Pretty much everything I do is online. Whether it’s just for fun or business-related, my daily activities are almost 100% tied to the internet. Because of this (and my ever increasing social anxiety and shyness), I find it incredibly hard to make and keep real life friendships. I have plenty of friends that I talk to online, but when it comes to real face-to-face interactions, I completely fall short. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to make new friends. Where do you even meet people as an adult without it seeming awkward?
When I was younger, it was easier to meet people because I was thrown in school with 200 other kids my age. I mean, how can you not make at least one friend at that point, right? But now that I’m out of school, it’s become more and more difficult over the years for me to find situations where I’m around others my age. I’m definitely an oddball, and am sure others find it completely easy to make friends anywhere. Having social anxiety is a demon I struggle with daily, and being so internet-based hasn’t really helped. Since I work from home and don’t need to go out for much, I’ve kind of become this little introvert whose shyness nearly cripples her and she can’t get out of her own head enough to reach out to the people around her that she’d like to befriend.
If I’m completely honest, there are a handful of people I’ve become friends with on Facebook because I’d really like to be friends with them in real life but I can muster up the courage to ask them to hang out. I’m so afraid of saying the wrong things or being boring that I end up talking myself out of hanging out with anyone and just stay home by myself instead. Then I see everyone’s pictures online of them having fun with friends and I beat myself up for not being more social. It’s a vicious cycle, and I’d give anything to break it.
Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier if we weren’t so attached to our gadgets as a society. Without things like Facebook and texting, we’d have to interact more in real life…would socializing become easier for people like me? Maybe if I had been forced to interact with people regularly instead of being able to be more introverted, things like meeting new people and making friendships that last would’ve come more naturally for me.
I’m curious – is there anyone else that struggles with this same thing? And for those of you who don’t, do you happen to have any advice for an extremely shy girl to make some new friends? It’s something I’m desperately longing for – to have a close little group of friends that encourage each other and are there no matter what.