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A Lesson in Making Friends for the Extremely Shy Girl

Time to call it quits with your wallflower days!
ART Trixie Ison

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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  5. 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.

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About the author
Arra Bayan
Candymag.com Correspondent
Your free-spirited #hugot animal. I am an adrenaline junkie who is always on the look-out for adventure. I live by the three Fs: Food, fitness, and fun!
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Serene Fae 18 hours ago

"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."

The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae

If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?

• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.

• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.

• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.

• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.

• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.

• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?

First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.

If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).

With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.

Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.

It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.

margaux marie 19 hours ago

19 year old pharmacy student-businesswoman from Pampanga. I, Kimberly Chaile D. Ocampo, started planning my own business back when I was 18 years old. Despite being a student, that did not stop me to work and start up something for me to earn my own money. I was also influenced by my parents who are both hands on when it comes to the marketing world. I have decided to start my own mini restaurant/fast food restaurant recently (Feb 2020) and it was named as “Hungry Hubb”. From the word itself which is “Hungry” we thought of something that would give people the biggest hint that we sell food.

Because of the sudden quarantine, every store was forced to close for our own safety that is why there was a sudden decrease on our sales. But Hungry Hubb managed to survive by focusing on online selling and social media promotion. Our best seller would be Shawarma salad which is mediterranean style. We add authentic Garlic sauce to our shawarma (Which is available in Wrap, Salad, & Rice). Every product that we sell are very affordable and delicious. Our starting price is only 50php. (Shawarma Wrap). For Shawarma Salad (70php). We also have Milktea (60php) and Rice meals such as Lechon Kawali, Chicken barbecue, and Pork Barbecue for only 120 pesos.

And of course, I wouldn’t make it up this far without the help of my family and friends who have supported be from the very start. This is an open letter and inspirational especially to students that want to earn their own money. Nothing is impossible. You just have to be determined enough to turn your plans into reality.

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