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    Thread: What's a good way to branch out and become more social in Uni?

    1. #1
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      What's a good way to branch out and become more social in Uni?

      I am a second year student in uni and I need advice on becoming more social. Normally, I'm pretty quiet and introverted and not that outgoing tbh. So far, I have like 3 friends at Uni and they are part of a larger social group which I am not, and they tend to hang out and do things together. I don't want to spend my time alone or aloof, but maybe I guess I feel somewhat intimidated by the fact that they have their own group and I don't. I want to be more social but I don't want to force myself or shoehorn myself into a group they already have. So what's the best way to become more social? I have joined a fencing club and had dinner with some people a while back, but haven't expanded on it yet for example. Whenever I see acquintances, I can't get up the courage to start a small convo, I start feeling kind of anxious. What's wrong with me? I'm just so bored at university.
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      I feel ya man, I've been there when I was at uni.

      I never felt the need to expand my social circle when I was at uni, a couple of pals did me fine.

      But if I wanted to be more social, I would have approached more people in class, asked them how they were getting on with classwork, made a comical remark, asked them what they're up to later, invited them for a drink. I would have spoke to a whole bunch of people in class so it would be easy to just kinda shout "who's coming out for a drink?".

      This is all stuff I can do but never do. It did bother me a bit, but not as much as it sounds like it's bothering you. Put it to the test, if you can expand your social reach by one person, you've successfully taken a step forward. Then you take another step. And so on.


      EDIT: Another trick, I just remembered this one.
      I used to be very socially awkward and socially anxious. I still am, but one day a massive transformation happened and suddenly it doesn't have the same hold over me anymore. I started a new job and I was put in a training class. From the very beginning I sorta acted as if I already knew everyone. Like they were all my best pals. Because of that, I became friendly with every single person in that class, and some have even remained as friends.
      Last edited by slash112; 01-23-2018 at 01:07 AM.
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    3. #3
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      Not gonna lie, small talk is hard for me honestly.

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      You cite boredom as the noxious stimulus motivating you to be more social? You don't have to be social to overcome boredom. You also don't have to be social to be accepted by society. That said, it is admirable you are trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone and having anxiety is natural when trying to do this. I don't see anything wrong with you.

      Personally, I'm also introverted and socially awkward. I have no friends at college. I hardly even start conversations with family, let alone acquaintances. However, I'm okay with this, so this doesn't make me anxious.

      Not being able to start conversations with acquaintances when we want too is an approach/avoidance conflict. We are enticed by the reward that comes with conversing with acquaintances, but we think the reward is not worth the risk, which results in us not being able to summon the courage needed. To summon the courage, we need to perceive the reward as being more rewarding or the risk as being less risky. The latter is probably easier. For example, for me, some risks I see in conversing with acquaintances is appearing fake or forced by talking about something I genuinely don't want to talk about, or because what I do want talk about seems too intrusive, selfish, or otherwise uninteresting to the other person. I could see a former crush from class and say "Hi, so and so. Great weather today, eh! Oh well, see you around!" or "Hi, so and so. Remember me from our class together? I have a crush on you. You're so pretty! I have fantasized about making out with you. Do you want to make out?" Another risk could be me embarrassing myself because of my voice cracking or something while trying to do this.

      To make the risk seem less risky, ask yourself this: What is the worst that could happen? If I appear fake or selfish or stupid in front of somebody. They might think I'm fake, selfish, or stupid, but they will probably be understanding and probably won't let me know what they're thinking. If they do, then they are probably not worth hanging out with due to a lack of consideration for others. Of course, if I walk around asking any random pretty young lady I see for a kiss, then sooner or later one of them will probably report me to security.

      However, forcing ourselves or shoehorning ourselves into a group does not have to be perceived as risky or inappropriate. What is the worst thing that could happen if we ask a group if we could join them? The group could very well reject the invitation, but I don't think they could viably call security on grounds of harassment. Maybe shoehorning yourself into a club would be your best bet to be more social. Even I did this in high school to play sports during lunch.
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      last year, I made a friend on the dorm who I saw regularly. This year, we live off campus, so I haven't been able to see him as much(last semester, we only hung out once and I understand he has his own group of friends) but nonetheless, I want to invest in this friendship. What are some things I can do to do so? I'm kinda hesitant too as I feel like I might annoy him by asking or he might think I'm too needy on him or something.

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      Quote Originally Posted by kamenriderbaron View Post
      last year, I made a friend on the dorm who I saw regularly. This year, we live off campus, so I haven't been able to see him as much(last semester, we only hung out once and I understand he has his own group of friends) but nonetheless, I want to invest in this friendship. What are some things I can do to do so? I'm kinda hesitant too as I feel like I might annoy him by asking or he might think I'm too needy on him or something.
      Are you aware of any mutual interests that you two share? It's generally a pretty easy in. If you both like the same type of music, for example, ask if he wants to go to a gig or something. Even if you just find something that you think he'd be interested in - share it.

      I'm a pretty introverted person, and don't generally branch outside of my existing friendship group but that's basically how I made my friends. Mutual interests and hobbies.

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      We do. It's just that I fear he might be too busy.

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      I noticed all the friends I have just went up and talked to me to start a friendship. How do I get better at that?

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      The psychologist Jordan Peterson gives some great advice in this video:

      Last edited by Laurelindo; 01-31-2018 at 05:34 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by kamenriderbaron View Post
      I have joined a fencing club and had dinner with some people a while back, but haven't expanded on it yet for example.
      Fellow fencer who happen to flow between introvert and extrovert here.

      I recommend taking an interpersonal communication class. If you can't do that, find a book on interpersonal communication. The basics of social interaction are not given to us by birth or by experience, and there is an academic endeavor that wants to help you get comfortable with other people. Interpersonal communication is a very simulating topic, abit challenging if you're not used to academic psychology. However, topics and theories of interpersonal communication apply to social interaction because they are made by people who are deeply committed to understanding how people interact.
      As the beginning of wisdom is to "to know that you know nothing," so too the beginning of awakening (for lucidity) is to know that you are not awake. - Stephen LaBerge

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      Quote Originally Posted by NeoHenry View Post
      Fellow fencer...
      So that explains the way you're dressed in that picture.

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      Even if small talk may seem 'boring or pointless' its actually quite a useful skill, in most jobs you will have too meet new people, and being able to make a client or customer comfertable is going to make your company more successfull, So if you think about it more as a skill that you need to work on and try as many times as you need too, Sometimes I will ask somebody for a meetup like 6 times before we get together and do something, and after the first few times it usually gets easier meet ones a week and do something you both enjoy, or you can invite lots of people once a week to do something fun like a grill or casual football or something, nobody will be mad at you for trying to set something up :-)
      Good Luck anyway

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      Try start hitting the gym/start a sport. Having better looks can give a ton of self confidence and it makes you feel great both inside and outside. It's also a way to make friends and has TONS of health benefits which gives other benefits etc etc.
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      Quote Originally Posted by slash112 View Post
      From the very beginning I sorta acted as if I already knew everyone. Like they were all my best pals. Because of that, I became friendly with every single person in that class, and some have even remained as friends.
      Very interesting piece of advice there. For a long time, I used to do the opposite. I would assume that the people I met disliked me, or were annoyed by my presence, which was almost never the case. Being friendly and having a good attitude is very important when meeting people, so I think this tip could be very helpful.


      Quote Originally Posted by Saizaphod View Post
      Try start hitting the gym/start a sport.
      I agree that this would be a good thing to do, but if you don't have the confidence to meet people or be around people, it's very hard to summon the courage to go to a gym or be involved in intense group activities. Team sports in particular demand some level of skill or athletic ability, and if you weren't involved in these activities growing up, it can be difficult to get involved from scratch.
      Last edited by Conceptor; 02-07-2018 at 06:46 AM.
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