Question: How can I make friends outside of school? I have friends who are far from me and my sister is leaving for University soon. I have been volunteering but it’s still tough. How can I turn ”volunteer strangers” into friends or anyone else actually?
First of all, I’d like to thank you for reaching out to the ConnecTeen. It’s good to hear that you are still in contact with your friends back home and that your friendships are great! It’s also great that you were able to make close friends here. It can definitely take some time to form new friendships.
It’s great that you are doing volunteer work. Volunteering not only helps others, but also benefits yourself. Most volunteering work involves a group of volunteers and some tasks may require collaborative tasks, during which you may meet new people. If your current volunteer positions are not offering that, it might be helpful to look into some that do so that you are put in situations where you get to know the person you are working with better. So, I would encourage you to continue seeking these opportunities in the future.
You have mentioned that you are not particularly great at starting conversations or having small talk and that is okay.
There are just some who are more outgoing than others, that doesn’t mean relationships won’t form, they will just form differently. Plus, sometimes it takes time to meet the right people you jive with. It is also okay that you do not have any interest in making friends from school. Sometimes we feel the desire to get away from the people that you see everyday and find new friends. It definitely feels good to try things with new people.
In regards to your question, I do not have the exact answer as everyone has their own way of approaching these situations. However, from what I am hearing, if you are uncomfortable with talking to them directly, social media and text could be somethings that you could utilize to build that initial relationship. Meme’s and GIF’s are a pretty funny way to break the ice. And with time, I believe it would be easier to reach out and talk to them as you can always refer back to what you texted about. Another thing that you could try is to come up with ‘go-to’ topics, open ended questions or conversation openers so that you have something ready in your toolbox when you talk to anyone in person.
The initial stage of getting to know the other person, I believe, is crucial in forming relationships and it is okay to take a different and more comfortable approach to suit your needs. Every relationship is different!
If you wish to discuss this with us further, feel free to text us at 587-333-2724 or call at 403-264-8336.
All the best,