Post # 1
Hello Bees, a little advice would be so appreciated. My boyfriend and I just recently moved to a new town where we both knew nobody going in and we’ve been here about a month. I’m having the hardest time adjusting. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a terribly hard time I guess you could say opening up to people. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “shy”, but just extremely uncomfortable around people I don’t know well. I’ve always been a very likable person and others have commented how easily I can get along with anybody but it’s almost like a wall goes up and a “true” friendship never forms. I don’t know if it’s my own weirdness or what. Well my boyfriend has quickly made friends in our new town and has socialized, always inviting me of course and making it known to me that he enjoys me being with him and his new friends but I’m so sad and embarrassed I’m just not “clicking” with anyone on my own. I feel like on some level I’m going out of my way not to make friends and I’m not sure why I’m acting this way. This post is mostly just to put my feelings out there and maybe just some words of encouragement.
Post # 2
You’re being too hard on yourself. It’s only been a MONTH! take your time getting acclimated with your new town, spend some time checking out some interesting places. Eventually you’ll feel more comfortable but it’s so much worse when you’re putting pressure on yourself to make friends RIGHT.NOW. things will fall into place naturally, someday you might be up to going with your bf and meeting his group of new friends, but it’s ok if it doesn’t happen for a while yet. I think a big part of why you’re feeling so anxious and uncomfortable is because you’re trying to force yourself to do something you’re not ready for yet.
Post # 3
Do you or have you ever thought about taking medication for anxiety? I’m not sure how you feel about that, but it is an option.
I do think you’re being too hard on yourself, though. It’s extremely hard to make good friends, especially after you’re done with school. Relax a bit, get to know your new area with your boyfriend, and then try the whole friend thing again. Don’t put pressure on yourself.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
I have social anxiety myself and meeting new people has always been very stressful for me.
Over time I’ve learned that almost everyone has a certain amount of anxiety on this subject. The greatest successes I’ve had in overcoming that feeling is to stop chasing myself around in my head and focus on other people.
Everyone has a story. In our culture it’s so easy to feel isolated and unsure. People love it when someone shows genuine interest in them.
Once I was eating with a friend and noticed a man sitting by himself having dinner. We invited him to join us and had a delightful meal. Turns out he was the swimming coach for the women’s Olympic team, just back from Beijing. We had an amazing conversation and he was delighted we had made the offer.
You have a built in conversation starter; being new in town means you can reveal yourself in s way that allows people to help and tell you a story all at once. Either they’re a local and know where to get the best margarita in town, or they’re a transplant too, and can share their own experience.
Try to think of things you liked to tell people about your home town; the best hike, where to go cool off on a hot day, the place to get amazing ice cream. Ask people about those things in this new place. Go to the farmer’s market and ask about how they grow such beautiful whatever it is; I guarantee you’ll get some local history there too.
Social skills are just that; a skill. They require practice. Start somewhere you have a good reason to talk to someone – the grocery store or library. If you’re exceptionally nervous, make a short list of questions or topics ahead of time so you’re not grasping for something to say in the moment. Ask questions and really listen; it’s the best way to truly connect with someone.
Do that a few times. It gets easier. Then take those shiny new skills into more challenging places. Work, a bowling league, or even just a local bar. You’ll be amazed how lovely it can be seeing a new place through the eyes of someone who’s lived there for years, all while giving them the chance to see it all new again, through yours.
Post # 5
Thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement. Definitely helpful 🙂