Homeschool Survival Guide: Making Friends in the “Real World”


You know what would be great? If you were surrounded by popular, beautiful, awesome friends who loved you, unconditionally, all the time.

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No, that would be terrible. Real life isn’t a teen drama; “popular, beautiful, awesome” is a pick two situation. Real life is more like a bad sitcom: lots of unfunny actors loaded down with baggage and insecurity. Is “Making Friends” a goal for you? If so, stop doing that! Do this instead.

Find people at least as weird as you

This is the most important part. You see characters on TV show making normal friends with normal problems and normal interests and think the key to social success is pretending to be normal, acceptable, and overall likeable. Feeling uncomfortable and inadequate from preconceptions about “normality” is nearly the definition of social anxiety.

If you hate sports, don’t play sports. If you hate parties, don’t go to parties. It doesn’t matter what you hate. There’s always someone else out there who hates it, too. Just be yourself and you’ll find someone to be weird, repulsive and happy with eventually.

The first step really counts

Once you’ve found people at least as weird as you, another problem comes up: how do you go from sitting next to each other to being friends? If you’re wondering about this, sorry: you’re going to need to break the ice. Push yourself past those first insecurities and be a little overbearing. That’s fine! Chances are socially awkward kids are just as scared of rejection as you. Drop your emotional baggage to help them carry theirs: “hey, you want to do X on Y?” If they say yes, the hardest part’s out of the way!

Basically, be yourself

You’ve heard that phrase a million times by now. I don’t care. It’s not inspirational. You will literally drive away cool friends by pretending to be something you’re not. Sure, you might get a “normal” friend or two by rehearsing “normal” thoughts and words, but if you have to rehearse a friendship, is it really friendship? Surround yourself with people who make you comfortable and happy, even if the rest of the world hates you for it.

This is the Homeschool Survivor, signing out. Hope you enjoyed this week’s Homeschool Survival Guide! Check the list next Monday for another one, and have a great week.


September 18, 2013

Comments

  1. Jamie says:
    Posted December 12, 2016 2:06 pm

    Hi Stacey,
    I've got several children who have only ever been homeschooled... but they have lots of friends. We get involved in local homeschool co-ops, local REC leagues, church groups, and even community opportunities like ROTC, etc.

  2. Stacey Sverker says:
    Posted August 30, 2016 9:13 pm

    I'm really thinking about homeschooling my son, but he has fears of not making and having friends! Any advice?

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