a year ago
Admissions Advice

How to make connections if you have social anxiety?

I'm probably doing a summer program at one of my dream colleges this year, and I read that it's a good time to try and make connections with people there. The issue is that I have a (professionally diagnosed) anxiety disorder that manifests itself in a LOT of nervousness surrounding social interactions. I've been working on trying to be more outgoing/less shy, but I was wondering if anyone had a similar experience or tips on how to do that.


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Accepted Answer
a year ago

I don't have been diagnosed with anxiety, but I wouldn't be surprised if I were to be. For me, it manifests in shutting myself off from others. I thought if I never gave people anything to judge me for, they can't hate me. But, because I spent too much time alone, looking at my phone, and pretending to be uninterested, they thought I was unapproachable and people wouldn't talk to me.

With this in mind, the easiest way to make friends when you aren't the best at talking to others is to make them come to you. Be attentive in public spaces, smile a lot (people think you are approachable), and wear things from media you love like a shirt from your favorite TV show because people are more likely to come and talk to you.

If you want to feel more comfortable talking to others then start slow. Compliment the person next to you or even just look at them and smile (i'm telling you, smiling was really a game changer lol).

I'm still working on being less shy, but I've found that being more approachable has made it easier to make and maintain friends. At the program, make a small goal like asking for someone's Instagram or complimenting someone every day.

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