Okay, so I really need some advice. I feel like I am completely alone in my life. I have no friends, no relationships, and I feel like I don’t have parents who I am close with. Just so you know, I’m not depressed. I’ve just never felt a reason to make relationships or connections because I feel like I’m just waiting until I can finally leave the place where I live and grow into my life somewhere else. I never really cared about being alone, but the other day when my sister (the only person I can truly say I love) and I had a fight, I felt like this all just crashed into me. I’m 16 years old. I’ve never had a boyfriend and never even had my first kiss. I don’t know how to make friends or anything. Please help.
I’m sorry you’ve been feeling this way! Feeling lonely, like you have no one to turn to is tough, and it can be a hard thing to get out of. I understand what you’re saying about how you’re waiting to leave your hometown to meet people – a lot of people feel that way. But honestly, doing that is only hurting you. Making friends and connections can be hard, but you have to try if you want that to happen, and continuing to put it off isn’t going to help at all.
Being a social butterfly isn’t a requirement for getting through life without feeling alone – not everyone needs to be popular with tons of friends and past relationships. That being said, having and maintaining friendships with others is really important for your growth and development in so many aspects of your life. It’s great that you’re very close to your sister, but you should have a friend you can rely on outside of your family. As for the relationship stuff? Sure, that’s important too, but to be honest, I’m more concerned about the friendship stuff right now.
Trying to make friends can be difficult and awkward, and sometimes it’s a slow process, but it can be totally worth it in the end. Plus, you’re in a good place to do that right now – there are few easier places to make friends than in school. Maybe there’s someone you’ve talked to in class before – if so, ask them if they want to study or do homework together one day. That can lead to the opportunity to ask if they want to hang out sometime, or to let that happen naturally. If there’s no one you talk to, try joining a club or extracurricular activity, which is a great way to meet like-minded people. If that’s not possible, look for things you can do outside of school. Most communities have community activities like sports teams or other clubs or things like that.
You can also use social media to try and make some friends. Start chatting with someone over something they’ve posted that you guys have in common. Send them a private message or something like that. It sounds weird, and it might feel weird, but it can work. You should also use your resources. Does your sister have friends outside of you? If so, ask if you can hang out with them sometime. Make friends with her friends, or their friends if you can hang out in a big group. Another great place to meet friends is through a part-time job. I met so many of my closest friends from years of waitressing, and we’re still close even though we haven’t worked together in years. Find something to do a few times a week so you can make money AND besties.
Now for the romantic stuff: Being in a relationship is great, but don’t try to force anything. If you don’t know anyone you have a crush on or would want to make out with, then wait until you find someone like that! There are plenty of people who go through high school and their early 20s without a significant other – there’s nothing wrong with that. Let it come more naturally instead of trying to hunt someone down. If you’re not happy with that idea, then I would suggest using social media or even a dating app to meet someone – but please be careful.
At the end of the day, trying to make friends can feel a little awkward, and sometimes it can take a long time. You just have to be friendly, start talking to people, and act a little vulnerable. Good luck!
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org