I’ve never really done anything like this before, but I want your advice. So far in freshman year, I’ve made two new friends, but I don’t really like them very much. It’s not that they’re bad people or anything, I just don’t think we’re compatible as friends. It feels like it’s too late in the school year to join another group of friends without things being awkward. I also don’t want to hurt my current friends’ feelings by ditching them to hang out with other people. What do I do if I don’t want to hang out with my friends anymore but don’t want to make them feel like I’m abandoning them? And how can I make new friends so late in the school year?
There are a few points to address here, but let’s start with this one: It’s definitely not too late in the school year to make new friends. It’s only a few months into fall, but aside from that, there’s never a limit on when you can and can’t start hanging out with a new group of people. I get what you’re saying – friend groups have been established, so it might feel harder to break into them – but it’s definitely not impossible.
It’s also possible to back away from your new friendships without leaving too many hurt feelings behind. If you guys have only been friends for a few months, you’re not super close yet, which makes it easier to fade things out. You don’t need to tell them you don’t want to be friends anymore, you can just kind of slowly start doing your own thing. Things might be a little bit awkward, but as long as you stay friendly, it should be okay.
So, how do you do all of those things? Let’s discuss.
First, let’s talk about how to find new friends. Are there people you have in mind that you’d like to start talking to and hanging out with? Is there a group you think seems really fun, or a single person you feel like you could connect with? If so, you just kind of need to make a friendship move. Find a reason to talk to them – it’s best if you can grab at something you all have in common – and start a conversation. It’s awkward and almost like dating, but don’t put too much thought into it. Unless your school is like the real life Mean Girls, most people are open towards making new friends and talking to others.
If you don’t have anyone in mind and you’re looking for people to be friends with, then just pay attention to everyone around you. Is there a girl in one of your classes who seems similar to you? Is there someone in your lunch who seems a little lonely too? If not, try getting involved in school activities like after-school clubs or sports – these are great ways to meet friends. Go to parties with people you kind of know. Hang with another friend and talk to their friends. You just have to be friendly, talk to people, and let things happen. Forcing friendships doesn’t work, so sometimes it takes a little time.
Meanwhile, you can start fading out your two new friends whenever you want. I don’t suggest hanging out with them until you find someone new and then ditching them completely – that’s the friend version of a dude using a girl for sex until someone else comes around. Just slowly stop being around as much. Be nice, but politely decline invitiations to hang out (if you don’t want to) and don’t feel pressure to always respond to every text message. Keep yourself busy with other things so you legitimately don’t have time. Don’t ignore them and blow them off, because that’s rude. Just slowly back off and, again, let things happen.
It might take a while to get where you want, but you will get there. Just keep your eyes open for new friends, and be nice to these two that you’ve met already. It’s frustrating to hear stuff like this, but things will work out if you’re patient.