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A Shy Girl's Guide To Making New Friends

Because it's not always an easy task.
PHOTOS The CW

Some might say making new friends is easy. But for people who are scared of person-to-person interaction, anxious about what to say in public, socially awkward, and physically unable to compose coherent sentences when put on the spot, cozying up to someone you just met isn't exactly a walk in the park. But worry not, Candy Girls, because we've got you covered. Ever heard of that old saying, "No man is an island?" Well, we already have 7,107 of those here, so after following these simple steps, we can assure you that you'll be making friends in no time at all.

 1  Befriend the quietest person in the room.

Chances are, they're just as nervous as you and you won't have to worry aboutthem being way too outgoing for your taste. You'll be hitting two birds with one stone if you go up to the silent soul and strike up a fun conversation to keep the both of you occupied and entertained.

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 2  If you feel awkward, don't use your phone.

The point of attending a public gathering is to be sociable–sitting at a lonely table while everyone is out chatting as you practically blind yourself with the gleam of your phone is not exactly going to help the situation.

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 3  Take baby steps.

You don't have to plunge headfirst into the spotlight to make new friends. Sure, you might have to exit your comfort zone a little, but not to the point of overdoing it. Just find one person or a small group you think you can acquaint yourself with and let fate handle the rest.

 4  Find common ground.

Don't tiptoe around what you want to know. Ask relevant questions to gauge your compatablity. It always helps to ask them where they're from or where they hang out often to see if you can find any mutual friends or experiences to bond over.

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 5  Ask them about themselves.

  

If there's one topic everyone is undoubtedly an expert on, it's themselves. You and your acquaintance may seem to not have any common interests the first time you meet, but if you ask them exciting questions they'll be sure to reply with an equal amount of gusto.

 6  Smile.

Whether you feel as jolly as a kid on Christmas Day or as neutral as an athlete winning in a trial round, shed some light on a bleak situation with a cheerful little grin. In a world full of people who find it easier to scowl than smile, a playful turn of lips go a long way. Never forget the power of an infectuous smile; if you affect people positively, you're bound to yield even more positive effects.

 7  Real talk > small talk.

Don't ask them if they think the weather's nice or how bad the traffic was on their way to the venue. You're trying to make friends, not orchestrate an interview for the country's next best weather forecaster or MMDA reporter. Get straight to the good stuff! ask them if they'd ever watched the gig of the band playing on the speakers, and if they haven't, find out what concerts have they've gone to! Sometimes all it takes to be interesting is to be interested.

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 8  Lower those walls.

Fear will get you nowhere in the real world, and that applies especially for social situations. Just for the night, try to keep your guard down and be open to new personalities. If you're afraid of rejection or not meshing well, just remember: your walls might keep pain out, but it will also prevent happiness from coming in.

 9  Follow your gut.

You don't have to force yourself to befriend someone you're uncomfortable with. If you don't think things are going to work out after a generous amount of hangout time, then do yourself a favor and find someone else to hit it with. In real life, all it takes is one genuine and natural click between two people to know if a friendship is real.

 10  Focus on the person.

Foolproof trick: When conversing with someone, give them all your attention. It's easy to spot a drifting mind and blank stare, so since uninterested and distant is not exactly what you want to come off as, make sure to really immerse yourself in the conversation.

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 11  Don't overthink your actions.

Maybe you're shy because you're scared no one will talk to you, or because you don't think anyone will have the same interests, or because you feel like you're just not interesting enough. Whatever the case, just remember this: In making friends, the only boundaries that hold you back are the ones that you create for yourself.

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About the author
Frances Beltran
Candymag.com Correspondent
Frances is a 15-year-old student from Saint Pedro College. If she's not writing stories, DIY-ing crafts and accessories, styling both herself and friends, binge watching TV shows, acting or singing on a stage, then you'll probably find her obsessing over her meticulously assembled Instagram captions or attempting to achieve the perfect flat lay.
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Ivah Ely 13 hours ago

Forget Me Not: A forgotten entry in Tokyo

Watching well-made films often fuel the desire for adventure and excitement in our own lives. Like many in their youth, I've felt that childlike feeling of seeing myself as the main character in my own movie. The genres often change with time and it goes from comedy to tragedy really quick. I used to think that if I closed my eyes for too long, I'd miss the best parts. That if I close my eyes then I'd be covering the lens to the camera in my mind. But I also believed that I could dream about what I see again when I lay my head to sleep at nights or that I can re-watch all my memories after I die. But now that I'm older reality has a tighter grasp on my throat as I trudge my rocky road to adulthood. My memory is failing me. I write this entry for that reason. Because I am scared to forget. I was emotionally and mentally worn. I didn't know it at the time but I desperately needed that feeling of childlikeness again.

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Senior high school came with so much unnecessary pain and pressure that I didn't realize I was gasping for air. I always sat by the window to stare out during class as the voice of my teacher became background noise that faded into my daydreams. Before I knew it, I was packing a small backpack in the middle of the semester on a cold November evening to go on a trip to Tokyo. This time it wasn't a dream and it felt as if time stood still.

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While my friends and classmates were back home in their classrooms going on with their lives and schoolwork, I on the other hand was two-thousand miles away in a foreign land with a foreign language where my basic knowledge was not enough for me to survive on my own. Like passing through the Torii gate which the Japanese believe brings humans into the land of the spirits, I was in a new world. The breeze felt like a cold nip at the tip of my nose as autumn was nearing winter but I've never breathed in air fresher. I was welcomed into a small and warm Japanese home with lovely little folded cranes on a humble dinner table.

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My aunt who was far lovelier and even more vibrant than the colors on the delicately folded cranes was there to welcome me as well. The paper cranes weren't the only things she prepared for my one-week stay. On a little pink card, she had my name along with my Tokyo address handwritten in Japanese for our rides on the bus & bullet train; and in case I get lost. She also prepared a small pink pouch with cute yellow elephants on it. The pouch was filled with coins of different amounts. The coins were for me to spend freely on drinks and snacks in vending machines. It was all more than enough since beforehand she already prepared us 2 weeks' worth of snacks for my 1-week stay. On top of all that she prepared winter clothes since I traveled light and she insisted that I wear the pink parka that she brought before I came over. I find it funny that she still thinks I like pink but it's still just like the good old days. She's still one of the most thoughtful people I know. My aunt is a missionary in Japan and has always been like a mother and a friend to me. I sobbed like a baby in front of a thousand-member congregation on the day my family and I sent her off. A few years later, with my father being our Church's missions pastor, I was given the opportunity to travel to Tokyo and see her. Seeing her again was bittersweet. It's sweet since she raised me and is a big part of who I am and my interests today. But bitter because it hits you like a ton of bricks when you notice someone you love is has gotten older or weaker. Don't we all feel that at some point with our parents and guardians? On my father's side of the family, we have issues of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Dementia. It's hard to pretend that it doesn't hurt that after years of being with my grandma, she doesn't know who I am. As for my dad, on top of having Parkinson's he is starting to show early signs of dementia too. It's scary how quickly one can forget decades worth of memories. I wonder if I may go through that as well one day.

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At the time these thoughts were overshadowed by the magical Disneyland rides and digital museums, sights like Mt. Fuji as well as traditional and Modern Japanese Architecture, pictures we took at the iconic Hachiko shrine, and Shibuya crosswalk, and even the small oddities of Harajuku fashion and merchandise. I took as many pictures every chance I could get. I wrote in my digital journal with plans to make a picture journal when I get back home. Japan was quite the story to tell that I believe rekindled my childlike spirit. Before we knew it, the week ended and I was packing once again. This time my luggage was more than twice as heavy and the destination this time was home. I dreaded leaving Japan but I dreaded leaving my aunt more. I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to her at the airport due to my not knowing that she was only allowed to see me off until a certain point. I cried on the flight back while holding a giant Donald duck stuffed toy as I just imagined her going to her small Tokyo home alone. I also cried since soon I'd have to face reality once again. After hours of travel I found myself back home in the all too familiar Baguio. But I was in distress. It wasn't because my lungs were starting to forget what clean air felt like or that I'm missing the life I've lived for the past week. But I was in distress because I couldn't find my phone. Why was that the biggest problem in the world to me at the time? It was because of the pictures and notes that were lost with it. All the pictures I took and the notes of the smallest details were a blurry mess amidst the panic in my brain. I never posted anything because I wanted to live in the time there and not worry about anything back home or anyone knowing what I've been up to. But what haunts me is that I don't remember a single one of the pictures I took. I was so sure that I'd be able to go over them when I get back home. I don't want to forget. It's been 550 days and it still bothers me. It's been 550 days and it's only now that I realize the lesson of this story as I write this.

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As scary as it is to forget memories, we have to understand when we have to hold on to something and when it's okay to forget. I tried for weeks to somehow recover the pictures on iCloud but to no avail. We may not be able to fix the mistakes of the past or avoid misfortune that is out of our hands but what we can do is to move forward and make more memories that are worth remembering. Treasure the beautiful moments and the lessons from the terrible times. Cherish them and fight to keep these memories on the surface. If you find that difficult to do then strive to tell your stories to others. Because in the times that we forget, then we have others will remember our legacy. We can't be sure about what happens next though we can plan all we want. Often life doesn't have spoilers and may have a plot twist around the corner. As for me, I may never find those photos again but I made it a goal to one day come back to Tokyo and make more memories. That is a promise that I won't forget.

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Kim Angela Santos 13 hours ago

The Art of Doing Nothing

We have been confined with the worldview about the idea of success; thus, the word “productivity” has been diverted into a different meaning. We labeled the level of our success by identifying the weight of the works we’ve done – believing that the busier you are, the more productive you’ll be. But little did we know that this kind of mindset is a pitfall, ending up in a trap and restricting us to do more of what we can.

Every person has their own way of planning on how to get productive. One of the tips mentioned by Prosalendis was the “2 Hour Hermit Mode” where you just need to stay quiet for two hours to learn and reflect. Within the 2-Hour Hermit Mode, you need to completely shut down outside distractions and try to do nothing, this will help you to have a peace of mind and a quiet time. Focus. This word may be cliché, having a shallow meaning, but the reality is, focusing on one thing is one of the hardest things to do. Some people may have mistakenly understood “doing nothing” as unproductive, but this is actually a form of taking a break. I usually do this 2-Hour Hermit every time I am loaded with tons of deadlines. Just try to sit in the corner of a coffee shop and try to discover new things or just go to a place where you find yourself comfort and peace.

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The art of doing nothing makes you appreciate the beauty of the mundane things - you get to witness how the leaves sway on their own branches, you get to see the unappreciated smiles of the people, you get to hear the sound of the birds giving you lullabies. You will never have the time to focus if you are too disturbed with a lot of things. Give yourself a rest from thinking about all the work you need to do. Don’t get distracted and give yourself the freedom of unfolding new things. The power of focusing and art of doing nothing will help you to do things you don’t normally do, and maybe start to love the things you once hated. Trace your progress. We don’t know how productive we are unless we trace our activities. I have a journal where I can write the things I have done, and the things I wasn’t able to accomplish. This helps me to track and jot down the things I failed to do within the day.

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You are able to take a break and have a rest by doing outside the boundary of the tons of work you have. You will also be surprised that you have done so many things when you’re listing the things you’ve accomplished. This will not just give you the satisfaction but you will also be grateful for what you have done for the past twenty-four hours. You just need a minute to reminisce what you have done while enjoying the silence in the process. Small daily acts can be a solution to achieve our long-term goals. We’re always bombarded with distractions and piled up work, but nothing can beat the idea of staying on track and not feeling lost. By doing this, we will always be reminded why we started to commit on the things that we want to do. After all, what makes us love what we do is knowing why we started it in the first place. The problem with us is that we are too busy achieving, losing the time to see the colors of the ordinary. We are blinded with the idea that success comes with great productivity. We always think that we are defined by how much work we exerted, and not appreciating the effort we’ve given. The fact is you are already successful in acknowledging that you have done something, and nothing.

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