Aug 03, 2017 at 11:04

Counsellor Nivedita Singh answers your queries about relationships, family, school and life

After my father’s transfer I have taken admission into a new school in this city. However, since I am an introvert I have not been able to mingle with the students. I feel lonely and isolated from all activities of the school. I also miss my friends from my previous school. What should I do?

Admittedly, it is difficult for any child when he/she enters a new school where the other students have formed bonds and associations over a number of years. When a child is innately shy or an introvert by temperament, the challenges can be even greater.

The good news is that despite being an introvert you are aware of feeling lonely and are missing your earlier friends. That’s because humans are social creatures who thrive and flourish in company. We’re not meant to live in isolation.

Having said that, it’s important to highlight the fact that close friendships don’t just happen. Many people struggle with shyness and social anxiety and are unsure of how to connect with others. Making new friends means putting yourself out there and that’s not always easy. It can be scary. Hence, it’s quite possible that some of your schoolmates might be hesitating to come forward because of reasons similar to yours.

So, where do you begin? It’s simply a matter of overcoming one’s inhibitions and adopting a different outlook. Don’t be scared to try. Remind yourself that you have nothing to lose. Begin with a small goal of befriending merely one or two; focusing on those who either sit next to you or live close by. Slowly as you gain more confidence you can widen the net.

Sometimes some people have a social skill deficit and might fail in the initial attempts but eventually through observation one learns.

Some things that you must keep in mind are:
1. Be yourself
2. Show interest in others
3. Join a sport or a club (debating, elocution, theater)
4. Be genuine and compassionate.
5. Being approachable is a good way of showing friend potential. Smile
6. Choose wisely. Ensure that their values align with yours.
7. Be open to sharing your interests, values, and struggles, goals you don’t have to reveal your deep personal secrets.
8. Ask yourself:
i Do I feel better after spending time with this person?
ii Am I myself around this person, or do I have to watch what I say and do?
iii Am I treated with respect?
iv Is this a person I can trust?

As far as missing your earlier friend goes, in recent years, technology has revised the definition of friendship. You can make a new connection or stay connected with old friends at the click of a button. Although, it’s important to remember that having hundreds of online friends is not the same as having a close friend you can be with in person. Happy befriending..!


In Defence of Mediocrity
Somebody has to start speaking up for us, and rather urgently at that!

Mansi Tikko