In a world full of endless expectations from so many people, it seems rather impossible to make it through any given day without friends. They serve their purpose by giving you encouragement when needed, and picking you back up whenever things just feel like crashing to the ground. Deny it or not, we all long for people we can call our friends, because other than that happy feeling we get whenever we're with them, it’s the support they provide that we seek for—an assurance that someone cares for our welfare, and is ready to rally behind our backs no matter what. For some, making friends can seem like a piece of cake, but for others, it requires some detailed preparation and careful execution, especially for a person who's extremely shy. It's always a struggle trying to get close to someone, because really, how do you get close with someone when you can't even approach them? Being confident just isn't enough; you already find it too difficult to assert yourself, and it will take a long time before you could build up that courage since your timidity has already punctured your personality. So how do you go about satisfying your need for a barkada without your shyness overpowering you? Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
Put yourself out there.
Of course, where else would you expect to meet new people? Place yourself in an environment where there is a high chance of getting to mingle and socialize with fresh faces.Yes, going to parties and other social gatherings can seem terrifying at first; I mean, where would you even get an invite from? The key here is to take everything in baby steps. If a party is too intimidating for you, then maybe you could start by joining organizations around your community or in your school. Surely, there is at least one that will fit your interests perfectly.
Be in the know.
Being prepared is always important for any situation, and making friends is certainly no exception to this rule. Research on how to be socially competent—know how to interact with different groups of people, what to do, what not to do, etc. These items may be subjective, but having this knowledge will give you a slight edge when trying to make friends. It’s better to know something than know nothing at all, right?
Flash that smile!
A frowner wouldn't attract anyone, so make sure to flash a smile! This would easily communicate that you are approachable, so people would tend to come to you in an effort to get to know you better. Though it may be hard at first, practice is always an efficient way to get things done right. But here's a gentle reminder—never force a smile. You wouldn't want your new friends to think that you’re faking it. Smile when it feels right; smile when it feels genuine.
Don't be afraid to say YES.
Once you put yourself out there, you'll begin to receive invitations to hang out from the people you meet. Being the shy type that you are, it is expected that your first move will be to decline. We’re here to tell you that you absolutely shouldn't. Other than the fact that accepting invitations is a common courtesy, saying yes can open you up to new and unexpected things. You might get worried about all the trouble you’d have to go through, but it would cause you more worry always thinking what could have happened if you had accepted in the first place. You have to keep in mind not to give in to peer pressure though—make sure to accept invitations willingly, and not just because you want to please other people.
Don't lose yourself in it.
It's important that you befriend those who are potential "friends for life." Your shyness requires for you to have people who will stand by you through the happiest and the darkest of times, so don’t go making friends with those who pressure you to be someone you're not. It can be tough not giving in to peer pressure, trust us. You may think that being accepted by people (no matter what) is what's most important at this point. And it may be, but in the long run, you will realize that acceptance goes two-way—friends wouldn't push you to an alternate personality; they will accept you for who you genuinely are. Don't try to please people out of desperation. Remember to keep yourself intact in your effort to make new connections.