The fear of making friends is much more common than you think. It is puzzling, though, how something as incredible as making friends is also something certain individuals fear. If this is true for you, you know how puzzling it is too.
Regardless, it is a thing a lot of people are currently struggling with.
It’s a terrible fear to have as well. You want to go out there to make friends, yet when you’re about to face a stranger, your fear overcomes you. Instead of wanting it, you dread it. This is something you’ll need to eliminate completely so that you’ll have a healthier and happier social life.
Why You Have The Fear of Making Friends
Before you can formulate how to overcome this fear, you must first figure out why you have the fear of making friends in the first place.
The following are the most common reasons why someone can have the fear of making friends. You can confirm whether or not you really have this fear through these.
You’ve been rejected before
One of the most common reasons why someone can have the fear of making friends is that they’ve tried before. However, the end result of this attempt was heartbreaking. This can lead to someone getting traumatized by making new friends. They now associate this wonderful thing with a negative emotion.
You’re afraid of opening up to a stranger
Perhaps the reason why you’re afraid of making friends is simply tied to another fear. You may simply be fearful of the idea of opening up to someone you don’t know yet. This, in turn, can make you have the fear of making new friends. You can’t make new friends without opening up to them, after all.
You’re worried that it might end badly
It’s also possible that you’re afraid of making friends because you’re looking too far ahead. This wouldn’t be a problem if you’re looking at it optimistically, but you’re already assuming that the friendship will end badly.
This is a reason that is shared by many who has this fear. That doesn’t make it any easier to overcome the fear itself, though. Don’t worry. We’ll get to that later on.
You’ve experienced childhood trauma
Childhood trauma can actually contribute — or is the reason why you fear making friends. Childhood trauma of any kind can lead to all kinds of social anxieties and post-trauma disorders later in life. This may be the case for you if you’ve experienced terrible things as a child.
As painful and as difficult as it is to relive childhood trauma, it’s one you’ll need to consider right now. Confirming this will allow you to know exactly what to do moving forward, and that’s to seek out professional help.
It’s been a while since you’ve made a new friend
It is also entirely possible that what you’re feeling now isn’t entirely fear, but discomfort. This can happen if you haven’t made a new friend or haven’t interacted with a stranger in a while.
Don’t be lenient if this is the case for you. The longer you put off socializing, the higher your chances are of actually fearing it.
How To Overcome The Fear of Making New Friends
Now that you know the possible reasons why you fear making new friends, it’s time to learn how to overcome it.
Ask people you know and trust to introduce you to others
Making new friends can be extremely overwhelming to those who fear it. If you fear it too, there’s one thing you can do to make this process easier.
Instead of going out there to meet new people and make friends, you can simply ask for help from those you already know. Refer to the people in your life you know and trust. Ask them if they know someone who’d be interested in being friends with you.
This way, the person you’ll be interacting with is someone your friend vouches for. It’s also highly likely that they’ll let you meet someone they know you’ll get along with. It’ll be easier to interact with someone when you’re compatible. Your success rate when it comes to actually befriend them is higher. All it takes is one for you to know you shouldn’t fear making friends.
Start speaking to people you know, but don’t consider as friends
Aside from asking your friends to introduce you to other people, there’s one more thing you can do to make new friends easier.
You should know a handful of people you don’t consider friends yet. Neighbors, co-workers, classmates, etc. You can turn to these people to get over your fear of making friends. Befriending them will be easier compared to befriending a stranger.
For one, you already have an idea what kind of people these guys are. They aren’t exactly strangers to you, but they’re not friends yet either. You already have somewhat of a foundation with them, and you can simply build upwards from there.
Among these people, assess which of them you feel has a couple of things in common with you. Better yet, speak with as many of them as you can to see which of them you have chemistry with.
Start working on your self-esteem
One of the greatest factors about you that affect your fear of making friends is your self-esteem. If you have low self-esteem, you’re less motivated to make new friends.
That said, it’s best if you consider this aspect of yourself first. Be sure to keep in mind that your self-esteem needs boosting. Aspire to boost your self-esteem. As you go along reading this article, you’ll find a lot of things that will greatly help with your self-esteem. For now, the important thing is to actively see this as a priority.
Get to know yourself better
Get to know yourself better and you’ll know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Knowing these things will allow you to adjust which aspects of yourself you’ll need to work on and which you can take advantage of. You can then use this information to be better at socializing.
For example, if you know you’re not that good at listening, you can then know to work on that from here on out. If you know you’re great at it, on the other hand, then you’ll know to make use of that the next time you go out there.
Do better in your personal life
There are two things that come with you doing better in your personal life. First, being better at the things you do professionally and personally greatly improves your self-esteem. As we’ve already established, boosting your self-esteem will also help you overcome your fear of making friends.
Second, it makes you more attractive as a potential friend. A lot of people will start looking up to you if you’re doing good at what you do.
As a bonus, it will improve your overall quality of life. You’ll be hitting a lot of marks with this single tip.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Just be sure to do as best as you can from here on out. A lot of things in your life will also improve in the process.
Get used to the idea of opening up
You won’t be able to get over your fear of making friends if you also fear the idea of opening up. From now on, start getting familiar with it. Welcome the idea of opening up to others. This can be a very wonderful thing and you should stop seeing it as something terrifying.
Your perspective of this idea is the only thing that’s stopping you from overcoming the fear. Know that more good than bad can come out of this. Force yourself to remember this fact. It may take a while, but you’ll eventually get used to it in the end, as long as you keep trying.
Don’t be afraid of getting rejected
Rejection is another thing you should stop being so worried about. That is, of course, if you want to overcome the fear of making friends. Rejections can come in many forms. They can arrive in different ways. Sometimes they can be avoided, sometimes they’re inevitable. However, the most important thing here is how you deal with rejections.
No matter how good you are at socializing, there will be those who’ll find you disagreeable. This is completely normal. This shouldn’t discourage you, though. While there are those you won’t be able to befriend, there are way more people who are more than willing to be friends with you.
From now on, stop fearing rejection. You should also stop expecting everyone you meet to want to be friends with you. Instead, just do your best to befriend them. That’s all you can do and that’s all that matters.
Find like-minded people
If you surround yourself with people who share your beliefs, opinions, and interests, you’ll never fear befriending them. This is because you can see yourself in them, and the other way around. You can connect with them much easier and befriending them seems more exciting.
That said, actively find like-minded people from now on. You can do so by joining classes, clubs, or groups. You can also start talking about your interests to your acquaintances and the like to try to find a common ground. As soon as you meet like-minded people, you’ll start to realize or remember just how exciting it is to make new friends. You’ll start looking forward to it instead of fearing it.
Stop being afraid of making mistakes
Similar to how you shouldn’t be afraid of getting rejected, you also shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes.
Making socially awkward mistakes is something that makes us human. It’s as common as bursts of sunshine and sudden rainfalls.
Whenever you do make mistakes in social situations, you can apologize if necessary or laugh about it if it’s inconsequential. Once again, the important thing here is how you rise above it. Those around you will understand because they too make mistakes from time to time. So do everyone else.
Look good to feel good
This is another thing you can do that will boost your self-esteem, thus helping you overcome your fear of making friends. If you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you’re able to carry yourself better. You can interact with others with more confidence. Most importantly, you’ll start feeling comfortable in social situations. This will ultimately help you overcome your fear.
Be sure to take the time to address your physical appearance whenever you go out. This doesn’t mean that you should look like a supermodel each time you go out, mind you. What this simply means is that you should look neat and presentable. You should smell nice and look decent. Tend to your hair, nails, and clothes. Be fashionable, as well as respectable.
Avoid being too pessimistic
Pessimism has its place in our lives, but not when it overpowers you. It shouldn’t be the driving factor in most of your decisions. It should simply allow you to check in with reality every once in a while. It definitely shouldn’t make you fear making friends.
Stop looking ahead if what you’re expecting is the worst. It’s good to consider them so you can set proper expectations. However, if this only drives your fear, recalibrate. Know that great things can happen too. Know that making new friends isn’t as horrifying as you think it is. Focus on the positives. Hope for them and strive to make them happen. You’ll never be able to make great things happen if you’ve already decided they won’t happen beforehand.
Be kinder to yourself
This is something a lot of people forget to do, yet it is one of the most important things. Be kinder to yourself. Having this fear may lead you to have some negative feelings about yourself. Stop that. Stop blaming yourself too much. There’s a reason why you fear the things you fear. Beating yourself up over it won’t help you.
Instead, have confidence and faith in yourself. Remind yourself that you can overcome those fears. Tell yourself that you’re stronger than the things that scare you, including this one. Keep this in mind and your self-esteem will rise and your fear of making friends will slowly disappear.
Know that it’s okay to be picky with who you befriend
A lot of people assume that for you to be socially skilled, you’ll need to befriend everybody you meet. This isn’t the case at all. In fact, a lot of socially adept people know who to befriend and who not to.
As someone who’s afraid of making friends, you should employ this mindset too. If you want to overcome your fear, your approach shouldn’t be to befriend everyone you meet. You can try, of course, but don’t think that being picky is a bad thing. After all, you’re only looking after yourself. You’ll want friends you know you can trust.
Find a new hobby
Finding a new hobby is another thing you can do to help you overcome your fears. Here’s how and why:
Find a new hobby you can sink your time into. Be sure it’s something you know you’ll enjoy. It can also be something you’ve always wanted to try but have never found the time to. Then, you can join groups dedicated to that activity. This way, you’ll find other people who also enjoy this activity. You can meet people who know more about it. You can then learn from them.
This is just another thing you can do to find like-minded people. Only this time, you’re new to the activity. Meeting new people this way is great for you because it will allow you to be comfortable with strangers. Thus, it will help you overcome your fear of making friends.
Start making conversations as often as you can
Be sure to take any opportunity to make conversations. No matter where you are and if you have the time to spare, make conversations with friends, colleagues, acquaintances, or strangers.
This will help you become comfortable with the notion of making conversations. One of the things that can help you overcome your fear of making friends is to love the idea of making conversations. Doing this will also help you become better at it.
If you believe you’re someone who’s not that good at conversations yet, be sure to read up on our other articles on conversation techniques. There are a lot of things you’ll need to know if you want to master the art of conversations.
Whenever you receive invitations for and to anything, say yes more often than you say no. This is an opportunity for you to overcome your fear of making friends. It will help you be more sociable. It will help you improve your social skills. Most importantly, it will help you make new friends.
Repetition and familiarity are two key things in overcoming any kind of fear. The fear of making friends is no exception. The more you allow yourself to be surrounded by people you can befriend, the more likely you are to overcome your fear.
If an instance arises where you’re unable to say yes, that’s okay. Don’t be yourself up over it. However, you should never decline and make up an excuse. Don’t avoid the opportunity. Only do so if you’re busy or if your mind and body aren’t up for it.
This process will definitely not be an overnight thing. It won’t only take a week. It may take way longer than that. The process of overcoming a fear of any kind can take a long time. This one is no different.
That said, don’t be discouraged if your fear persists no matter how hard you try. This is completely normal. The important thing is that you’re trying your best. In time, you’ll finally overcome the fear of making friends. It doesn’t have to happen tomorrow, or next week. It can happen at any time. Just be sure to keep at it.
If you find yourself discouraged, just be sure to remember what’s waiting for you at the end of the line. How amazing it will be to finally be rid of this fear.
Seek professional help
If your problems are much deeper mentally, be sure to waste no time in seeking out professional help. There are things professional psychologists and psychiatrists can do that you won’t get elsewhere. These are things you should do intended to specifically combat what you’re mentally going through.
If you believe you need this, seek professional help now. You can return to this article once you’ve finally gotten the help you need. It won’t be easy, but it’s something you truly need.
Improve your social skills
If you want to overcome your fear of making friends, the best thing that you can do is to improve your social skills. This is the ultimate tip for this. The better you become at socializing, the less you’ll be bothered by this fear. It won’t even be a fear at all. It will disappear from your life completely. Then, you’ll even wonder why you feared something so incredible in the first place.
You’ve already read some tips here that will help you improve your social skills. However, there is so much more that you should learn. That said, after reading this article, be sure to check out the other articles on this site as well. Better yet, I highly encourage you to check out my book and you’ll definitely learn what it takes to become socially adept.
The fear of making friends shouldn’t be underestimated. This can effectively kill your social life, which will lead to even worse things for you. It’s a good thing that you sought out this article in the first place. That in itself is already a sign that you’re keen on overcoming it, which is a great thing.
As said above, this may take a while. Never lose hope. Keep at it and maintain a high level of willingness. You’ll overcome this fear in time.