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Too shy for my own good

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi guys.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Bakerman!

    Don't worry too much about it. Everyone is in the same boat when going to uni, leaving old friends behind and suddenly having to make new ones in a strange place. We have a couple of tips on where to start here:
    making friends at uni
    and here:
    making friends general

    Uni offers so many opportunities to go and meet new people, and contrary to stereotypes, not all of them involve ten pints down the union. There are clubs and societies to suit everyone (from painting the drama soc's set to saving the world) and in the unlikely event you don't see anything for you, you could always set one up yourself (it's not that hard - talk to a union rep). Then there's usually a SCA (student community action) where you can join groups to volunteer - be it taking kids swimming or painting old woman's walls, it fills your weekends, involves others, has a feel-good factor and isn't in a pub or a club.

    Most students have to get a job - again another opportunity to meet others, and you will have the pleasure of student accomodation, and at least one of your flatmates may be bearable company.

    The other thing that strikes me is that you are low in self confidence, and have taken a few knocks. You have to like yourself, for others to be able to, and as US self-help as that sounds, it is true. so go and
    boost your self esteem and look after yourself and the friends will follow.

    Oh and remember, the boards are a fairly nice place to be, so you can make some friends here too.

    Susie :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Don't worry! I'm certainly having similar feelings to you. Susie's right - the stereotypes aren't true. Loads of people don't drink a lot, or go clubbing, so you will fit in.

    Look at going to university as a chance to make a fresh start. Make an effort to talk to people in the first few days and weeks - if you make a fool of yourself, who cares - there are thousands more people to get to know!

    Everyone will be nervous, no matter how confident they seem on the outside. You should at least be able to get to know people in rooms nearby, and some people on the same course.

    It won't be as bad as you think! You never know, you migth even enjoy it!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey I used to be very shy as well and I was really worried about starting college. At first I found it really hard to talk to new people and make new friends, but I managed it and its turned my life around. I often found that I'd have nothing to say, spoke very quiet and thought that people must find me really boring because I didnt have much to say. But then I realised that I just needed to get out of my shell abit and try not to worry so much, not think too much about what others are going to think so that I can be more relaxed around them.

    You will find that going to uni will bring out your confidence, I have become alot more confidnet since going to college, I tend not to worry so much about what people think and theres no awkward silences anymore when Im in the room with just one other person, I find that Ive always got something to say now.

    This time last year I certainly didnt think that my life would be how it is today, it has changed so much for the better, and believe me, although your gonna find it difficult, just try and chill and dont worry so much about what others are gonna think, Im sure they'll be others feeling the same as you and believe me you'll look back one day on all of this and be so thankful that you went out there, spoke up and got yourself noticed, and youll relaise that it really wasnt as hard as you had thought!!

    Good luck :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I find it difficult to talk to new people unless they are through work, through a mate and so on. As soon as you can 'break the ice' then everything is fine. It is also to do with how I look, here people say I am foreign looking and is frowned upon, not to good on paranoia either.

    Also, I think having flatmates will help alot as you are bound to get on and you will be getting to know their mates and that?

    University will be new start for me and I am looking very forward to it, I hope that you and I can get a good start!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    wow, your posts sounds exactly like how I feel and act.
    I'm in the year below you and hopefully going to uni next year.
    Like you i'm terrified! Espically about having to do presentations or speaking out in class because I find it so hard to do. Many people tell me why don't you just speak more? Yet as you can I know it's not that easy, I wish it was.
    I hardly ever go out either because I don't really have any friends, don't drink or club either. And I feel people find me boring, or ignore because I let people ignore me. People try to talk to me and I don't know what to say back.

    I can't really offer you much advice just that try to come out of yourself slowly, like i'm trying to do. I was looking around websites about being shy and one said, just try saying 'hi' to five people a day and build upon that.

    Be yourself, don't try to pretend to be anything else because it's you people have got to like not an act. Just to let you know there are many people like you and me out there and uni and working will give you a chnace to meet some, shy and outgoing people.

    Good luck with uni and remember everyone will have no friends when they start so it will be a good chance to meet and make new ones.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for all the replies guys, they helped a lot. Those links were great. Hopefully I'll be able to come out of my shell at uni and have the time of my life.
    If only making friends in real life was as easy as making them on the net huh? :P

    Thanks again. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And I was just going to reply aswell.. Oh well, here's my two cents..

    I have never been really shy and yet haven't been really popular either. I'm one of those people that have a select group of friends and don't often venture out of the security and tenure of that inner circle. I'm dreading going to Uni, but also looking forward to it at the same time. Sure, it'll happen over time but it's not gonna happen overnight - making friends I mean.

    But don't worry, I have a few shy friends, and although they don't really talk that much, they don't get mocked for it..

    Things will work out, don't worry. What University are you going to?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Bakerman.
    I've just read your first entry and it could have been written by me! I'm 19 and was at uni from Sept 2001 - Dec 2001, so I have a bit of experience (I left cos bad course, not anything else!).
    when you get there, the majority of people will look very nervous, as it's probably their first time away from home. There'll be a small minority who seem pretty loud and confident, but the ones like this ended up being less accepted by others, perhaps cos they weren't being themselves.
    You'll meet such a wide range of people that there's bound to be people you get on with, as well as the inevitable few that you can't stand ;)
    The main thing is, try to mix with people - join a sports team (there are teams for people who are useless but just want to have fun, and for those who are really good), invite your neighbours round to your room for a drink, and remember that (even by the admission of lecturers), first years usually do appallingly in their exams!!
    I'm off to a different uni in September, and I'm terrified about it, but I know that after a few weeks it'll improve. You'll probably want to stay there over Christmas, and being at home will seem really boring.:D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not trying to depress you all, just telling my story...
    much as everyone likes to say it, not everyone at uni will be happy and make friends. yes, guys, it's officially true. just as there were quiet people with not many friends at school so there will be at uni. i just never thought i'd be one of them. unfortunately i have the opposite story of many people here; at 11 i was painfully shy, quiet, friendless... by the time i'd left school at 17 i had many close amazing friends, was happy, confident, bubbly and sociable (and a tad eccentric!) one year on and after 9 months of uni i feel like i'm 11 again - there was noone whose number i got to keep in touch over the hols, i have noone to live with in october and i generally feel as if i've failed and it's really shocked me - i mean, i thought i was quite a nice person.

    one positive thing i will say is get a job. i know it might sound strange but i've had much more success making friends in the shop where i work than at uni - maybe because you HAVE to talk to each other, also there's a broader range of people and less competitive behaviour

    hope all goes better for you.
    sorry for being a depressive - just tellin' it like it is.

    bella x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just to give you more confidence bakerman, your post also describes the way I am and have been for a long while. However I do drink & go clubbing. I do have a inner circle of friends and am generally happy with my social life.

    However, being shy has never changed. I think I have gotten better over the years and I can at least say "what's up, how ya doin?" to people and carry on a conversation if they persue it. But If it's up to me to make the conversation I just can't do it. Just like you guys, I have nothing to say. I don't know why. How can people sit there and talk for hours non-stop. All I can do is laugh, say "yeah", "cool", "alright", etc. Starting a conversation with someone is not so easy, but when im a lil drunk it makes it a lot easier. hehe. When I am at parties most of the time people are just standing around talking about all their BS. I'm usually the one sitting twiddling my thumbs constantly looking around acting occupied, all because I don't have anything to say.. and I dread trying to start up a conversation with someone. This affects me in the workplace also... not being able to conversate with clients makes you look pretty dumb, but again I just can't think of anything to say WTF :(

    So I guess I don't have any advice.. just letting you know that you are not the only one out there. It's reassuring to me to know that I'm not the only one and I'm sure it will be to you also =)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hello. I'm a very shy person too. I'm not a clubbing person and I don't tend to get drunk either. When my mates ask if I'm going I don't go out. I know that when I go to uni I will have to go out with people and at first I know it's gonna be terrible.

    The best thing I did to give me more confidence dealing with people was to get a job at the Post Office where I would be face to face with customers, talking to them. It has helped me so much and I can now talk to people with confidence. If I had to do a presentation or role play though I would freeze on the spot and start to shake as usual.

    I would advise that you get a job where you have to talk to customers. It takes getting used to but after a little bit you'll feel more confident in yourself.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd say that job part is true, most students NEED a part time job anyway to help pay the rent, but for confidence and meeting new people it can be great, and to be honest, the people I most regularly keep in touch with from my time at uni are the lovely locals who I met through my bar job.

    Just to add to all the linkage I provided earlier - we have a mates special issue now, with a stack of advice in it.

    Susie :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    bakerman - i know what u mean - u should look at Matthew82's thread - you might find it helpful - im a quiet person too and frequently find myself feeling like i have nothing to say and getting depressed worrying that people dont like me - but the funny thing ive realised is that every group of friends is made up of different people - it would get boring otherwise - and its ok to be quiet, and be the "good listener" - and you have to remember that a conversation is a two way thing - dont think that it's all your fault if there are lapses in conversation - ive just started to realise that - i reckon that as long as you keep on smiling, and be a good friend when you can, that you'll always find people who appreciate you, and more importantly who u appreciate back. the more you let it nag away at you, the bigger obstacle it'll become - just try to go out one evening, and everytime you feel the negativity set in, choose to ignore it - really try to block it out, and just concentrate on what you're doing - if you're stuck for things to say - and it doesnt always have to be funny things btw - then ask questions - people always love talking about themselves!!!
    i hope that all that makes some sense!!
    cate x:)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ps. - which uni are you heading to?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I hope you get on better than I did at uni. I'll share my story but before that I just wnat to say hope you enjoy your uni life, just make sure you get out and talk to people :)

    I travelled 200 miles away from home to go to Hertfordshire Uni last September. By January, I was depressed, alone and had to quit my course.

    I'm shy too and am so envius of those who are out going. I just cannot talk to people I don't know and make conversation. I got to a point in my dorm where I would not leave my room to go the kitchen incase anyone was there. I couldn't make friends in the student halls or inlessons as I just couldn't talk to anyone, they must have thought I was so boring. There would be days where I literally didn't speak. The only way I kept my voice going was to sing. Every night just got worse and I'd gradually keep myself in my room or stay in the LRC center and go online. I kept a diary where I'd write every day and it's so depressing to look at it. So much hope at the start of september. By January it was pages full of scribblings, screaming at myself to talk, I use to sit and just wave my pen about on the page, drawing lines and scribbles...and this creature suddenly started to appear thru these lines and it was incredibly weird. I then started drawing all these weird pictures of monsters...as if they were monsters inside me keeping me from talking. Just writing this I know you must think I've got something seriously wrong with me but I'm a perfectly sane person. But this is what depression and loneliness can do to you.

    I'm sorry if I've made you worried about your uni life, I'm sure you'll be fine, I was just unfortunate. Just get out there and socialise best you can.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i know that ppl say this alot on here - but honestly, truly, reading that post was like reading the last year of my life. i couldn't have described it better. i don't write in a diary but i do go on msn alot and i'm lucky enough to have a very supportive boyf not too far away. BUT i have to say that doesn't help when you haven't actually spoken to anyone in person for a week.
    as i said before, what keeps me sane is my job in a bakers. the eccentric old dears who come in to buy exactly the same thing each week and the friendly "regulars" from the shops nearby keep me together in a way they must never have imagined. plus going in somewhere where i am needed, where ppl know me and where i have to talk is a lifesaver. literally.

    love to you all andd best wishes for all going away soon into the big wide world

    bella xxx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    join the rest of us mate.
    i got enough mates...but those are the mates from baby-hood. i
    havent made new mates for years and years (last time i tried was college and the lonliness beat me down).
    i dont talk to people i dont know, and clubbing etc aint my thing at all.
    once i get my life sorted out properly im gonna set about meeting my net friends...maybe you could try that too. (edited to say that i meant maybe you could try meeting up with net mates who are in similar situations to you...not that you should sort your life out lol, sorry about that).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    If I were I'd fill in you're profile on the message bored and use that as a basis for talking to new people (in the 'real' world that is). If you find it hard to talk to people tell them what interests you. If it's clear that they don't happen to share that interest don't stress, just move on to something else on you're 'list'. If you mix this with listening to what they're saying I think you'll find you're a great conversationalist before you even know it. To me you seem like an aware and sensitive person and for me that's means you're 90% of the way there.
    I'm off to Uni this September and I'm very much aware that although I'll know no-one so will pretty much everyone else. You're not alone. Good luck.

    Dan xxx
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