As a teenager, making friend shouldn’t be a difficult task, you just need to find some people that enjoy some of the things you enjoy yourself and share that common interest between you and that person. Sounds pretty easy.
Making friends should come naturally to us because it’s something we as human thrive for and need in our lives, but it doesn’t come so natural. We are social beings and at the core of each one of us, there is a need to feel secure and protected by belonging to a community and social circles.
All of this means that when we’re not satisfied with our social needs, it can affect in a certain way the perception we have of ourselves, leading to believe we are not worthy of belonging and lastly to recluse ourselves and feel even more depressed.
Why will someone bother to befriend me if I feel like a hollow shell on the inside?
Just remember that feeling it’s not your reality, you’re not an empty hollow shell, you’re a human being worthy of love and compassion. The difference is huge because you just need to realize this is the truth and your feelings aren’t facts.
I want to share with you some of the best practices for making new friends while dealing with and fighting depression.
7 Tips to Make Friends While Being Depressed
1. Find Common Ground
Find someone in school, work or nearby that have the same interest as you. It will be easier to relate to them and they will be more open to you if both of you are talking about something interesting.
2. Socialization Goals
Add a few goals, (or just one if you feel it’s too much) to your daily task about doing something with someone. It may be something really simple like just saying hi to someone you don’t know and make a question about something they might know. Or maybe a compliment about their clothing and hairstyle.
I cannot address in just a few words here how important it’s doing something for someone without expecting anything back. While you are actively volunteering you will spend time doing something good for society alongside with other peers, this is a perfect environment to start new friendships with caring people.
4. Non-Socializing-Pressure Places
Nightclubs, bars and that kind of places all have in common that they are meant to socialize with people, either with friends or to meet new people there, but they put too much pressure because of the outcome expected to be funny, enjoyable and charismatic. Best to find some other places with less pressure, For me, a library has done wonders!
5. Join a Support Group
Support groups exist especially for that reason, giving support to its members. The only thing you need to do it’s to join, participate in their activities and meetings and let your needs be known to them. Probably the easiest way to feel that you belong to something and make new friends while fighting depression.
6. Set Realistic Expectations
In today’s world, everybody has the tendency to over-judge others and to high-up unrealistic expectations of what is normal. More than a tip, this is a mindset. Don’t judge other people based on how they look like or what you can get from them, instead focus on the interaction that’s taking place right at the moment and try to do your best one interaction at a time.
7. Don’t Be Harsh With Yourself
I left this one for last because it’s more of a mindset to have rather than a simple tip, and it’s more focused on keeping friends rather than making new ones. This means that whenever you’re feeling that someone is letting you down don’t think it’s your fault, people have lives and responsibilities too. This applies to new friends too, remember, one interaction at a time.
While you may follow all these tips or some of them, it’s not the intention to be a replacement for proper treatment.
There’s no need to say that depression is a nasty feeling we may fight with all our strength to win back our lives. With that said, finding and keeping trustworthy friends while you have depression can be a great therapy to finally beat your depressive moods.
But it can be a great challenge too. The important thing it’s to always take some action (even if it’s minimal) towards the happier healthier version of ourselves we want to be with the mindset of doing our best even if we feel like failures in doing so.
PS: If you find like failing or having it too difficult to even talk and start a conversation with someone else remember that depression needs to be treated by an expert.