GrabTheMeic: Finding It Hard To Make Friends
Jo is finding it hard to make new friends. She asked Meic for advice in Grab the Meic.
Grab the Meic is your opportunity to ask us about anything that’s worrying you. We’re here to listen and give advice. If you want to #grabthemeic then check out this page, but remember this advice is not instant. If you need advice quickly then please contact the helpline.
This article is also available in Welsh
I ddarllen y cynnwys yma yn Gymraeg – clicia yma
I started a new school in September and as quite a shy person I’m finding it hard to make new friends. What can I do?
Jo, Aged 11 (*name changed to protect their identity)
Thanks for contacting us here at Meic. What you are feeling is completely natural and most young people (even the outgoing ones) experience some feelings of anxiety when they start a new school, and meeting new people.
There are a few things you can do to help make the transition a little smoother for yourself. It might be good to start as you mean to go on by making the effort to try and talk to new people. This might feel a little daunting, especially as you mention that you are naturally quite shy, but it doesn’t have to feel this way and you can take it in bite-sized chunks.
You could set yourself mini goals, such as introducing yourself to a different classmate each day. Think of some good questions that you could ask in order to find out a little bit more about who you are sitting next to. People like to be asked questions by others. By doing this you’ll be able to find out who you have things in common with and who shares the same interests as you. Finding people that have similar interests is a great approach, as you will automatically have things to talk about when you next see them. This makes the process a lot more comfortable. Also, if you do hit it off you will have lots of things to do together.
Grow your circle
Don’t just stick to those in the same class as you either. You’ll meet people from different classes at break and lunch time too. Breaks can be difficult when you’re new to a school but once you’ve made those connections in class it will be easier to find people to spend time with.
Try not to focus in on one friend because this could make things difficult for you in the long run, if they are off sick for example. Try to branch out and maintain a few friendships. This will also help you broaden your own interests too.
Join a group
If you’re still a bit unsure about starting conversations and taking those first steps, how about seeing if there are any groups or clubs you can join? These would provide a comfortable space to enjoy your shared interests with other young people in your school.
This can apply out of school too, try and join some extra-curricular activities or even a Youth Group outside of school. Doing something like this can help improve your social skills and you never know there could be a few of your classmates there which would immediately give you a common interest for when you return to school.
Keep your old friends
Try and maintain contact with friends from your old school. If there are people from your old school that you are sad to leave behind, moving to a new school doesn’t have to be the end. Make the effort to keep those friendships going as you can still spend time with each other outside of school.
Most importantly be yourself and remember that you’re probably not the only one feeling this way. There are other people that are in the same boat!
The Meic Team
If you need to talk to someone about anything that’s bothering you, then call Meic to talk to a friendly advisor.
Meic is an information and advocacy helpline for children and young people aged 0-25 in Wales. We are open 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. You can contact us free on the phone (080880 23456), text message (84001) or online chat.