Dear Kathy: making friends

Dear Kathy: making friends

Dear Kathy,

I am a new student at Pascack Hills and I am having a lot of trouble making new friends. I want to talk to people and make new connections, however I always get nervous and feel anxious. I can’t say hi and introduce myself without feeling weird and judged. Can you please give me some advice to help me find it easier to make new friends? Thanks!

From, Student

Hi Student!

Making new friends especially in a new setting can be a challenge for many, however there are definitely a lot of things you can do to help the process become easier and less nerve wracking!

A big thing to remember when being a new person in any setting is to be welcoming and nice, have a smile on your face and try to be as talkative as possible. To break the “ice”, giving a compliment is always a good answer. Compliment their hair, clothes, smile, it will end up making their day! If you can’t find a way to compliment them, you can comment on something in common such as the weather that day or your surroundings. Another classic way to break the ice is also just by introducing yourself, “Hi my name is ____, nice to meet you”, this approach is often very straightforward and will almost always result in a reply back.

If you feel anxious and nervous to speak up and talk to different people, remember to keep in mind that everyone has been in your situation before and no one has an appropriate reason to judge you! No one was born into this world and was immediately able to make friends perfectly, everybody had to learn. Anxiety can definitely appear when you are doing new things, and the best way to avoid this is to assure yourself that nothing bad will happen. Try your best to stay cool and calm, if you overthink it, the situation will appear worse for you.

A lot of the time we tend to be harsher and judiger on ourselves than we should be, we will overthink about simple moments such as saying a simple “hi” and think its weird or embarrassing. The best way to avoid overthinking is to remember how little that moment is in comparison to our life span and what goes on. Most of the time, the other side receiving the action won’t even think about your “hi” for over a couple of minutes or at most hours, so you don’t have to worry about yourself being weird or embarrassing!

Remember that making friends is a process everyone goes through, and it will be extremely worthwhile in the long run. Also if something doesn’t work out for you, keep in mind that life still goes on and you will have millions of opportunities in the future! Remain positive and optimistic at all times, good luck and have fun!