Shyness is Nice But…

There are three types of personality; extroverts, introverts and people who die inside when someone else gets into the same lift (elevator) because they have a mortal fear of being engaged in conversation with a stranger. Naturally as someone who is shy and reserved even for a Brit I fall into the latter category which presents a little bit of a problem now that I live in the USA. If I don’t get used to meeting strangers I will probably never make friends here and become one of those people who notices every single time Netflix adds or removes a show because I have nothing else to do with my free time. Actually I’m already one of those people but for the sake of this post let’s pretend I haven’t yet fallen that far.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that making friends suddenly becomes a lot harder when you are no longer at university. Maybe it’s the lack of free time; maybe the loss of alcohol as a social lubricant but making friends is definitely harder when you are in the real world. Imagine the Queen adding you on Facebook and commenting on your posts, my level of awkwardness at meeting strangers is akin to that so making friends is even more a challenge for me than most. I sign up to events on Meetup.com and when the date of the event happens I find myself with a desire to spend the evening petting the cat rather than face strangers and having to explain that I’m a loner who needs a website to find friends. Of course I wouldn’t say that, I’d just hide in the corner and pretend I wasn’t there for the Meetup anyway.

What I want to do sometimes in social situations.
What I want to do sometimes in social situations.

So this month I have decided that enough is enough, I’m going to loosen the shackles of my shyness and try to make friends with some actual real Americans, if they’ll have me. I’m going to go to some Meetup events, find some classes to sign up to and maybe even post in the strictly platonic section of Craigslist. If I never blog again then the latter idea was a bad one and I’ve probably been murdered by one of those crazy people who only seem to exist on Craigslist. Whatever happens in my quest for a social life I’ll be sure to share the anecdotes with you (unless I did get murdered of course in which case you’ll have to excuse me). Wish me luck!

Have you ever moved to a new place and had to build up a new network of friends from scratch? If so, I’d love some helpful tips on how you did it!

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13 thoughts on “Shyness is Nice But…

  1. Moved to a new area years ago with young children in tow – hard to meet people when you’re trying to avoid losing toddlers. Met plenty with their own toddlers but not many turned into lasting friendships – you’re probably more likely to meet kindred spirits via the cat! Best bit of advice given to me (by no-nonsense husband) was ‘The world doesn’t know you’re here – you’ve got to go out there and meet the world’. So suck it up and get on with it – what’s the worst that can happen? And good luck 🙂

  2. Meetup.com is a good site. I used it a little when I moved back to Swindon. I found some good groups but as you know, I’m not exactly a party animal either. I made excuses to myself sometimes but probably about 2/3 of the time I just went out on one of the walks.

    Go for it, you have nothing to lose!

  3. blondieaka

    Well I joined an expat club and although I didn’t really like that I met some kindred spirits and we have set up other little groups. It’s not easy but you have to push yourself a little. But the Writers Group I joined has proved to be the best medium for meeting like minded people. Or volunteer at local school or hospital that’s also a good place to meet people.Good Luck:)

      1. blondieaka

        I wish you good luck I never would have stared my novel or indeed had 2 short stories published if I had 1) stayed in the UK and 2) joined the writers group they have been so very encouraging to me . Oh and I also went on a writers retreat and that was an amazing experience really well worth doing it was afirst for me but definately not a last. Good Luck.

  4. Taking classes or finding clubs and groups that cater to your interests helps. I joined a running club and took German lessons when I first moved to the UK and met quite a few people that way.

  5. I feel you on an eternal level. I’m a freshman at college and I have so much trouble talking to people. My year is ending, and I still just talk to 3 people, counting. I don’t understand how people do it, striking a conversation, talk about the weather and all. I can’t even look at people straight in the eye.

    Anyway, I was told by few of my kins that this habit might make me lose a lot of good opportunities in life and that I might not be able to meet some actually good people due to my ‘wallflowery’ behavior. But admittedly, it’s hard. Very hard. I wish you all the best and I hope you break though those shackles and come out like a knight in shining armor!

    Good Luck my friend, you have all my wishes.

    1. Thank you, it means a lot to hear it from someone who has similar issues. It is hard I agree but I’m going to give it a try. I hope that it gets easier for you too, you seem like an awesome person so it’d be a shame if it denied your fellow college students the chance to have you as a friend!

  6. Kelsey D.

    Preach it ! I feel the same way! My “friends” and me will set up a time to hang out and do something, but when the time comes around I wish I could just stay home gorge on an assortment of junk food and binge watch Netflix.

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