in and persist in it, you can sit on the sidelines for a while and come out of your shell when you feel more comfortable. People often become curious when we are a little aloof, so your silence may be your friend!
Listen- people like to talk about themselves, a lot. If you are genuinely interested in someone and the topic they are talking about (no one likes a faker) just listen. If you are focused on them instead of how you are coming off, the ‘what ifs’, it can decrease any anxiety as well. For additional information Google ‘active listening’.
Hope this helps- let us know how things work out!
Karen Kerschmann, LCSW