I can’t talk to my friend IRL!

A letter writer is happy that she’s made a new friend on Instagram — but they’re too shy to talk to each other in real life.

Can our elder help her break the ice?

Dear EWC

Okay about two months ago I met this girl. She was best friends with two of my close friends who are on my soccer team. My really close friends had told this girl about me because we went to the same school. She really wanted to become friends but she didn’t know how. She went around telling everyone how much she wanted to be friends so I heard about it. So I decided to start DMing her on Instagram. Right away we became really, really good friends and we’ve helped each other with a lot of drama. We both lost our best friends due to different reasons so we didn’t have anyone but each other. So we hoped to be “future best friends”. We’ve been talking for a very long time but we are still both too nervous to talk. We say hi to each other in the hallways occasionally but it pretty much ends there. She means so much to me but I have nothing to talk to her about and it kills me. I just wish I knew how to talk to her in person and what to say. We should be over this awkward stage but we aren’t.

Simply-David replies

It is very exciting to hear that you are well on your way to making a new friend! I understand that it is pretty scary to have your first conversation with someone when your contact so far has only been to exchange Instagram messages with her and to say hi in the hallway.

Here is an idea for you that takes advantage of the messages you are exchanging on Instagram. Think about one of the funny or interesting things she said on Instagram. The next time you see her in the hallway stop her and say something like “Hi, your comment about the xxxxxxx was really hilarious (or interesting or thought provoking or whatever) on Instagram.” This will immediately break the ice and give you something to chat about. Next, have in the back of your mind what you will do if she reacts favorably. Perhaps you could mention a place to meet later in the day or week. Maybe you could meet for lunch, during a break, after school, whatever. If you don’t feel you are ready for that, just be ready the next time you see her to mention something else from Instagram that you can chat with her about.

It is always a bit scary to make the first move when meeting someone, but since you already have a relationship with her through Instagram it is very unlikely that she will reject your first attempt to say hello and start a conversation. Just feel the fear and excitement and use your courage to say hello. You will feel so great that you overcame your fear. What is the worst thing you can think of that will happen — not much, right?

I am excited for you and very optimistic that your first conversation with her will turn out just fine, if not great. You will feel wonderful that you overcame your fear and gave yourself the opportunity to grow your friendship with her. Good luck! And if she is having similar shyness issues, why not give her this site so she can write in for some advice as well?!

Letter #: 417255
Category: Friendship

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