Being a teenager can be stressful at times. As a teen, you are working to develop your identity and creating a value system that makes sense to you. The teenage years might be a time where you feel insecure or uncomfortable in your own skin, you might feel like everyone is judging you or you don’t fit in. These thoughts and fears can make creating friendships difficult at times. Don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone. Keep reading to find out tips on approaching new people!
Take some time exploring the activities you enjoy and the things that are important to you. This may be small group, a sport, a club, online interests, or various other activities. Identifying the things you like and feel passionate about will help you meet people who may share those some interests or it can help you talk about your interests to other people.
It can be hard to approach people and start a conversation when we are worried about what the other person might think about us. Try telling yourself that the other person might be as nervous as you are and is unlikely to be judging you. It will also give you a confidence boost to remind yourself of previous positive experiences you’ve had interacting with other people.
Let’s be honest, we all like the opportunity to talk about ourselves. When meeting a new person try shifting your focus to them and ask them questions and act interested in what they’re saying. Try to acknowledge their responses and be light hearted. Doing this will allow the other person to feel interesting and will likely encourage them to ask you questions and learn about you! As friendships continue you can both taking turns participating in each other’s interests through conversations and activities.
Doing something your scared of can be intimidating. Try using structured breathing if you start getting nervous. Being mindful of your breaths can help shift your focus to your breathing and conversation instead of your anxiety.
It’s okay to be nervous when you’re trying to make friends. It can seem easier to avoid the opportunity out of fear of failure, but the more you do it, the easier it will become to approach new people. Try reframing the phrase “I can’t do it” to “I am scared.” This will help you practice patience and compassion with yourself. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect for someone to enjoy your company.
If your teenager needs someone to talk to please call the Summit Counseling Center to make an appointment with one of the licensed School-based Therapists located in Alpharetta, Centennial, Chattahoochee, Johns Creek, Milton, and Northview high school at 678-893-5300!