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.
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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