5 Tips for Making New Friends When You Live with Social Anxiety
Living with social anxiety can be incredibly difficult. I have lived with social anxiety for most of my life, and it has greatly impacted my social life, especially as an adult. However, I have found ways that have helped me to meet others and make friends in a way that is more comfortable for me. While these options are not always comfortable, they make living with social anxiety and expanding my social life more bearable. I hope that the following ideas help you if you have social anxiety to meet new people and possibly make some new friends.
1. Try meeting people in online groups – some of my online friends are my best friends!
Online groups have been a lifesaver for me as someone with social anxiety. I have found groups for people with interests similar to mine, and this has helped me to connect with others across the world who I can relate to. I still have many friends who I have met in these groups, and we talk to each other frequently over text messages, and sometimes on the phone. However, if you are not comfortable with talking to people you meet online over the phone, you can just choose to talk to them through Facebook or text message. Just make sure to stay safe and don’t give any of your personal information out to those whom you do not know well enough.
2, Keep in touch.
Sometimes those of us who have social anxiety have a hard time maintaining the relationships we do have, whether they are with people in person or online. However, it is important that we take the time to keep in touch with those in our lives to maintain these relationships. I know that it can be hard to stay in contact with others when we have social anxiety, but even just reaching out every so often to check in can make a difference in maintaining our social lives.
3. Set goals for trying out new groups or activities.
If you are having trouble wanting to meet others or join groups/activities where you can explore meeting others with similar interests, one thing you can do is set some obtainable goals. Maybe you aren’t ready right now to step out of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t set some goals for yourself to expand your social life. One example of a goal is to set a time to begin searching for groups online where you can meet others. This can be a small step in beginning to meet people.
4. Be open about your interests, and try to find others who are interested in the same things.
Sometimes I find that I tend to hide my likes and dislikes because I have a hard time opening up to others due to my social anxiety. However, taking a chance and being open about your interests can help you to create connections with others and form relationships.
5. Join a group on Facebook for people who have social anxiety.
The great thing about social media is that there are groups for everyone, and I have found a lot of support groups for those who live with the mental illnesses I live with. Having an online support group is essential to receiving support almost instantaneously, and I have met a few friends with the same mental illnesses who I rely on for support. See if you can find a group for those with social anxiety to give you a place to find support while also giving you the chance to connect with others who struggle with similar symptoms.
It can be exhausting and scary to live with social anxiety, but you are not alone. There are so many ways you can connect with others and find support while expanding your social life despite your symptoms. I hope that the above tips will help you to meet others and make some friends in a way that is more comfortable for you. You do not deserve to feel isolated and there are people out there waiting to connect with you and love you. Just take it one step at a time. You can do this.
Getty Images photo via FreshSplash