How to Make Friends with a Group When You Have Social Anxiety – Tested from Someone with Social Anxiety

So, you have social anxiety. And you so badly want to be a part of a friend group. I know it. This was me for the longest time. You spot a friend group and want to be a part of it and be comfortable for that matter.

But your social anxiety is what is keeping you away from it.

Mentally, if you are ready to attack this challenge and finally make friends with a group of people, this is what you are going to do.

1. First, find the right group of people

When you have social anxiety, the biggest thing you fear is the people around you. When scouting a group of people, look for a group that is accepting of differences, and open to more people in their friend group. Those are the kind of friends you want to open yourself up to. It is better to be alone than be with a friend group who is going to make your life more toxic. So be very picky when you choose a friend group.

2. Find something relatable to start the conversation

Listen, you have nothing to lose here. If they think you are weird, they were never the right group for you anyways. Compliment their outfit, or their hair, or ask where they got their shoes from. Something. Figure it out. Approach them and fake it till you make it. Act like approaching people is normal to you. They don’t know you. They have no difference to judge you for.

3. Ask them questions

People love it when you talk about them. When you don’t know what to say, just ask questions and react. “Wow! You have great style! Are you in fashion? Or do you just like it?” Then they will respond, and keep asking them questions. People love it when they feel good about themselves and will want to hang out with you more if they feel good around you.

Eventually, if it seems like you guys have had a great conversation that feels like a friendship, ask for their social. It is less intimidating than their phone number to hit them up.

4. Target the person

This sounds creepy, but it’s not. This is how I made all of my friends. They think our friendship happened organically but I honestly did all the work. Hit up the person on social media and strike up a conversation related to your previous conversation. Continuing with this fashion example, ask for their fashion advice!

Say, “hey! It was so great meeting you the other day! You have really great style, I was wondering if you could give me your opinion about my style. What kind of style do you think would look good on me? I would love to know!”

Strike a conversation. The more exposure they have with you, the more familiar they become with you. You wan’t them to be exposed to you.

If you don’t want to strike a conversation yet, start with liking their posts and eventually commenting a compliment on their instagram post. Then strike that conversation about an instagram post that you can easily start a conversation with in their DM’s.

5. After enough exposure, invite them to hang out

If they haven’t asked you to hang out with them, ask them to hang out with you to a place that has to do with the topic you bonded over. Maybe say, “hey! I saw this really awesome boutique the other day, I thought of you because of the style they had. I am thinking about going next Saturday, would you wanna come with?”

After that, if they say yes, make that plan. If they say no. Don’t ask for another hang out. They can ask for it. Don’t make it look like you are desperate to hang out with them. It becomes way too much pressure on them to become your friend at that point and nobody wants that pressure.

6. Keep up the communication once in a while

Match their energy. Keep up the communication just as often as they keep it up. I know, I know, it sounds like you are playing a high school game. But there is a reason to it. You want this friendship to be organic, and it does not look organic if you are trying too hard, and they may be disinterested in becoming your friend if you are not reciprocating.

Send a tiktok, instagram post, youtube video every once in a while and say it reminded you of them!

7. Build your friendship

Build your friendship with this person. Keep up the interaction with them and eventually they should invite you to their group. If they don’t, you can offer another hang out that is group appropriate, like an amusement park, or a city trip, and tell them that they can invite other people if they want!

This is at the point when you guys are already friends and feel comfortable with them. If it seems like they don’t want to put you in their friend group, it is okay. You still made a friend out of this, and you can keep going with this same process and make more friends, and build your own friend group.

Just invite one more friend at a time to your hang outs so that everyone is familiar with each other.

Remember, you can have multiple friend groups. It is very normal.

8. Group Chat

Whether you jumped in someone else’s friend group or you created your own by doing these steps over and over again, create a group chat to share a Tiktok or a meme of something that you guys have had a conversation about or experienced, and just keep it up. Then the friend group with naturally become a friend group the more that they get exposed to eachother.

In a friend group with a good dynamic that will last a long time, you should not be putting in all the effort. That means, other people should naturally just join in and chat with you. But do not put the expectation of keeping the friend group alive on others and be disappointed in them if they don’t. There is no expectation and it is not a true friendship to care about one another when you are getting mad at them for not putting in the effort.

Summary

Being in a friend group the way you want to, is not easy and it does not take a short amount of time. It could if the other person just invites you to their group and the entire group is so welcoming that they add you in their group chat and they love everyone, which is a gold mine. I experienced that twice actually. My social anxiety made it hard to drive to the hang outs, but eventually I got there, and when I did, everything was fine.

It could happen, but does not always happen. But there are always options. There is always an open door. You just need to be creative.

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How to love yourself

Like I’m gonna give you a step by step tutorial on how to actually like yourself.

I can’t do that. I can give you some tips, but I won’t be able to give you the exact formula to love yourself.

Theres a multitude of reasons as to why you don’t love yourself:

You may hate your personality because people have shushed you too much.

You may hate your body because it is not the beauty standard.

You may a quirk that you have because people keep making fun of you about it.

You may hate yourself because of the lack of respect people gave you, and you believe that you don’t deserve love or respect.

Did I just remind you a bunch of reasons why you hate yourself? Sorry, I didn’t mean to. But do you see what all of these have in common? They all have to do with other people’s perspective.

So just stop caring about other people’s opinions!”

Has someone really said this to you? Pretty ridiculous right? Wow thanks! Let me just re-wire how I have perceived my whole world for so many years of my life cause you just said that. Thanks for the advice!

A lot of us, when we try to “stop caring about other people’s opinions” we start shoving it off by hardening our heart and rejecting it that way. But then, in the process, we start to throw our hatred, disgust, and ugly feelings at everyone else. Giving people an attitude for saying what they are saying, talking smack about the people who talk smack about you. And you become just as ugly as them.

So how do you truly get to a place where you love yourself?

You have to know yourself. You can not truly and fully love something that you do not truly know. You have to know everything about yourself, and accept it. You can’t be like, “that’s a quirk I think is embarrassing and other people think is embarrassing and I don’t want that.” If it is a tendency that you do, then you need to accept it.

This is not necessarily saying that you should stay the way you are forever. That means that we all grow and all change, but it is a journey and it takes time. Love every version of yourself you become in your journey of growth. Every time you change, appreciate and accept each step you are in. If you do, nobody can shove in your face something you already accepted about yourself. Everyone changes, and life is a process. On the way, you will have different quirks about you. In the meanwhile, understand that you may talk more than others, or have interesting ankles, or have different interests than others. That is a personal trait that is exclusive to you.

Maybe you really don’t like it. Then change it. You have every right and control over yourself to change something you don’t like about yourself. But make sure you are changing something about you for a positive reason.

For example:

If you talk “too much”. Don’t change this trait because people say you are annoying and you talk too much. Change this because you want to remind yourself that you want other people to express themselves so you can get to know them better. Or that you want to have meaningful conversation and this will work if listen more. This way, your change is a beautiful type of growth, rather than stunting yourself and trying to stop something about yourself.

If you don’t fit the beauty standard and someone is telling you to exercise so people would think you are attractive, don’t lose weight because you want people to think you are beautiful. If you truly want to change your body, don’t change it because someone told you to. Don’t do it to prove them wrong. Don’t base your changes of yourself around someone else’s thoughts. Maybe you noticed something about yourself you wanted to change through someone else’s comment, but don’t do it if it has to do with them at all. Do it for yourself. Do it to feel stronger, do it to stay mentally healthy, do it to have routine, do it to impress yourself in how consistent you can be. Show yourself, what you are capable of. Because if you are caring about other people’s opinions, you sure as hell are neglecting your own and you haven’t shown yourself how far you can go.

Your change becomes less about them, and more about what you want to show yourself.

Welcome the challenging times that come your way.

I used to tell my therapist that I don’t appreciate the hard times. That I could’ve still been this kind person without it. Which is true. But honestly, thinking about it now, I wouldn’t truly be solid in who I thought I was without the hard times.

Don’t be scared of it. Take it minute by minute. Make your choices the best that you can, because the outcome will see you through, and the outcome will show you exactly who you are. And never under estimate each small step that you take. Each tiny win that you make. Because every tiny sprout of growth that you make, is absolutely beautiful. It is a moving growth in the right direction. Be inspired by it. If you took more mini sprouts of growth, imagine who you can be?

I used to not understand why I had to care about my own opinion.

I had to live with all these people on this Earth and mingle with them. Of course I need to care about what they think about me. I would always run away. That was my trademark almost. I ran from every situation and hoped that it disappeared. But it really doesn’t. And it’s really crazy to say this because this advice used to be so repetitive to me. This time I didn’t run. This time I faced it dead on. I learned what my boundaries are and I took power back in my own choices. I would say it out loud. “I choose who is in my life.” “I choose to stand back up” “I choose to always be kind”. It hits different when you say it out loud. I wrote it on my mirror.

I would fill my mind with content that would uplift me. Just filled my mind with it. Inspirational quotes, books, and TikToks. Just keep filling it. Battle your mind, and fill it with these good things, because one day they will truly stick. They truly will. And there is so much power to it. And it can take years. It took me years to get this point. But this way, with the ratio of what you fill your mind with? You start normalizing this encouraging mindset because it is 95% of what you put into your mind. You start to see yourself in a different light. You start to love yourself and love others.

You start to see how many people around you actually hate themselves. And it becomes clearer and clearer as to why they act the way they do. And you start empathizing and sharing that encouragement to the ones that hurt you to help them learn to love themselves.

It isn’t an easy journey.

but it’s definitely worth it.

Why don’t I have anything to wear?

Do you have a million pieces of clothes in your closet but still manage to say “I have nothing to wear!”

If you just started your fashion journey, you probably ran into the same issue as me. Now, this may not apply to everyone because everyone’s fashion style is unique to each person. But this will apply to most.

Why is it that we can’t figure out what to wear when we literally went shopping last week for like, ten sweaters?

Cause you have too many statement pieces and not very many basic pieces.

Let’s start with what that is.

What is a statement piece?

Statement pieces are clothing pieces that have patterns, lots of colors, a big bold design, or just a very unique piece over all. That means, stripes, checkered patterns, multiple colors, a unique pattern cut out.

What is a basic piece?

Basic pieces are those boring pieces you tend to look over when you are at the mall. The white tank top, the white T shirt, the simple white pants. Anything nude colored. These are the “boring” pieces, but the “boring” pieces are the ones that are going to tie your outfit together to make your statement pieces really shine. Let me give you some examples and talk about why it works.

Photo by Joshua Rondeau on Unsplash

In this outfit, she is wearing a neutral white crop top, a black jacket, plaid dual colored pants, and white sneakers.

In this outfit, the statement piece is the plaid dual pants (obviously). It stands out. It has bright colors, patterns, and just overall very unique. That would mean, the white crop top, black jacket, white sneakers are all the basic pieces. Do you notice the colors in all those basic pieces? They are all neutral tones. Yes, the sneakers are more unique than a plain white sneaker, but it doesn’t overwhelm the outfit.

Photo by Joshua Rondeau on Unsplash

Let’s see why this outfit works.

This girl has a beautiful snake skin textured bright red jacket, with a black crop top and jeans. What is the statement piece here? The bright red jacket. Then that would mean the crop top and jeans would be a basic piece. Yes, jeans are the only exception to that rule. Jeans work with everything. It just depends on the type of jeans you wear that can really elevate your look. But that is for another blog!

This outfit has one big statement and the rest are basic pieces, which make the outfit not overwhelmed.

Photo by Joshua Rondeau on Unsplash

Let’s see why this outfit works. Yes, her dress/romper is a little different, but it is a very neutral color, it looks like a jean color but it’s her shoes that really make a difference. If she wanted to add another statement piece, whether it is jewelry or a jacket, she could without overwhelming the outfit. Both pieces that she is wearing has a muted color, therefore, added another blazer, or jacket, wouldn’t hurt the outfit.

I do want to make a disclaimer though. I am no fashion expert, and honestly, I don’t really believe that you need to be in the fashion industry to have some kind of sense of style. If you want, go create your own style. There really isn’t a formula at the end of the day for what you are allowed to wear. You wear what you want and you rock what makes you feel amazing about yourself. People will always add their two cents.

Hope this was helpful, share your tips in the comments!