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I am in graduate school and I've only made two (yes TWO) friends in the whole program. And out of those two, I really only enjoy hanging out with one of them. I have always been a naturally introverted person. While I would like to be more extroverted, it doesn't come naturally to me and I often feel tired when I expend the energy to meet more people, go out more, et cetera. If someone talks to me or befriends me I don't have a problem, but it is really hard for me to reach out to others.

It's especially hard when I start dating someone. Ideally, I would like to spend most of my time with that person, and sort of get all of my socializing through them and their friends. But often what happens is we'll go out one night (let's say Friday) and then he will do his own thing with his friends the rest of the weekend. Then he gets back in touch with me and asks what I did Saturday night and I feel like a loser when the answer is "just stayed home and watched tv," you know? Honestly, I could have other dates those nights if I wanted, but I'm just not the sort of person to go out with more than one person at a time.

Another thing is that counting on one person for everything makes breaking up with them especially painful, as not only do i lose the relationship I lose the social life the person brought into my life.

Anyway, it makes me sad that I haven't made more friends in school and that my social calendar isn't full, but I seem to be sort of resistant about changing it. I always seem to be "too tired" or not interested in doing different things. Sometimes I turn down the options that I do have, and I certainly don't go out of my way to pursue new opportunities, hobbies or friendships. I almost feel that I'm the sort of person who would benefit from having a job that I loved and worked a lot of hours so that I would have an excuse for not doing more things or having more friends, i.e. "I would love to but I just don't have the time...!"

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This is a really good topic!

I feel like that alot. I'm generally kind of a loner. I just don't get very excited about most people I meet, and end up hanging out with my bf all the time, which isn't always good. I always find reasons to turn down invitations. So this is something I've been working on myself, as socializing has been proven to be effective against depression, and hanging at home alone too much isn't particularly good for my head.

You seem to have all these excuses or habits that prevent you from meeting people, and you really have your bases covered! Honestly, you will have to expend some energy to meet people. As long as you're turning down offers or telling yourself that you are "too tired" or not interested in doing things, then you can expect to be lonely, as fantastic people aren't going to just come knocking at your door.

It's good that you're in school - you can look around for activity groups that you're interested in. Look for stuff that you're ~somewhat~ interested in, even if you don't feel particularly passionate right now. Classes and activity groups where people of common interest meet up are a good place to start. But remember that you will have to go out of your way at first.

I've had some luck with common interest groups. It was really hard to go out the first few times, but the sheer act of going out gave me momentum and it quickly became easier. And I already feel better, more a part of the world.

Good luck!

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As a fellow introvert, I can identify with a lot of the things you say.

I think introverts have a need for 'alone time', I know I do. But what is enough and what is too much.

But often what happens is we'll go out one night (let's say Friday) and then he will do his own thing with his friends the rest of the weekend. Then he gets back in touch with me and asks what I did Saturday night and I feel like a loser when the answer is "just stayed home and watched tv," you know? Honestly, I could have other dates those nights if I wanted, but I'm just not the sort of person to go out with more than one person at a time.

Another thing is that counting on one person for everything makes breaking up with them especially painful, as not only do i lose the relationship I lose the social life the person brought into my life.

Do you have any female friends? You don't need to go out with "more than one person at a time" as you say. If you have female friend(s) to hang out with.

People are always telling me to get female friends. You can't be friends with most guys, they are always wanting something more people say.

You can't base your social life around just 1 person, because as you say if you lose them you lose the social life that comes with it.

Are there any groups of clubs you could join to try to increase your circle of friends?

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If you want to meet a lot of really friendly people you might try your schools Gay Straight alliance (it's cool if you're gay or straight, because it's supposed to be a meeting ground). I met a lot of really cool people at mine, and they're not all gay (since it sounds like you're into guys). Either way, from my experience at a few different GSAs, it's been really similar. You will be able to have the opportunity to volunteer with different things, and meet other people, too.

The reason that I suggest this is not to promote any sort of agenda or anything, it's that a lot of the people that go to meetings like this are normally nervous or introverted, and other people there know how to work with the individuals like that. From my experience, Gay Straight Alliances try to make themselves a safe place for everyone, so it's usually a nice environment to meet people.

..and at our local one here, there's a lot of parties that you'll get invited to, as well.

For both me and my best friend, it really helped our ability to meet people and was a great starting point for being social. ;) He literally had no friends before joining, and since then he's met two great partners, and made a whole slew of friends. Fun times.

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I have had to move back home from Uni and I have had to start from scratch where friends are concerned. I had success with

* the gay scene and the goth scene, in that everyone is really friendly and welcoming, and I am into that stuff. I tend to find that the people that are dismissed by the 'popular' people (sci fi fans, computer geeks, art students, etc etc) are often the most genuine. If you're at social events and feel left out, spy out the person standing alone and go up and start a conversation about the music/weather/other people there.

* contact your existing friends, old friends and long distance friends. Get used to initiating plans. It's scary but much better to get an unexpected 'yes' than never try and imagine everyone you know is out having a good time. If you go out with friends, and they have friends or acquaintances. Get introduced and make an effort, if appropriate invite them out to do something or meet up.

* join common interest groups and take extra classes, or volunteer. These are all great things to fill up your time, thus giving you more confidence and conversation fodder. You can also make friends with others that attend.

* become a regular somewhere, like a cafe or laundromat or a bar or a bookshop. People will start to recognise you and will often appraoch you.

* pay attention to your body language. Slumping, grimacing, crossing your arms and legs, sitting facing away from people, excessing face touching/covering, fiddling all send out the message that you are miserable or uncomfortable. Practise smiling at the world and looking relaxed, even if you don't feel it.

* go to everything you get asked to. Worse case, you can come home early, but at least you went and had a go. Don't let yourself off the hook and stay home.

Good luck!

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  • 2 months later...

Are you a little bit depressed? That can amplify the introversion.

I'm kinda introverted but I do go out and do things. Even got my picture in the paper recently from one of our hobby activities. Those aren't super close friends but the continuity feels good. If there's something you're good at, that people do in groups, you might consider it. My s.o. plays music sessions and in fact is at a music camp right now. (I don't have a musical bone in my body, but there are other things I can do.) If you like to write, there are writing groups filled with introverts who get together to critiscize each others stuff. Just find one that's more about writing and less about flakiness. Well, you get the idea I guess. Good luck. At a job long ago, I used to hang out with the dart players at lunch time. Low key, and kinda stupid, but fun without a lot of expectations. At another job we used to play handball (with a tennis ball against the wall of the loading dock). A bit more physically demanding, but I didn't have to be particularly smooth. And social.

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I have the same same problem, except it is not for lack of trying. People just don't seem to want to be my friend. I know that sounds lame, but I think I make people uncomfortable and they definitely make me uncomfortable. I am great at making acquaintances, but can't seem to get beyond that. There are some really good ideas here that I will try. Thank you.

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Yeah, it can be difficult when you are an introvert AND depressed. I have been introverted my entire life and really do prefer to spend a lot of time alone but when I was in college I did socialize a lot more.

When I was working, I was friendly with a group of my coworkers. Now that I'm not working I still speak to them but I have little motivation to socialize. I have one very good friend from work that I still speak to.

I find that when my depression lifts, its much easier to reach out to people.

Its easy to isolate though and for me if I dont watch it I could spend ALL of my time alone.

Common interest groups are a good idea as is volunteering. I joined a singles volunteer group a few years ago and was in charge of setting up events for them. Got too stressful so I stopped after a year.

I really need to get back to some volunteering again, I found that it made me feel more connected to others. It helps if you are doing something you enjoy.

Good luck...it may take a while but you'll get there.

Miss C.

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I have the same same problem, except it is not for lack of trying. People just don't seem to want to be my friend. I know that sounds lame, but I think I make people uncomfortable and they definitely make me uncomfortable. I am great at making acquaintances, but can't seem to get beyond that. There are some really good ideas here that I will try. Thank you.

Do you have social anxiety? People with this often feel like they are uncomfortable in social situations because of some defect they think they have. I have heard that CBT can be really helpful for this. Depression can also make it harder to form and maintain friendships because of low self esteem. I think a lot of people struggle with this.

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I still have the same frickin' difficulty making friends, and I'm 52. Also depressed and an introvert. I keep trying, but it's hard, I must say.

Do try to figure this out and change your patterns now while you're young. You don't want to spend your life the way I have, mostly alone.

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liveoak's words are pretty profound. as a sixty year old loner i would agree to the concept. wicked depression makes friendship problematical. being self centered would seem to be a consequence of it as well.

self centered, for me is all about self pity and that makes us hard to take in a social setting.

go after all the help that you can find because there are members that have regained their lives through medicine and therapy.

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I'm a major introvert and a little depressed so I can really understand this problem. I only keep a few close friends and sometimes even feel weird around them. I've very uncomfortable around the opposite sex and have only recently started making male acquaintances/semi-friends who work with me. I want to be in a relationship but I have trouble figuring out how to meet new people. karuna's suggestions are awesome - especially the being aware of your body language one. I know I often come across as unapproachable!

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