Let’s be real: our twenties are often glamorized as the most exciting, wild, and freeing time of our lives. But, for many people, this cannot be further from the truth.
Sure, we twenty-something-year-olds may not have mortgages or children to worry about yet. But we are still trying to figure out basically everything else that comes with “adulting.”
What is a 401K, how do you purchase renters insurance, and why is butter so freaking expensive right now?
Plus, this newfound independence comes with a lot of loneliness. If you have moved out, your parents are no longer live-in conversation partners.
Likewise, many of your high school or college friends are probably not around anymore. And even if they are, it becomes increasingly difficult to find time to connect with overwhelming schedules.
So, you may find yourself sitting on the floor of your apartment, eating some classic ramen or a frozen meal from Trader Joe’s, wondering where “everyone” seems to be finding the friends they appear to be constantly posting on social media.
If you can relate, then we have some good news. Recently, a twenty-year-old guy took to Reddit asking for help in a similar situation.
He shared how he has no friends, barely anyone talks to him on social media, and he asked the wise online community for help in breaking out of his shell.
And surprisingly, the responses are both bountiful and really valuable.
First of all, a lot of people provided some clarity on the situation– sharing how it is important to know you are not alone and realize that this is just a phase of your life that will change.
“A lot of people are in the same exact situation as you. It’s not a problem with you specifically– things change and get better. Society is in a turbulent time right now.” –OfficialTutti
Others pointed out how knowing yourself deeply and feeling content by yourself is an extremely important first step before heading out in search of your next friend group.
After all, you have to know what you stand for and your interests and essentially “be” who you want to attract.
“Remember that before one gets comfortable in the company of others, one must first be comfortable in the company of themself. Also, remember that you are still very young, and you will have many opportunities to socialize and become friends or begin relationships with others. The future comes quickly; the present is the only thing that seems impossibly long,” –Sovietgunther
“Just be yourself and try to improve yourself.” –_3zD_
You can start by journaling and answering prompts to find out more about your deepest wants, needs, desires, and dreams. You can also start reading to find out more about the world around you and how you want to fit into it.
Then, once you feel like you are content with yourself and have strong self-awareness, you can begin to branch out.
It is important to note, though, that you have to remain true to your own interests during this stage.
By seeking out activities, experiences, and places that you enjoy, you will inevitably run into people who are like-minded. And that makes the whole friendship-building process ten times easier.
“Find some hobbies and then find other people who enjoy those same hobbies. Could be anything, really.” –Ryjames101
For instance, start volunteering for a cause you feel passionate about, sign up for an art or cooking class, join that amateur photography Facebook group, or frequent a new gym.
“Just gotta put yourself in positions to meet people. But make sure you don’t get into a crowd of people who will be detrimental to you.” –Stolen_ambition
Now, none of this is as easy as it sounds, and it will definitely take some bravery, consistency, and perseverance. You may try out one new activity or two and find that you don’t really click with some people as well as you thought you would.
It is important to remember that this is a completely normal part of the process, though. Plus, you can even put a positive spin on it. You now know what you are not interested in and can move on to new friend-making endeavors.
It would be naive to believe that you will feel entirely happy and optimistic throughout this, though. So, to save yourself some negative mental health impacts, it might be best to get off of social media if you find that the constant posts– or your lack thereof– are really dragging you down.
“Delete your social media if it is bringing you pain. Most people aren’t posting their real lives anyhow– just curated content. It gives the impression that everyone is more successful or happier than you, even though it’s not the truth. Better to not even look at it.” –Elvis_pissley
You can read the original thread on Reddit here.
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