• Few or No Friends

Embarrassed to have no friends at school

Published: September 4, 2016 | By | 12 Replies Continue Reading
A young woman is embarrassed when she’s asked to choose partner.

QUESTION

Hi,

I have no friends at school and it’s embarrassing because when they ask us to choose a partner, I have no one to ask to be partners with.

I am very introverted and shy. Another reason I don’t talk to people is because they think I’m awkward when I talk to them. (I was told that once.)

I don’t know what to do ’cause I feel that everyone thinks I’m weird.

Signed, Caren

ANSWER

Dear Caren,

You would be surprised how many of your classmates probably feel the same way you do. Many of your peers are working very hard to make sure no one realizes they believe they are outcasts.

When you get a bit older, and you meet different types of people who are more comfortable in their own skins, you’ll find others who “embrace the weirdness” and proudly march to the beat of their own drums. But this won’t help you much in high school where being unique, different or weird seems insurmountable.

When someone is insecure, hearing negative statements can reinforce low self-esteem. Don’t let the comments of others shape how you feel about yourself.

The person who made unkind comments doesn’t speak for everyone, only herself. Telling anyone they’re weird is not a nice thing to say. Mean people don’t give credible feedback.

Being introverted and/or shy can make socializing in school quite challenging. You might find small talk to be excruciating. The only way to get over feeling awkward is practice. Having a few go-to topics can be helpful, such as: sports, TV, movies or music. If you’re too afraid to practice with your classmates, perhaps you can role-play with your parents, relatives or siblings. Some teens with whom I’ve worked found that talking to a therapist or school counselor can help build confidence. Other had an easier time developing their social skills in activities outside school.

Spend some time observing your classmates to see which other students might also be shy or introverted. These would be great kids to approach, because they’ll probably be so grateful you were brave enough to speak first.

Good luck.

Signed, Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: HAVING NO FRIENDS

Comments (12)

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  1. Kimberly says:

    I’m sorry you know how that feels, your far from being alone in that, and trust me as you get older and leave school your feel better about it and life will teach you to be happy if you choose.
    I used to hide myself in HS. I was bullied and also abused at home. I learned early on what people are like. Most are users but like to pretty up who they teeeally are. Many are followers of the abusers. And few good souls are sprinkled in. That’s who you can find if you look closely. Life is so short, make it something my worthwhile, I almost died from a late stage cancer. I enjoy every moment. I today have my small family and my dog and one friend across the country. I feel totally blessed and content. Life has a way of helping us. Ask yourself, what are my options? You have many., what can you do to fix your life to make you happy?

  2. Kimberly says:

    I known this my entire life and things never really changed and I’m 51 years old. I’m a stage 4 a cancer survivor, married and mom of one child. I seem to atttact People who have issues or behavior dysurders so I stopped trying to make friends. Tired of people who use me, don’t have any respect for my boundaries or just seem to not be safe people.

  3. Sylvie says:

    Dear Caren, I am so sorry someone told you you were awkward. It hurts and has made you insecure because you now think this of yourself. You have adopted the belief because one person said this. The good news is that something can be done about being awkward. It might point to some problems with getting along with others, talking with others, and making friends. Why else would you believe this if just one person said this? I would highly recommend you talk to a counselor about this. I do belief you have some insight in what the comment meant about being awkward. If you lack in certain social skills, and you suspect this is true and have seen evidence of this, then a good counselor will be able to point out things that you can learn. Good social skills are skills that you can learn and improve on. Have heart, being awkward does not mean you are not a likeable person. It means you need to get who you are across by improving your social skills. Writing on the internet isn’t going to help improving your social skills. You actually need feedback from a good counselor and practice with her or him. Make this a MUST in your life, finding a good counselor with whom you feel comfortable, and improving your social skills with the help of this person. Much love to you.

  4. Austin says:

    I feel like I am apart of a lot of different friend groups. I have gone to school with many of these people for many, many, years but, I have yet to make any solid friendships. I wander from group to group but never get included in conversation, or anything for that matter. What should I do?

    • Sylvie says:

      Austin, I know the feeling. If you have not made one solid friendship, it might have something to do with how comfortable you are getting close to other people. Is there someone you really like and would like to be friends with? From the short reply, I can’t really know why you haven’t been able to get close to anyone. Not all of us know how to become friends with others. There can be a lot of causes for this. Sometimes we behave in ways that make others ignore us. And sometimes others are just not open. A blog about friendships is not going to give you your answers. No one knows you here. If you’re really serious about this, you have to find someone who knows and cares about you and can help you gain insights in why you haven’t been able to make a few close friends.

      • Reagan B says:

        i can never make friends. i have been an outcast since the beginning of the school year and, being new to this, it is seriously not working for me. i try to be funny and laugh more, but whenever i do that, the people who actually have some natural humor always ask me why i fake laugh. then they go spread rumors about how insecure i am (which isn’t exactly untrue, which i think you could guess from this whole thing.) and i just sink deeper. i’m tired of not having anyone to confess to, and this post is probably going to help me a little. i just feel so alone sometimes. i can be surrounded by people and still feel like i don’t belong. does that make any sense??? and, can anyone help??

  5. M says:

    “When you get a bit older, and you meet different types of people who are more comfortable in their own skins, you’ll find others who “embrace the weirdness” and proudly march to the beat of their own drums.”

    Adults used to tell me this all the time in high school, and it was probably the worst advice I ever received. I’m thirty, and I have yet to meet the mythical offbeat, accepting friends who embrace me for who I am. I did meet a lot of different types of people in college, but they all decided I was too politically conservative to be friends with (and I’m not even a conservative, I’m an independent). It was just a different set of reasons why I didn’t have many friends.

    People tell this to high schoolers all the time – “oh, you’ll go off to college, and you’ll meet ‘your people,’ and all that silly high school clique stuff will just melt away, and you’ll blossom as a person and it will be great.” It’s well-meant advice, but when it doesn’t come true it just leaves people feeling worse about themselves.

    • Sylvie says:

      Dear M, the people in your life who said this didn’t want you to suffer. But I agree, if it hasn’t helped you a bit then the advice wasn’t good for you. You can keep blaming the other people who said this a long time ago but …. At a certain point, you have to start thinking for yourself. How you interact with others, how you make them feel about themselves. How do you come across? As a friendly person someone feels at ease with? You actually have to do the work and think about why what you want has not yet come to fruition. If you are someone who is very different from most people, and there is nothing wrong with being that way, have you put out a lot to meet like minded people. If you’re different, you might need to meet a lot more people to find a few good friends. Could your social skills improve? What is the general feedback from others? Don’t give up. Finding a few good friends is somewhat a numbers game, having luck, and a big part social skills, understanding people, liking them, and having insight in how you come across. Not a small order but if you’ve managed to be different, you have stamina … and persistence. These are good qualities to make things happen!

      • M says:

        I’m not blaming anyone – I’m just pointing out that people can set up this expectation to high schoolers that college is going to be the place where things magically come together, which is kind of the opposite of “you actually have to do the work.” Thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

    • Kimberly says:

      Oh my yes the dreaded conservative independent! I know exactly how that feels’

  6. Angela says:

    Hey. So I’m a freshman in highschool. I’ve never been really happy ever since my grandma passed away in seventh grade. Because of this, I only had friends from my class and just one or two close friends since I wasn’t really happy at all. Highschool came along and the people who I viewed as close don’t share the same classes as me and we aren’t really talking together. I eat alone at lunch and I don’t have any close friends. I did make a new friend but she moved away just recently. I’ve tried opening up to other people but they aren’t friendly about it and they don’t want to be bothered. I don’t even know if I should sit next to my friends that aren’t really close to me or not. I feel so embarrassed in front of my older friends when I’m all alone whereas they are surrounded by other people.

    • Sylvie says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that your grandma passed away. I was very close to my grandma who has passed as well and loved her dearly. This can be a great loss and I feel for you. Why have you not been happy? Has it only to do with your grandma? Or is it that you’re not happy with having no close friends? I do belief that we never loose someone’s love, even if they pass away. We miss not seeing the person who loved us, but I feel my grandma’s love is still here, for me. You made a new friend who moved away, which tells me that you can make new friends. Just hook up with your old friends. Not having class together is not a reason to not be friends anymore, right? You just have to put out a little more effort. Yes, it’s easier if you take the same classes but don’t let that stop you from hanging out with them. Not everybody will be friendly. when you approach them. You might have to look around a little more for friendlier people. In the meantime, say hello to your old friends and hang out them a bit.

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