Making friends and being able to maintain these friendships is something I have struggled with throughout my entire life. I guess this is because I'm quite a quiet person and find it difficult to start a conversation with someone. As much as I would love to be able to go up to someone or sit down next to them and start a conversation, I find this virtually impossible. I guess it is also partly to do with my social anxiety, which means I am constantly worrying about how I am coming across to other people, even if I have known them for a while, which means I find it easier to sit in the background and say nothing. But if I do sit in the background and say nothing to people, does that make them judge me even more than they would if I actually spoke to them?
This is one of the many problems I have encountered during my time at university. At first, it was kind of easy because if I wanted to talk to someone who I had never met, it was easy for me to introduce myself. However, after that, I struggled with knowing what to ask them. Should I have asked them where they lived, or would they find me too invasive? I couldn't ask them what course they were studying as we were all on the same course, so that would make me sound even more stupid than I already am. And I definitely didn't want to engage in small talk with them, such as about the weather or something that had come up in the news, as I find this type of conversation pointless and boring. But maybe if I had engaged in this conversation I could have made friends easier as we may have found something we have in common.
I think my problem is that if someone doesn't talk to me first (whether that's in real life or via text) I automatically presume they don't want to talk to me. What I need to learn is that I also need to put the effort in, in order for other people to know I intend to keep our friendship. I feel that if I talk to someone first, I'll be annoying them because they aren't interested as otherwise they would have spoken to me first. Even when I have text someone first, I have always felt that they are not interested in the conversation and are trying their hardest to end it so they don't have to talk to me.
Another thing I struggle with is being able to open up to people. This is because I have never really known who is truly there for me and who isn't, therefore I don't know who I can trust. I think this is because I have had so many friends leave me in the past that I am worried if I do open up to someone then they will eventually leave me and share whatever I have told them. This is why I tend to keep everything bottled up, which is incredibly dangerous, particularly as my mental health at the moment is possibly the worst it has ever been. I just wish I had someone who I was 110% certain was going to stick around forever so I could open up to them about everything I am going through just so I could get these things off my chest and get some advice. Even though I open up on here, it's not the same as being able to have a one-to-one conversation with someone.
Now I am at the end of my first year of university, I think I can say I've made a few friends, although I'm not all that close to them. Hopefully, at some point in my life, I will find a friend who I am completely comfortable with opening up to as so far in my life there has been no one who has been able to do this. Even if by some miracle I have a boyfriend, from what happened with my ex I'm not entirely sure I would feel comfortable in being able to open up to whoever that unfortunate soul turns out to be. So I guess that for now, I'm just going to have to keep my thoughts to myself and only open up about my problems where I find it appropriate here (p.s. sorry for this in advance).
Love Beth xx