Own Today By Feeling Confident

Feeling lonely in a new environment? Same…but we shall not give up!

Howdy, folks! Happy I hope your Tuesday is going super well so far. πŸ™‚

Over these past few days, I have been attending an orientation/training for my next internship that starts in September. It makes me very sleepy, and I am often trying to think of resources I can provide you with. Stay tuned for whatever I come up with!

Today, I would like to continue our discussion on loneliness that we touched upon last week (I hope you had an awesome 4th of July, by the way!). Because I am trying to make new friends, and I have been attending an orientation for my internship, I am working on getting out of my comfort zone. I am really struggling with it. I call myself a #sociallyawkwardsocialworker, because I do not always know how to talk to people and continue conversations.

However, I try not to give up and neither should you. I have an “interview method” when making new friends. It revolves around making the person feel special and good about him/herself, while I learn about his/her interests and strengths. It’s like playing a question game with one of your friends. It can be overwhelming/annoying, but I just use these questions as conversation starters:

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What is your favorite book and why?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What is your favorite zoo animal?
  • How do you like to relax?
  • What do you think are your best qualities?
  • Who do you think makes a really great friend and why?
  • What is something that makes you instantly happy, plastering a smile on your face?

The list goes on and on. It’s best to ask open-ended questions, opening doors for conversations that can lead anywhere. Close-ended questions are those that will likely end your conversation quickly, closing with a “yes” or “no” answer. Having these casual “interviews” has helped me learn a lot about a person on the surface, breaking the ice so that we can become more comfortable with each other and talk about the “deeper” stuff, like family history, friendships, darkest secrets, and whatever else you can think of!

Trying out this “interview method” may take a hint of courage, and I often wonder why I do it, but I suggest trying it. If you don’t feel like the person is responding to you well, that’s okay. Try not to blame yourself, because maybe they are just as nervous as you are! It’s also important to consider that not all friends are made in two seconds; give the friendship time to develop. Oh, and, don’t forget to smile. πŸ™‚

Take away from today’s post: Own today by pushing yourself to be a little uncomfortable and asking people random questions when you’re trying to make a new friend! You never know where it may lead.

What I want to hear from you in the comments:

  • Do you feel like you have no idea how to talk to people sometimes too? What are your experiences with that?
  • How do you find comfort in uncomfortable situations?
  • Do you also use this “interview method?” What are your outcomes like?

Recommendations!

This enlightening book, especially if you are interested in working with adolescents: What Teens Want You to Know (but won’t tell you) by Roy Petitfils

One of the books I’m currently reading, which is about finding courage and strength in vulnerability: Daring Greatly by BrenΓ© Brown

Things I find more fun and cute than a regular stress ball: Squishies!

 

2 Comments

  • Kyle Mitchell

    Good content. So many struggle with keeping conversations going and even starting them. I like your comment of not asking yes/no questions but focusing on open ended questions. One thing I like to do if I am wanting to start a convo with someone but do know how is giving them a compliment. I love you shoes, shirt, hair, etc. Do that enthusiastically (even if you fake it) will start a great conversation. Who doesn’t like someone who says something nice about them?

  • AP

    It’s not easy making friends. Open ended questions do help start conversations for sure. When I was younger, I had a fear of speaking in front of a group of people…it was a confidence issue which gave me anxiety. Over the years, with maturity, and realizing that we are not all the same and picture perfect, I’ve come to the conclusion that even the most educated and those that hold public office, have issues with public speaking. I faced my fears head on by getting out of my comfort zone and now I can speak in public without really thinking about who is judging my words, my speech, etc.

    Friendships are challenging. What is important is that we make others feel comfortable and relaxed by showing we care with our words and actions.
    Make people feel special by smiling, greeting them, and remembering their name. Ask about their job, their children (people love to talk about their kids!!), where did they go to school, what did they love about their school, what’s their favorite food, and so on….good luck! Ohhhh and compliments are fabulous..”love your shoes..where did you get them?” Ohhh I love Macys …which one do you most often go to? ” …well people that love shopping will have a lot to say πŸ™‚

    I also start conversations with small and sometimes corny jokes!! LOL

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