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  1. #1
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Default Getting to know people

    So, I have been quite alone (outside of my family) for quite some time now. I get along with it, I am not making a drama out of it currently. However, while I get along with my life, I think there is potential for improvement. I noticed in some situation this week again very well how I have some desire to have some more contact with other people again.

    I didn't take any steps to get to know people in the last time at all. I actually was never really much the guy who was taking first steps to find other people, since I am pretty shy. Currently my self-confidence isn't too high either (well, when you have barely contact to other people and don't get much appreciation since some good time then you cannot easily behave like it would be the most natural thing to me). However, I notice that in the current way I lead my life I don't really get chances currently to get to know other people "by chance". I am studying, so I am currently 4 days / week at university to visit the lessons, but after nearly one year I didn't really find any friends here at all. The problem is that there is just no situation to talk with other people for me at all. You listen to the guy in front of us, the students sit all together with their same old friends they know already and I sit alone. So no chance to get to know there anyone. I think the setting is too much "businesswise", not really a setting for meeting friends. So I believe if I would want to get to know some people then I have to do something more for it than just waiting for it.

    So I think I need some setting which is more open for contact with people. Now, most people seem to suggest that you should visit one of the hundreds of student partys, but that doesn't seem like a good setting for me either. I wouldn't feel well when I come to a party with hundreds of people where everyone most probably already has his mates with whom they go there etc. and where I know absolutely no one. I know I would be too shy to talk to one there from my own at all, and I am pretty sure no one would just come over me to get to know just me when there is hundreds of people around them which look like more fun (if they don't just stick to their old mates).

    As an introvert I would seek for an situation which gives a better chance that people would like to get to know me, that means a smaller setting where people would notice when I come in and where the setting isn't that businesswise. Now I have no idea where I could find such a setting currently. Has someone an idea where you can get to know people when you are a shy loner like I am?


    PS: I wasn't sure where to post the thread; I posted it in the NF area since I thought they would maybe have the ideas fitting best. But what is actually the difference between NF Idyllic and the Personal Threads area? Not sure now if it was the right area I posted in.
    Last edited by Eckhart; 07-04-2010 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Rewrote the text to shorten the wall of text

  2. #2
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Default

    I rewrote the text so it is easier to read.

  3. #3
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Default

    Well I'm sure you could just start talking to random people and make friends. Just because they have their group of friends doesn't mean that you can't be included. That's how it was with my best friend, I basically met him and invited him to hang with my friend group and now they are all friends.

    It really sounds like you're over thinking this. And that you feel the need to have some affirmation and to fit in with a group of people.

    What kinds of hobbies do you have by the way?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    I know that I am overthinking it, but that's one part of the problem I guess I am just not that relaxed that I can talk to random people everywhere. What would I even say to them? No idea how I would start a conversation.

    Hobbies. I obviously do what you can do alone. Spending much time at my PC doing different stuff, writing as an voluntary editor for some site, playing games, being in forums etc.. I like reading (mostly fantasy) and I love football. I am studying business informatics. I like listening to music and of course thinking and overthinking about this and everything. Sounds probably alltogether a bit boring to others

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sizzling Berry's Avatar
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    My Dear Eckhart!!!

    You are at university! This is one of better places to meet new people. Find some societies you want to belong to - but not drinking and partying societies - societies based on common interests. They will organize lectures, workshops, discussions, also parties and trips - but there at least you have a topic to talk about at the very beginning.

    Learn what you always wanted to learn during courses after classes - dancing, fencing, self-defense - they usually offer it at uni - there will be people there.

    Go to the gym and talk to a nice instructor, first time say hi, next time talk about the weather, third time say something interesting and light.

    Talk to people before classes - not to create a ground breaking friendship at once but just for the sake of feeling connected at least for a while - gently touching their heart strings to start with (end of metaphor ).

    You sound like a very nice and considerate guy - just give people a chance to know you - I'm sure some of them would love to talk longer.

    This is at least my impression of unis - though it's Europe based - don't know if US is that different. You would need to tell me .
    Hot-hearted head

  6. #6
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    I've been there -- hmm, no, I *am* there. But like Sizzling Berry says, as strange as it may sound to you now, you're in about the best situation for meeting people (take advantage of it!) It gets harder. It gets a LOT harder.

    Most, if not all, of my hobbies are solitary ones too (by choice). The one thing that I saw is that you like football. Playing, watching, both? If you're into playing, join an intramural team or something. And if people decide to go out for a drink afterward, GO. It will be against your instinct (I know... been there), but GO.

    Take a class that's not necessary -- just something that you always wanted to try. Bonus points if it's something that you can *do* with other people. Sports, drama, etc. are good choices. Sometimes if you're not a very "social" person, the best way to get exposed to new people is to *do* things with them, where you don't have to be very vocal in order to be one of the group. It's very easy to get overlooked if you're the one at a party standing in the corner not talking to anyone (why I'd never recommend going to parties full of strangers as ways to meet someone if it's not your natural inclination) -- but it's almost impossible to get completely overlooked if you're playing basketball, for instance. Even if you don't talk much, sharing in the activity gives you a purpose for being there -- something you can focus on doing without feeling self-conscious.

    If it sounds like I think I have the answer, I don't. I've dealt with this sort of thing for many years, and I haven't found anything that works well. But take advantage of being in college -- it really is the best opportunity for such things.
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  7. #7
    Lungs & Lips Locked Unkindloving's Avatar
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    Clubs . Put yourself in situations where there are other people with similar interests and the ability to talk. Classes are difficult for that, unless you are paired into groups of some sort or meant to interact with one another.
    I'm taking an international folk dance class come this fall. I'm aware that i won't be talking to people much in other classes, but that one gives me an excuse to interact and have a laugh, you see?

    Also, don't hesitate. Act on the impulse to talk to someone, even if you're corny or honest about your awkwardness in striking up conversation. It may sound weird, but be confident in the awkwardness. You can even say "I don't normally start up conversation, but..."
    The thing that usually keeps people from doing is hesitating. It gives you that extra time to think and doubt yourself, then you'll have to make the extra effort to psych yourself out over it.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Sizzling Berry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    The one thing that I saw is that you like football. Playing, watching, both? If you're into playing, join an intramural team or something. And if people decide to go out for a drink afterward, GO. It will be against your instinct (I know... been there), but GO.
    This is exactly how it works. The point of it is not to be the centre of attention during drinks, but to become more comfortable with interacting with people (don't do it for others attention, do it for yourself - with mindset I will just go and see how it is, who cares what they think of me, I may never meet them again). With more trials it really gets EASIER. The deal at the beginning is to feel ok with chatting and talking to people - as if it was a normal thing like eating with fork and knife. That is easy now, but do you remember how much you had to practice before and how clumsy you felt with your hands.

    Now you have a nice opportunity to use World Cup as a conversation starter if you are into football. The Klosse's first goal against Argentina was fenomenal, oooh I hoped that Ghana would advance further - they fought so fiercely etc, etc.

    What can I say - it's a good skill to have. It can bring lots of joy to your life. I know how it is to be surrounded with a wall of shyness, which seems unpenetrable. But once you fight it, it starts to crumble.
    Hot-hearted head

  9. #9
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Thank you for the answers

    The classes etc. sound like a good start. I wish I listened when I came to the university what they have to offer all, but I started to look around now. Apparently they have to offer loads of sports classes, several I haven't even heard about before. Sadly when it comes to sports I was always a lazy bum and rather clumsy, but maybe they have to offer something which would be interesting to me. I am only watching football actually, but I could also play football if I don't have to be good at it; according to description I don't have to be. But first I will look for the more special things; I can imagine special activies might draw special people too :P

    I will have to wait though until the next semester starts (you have to register first etc.), but that seems ok. Then I also have enough time to inform myself a bit about the different offers.

    They have also dancing classes, but I don't believe that would be something for me.

    @Sizzling Berry: You mention "societies". Are that "official groups" (I have no better formulation) where anybody can "join in", or are that more something like unofficial friend circles? I guess the first because you say they make something like workshops etc.; the thing is I have no idea what exactly that societies are and if our university has something like that. It would be obviously great if there is some groups where we can talk about same interests outside from only sports activities.

    I live in Europe too! So I cannot say something about US universities either :P

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