I am in class 10 and often find myself feeling very awkward or nervous in social situations. I don’t have many friends and because of my poor confidence, I feel anxious to make any new friends. I am currently feeling nervous about enrolling in a college and having to make new friends. I don’t know if I will find people I like… If I do, how should I approach them? Any suggestions to deal with my anxiety and anxious situations?
Thank you for sharing your situation with me. I am so glad you wrote in as I bet there are many people who share a similar anxiety as you in such situations. It is nice to know that you already have a few school friends. These friends will always be people you can count on, so treasure them!
None of us know what tomorrow has is in store for us. Hence, no matter how prepared we are, we must always start each day with an open mind reaching out to accept the possibilities.
You could start by boosting your confidence in yourself first. Outline your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses. Check if there are any weaknesses that you can overcome. Accept the things you cannot change. Learn new skills and do more of the things you love. Remind yourself that, ‘You Are Enough.’
Prepare yourself for different situations, such as meeting classmates in the bus, cafeteria or the classroom and the things you could say to start a conversation. Keep in mind that most friendships start with a smile. You can try enrolling yourself into various groups/clubs for extra-curricular activities, this will give you an opportunity to meet
Happiness is when you make new, unexpected friends. So try not to worry yourself too much about making friends, you will make it happen only when you have a calm mind.
Do some deep breathing to help calm your anxiety. You can also think of thoughts that make you happy or even just say a prayer, if it helps. Take one step at a time and you’ll do great. All the best.
I have been chatting with a boy on social media. We love each other and things have been great so far. My sister stumbled upon one of our chats and shouted at me. She said not to indulge in this and that social media is the worst place to begin any relationship. I know it is risky but I feel like I know enough about this person to make a decision. We have never met but with how much we know of each other, we feel like we have already met. We don’t live in the same state, hence meeting each other hasn’t been a point for discussion for now. Am I being silly or should I continue trusting my instinct?
Thank you for your email and for sharing your situation with me. Relationships are complicated and tend to smoothen out with time, effort and communication. It is tough to decide if a relationship will work especially when it involves people who haven’t met – indicating that whatever is presented to you is what has to be accepted. You probably share a great rapport and that’s wonderful but there is always room for doubt wondering how real the other person is. Relationships on social media are also tougher as conversations happen over texting, arguments over phone calls and feelings are often expressed through status updates rather than having face to face discussions. With social media, what you see isn’t always to be trusted – even salt looks like sugar! Your sister is right in warning you against indulging in relationships online. It is far better and safer to meet and get to know people before you invest any effort or emotion into a relationship. It is odd how meeting each other hasn’t been a point of discussion as most people who haven’t met, usually fixate on this. I can’t help but wonder if it hasn’t come up as the relationship doesn’t really have a future and is meant to only be a temporary one? When you ask if you are being silly or should you continue to trust your instinct, it seems like you already know the answer but want to take a risk anyway. Be alert and careful.
Do write in with your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, stay safe!
(The columnist is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school