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Turning 18 soon

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    As much as I'm looking forward to 18, what's getting me down is the actual celebration of it. I don't have any close friends anymore. I have a bunch of people who are just 'friends' who I just greet once every two weeks. I've cut so many people off because I have a kind of social phobia, I think. I always walk into the common room with my few friends (who all go to see the people they know) and I end up doing a u-turn in 30 seconds and going back out because I sense that people don't want to talk to me, and I look so stupid even trying to talk to them. I try to act like it's not bothering me, but I hate the impression I give off, that I'm unsociable. I hate that I can't go to the common room because I dont speak to anyone often, so if I ever went in and tried to make conversation people would move on after a minute and I'd be stuck there with just myself in crowds of people. I used to be so sociable, but for the past year I've barely done anything with anyone, and the people I call my close friends will disappear once college ends, as theyre not really close and they all have a big group of friends.

    I'm doing well at college, and looking to making changes for uni, but I really dont want to spend my 18th alone. Any ideas on what I could do? I don't know who I would invite, I have a few weeks till my birthday, I'd love to try and tackle what happens to me around people now. I don't even know what to do for it.

    Mods please keep anonymous as I know people on here and wouldnt want them reading this.
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    Hmm, you sound quite like me when i was in 6th form. I used to be the same, i got myself into a habit of thinking no one wants to talk to me, think im strange etc. But you know, you have to break out of this cycle, and the only way you can do this is to force yourself to be friendly. You need to blank your mind, and just do it. Approach someone familiar, and say hello etc. If they dont want to know, then they're not worth being your friend.

    You have to believe that you are special and that you totally deserve to be popular. I am at uni now and have a great group of friends, im still the same person, but im alot more sociable and friendly than i used to be, but i still have my differences. You've just got to take that leap.

    I never did much for my 18th, in fact, i went out with about 2 friends, thats it. I would have liked more, but if i hadnt been so scared of others etc it probably would have been better (not to say it wasnt good, it was!).

    You can change the way you perceive others without changing yourself.
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    I have social anxiety too (I used to get bullied alot in high school). I can't just "go out", i have to psych myself up to do it and Im often very paranoid. Its frustrating and can leave you very down.

    TIP: Find something you enjoy doing (hobbies etc), and starting in small stages, push yourself to go out a bit more. Ive found this quite helpful.
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    Sounds like me too! I had quite a few "aquintences" (sp), but no one I would actually call on as a friend. I think it was more my perception of them, than the fact that they weren't my friends.

    Try inviting the people that you talk to. The only way to become better friends is by sharing experiences.

    Or, you could do what I did: have a meal out with family, and keep your head down at school until you get out of there, and make a fresh start at uni.

    Your choice.

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Updated: March 6, 2008
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