Trust me, I KNOW what you’re feeling. I used to be incredibly shy around new people, and I still am sometimes.
You want someone to talk to, to rant to, to go have lunch with. That is perfectly OK.
It is also ok to be shy.
And you deserve to have a great friendship anywhere the military takes you, shy or not!
Try out these tips. You might be surprised at how brave you can be.
Take a chance
In order to accomplish the rest of the list below, you first have to be in the right mindset.
If you walk into every possible friendship with a wary, doubtful attitude, they’ll probably sense that.
There’s nothing wrong with being cautious. But being convinced that the friendship will not work before it’s even begun will limit you and the possibility of gaining a new friend.
Some friends are found in the most unlikely places!
Start with an online friendship
For me, starting a friendship behind a screen is WAY easier than a cold turkey “hello”.
And THAT IS OK.
When I can, I utilize the time before we meet in person to text, DM, or email them so that I have an idea of who they are.
I can learn a bit more about their interests and what we have in common so that meeting in person isn’t so scary.
It gives me the chance to feel like we’re already friends!
Meet up somewhere safe and comfortable
When you meet up in person, make it 1000x easier on yourself and meet up somewhere you’ve been before.
It really could be anywhere. A park, a restaurant, a cafe. Choose a location where you already feel comfortable and confident.
By choosing a place you’re comfortable with, you are taking control over your surroundings. This can help you to feel grounded and safe, even though you’re about to meet a new person.
And if you don’t have a place like that yet? Bring a friend or partner with you beforehand to scope it out. Or better yet, bring your friend with you to meet the new person!
Seek out groups
Do an Instagram, Google, or Facebook search. Type in your area and a keyword like “mom group” or “running group” and see what you find!
Honestly, these groups can sometimes be intimidating, especially if you join after they’ve already started.
BUT, you really never know until you try.
Most people who attend and join these groups are there to meet new people. And that means YOU.
The worst that could happen is you don’t like the vibe. That’s ok. Find a new one!
As a military spouse/partner, you also have an instant group everywhere you go. Find the spouse organization for your base or area and reach out!
Talk to your spouse/partner about it
The one person you trust the most already knows that you’re shy. That is obvious.
So why not talk it through with them?
You could ask them to list off your best traits and qualities. Ask for encouragement or motivation. Or even ask to have a wingman when you meet.
They should want you to be happy and have friends! If you want to meet new people and find friends, they will want to support you and encourage you anyway they can.
Make an effort
This is something I’ve learned the hard way. If you want friends, you have to TRY.
As much as I wish this was the case, friends don’t just magically show up.
Make a decision right now to seek out genuine friendships. You don’t have to start right now, but at least make the decision to try.