How To Make Friends When You’re Shy?

How To Make Friends When You're Shy - 10 Remarkable Ways!

Are you hesitant to start a conversation, and do large groups overwhelm you? Making friends as an adult is difficult, even for the most outgoing person! If you are shy, it might be difficult for you to make the first move and initiate a conversation. So, let’s take a look at some of the ideas of how to make friends when you’re shy.

It is easier for some people than others to have small talk with people of any age or social stature, but for some of us, it takes a lot of time, energy, and effort to approach someone new. To make it worse, television shows and films show us a world where hanging out with friends or strangers is super easy. Let’s dive in and explore some tips and tricks on making friends when you have a shy personality.

Tips on How To Make Friends When You’re Shy

1. Accept and embrace yourself

Before you go out into the world to make friends, the first step is to accept yourself as you are. Don’t be hard on yourself because you are shy. Know that shy people also have a lot of friends and can befriend their extroverted counterparts.

Understand that building up your confidence takes time. Embracing your unique personality and qualities will help you get more confident with the other person.

2. Start small

Don’t expect to befriend groups of people immediately. Such unreal expectations can lead to disappointments. Instead, start small and approach people that you know. Initiate small talk with them.

Manageable steps such as maintaining eye contact, smiling more often to people, and initiating a ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ when you see someone can boost your confidence.

3. Practice positive self-talk and reframe any negative thoughts

Overwhelming negative thoughts might hinder your ability to strike up a conversation with a potential friend.

Anytime you have a negative voice in your head telling you that you are too shy or too weird, pause for a moment and think about your positive qualities instead. Tell yourself that you are talented, creative, and deserving of making good friends.

An inner dialogue can have a great impact on your self-confidence. Stay in the moment and focus on all the positives in yourself.

4. Try to look approachable

Imagine you’re in a classroom or at your workplace and sitting with your headphones on. The person next to you is waving at an approaching person with a warm smile on their face. Who would the approaching person choose? You or the other person who’s waving at them? The answer is clear- the smiling person!

Your body language speaks a lot about you, so make sure it seems friendly and inviting to the other person. Negative body language puts people off, and they might not feel like talking to you.

5. Join group activities

The best way for shy people to meet new people and initiate conversations is through group activities.  If you know what interests you, join groups, events, or clubs with the same interests. You are likely to meet people with shared interests in such settings.

When you spend time with like-minded people, it might also keep your social anxiety at bay, as you feel passionate about the things you talk about.

6. Spend more time in public places

Grab a coffee and spend some time in a café, or visit a library or a book club. Chances are that you meet people with shared interests here. Also, just being around people might be an essential factor that will help boost your confidence.

7. Accept invitations to hang out with people

If someone invites you to a house party, a study session, or just to get a coffee together- say yes! You might feel that you’re not in the mood to socialize, but you might feel better once you’re there and might even enjoy their company.

Having said that, you are under no obligation to spend time with someone who makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. In that case, decline politely and stay firm on your boundaries.

8. Ask open-ended questions

Once you are in a social situation and enjoying yourself, ask questions to keep the conversation going. Asking questions such as, ‘Did you have a good day today?’ will only get you yes or no answers. Instead, ask questions such as, ‘How was your day? What was something interesting that you did today?’ This will help the conversation be more meaningful and fulfilling.

9. Attend events where you might not run into the wrong type of people

For a shy person, approaching people may already feel difficult. Moreover, if there are problematic people in a social set-up, the stakes can get higher.

For example, if you are a young woman, you might not want to be approached by overeager guys. Be mindful of the events you attend and what kind of people you might meet there.

10. Try and meet the same people again or look for events where you meet the same people again

Once you’re comfortable around certain people, it will be easier for you to navigate conversations and take initiative. Focus on long-term things or events such as classes, teams, clubs, or volunteer positions where you’d bump into the same people. In this way, you will be able to play more to your strengths.

Closing Thoughts

Being shy definitely doesn’t mean that you are not interested! Try to understand your strengths and what topics you can chat freely about, and use this feature to your advantage.

Shy or introverted people are active listeners and this will show your potential friends your empathetic and emotional side.

Making new friends needs patience, courage, and vulnerability. However, once you have established a friendship, it is definitely worth it! So, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. You know, you can do it!

Vishakha Naware

About Author

Vishakha Naware is a foreign language trainer, content and fiction writer and poet. Languages are not only her bread and butter, but also her passion. A former journalist by profession, she loves weaving stories and telling tales. She is also a keen observer and likes to use her observations in her writing. She is also an inquisitive traveler and a culture enthusiast who loves exploring and learning about new places and people. She loves cooking and baking, reading fiction books and binge-watching thrillers in her leisure time.

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