TIPS FOR TEENAGERS TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS
You don’t want to spend your lunch period hiding out just because you are too shy to speak to anyone, right? We all need to socialize with friends as they can support us and teach us new life skills; and to be quite honest, when you are surrounded by friends, you won’t feel so lonely.
Let’s face it high school can be a daunting experience. As if the school work and never-ending assignments aren’t enough, the pressure of being accepted by your classmates can be downright overwhelming!
Don’t fret, help is here. Instead of blaming yourself for the state that your social situation is in, try making some positive changes to the way you approach people. You may be surprised at the results.
Striking up a conversation with other teenagers
Most of us fear moments of awkward silence in conversation and to boot, everyone feels a bit shy sometimes. This can turn socializing into a nearly impossible task.
Let’s have a look at ways in which you can boost your conversation skills.
Make eye contact
Did you know that most of what we are trying to say is communicated non-verbally? In fact, studies have shown that around 93% of the message we are trying to convey does not come from the words we use. Instead, our body language, voice tone and eye contact are what really matters while socializing.
Eye contact is probably the most important tool that we can use to socialize with other people. This means that if you seek meaningful friendships and relationships, a good place to begin is to look people in the eyes when you are talking with them.
You need to use some discretion though because some interactions require more eye contact than others. It will depend on the situation. For instance, don’t creep out strangers on the bus with too much eye contact; but make really strong eye contact when you are on a date. Do you get the idea?
Sometimes, we tend to forget about the basic principles of socializing and this is nothing to feel ashamed about.
Start your interactions by saying hello. This a simple way to get a conversation started and you really don’t have anything to lose by greeting someone politely.
Chuck your label
Forget about labels. You may think that people won’t allow you to change, but this is usually not the case. Remember that labels like “shy” or “outgoing” actually stem from the way in which people see you act and not from the way that people want you to act.
Keep it simple
Most people don’t expect you to dazzle them with your conversational skills; instead, they probably expect a little give and take. They want to be part of the conversation. Stay in the moment and allow the conversation to flow naturally when you socialize.
Now that you’ve got the basics of conversation-making while socializing mastered, why not talk to a girl?
Talking to teenage girls
You may find yourself wondering just what teenage girls want in a relationship. What do girls like about a teenage boy and what do they despise? If you are, here are some tips for talking to girls.
Teenage girls like it when a teenage boy:
- Is confident about who he is
- Has good manners
- Makes them feel special
- Practises good hygiene
- Can make them laugh
Here is an example of a teenage boy who messed up his chances with a teenage girl by not acting like himself:
Toby had a crush on Stacy, but he was always too shy to speak to her. One day, he gathered enough confidence to ask her out on a coffee date. On the date, Toby was so anxious that he started acting completely out of character. He made inappropriate jokes and went on about himself in an effort to impress Stacy. After the date, Stacy wanted nothing to do with him and they never spoke again.
From this example, we can see that Toby should have acted like his normal self instead of trying to impress Stacy who was scared away by his efforts to brag about himself and by his inappropriate behaviour. Make sure that you don’t make the same mistake by trying to impress someone by being who you think they want you to be when you socialize with them.
Go ahead! Make some friends! Socialize!
Whether it’s a girl you like or perhaps a potential new friend, don’t be afraid to invite them for an ice-cream run or a coffee date. If you have been chatting for a while, they may very likely say yes. Kick-start your social life and always remember to be yourself!
If you find it difficult to socialize, remember that with time and patience you should be able to overcome communication barriers with ease. We, at The Speech Practice, want to support you in achieving your social goals and overcoming communication barriers.