Hey guys. I am currently a guy in my mid-20s who has a problem with talking to other guys and establishing friendships with them. Whatever I see a group of guys get together and hang out, they seem so confident and have a great time chatting with each other. I want to be in a group and have a good time and experience the joys of hanging out with good buddies, but I lack the confidence and have poor self-esteem to even meet new people. I can be quite shy, and always fear that I would be just make an idiot of myself if I introduce myself to complete strangers. I spend the weekend alone in my apartment while other guys go out to bars and do guy stuff. I wish to be a part of that too, and it feels that my confidence with being a man is dying away also. I wanted to ask for some advice or opinions on how to be a more confident man and becoming a part of a male group of friends.
Chris, I believe I know where you're coming from. I went through a similar period and, if I'm not mistaken, I believe it was around my early to mid twenties. Go figure.
Don't overwhelm yourself with the idea of jumping into a whole group of new guys and making them your very best friends right away. Certainly expressing anything like that right in the beginning with turn most guys away.
I think your best bet is to find a guy you have things in common with. Do you enjoy sports? Comics? Athletics? Start hanging out in places where these things are the reason people go. Sports bars... comic shops... the gym or YMCA... Get familiar with regulars. Start a conversation with that guy / guys. Take your time and let it happen naturally. If you find one or two guys to hang out with, you might even end up being invited into their group of friends.
I'm definitely much quieter when I'm the new person in the group, but quiet and reserved is certainly the opposite of who I am once I get used to people. It takes time and, I guess, I just want to know who I'm dealing with.
The best advice, I can give to you, is that You need to get out of your Comfort Zone. Challenge Yourself. How did I do this? One, I started going to a Book Club at my local library, which was peopled by a bunch of women. (They appreciate hearing a Male Point of View, believe Me--even if it's only 1 who appears.) Same thing happened when I went down to learn how to paint with acrylics in an art class offered by a local art museum. It was filled with a bunch of girls! Christ! I decided it wasn't going to intimidate me. I worked it out. Challenge Yourself to do something unExpected. You Will Gain Confidence in YourSelf, if You do So.
It can be tough. I find it easier to make a friend, and then get introduced to other friends via my new friend. It's a nice way to expand the social circle in a non-threatening way.
So, I am in my 50s & still struggle with the feeling that I'm on the outside looking in. I am an introvert by nature but I love the company of others and enjoy good conversation with other men or groups. I have learned that people (especially men) love to talk about themselves, their interests or their area of expertise. A question I often ask to get others to keep talking is "Oh really? Why's that?" It lets others know you're interested in them and hopefully avoid the awkward silence of just standing there with no words. Try it & see if it works for you.
If I can add my 2 cents to this
I am the kind of person who actually makes friends really easily but struggle with the whole concept of out of sight and out of mind. Actually I find that if I start meeting some people more than a few times, that is when I start getting shy around them...weird eh?
So basically to counter this I have come up with a system that I have started to apply for the last few months. I have a spreadsheet going with all the people that I want to be in touch with and be friends with, both men and women. I have about 50 people on this list. Then I have a column which is for the date when I last connected with them. The third and the last column is for comments/notes
So basically I have made a project out of this to deepen my relationships with friends. I look at my spreadsheet every other day or so and have a clear idea as to whom I have not connected with. Then I would just call them, or message them on facebook, or if at work, just go to their desk and chat.
This may be too intense for someone, but so far this mathematical way of building a healthy social life is working for me
Hi Chris! Do you have an update on how things are going with meeting people/guys and your confidence in doing so? I'm interested to hear.
One thing came to mind as I read your post: Nice guys/groups are forebearing and forgiving. You're probably more critical of yourself than others but if you do happen to make a blunder, people will understand and hang with you throughout your encounter with them. If they think ill of you, perhaps it's not the right group of people to hang with.
Thanks - Alan
Sorry if I didn't everyone up to date about my problems. I been busy with other things recently. I actually been seeing a mental health counselor about my self-esteem issues, but so far, not much help. I also been told that I have high anxiety and have fears of being judged, which is true. My communication skills haven't so great also, especially with men my age. So l just keep to myself and do solitary activities like hiking, reading and exercising.