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Old 03-22-2017, 10:24 AM
 
1,401 posts, read 768,529 times
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I'm 29, always had very few friends, but the past 2 years it has gotten a lot worse since people are having babies/moving... i want to meet new people but i'm extremely introverted and quiet. I think i usually come off as cold and unfriendly but in reality i just need some time to get to know people before i open up.

I have put myself "out there" a few times in hopes of meeting people but nothing ever sticks, so i gave up. but i really feel like i need to try again - so i came across a book club which i think is perfect because 1, i love to read and 2, it will give a common topic instead of just trying to think of things to talk about. but i'm super nervous to go since i'm a quiet person. i'm worried i won't really have anything to add to the conversation since sometimes group conversation are hard for me to jump into.

any tips/pointers? i need to just get over myself and go right?
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,182 posts, read 41,773,101 times
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Yes.

Go into it thinking about the book, and not the group or the potential for meeting new friends.

Keep your mind focused on the stuff you're talking about instead of your "performance," and ask more questions than you answer.

Having too many expectations about this could inevitably lead to disappointment, so just go to a book club meeting and don't put so much pressure on it - and yourself.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
12,160 posts, read 10,339,034 times
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Be open minded but be yourself. Just try to relax and have fun.
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:52 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,552 posts, read 70,455,727 times
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It doesn't matter if you don't have anything to add. Not everyone will have something to say about the book at every meeting, or every turn in the conversation. And how do you know that someone won't notice you're new and kind of quiet, and might welcome you and encourage you quietly, and help you feel at home with the group? Someone might take you under their wing. It happens. People are nice; they're not all "mean girls".

See how your mind tends to focus on and expect the negative, instead of the positive? Start working on re-training your mind to have positive expectations. Your anxiety is based on a mental habit of envisioning the worst. You can change that. Your mind is under your control; you have the free will to change your mind and establish good, healthy mental habits.

As you said, a book club is perfect, because you love to read. The chances are that at some point during the 1-hr. meeting (or whatever length), someone will touch on some element in the book that resonated for you. When that happens, instead of debating with yourself about whether you should speak up or whether your comments might sounds "dumb", just say something. Your comments are as good as anyone else's. No axe will fall when you speak up; the floor will not drop out from under you. I promise.

As you push yourself out of your comfort zone in small moments like that, and find that nothing bad happens, it will get easier. One step at a time.

Any regularly-scheduled activity like that is great for getting to know people before opening up, and perhaps making a friend. Any hobby group, hiking/biking/boating group, class, or whatever.

You may or may not eventually make a friend through this group. It doesn't really matter; you'll be getting practice socializing and participating--that's the important part. We don't always hit it off with people around us. It takes a certain combination of personalities to "click". Whether or not that happens, you'll have some book discussions to enjoy. That's not a bad thing.


Good luck, OP, and let us know how it goes.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:07 AM
 
540 posts, read 244,354 times
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Relax. Have fun. You'll be fine.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Some book groups have leaders who make sure everyone talks. I went to that type once and it was helpful.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:07 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,467,321 times
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Act enthusiastic and soon enough you'll be enthusiastic.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,839 posts, read 14,349,419 times
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Yes. Book clubs are great for socializing and also for reading stuff you might not choose for yourself to read. I am a big proponent of book clubs! Yes, go to the next meeting, and continue going even if you don't feel at first as if you fit in. Just keep going. Introverts are good at listening, and often make insightful comments. Be that person. You will be appreciated for your insights and your consistency.

Be friendly, and if there is one person in the group who is very outgoing let her draw you in, if she tries. (Sometimes that happens.)
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Out West
22,707 posts, read 16,808,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bell235 View Post
I'm 29, always had very few friends, but the past 2 years it has gotten a lot worse since people are having babies/moving... i want to meet new people but i'm extremely introverted and quiet. I think i usually come off as cold and unfriendly but in reality i just need some time to get to know people before i open up.

I have put myself "out there" a few times in hopes of meeting people but nothing ever sticks, so i gave up. but i really feel like i need to try again - so i came across a book club which i think is perfect because 1, i love to read and 2, it will give a common topic instead of just trying to think of things to talk about. but i'm super nervous to go since i'm a quiet person. i'm worried i won't really have anything to add to the conversation since sometimes group conversation are hard for me to jump into.

any tips/pointers? i need to just get over myself and go right?
What you said in the first paragraph is exactly how many quiet people are perceived...and no, it's not right.

You know what people like to do? They like to talk about themselves a lot. They also like to think that they are intelligent...and they may well be, but boy do they love it when someone tells them that they are.

During conversation, if you don't feel you have anything to add at that particular point, all you have to do is say things like, "Oh! That's very interesting! I never thought of it like that." Or "That's a really good point." Or, "Yes, I felt/thought/read the same thing."

And then let them keep talking. The more you validate what someone says, (but don't be fake about it), the more you will notice them accept you and the easier it will be for you to get comfortable with them and start opening up each time you meet.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:19 PM
 
17,000 posts, read 20,665,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
Yes.

Go into it thinking about the book, and not the group or the potential for meeting new friends.

Keep your mind focused on the stuff you're talking about instead of your "performance," and ask more questions than you answer.

Having too many expectations about this could inevitably lead to disappointment, so just go to a book club meeting and don't put so much pressure on it - and yourself.


This is very good advice.

OP, no pun intended but don't read too much into this.

I go to a book club and have been going for about 2 years. Occasionally a few of us afterwards go out for a bite to eat, but not every time.

I didn't go into it to make friends, I went into it because it expands on the type of books I read.

That's how you should approach it. Because as Wmsn4Life said going in and thinking you're going to make new friends sets you up for disappointment, you may make a friend for life or it could just be some nice acquaintances you see once a month.
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