Whether it's all the time or just every once in a while, it's no fun to feel like you're alone. But it's also totally normal, and lots of kids want to know how to take the bite out of the loneliness bug.
Advice Questions about Feeling Lonely:
- "I need help! I feel really awkward around teens that I'm not really close to, especially guys. I just get so weird! I don't know what to do with my hands, and I don't know what to say, I don't know what to look at. Can you help me? I'm not really a shy person. In fact, I'm really outgoing with some people. I don't know what to do!"
- "I just moved from China. I know English because I was taught it at my Chinese school, but I don't like my new school. No one is Chinese, and I feel like an outcast. What do I do?"
- "Most of the kids I know think I'm a freak. I think reading is cool, respect the teachers, and I never know what clothes to wear. I don't know when there's a trend going on until it's almost over, and then I don't know when it's winding down. I'm starting middle school next year, and I don't know if there's anyone who shares my interests from the other schools, and I don't know if I should stop being smart. I don't want to, but should I? Please publish this to help all the other nerds out there."
- "I really feel like I don't fit in. I don't wear Aeropostale, Hollister, or American Eagle; I don't like Taylor Swift, David Archuleta, Justin Bieber and other popular artists either. I can enjoy listening to a whole lot of different kinds of musicÖI do not own a Wii and when people find that out they are shocked and think my family is poor. No we are not poor, we just don't have new stuff. I feel left out and like an alien; I have only a few friends. I just want to be ME but I am worried about getting friends and finding a boyfriend In the future...I need help before I lose all of my self-esteem."
- "See, the thing is, I've got plenty of friends, but occasionally I feel this gnawing despair as though I am totally alone and weird and rotten, and the only reason anyone likes me is because they know nothing about my inner torments and hopeless attractions. Not bad enough to get suicidal, but bad enough to make me cry, especially at night. Since I really feel like I need to pester you about every little thing and have sent you 9000 questions, what's the verdict?"
- ìI'm a very shy person and have a hard time communicating with my parents. My parents know this, as they constantly try to make a connection with me, but I don't know why I can't talk to them.ÜÜFor instance, I have liked a girl for a LONG time and she likes me as well, but I don't know how to speak to my parents about this topic (girls/girlfriends). The same issue goes with friends (I lost my best friend when he moved away and I have a lot of trouble making friends because of this). How can I talk to my parents about issues like these, or who else can I talk to, because I don't have any "really close" friends/relationships with other family members and I don't like the idea of speaking with counselors. Thanks for the advice.î
- ìI feel really lonely sometimes because I don't have a best friend to talk to and tell all my problems to. So how can I get a best friend??? HELP!!!!î
- ìI am moving to Florida in about two weeks. I am going to be the new girl in a new school. Iíve never been the new kid. What do I do?î
- ìLast year I started the third grade at a new school. People here are different than at my old school. They all have a lot of money and don't want to make new friends. What can I do to fit in here?î
- ìI like to study, but I don't feel like going to school sometimes, because I have no close friends in the school.
I feel lonely. I believe this relates to my language's problem. I'm not a native English-speaker, so I have an accent; sometimes I have trouble expressing myself. I've struggled to improve my English. However, it doesn't seem to change that much. People (students) still don't like to talk to me. By the way, I'm talkative actually. (Therefore, I had a lot of friends when I was in my country.) So, according to my situation, what can I do to get more friends?î
- ìI am not very social and I need to get more friends. But
I just don't have the courage to do so. How can I be
- "I am feeling very lonely this time of year when school starts. All my friends either have boyfriends or something to do. Please, what should I do?"
- Ghada and Leah would like to have more friends but aren't sure how to do it.
- "I feel alone in the world. Like, even though I have a family and I have friends, I still feel like I can't trust anyone. I am just so confused..."
I need help! I feel really awkward around teens that I'm not really close to, especially guys. I just get so weird! I don't know what to do with my hands, and I don't know what to say, I don't know what to look at. Can you help me? I'm not really a shy person. In fact, I'm really outgoing with some people. I don't know what to do!
This is a more common problem then you would think. Talking to people you don't really know can be really weird sometimes! When I talk to new people, I'm constantly pushing my bangs back, taking out my phone and shifting around a bit, and it can be really embarassing! But it's something we all have to do, especially in high school. Just find a good conversation starter, and if you don't know what to do with your hands, put them in your pockets. Try to look them in the eye (it's really good body language!) but always look at the person who's talking. Being with a group can be really helpful too! If none of this works, it will come to you as you get a little older, promise!
--Nikola, IML Mentor
I've got the same problem! Really stinks, doesn't it? I feel like it's not shyness that's the problem but simply nerves, being too frightened to say the wrong thing or making a fool of yourself. As a result, you, and many other people including me, psych ourselves out and either don't say anything or end up talking nonsense. I'm sorry to say that I have not yet successfully shaken my nerves when talking in a group, so I'm not sure if you ever will. However, I have figured out a few techniques for feeling and being less awkward, and they work pretty well. For one, I listen to everything that's being said and decide whether I have any opinion on it. This way, I can say something meaningful. Then, I think of and repeat in my head exactly what I'm going to say before I say it. I also try and cut down on the amount I say. Making a little comment or piece of small talk is often enough; you don't need to make an Oscar speech every time you open your mouth. Thirdly, remember that you're talking to people who are very likely to forgive you even if you say something a little wrong or silly- everyone says something strange sometimes, and usually people just forget about it within a day or even a minute. If you have to, pretend you're talking to those people who you are outgoing with. As far as what to do with your hands, if you don't have a habit of making gestures, just do the simplest thing possible: keep your hands at your sides or in your pockets. Just try not to slouch because then you'll seem shy. And as for where to look, just do your best to maintain eye contact with whoever's talking or whoever you're answering if you're talking. If constant eye contact gets to be too much, just periodically pretend to adjust a sleeve, check something in a book, or do some homework (actually doing so doesn't hurt either.) Hope this helped,
--Yulia, IML Mentor
I know exactly how you feel. If you ask any of my friends whether or not I'm shy, they'll tell you I'm absolutely not -- and yet whenever I meet someone new, I freak out inside. My advice to you is to take lots of deep breaths when you meet new people; this will help calm you down. When you stand, stand in a relaxed position, with your hands by your sides. If you need something to do with your hands, your pockets are helpful friends! Also, with regard to not knowing what to say, I'd suggest that you watch some of the news or read up on some topics that interest you. When you're talking to someone and get beyond "hello" and "how are you," you can talk about what's going on in the world (and learn some things about their opinions and personalities to boot!). And don't be afraid to ask questions and learn things about the other person -- everyone loves to talk about themselves! I hope I helped!
--Sarah J., IML Mentor
I just moved from China. I know English because I was taught it at my Chinese school, but I don't like my new school. No one is Chinese, and I feel like an outcast. What do I do?
Moving is hard, no matter where you move from -- your old friends are suddenly far away, you have to adjust to a new neighborhood and to a new school. As someone who moved from a foreign country at a young age, you will never quite shake the reputation of being "foreign." But moving also has a good side. You can meet new people, you can see a whole different part of the world, and you learn important life skills like adapting to a new life (something many people don't learn how to do before starting college). I moved to America from Russia when I was two, but since I went to a Russian day-care and spent almost all my days before kindergarten among Russian people, I might as well have not moved before the age of six. And I won't deny it, starting school where all the kids are "foreign" is hard. At my school, I had the same problem as you, that there were no Russian kids. But trust me, just because no other people at your school are Chinese doesn't mean they are so different from you that they can't become close friends. And you'll probably find many people who think it's really cool that you have so many new and different experiences to share. It takes guts to approach a person and make friends with them, but it's achievable. And one friend is often a magnet for more friends.
--Yulia, IML Mentor
I'm so sorry that you feel like an outcast-- I know exactly how that feels and it's perfectly awful. When I first came to the school I'm at now, I was completely different than everyone else because of the way I dress for my religion. I was always quiet and no one knew a thing about me, so they talked about me behind my back a lot. What I found out was that people acted strange around me because they didn't understand me. By getting involved in certain clubs (I joined the school newspaper and the science group) I got to know the people who were interested in the same things that I was, and they got to know me. Now we're all great friends, and we have a lot of fun. Another thing that I did was talk to my teachers and my counselor -- they were really nice and gave me some great advice!
--Sarah, IML Mentor
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