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Does getting out there more help to improve social skill/make connections

45987
Community Member

For someone who doesn't have any friends, and has poor social skills, would the best way to improve this be to just get out there and not worry about being rejected, and even if you are rejected just keep trying in different situations/with different people? I'm thinking of trying this by joining a sports team, and just being more proactive in general with asking people if they want to hang out/study and going to social events. I also spoke to a counselor who recommended CBT, which I'll probably look into more.

Anyone with any uplifting stories where doing stuff like this worked for them. Honestly, I think I already know that with a lot of perseverance it probably will work as I experienced something like that happen in high-school, (although the person I eventually got close to after 6 months of trying had just fallen out with their old friends...)

Thanks everyone

5 Replies 5

PamelaR
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi 45987 and welcome to the Beyond Blue forums

It’s great to see you find our community. It’s a start.

You’ve asked some very good questions -
what’s the best way to improve friendships and poor social skills? Well, yes, an option could be to just get out and do it. As you say you might get rejected, however, have you thought of the consequences if that happened? It might make you return to your insular world.

Have you thought about looking at some courses first (before just doing it) to help develop the social skills that you think are lacking? There are a lot of online courses, as well as TAFE courses that help people these days. Have you done anything like that?

Joining a sports team is good. What are your interests? Maybe think about those sports you really like.

Some good stories from me - I have PTSD, anxiety and depression. I’m a real introvert and love my own company, but recognise it’s important to socialise with others. So how do I do this -

Over my life I’ve done it in many different ways. The best ways I’ve done it is -

Just did It. Got out there and didn’t worry about rejection. I joined

  • a folk club that met weekly at a pub. I did play an instrument that helped, so I could join in. This meant I didn’t have to talk to anyone. As time went on, I was able to join in conversations with people. I was included in invitations to parties and outings. It was a great way to make friends.
  • a folk dance group that met weekly at a hall. I learnt how to do folk dances, scottish/irish dances and playford dances. This lead to meeting more people and making more friends.
  • folk club committees. More interactions.
  • local community radio station and learnt how to present folk on radio. Network of friends widened.

I could keep going as my life has grown, so too has my interests and my network of friends. I continue to spend a lot of time at home on my own with my pets and hubby. But ensure I get out so I don’t become a hermit.

What I’ve found is -
Friendships just don’t happen - they take time, effort and willingness to build and to maintain over time.
Being proactive is essential for this to happen. Sitting at home waiting for a text or a phone call - will not make it happen.

So hope some of this helps. If you want, let us know how you go.

Kind regards
PamelaR

Wanderlust123
Community Member

Hi,

I think putting yourself out there is a great idea, and it's something I am trying to do as well so I am interested with how your journey goes for you.

I recently joined a couple of basketball teams, I used to play when I was younger and thought I'd get back into it as a way to get out and meet people. I called a couple of local recreation centres and put my name down. I also found a group on Facebook for Basketball Fill Ins, where people post seeking for players for a particular game - this may be an option of trying a team before you commit.

I wish you luck, and know it just takes a moment of courage for good things to follow. Keep me posted 🙂

Ps. Have you ever looked at MeetUp.com? There are a lot of different social groups as well as interest-based groups in your area which regularly meet up. I have attended a couple of social groups on dinners and outings and found it a great way to meet new people. Everybody who attended was looking to make friends so we were all in the same situation, and I found it easier to make friends this way.

45987
Community Member

Thanks for your kind posts everyone.

To update so far, I went along to the team training (women's cricket, which is something I'm definitely also passionate about and interested in) and a team social event few days later, and also went into the staff room during my work break instead of in my car; I'm definitely quite for most of these things, but have talked a bit (mostly awkwardly). It's way less comfortable for me but I don't see how else I'll change.

I'm also trying to not worry about what others think, or what I think they think (While still being respectful of course). I feel this is helping, just having this thought in my mind.

The TAFE course is a great idea and is something I'll look into, but for now while I'm also studying at university I don't think it's doable. Although I'll probably still try CBT the counselor recommended (apparently you get 10 free/yr through Medicare, and they also teach social skills).

Have also looked at MeetUp.com, but chickened out 😞 However, I'll probably try something after exams as what you've said has reassured me a bit.

Hopefully in the near future I'll make some real progress and be able to update this thread with that.

Well done, you have made great progress! Be proud of yourself 🙂

Looking forward to hearing an update in the future!