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Sign me up for Friendship 101

Seriously, I’m really clueless! 

Our elder has some useful tips to help a letter writer prepare for their voice chat with an online friend.

 

Dear EWC

I met this friend through Genshin, and we’ve unexpectedly gotten really close and I’m happy to be their friend. But the thing is, we’re both introverts and socially awkward and anxious. It’s been a total of five months since we’ve been chatting and we have been planning to do a voice chat soon but it keeps getting canceled due to unforeseen circumstances (which I’m a little bit thankful for because I don’t know how to start conversations when it comes to talking, but texting is somewhat easier). So I want advice on how to approach this situation. I have no clue on how to start a conversation at all. I don’t want most of our call to be in awkward silence just waiting for the other to talk. And I also want social advice, like how to human 101. I was not taught the basics as my mother isolated me in childhood lmao (strict parents amirite). And how do most friendships work again, like what I’m supposed to do, what I should expect? I’m really clueless. They start most of the convos, and I’m sure they truly see me as a friend, but I don’t know how to open up to them.

 

Owl replies

Stop being so hard on yourself. You see awkward, overwhelmed, and introverted. I see the usual trepidation taking a relationship to the next step. It is a little scary, so it is no surprise that you have some concerns. That makes you perfectly normal. Also, two socially awkward people may equal a satisfying relationship–a perfectly attuned one. After all, you already know that you have things in common!

Know that you are not alone feeling insecure. Read on about all the celebs that suffer from their lack of confidence. https://www.thecut.com/2014/11/30-famous-women-on-overcoming-their-insecurities.html Obviously, they persevered anyway, and you can, too. 

I think what you need most is a big jolt of self-confidence. You are not giving yourself enough credit! It’s time to reassess and be kind to yourself. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/63-ways-to-build-self-confidence.html Give these a try. They are challenging, fun, and inspirational even. Low self-esteem is making you insecure and causing you to short-change yourself. Try a new approach. Become a new you–one you like and value more. I love this line in the above hack: Self-confidence is like building a muscle—it grows in response to the level of performance required of it. I’m betting that these hacks will enrich, entertain, and amuse you along the way. Like most things, practice makes perfect. The more you fake it, the more you’ll discover that you have, indeed, made it! 

I’ve always loved the phrase, ‘fake it till you make it’. Then, I ran into this great TED talk that proved it was also true. https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_may_shape_who_you_are?language=en I’ll give you one more example to prove this. Say you are in a bad mood, plaster a smile on your face, and then record yourself saying a cheery Good Morning!. It will sound happy and sincere. Now, try this frowning, and you’ll hear the difference. So, the next time you are in a situation where you want to be sociable, plaster a smile on your face, envision your superwoman stance and say Hi and ask someone about their day, their favorite song, or what they would do if someone gave them a million dollars. Most folks love to talk about themselves so get them talking. 

Since you are worried about starting conversations, check out this website. It is chock full of great ideas. I came across this, and I love it. It has a million ways to start that ball rolling. I wish I’d known about this site sooner myself. https://conversationstartersworld.com/this-or-that-questions/ Check out the This or That questions, in particular, because I think they are interactive and will be fun icebreakers. You can even have these ready on your phone and pull up some favorites as needed.

We haven’t met, but I see someone with the curiosity to examine herself and her life. Curiosity and self-awareness help us grow. Keep nurturing yours. Stay perceptive but start being kind to yourself. Talk to yourself as if you are your own best friend. Here is a comforting self-affirmation meditation. Try this for the next 21 days and see the difference it makes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpeJkCdtlOY&t=32s

You say you overthink things. Know the facts, and here are some fun ones. Per Psychology Today: A whopping 91 percent of worries were false alarms. Of the remaining 9 percent that did come true, the outcome was better than expected about a third of the time. For about one in four participants, ZERO of their worries materialized. I hope that quiets that “monkey brain” that has you chasing thoughts and concerns round and round. Deep breaths and meditation will help create space and calm, too. 

To make friends, you need to be honest and open with others–and receptive. There is a free, fabulous class I suggest you take. It is a Yale offering taught by Professor Laurie Santos. https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being It has been nicknamed the “Happiness Class.” Here is Coursera’s synopsis: “…Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. I took it and loved it! In fact, to date, over 3 million people have enrolled in the class!!! Take the course and watch your happiness quotient increase. You’ll start creating a new, exciting reality for yourself. Your mission right now is to get happy with who you are at present, and then, all the rest will follow. 

I think you’ve got this. You just need to be kind to yourself. Ask yourself the question: What is the worst thing that can happen if I charge ahead at full speed? I don’t think there’s a downside to giving all the above a try. It’ll shake up your life, make you more friends, be intriguing, and build confidence and your self-esteem. Treat all this as an exciting new adventure. Sure, some things won’t work out, but others may astound you with their success. That’s life – in all its messy glory. Be fearless and have fun! 

Article #: 482985

Category: Friendship

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