Teenagers’ Corner: How To Make New Friends

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The life of a teenager is a complicated one. Many things must be taken into consideration, especially when it comes to making friends in school. If you are having difficulty in establishing friendships in high school, do not worry because there are many things that you could do about it. Do not spend most of your time worrying about this problem. Instead, try to try these ideas to start building ties in school.

 

Be Sensitive

 

The first step to making people like you is to make them feel that you are sensitive to their feelings. As much as possible, try to be careful in giving out comments or in doing some acts on the campus. Think first before you talk or act. Take note that your deeds or words may easily affect some people. Therefore, the right thing to do is to consider the emotions of your classmates or schoolmates.

 

Always Smile

 

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Whenever you are inside your classroom or walking through the corridors, be sure to show your best smile. Let others know that you are an approachable individual. You do not need to make grand gestures just to get their attention. Instead, you can just flash your smile at everyone who comes your way. It is necessary that others can take notice of how pleasant your attitude is.

“Relationships, especially new ones, need a lot of encouragement and nourishment. Once you establish a connection, you will want to keep it alive and well by spending some time with your new-found friend,” said Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, PhD, LPCS.

 

Make Yourself Available

 

If you want to meet new friends, it is essential that you make an effort in making yourself available. You cannot expect to join a group if you do not learn how to socialize. Avoid being a loner. Learn how to start a conversation with your seatmates. Just ask simple questions or discuss common interests. It may be difficult at the beginning, but with constant practice, everything will be fine.

 

Share Stories

 

High school is the best time for you to establish long-term friendships with others. The key to being an essential part of the team is to open up a little. Avoid being stiff as it may drive people away. As an alternative, why don’t you try to tell your stories to them? It can be good for you to share your experiences with others. When you do this, there is a high possibility that your classmates or schoolmates may relate to what you have been through.

“Find safe topics that everyone likes to talk about such as food, animals, weather, television shows, and holidays. Ask questions, don’t give one-word answers, and be polite. Learn the art of interviewing – it’s essential to get to know someone,” said Angela Avery, MA, LLPC, NCC.

 

Participate In Activities

 

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There are tons of school activities that students are required to participate. What you need to do is to determine these events. Once you have completed the list of the upcoming activities in the campus, the next thing to do is to find those that you are interested in. Volunteer to be one of the participants in that activity. It is an excellent avenue to meet new friends who share the same likes and interests as much as you do. On the other hand, if you want to add some spice to your high school life, then do not hesitate to join a club or activity that is new to you.

“Friendships during the teen years can be so important and fulfilling. Having someone to lean on, share secrets with, and let loose with makes life better at any age,” said Cheryl Somers, MA, NCC.

Making friends in high school is not as difficult as you thought it would be. As long as you put your heart and soul into it, anything is possible.

 

What To Do When A Close Friend Is Suffering From Depression

Finding out that a close friend is suffering from depression can be one of the difficult things that can happen in your life. It will be typical on your part to feel sorry for what the other person is going through. Since the said individual means a lot to you, it is only normal to feel like you need to do something to help that friend. As such, it is essential on your part to give yourself time to process the recent information that you received.

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First of all, it is crucial for you to remain calm so that you will not have a hard time extending your support and assistance. Take note that you can never be of help to this person if you cannot get yourself together. Here are some of the things that you need to do for that close friend of yours:

Give Him Space

Learn how to respect the boundaries of your friendship with the person who is suffering from a major depressive disorder. Do not keep on insisting that you want to help because you may sound imposing. Instead, give your friend sufficient time and space to deal with his personal issues before you come in. At the same time, you need to find a way on how to express your willingness to help without making him feel self-pity.

“Depression doesn’t have a clear recovery timeline. Expecting your friend to return to their usual self after a few weeks in therapy won’t help either of you,” said Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD.

Be A Good Listener

A BetterHelp expert once suggests mastering the art of being an amazing and good listener whenever your friend starts to open up about his mental condition as well as all the other topics related to it. Avoid interrupting him when he is talking about his issues to ensure that he can have the perfect avenue to air out his negative emotions. Your friend will truly appreciate it if you can show him that you are interested in his stories or experiences. The goal is to make him feel comfortable expressing his feelings.

“Aside from counseling or psychotherapy, those suffering can start by opening up to those around them. Choosing one close family member, friend, or confidant, and making it a practice to discuss feelings and concerns can help alleviate symptoms,” said Rita Labeaune, PsyD.

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Avoid Being Judgmental

Now is not the time to force your friend to get over his depression. At all costs, it is not even a good option. Remember that depression is a mental health issue that is difficult to deal with. There is no easy way to eliminate the signs and symptoms of this mental condition. You have to be patient and understanding in handling this matter with your friend. If you have nothing good to say to him or the people surrounding you, then it is best for you to keep your mouth shut.

Make Yourself Available

It is essential for you to become instantly available whenever your depressed friend in need. At this point, it is significant to highlight the fact that depression can have adverse effects on the way your friend thinks about everything in his life. As such, there is a possibility that he may think of committing suicide to end his suffering in this world. For this reason, it is best for you to drop whatever it is that you are doing whenever the other person wants to talk to you or meet up at a particular place.

“A handwritten note, or sending an e-card or paper card can brighten a depressed person’s day,” said professor of psychology Deborah Serani. “Also, offering a smile is a message of hope, love, and recognition.”

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Remember that your actions and words can save a friend from depression. So be mindful of how you use them.