Hard Time Making Friends

Updated on April 22, 2011
H.J. asks from Fairchild AFB, WA
11 answers

I always feel like im the only one that has this problem and that it seems odd at this age to be afraid of making new friends. I am a military spouse and this is our 2nd move. I have always been kind of shy and I always feel like people are judging me. I need to get out and make friends so that my daughter can make friends but im so afraid of making new friends and afraid of being judged. Anyone else have this problem? And anyone have any advice on how to conquer this fear?

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

I just tell myself it's not about me.
Be brave.
Just remember people in Washington take FOREVER to warm up.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

You'll probably get less shy as you get older. Getting older does have some benefits.

One of the first things I learned that helped me stop being shy was to stop thinking about yourself when you are with other people. Be interested in THEM, and don't worry about YOU.

Shyness is actually a form of self-centeredness. So get out of your head and focus on others, not yourself.

Also, another thing I learned was that you have NO OBLIGATION to be interesting, or perfect. You also don't have to entertain people.

DO NOT WORRY or think about what other people think about you. You cannot control others' thoughts, and everyone judges everybody, it's just human nature. Who cares what people think. Their brainwaves can't hurt you.

There. I've just given you Lesson One of How to Stop Being Shy and Worrying About What People Think of You.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Love Page W's advice. I used to be really shy too and I still consider myself an introvert, but people are surprised when they hear me say so. What really helped me is the realization that most people really don't care that much about my hang-ups. They don't care what I look like dancing, they don't care that I shop at Target instead of Nordstrom. I'm not interesting enough to most people to warrant such close inspection. I am not saying this as a way to put myself down. I'm saying that most people have their own lives to worry about; they're really not going to worry about mine.

The other thing that helped me is understanding that most people are as grateful for a friendly face and kind word as I am. Just as I really appreciate the person who puts herself out there to say hello to me at a party, I know that others appreciate that as well. And it's really not that hard, especially because children act as natural icebreakers. You would be surprised at how quickly simply asking "How old is your son/daughter?" opens up a whole world of potential conversational topics.

Finally, my last piece of advice is to accept any invitation that sounds interesting to you. Nothing will make people stop inviting you to playdates or events like never going to them.

Good luck. You will be fine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Hi HAJ, My name is Theresa. I have three kids, 18, 16, 14. I live in upstate Ny. I'll be your friend! I judge no one. And frankly, don't mind being judged myself.

There, see, was that so hard?!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Bellingham on

I have had that exact problem too. Having my child helped alot. I forced myself to go to MOPS and another Moms group through a church.

I did not talk much either but after I forced myself to go to a few activities, people started inviting me to do things. The more I went the more comfortable I became. I have always made my child the topic of conversation because that is something you have in common with other people.

Now I have a few select friends that I do things with and my little girl just has been in pre school this year so she is getting plenty of interaction.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

I get extremely nervous around new people. Once I am comfortable I am still nervous but I muddle through it. I have a hard time making new friends also and hate it. I hated starting new jobs and meeting my husbands friends new girlfriends and the guys he works with that I don't know. People probably think I am snobby or rude but I just have no idea what to say. I don't feel judged as you do I just truely get stuck talking. I have always been like this. I have one new friend as an adult and she persued me. I doubt people are judging you and if they are so what. This is what I would do and it probably goes against what everyone else has told you I don't read other answers before I respond. I would go to an event with my kid and see if anyone comes up to me or look for an opportunity to talk to another mom who looks friendly. Not the best stradegy but I am not sure what else I would do so I will be reading your answers for tips on how to make new friends....or atleast socialize when I am out of my element.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I have this exact feeling. I had to force myself to join MOPS and go to places where other moms were. For months, I barely spoke. Then I forced myself to make small talk which is so hard because I feel so boring now.
I then began sharing and opening up. I could not sleep sometimes afterwards because of anxiety. I just kept forcing myself to try until I made some friends. Then they all moved and i had to start all over again. Most moms have this problem, but they hide it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have this problem all the time. I always have this fear of being judged. In fact, when we first moved to a new city, I avoided the play groups (we homeschool) because I was too afraid to talk to people and I hated feeling awkward. But I made myself go, for the kids' sake. They needed friends, and I didn't want them to be afraid of new people just because I was. When I thought about it that way, I went. And my kids had fun playing, and the more we went, the more comfortable I felt. I still have days where I feel a little awkward, but the more you open yourself up to other people, the easier it gets. I've always found that it helps to ask people questions about themselves; that way you are interested in who they are and it also takes the focus off of you in the beginning. Just remember that it takes time, and you shouldn't expect yourself to be a social butterfly. Do you connect with other military families? Sometimes it helps to connect with people you have things in common with, so that might help. Finding a church to join (if you are religious) can help. And finding a play group for kids your daughter's age can help, too. Just make that first step of finding a group of kids that your daughter can play with, and hopefully you'll start to make connections with others. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

what is the worse that can happen if you make the first move, so to speak like talk to a mom at the park, or library, or wherever? the worse that can happen is that someone may not like you, or may not be interested in talking.
fine, try again.
and again, and again. eventually you will make friends. make a two-way conversation, meaning participate, ask questions, and offer something from your life too, meaning talk about yourself.
honestly, usually shy people are mistaken for being stuck up or something. my poor sister has so much to say yet everyone she meets thinks she's a stuck up you know what? and she's so shy, if she could she'd bury her face in sand. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

It is hard to be social and make good friends for some of us. I agree.
I think it was last month's issue in Parents that talked about making friends as an adult. Basically get involved in a group with some similar interests but also look for people who aren't exactly like you. Attend MOPS, PTA and find other moms who have some different interests and it isn't all about kids. Other options for military are Family readiness group (some units function well and others only during deployment) and Protestant Women of the Chapel. Strike up conversations at the park...even if every conversation doesn't end in friendship it was good practice and adult contact.



answers from New York on

I think most of us have a very hard time making friends.
What do you say? How should you act? etc.?
It really is like trying to "pick someone up". Just remember that the person you are talking to probably feels the same way and it might take a few people till you get that "one".

Either way, if you want an East Coast mamapedia friend to complain to or just chat, feel free to message me. Sometimes I get lonely too.

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