The Shy Person’s Guide to Making Friends: Do’s & Don’t
No one likes awkward moments. Awkward moments are those annoying memories that come creeping back into your mind at 3 a.m. when you can’t sleep. You’ll be laying down on your bed munching on some chips when a memory of an awkward moment can raise its ugly head like, “Hey do you remember the time when you….” Awkward times can replay in your mind like a broken record until you eventually crawl into a ball and accept your fate always to be awkward.I’m the first to admit; I can be awkward. Depending on the day and my mood, I can range from barely awkward to pretty awkward.I found inspiration for this article while I was surfing Instagram and ran across the page of model and actress, Karrueche. I was so happy to see her post about meeting actress Tiffany Haddish. In her caption, she described how excited she was to meet her and their awkward encounter that ended with her telling Tiffany, “I'm so excited to be meeting you I almost wanna kiss you in the mouth." As I read the post, I silently said “Yesss girl” in my mind as I mentally applauded her for keeping it real about her awkward moments.Moral of the story, everyone can be awkward when meeting new people and making friends—even a stunning model like Karrueche! Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you keep your cool.
Do: Have a Sense of Humor
Nothing breaks the ice like being able to crack a joke when things get awkward. It took me 23 years to realize that a sense of humor is like kryptonite to cringe-worthy moments. Picture this, one of your friend thrusts you into a social mixer where you have to get to know a room full of strangers magically. When you meet people, throw on a smile and feel free to acknowledge the awkwardness that accompanies the experience of meeting new people. Say something like, “these events can be so awkward, but hi I’m (insert your name here).” You’ll be surprised how many other people find making new friends can be awkward. Having a sense of humor will repel any awkward scenarios.
Do: Understand Being Awkward is Normal
Don’t be hard on yourself. Everyone has awkward moments. Let me repeat. Everyone. Has. Awkward. Moments. Don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in a cloud of anxiety if you say something awkward. Laugh about it and move on.Even celebrities are awkward. That’s why I love Jennifer Lawrence so much. Ah, yes on screen Ms. Katniss Everdeen is the epitome of a kick-butt girl, but in person, Jennifer owns up to being the queen of awkward. She manages to gracefully accept her not-so-smooth ways while still being a gorgeous woman that people can’t get enough of.
Don’t: Force Things
In your newfound glory of your post-awkward phase, don’t forget that the greatest friendships are developed naturally. Of course, you should show people that you enjoy spending time with them, but don’t make plans with individuals who don’t share your enthusiasm about hanging out. Devote your time to enriching your relationships with people who bring joy to your life. Life is too short for fake friends.
Don’t: Focus on Quantity Versus Quality
Don’t get caught up in the “I need a squad” mentality. Sure, having a bunch of friends can be amazing but only if those friends generate happiness in your life. It’s more important to have a smaller group of friends that you know you can count on versus friends who feel like strangers.