I feel like I just cannot maintain a face-to-face conversation with my poly classmates and it’s really affected my ability to make new friends in poly. I’m in the 2nd semester of my first year and when I look around it seems like everyone else already has found a group of friends to hang out and eat with during breaks. I do have a group of close friends outside of my poly, but we only ever get to see each other once every couple of weeks and especially since I used to see them every single day in secondary school, it’s pretty hard to be alone now. I thought I’d be fine with being on my own since I’m an introvert but I think it’s affected me more than I realise. I don’t even eat lunch during the breaks because without anyone to eat with, it just makes me feel extra lonely lol.
It’s so hard to bond with anyone in my poly since I just don’t seem to have anything in common with them. My secondary school friends and I are all visual creatives (painters, drawers, fashion designers etc.), so we all bonded pretty quickly because we just seemed to get each other. However, in poly, I’m in an engineering course so it’s quite hard to find people who have similar interest as me, and I find it so difficult to keep a conversation going if we have nothing in common.
I did join a CCA and found two friends that I can be with during CCA, but outside of that they have lots of other friends so I only ever get to see them once a week.
Actually, forget even maintaining a conversation, most of the time I’m too scared to start one! I have a tendency to overthink and every time anyone initiates a convo with me, my brain is just zooming through all the possible things I could say, their reactions to what I say, OH did they make a joke? Should I make one back? Would that even be funny? What if they just think I’m weird? And so on. I’ve been labeled as “shy” in the past as a toddler because I always hid from strangers behind my mom, and that label has sort of evolved into me being the “quiet kid” of the class. I’m so sick of they way my brain works and I just wish I could be normal and fit in with everyone else. They make it seem so easy and effortless to just… talk to other people.
I know I should probably be trying to step out of my comfort zone but it makes me so anxious argh. I used to be a lot worse in early secondary school, but the progress I’m making feels too slow and I’m honestly worried how I’m gonna make friends as an adult. I keep wondering what that would be like and honestly I think I’ll just adopt a dog or two to keep me company lol
hi @owl !
Firstly, thank you for courage in sharing your thoughts and experiences with us! I hear that you feel alone in your feelings of loneliness, which can feel isolating and alienating when looking at those around you From what you described, it sounds like you have been faced with this situation for quite some time, and I can only imagine how helpless you may feel when confronted with the social situation in poly again and again
Given the contrast in your social environment in secondary school and poly, it is definitely understandable how you find it difficult to navigate your current situation. If I’m understanding you correctly, it also seems that you’re frustrated about how difficult it seems to make friends when it seems to come easily to others, which can make it tempting to blame yourself consequently even though you are trying so hard to sustain a conversation. I see you trying despite feelings of hopelessness, and I respect your resilience and desire to take action to mitigate your current situation!
It can get understandably draining to face the constant pressure to step out of your comfort zone In this period when the tendency to be self-critical may be overpowering, here are some resources that could help you ground yourself:
- youth mindline’s content on social circles
- self-care resources and the Wysa chatbot on youth mindline’s webpage
If you find that these feelings of hopelessness persist over time, you could also consider counselling or chatting with professionals on platforms such as CHAT, EC2 and Limitless!
Hope these are helpful! Slow progress can be frustrating, but it is still progress that is worth celebrating regardless, especially since showing up and trying repeatedly can be really tough Thank you for sharing with us once again, and do keep us updated in your journey if you would like!
Any progress is better than no progress I think!!
I used to be very awkward in social situations too. Didn’t have much friends (or any iirc) when I was younger but I slowly learned how to “be normal”.
I think the turning point for me was when I had this super extroverted friend who would bring me everywhere. He’ll do all the talking and I’ll just listen (and learn). I’m not sure if there’s anyone you can lean on more for support but don’t lose faith!! Every transition is an opportunity to restart your social life and decide who you want to be.
Sounds like you have been struggling in social situations. It must be tough for you when you are overwhelmed with self doubt.
I read that you have also been making some progress and you also acknowledged that progress can be slow and the self-awareness that you are an overthinker. And you feel like your mind is going at light speed too with all the thoughts zooming every where.
There are some positives that I picked up that you doing for yourself like joining a CCA, managed to make new friends. I also do sense while you are keen to make more deep and meaningful connections there is also a part of you that is fearful of that too. This is the inner struggles that we may face too. If there is one variable that you may have missed out is the variable of time.
Do give everything some time and also throw in a huge dose of kindness for yourself and for others too.