Many people feel self-conscious about approaching friendships when they interpret another person’s body language or communication in a negative way. You might feel some social anxiety about befriending someone who seems aloof. Maybe you embarrassed yourself in front of this person at one time. But chances are good that when you get to know her, you’ll find she has her own embarrassing stories and weird quirks, and that most of the angst was in your head.
1. Assess Your Insecurity
The first thing to figure out when you feel that someone else “thinks you’re weird” is whether that assessment came from her or from you. Did she actually tell you that she thinks you’re weird? Probably not, and if she did, it’s not worth becoming friends with such a mean person. But if you are self-conscious about your own self-described “weirdness,” that’s something you can overcome. As psychotherapist Darren Haber points out on the “Good Therapy” website, most people have to balance their desire for safety with their desire for connection. Take a risk and be yourself.
2. Make Up for First Impressions
Perhaps the reason you fear rejection from this person is that you made a terrible first impression, doing or saying something thoughtless that you wish you can take back. The good news is that you can make up for that first meeting by apologizing, using humor, and asking the other person to give you another chance, says “The Network Journal.”
3. Ask Her Questions
People love to talk about themselves and tell their stories because it’s reassuring to have other people interested in them, notes Haber. One of the best ways to make friends with people both similar and dissimilar to yourself is to ask questions about their lives. Ask her about her kids, her hobbies, or her work, and allow her to tell you about herself. She’s not likely to think you’re weird if the conversation is focused on her interests; she’s more likely to think you’re a kind person and a good listener.
4. Find Common Interests
A study done by Chris Crandall of the University of Kansas found that when people have a large number of friends to choose from, as in a city or large university, they tend to befriend people who share their beliefs, politics and interests. If your potential friend has a large pool of prospects, you may need to work harder to show her that you can be a fun friend as well, by finding interests that you share. If you live in a smaller area, the study showed, she’ll be more likely to value your friendship because of, or in spite of, your differences.
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