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want to make new friends but don't know how! - September 24th 2012, 09:21 PM

When I came back to school after the summer I realised that I don't actually have anything in common with most of my friends... I think it's just that we've been "friends" for five years so I've just gotten used to them being around and have just grown apart from them. I'd really like to make new friends but the thing is, I'm really shy and socially awkward. I also really really don't want to be accused of being a social climber. Any ideas what I could do?
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Re: want to make new friends but don't know how! - September 26th 2012, 06:42 PM

Aren't "social climbers" people who try to befriend others who are higher up on the popularity scale? If you're just trying to find friends who are more compatible (and the focus isn't on popularity), then I don't see why anyone would consider you to be a "social climber." =)

I considered myself to be shy and socially awkward when I was in middle/high school as well. You can't let that be your excuse, though! It may be more difficult for you, but there's no reason why you can't attend a club meeting and announce, "I'm new, I'd like to know what this club does, and I'd like to learn about how I can get involved." If you want to take things more slowly, you can attend the meeting and sit in the back. If anyone asks you a question, you can say, "I'm just here to see what this club does - I don't know if I want to join yet." That can prompt a conversation where the fellow club member talks about what they do in the club, what their favorite part about the club is, etc. If you let other people take the initiative and lead the conversation, you may find it's easier to join in and disclose more information about yourself.

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