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Making friends

Can you identify someone you’d like to be friends with? Maybe it’s someone in your class, at your school, or in your community.

Here are some ways to get started:

  • Think about the things you do that other kids also like doing, like playing outside, some TV shows or movies kids are talking about. Start a conversation by talking about these things or asking questions (even something as simple as “What TV show do you like?”)

  • Begin with a compliment. If you mention something you like about another person, they will usually say thanks and might ask you a question or say something else that leads to a conversation.

  • To keep a conversation going, try asking the other person about themselves. Ask general things like what music they like, what sports they play, or class they like. Try to avoid asking questions that are too personal (like about a person’s family) right away.

  • If you’re shy, practice having conversations either just in your head or with a member of your family. Try to tell them you are feeling shy, or nervous about making friends. They might have good ideas for you to try.

  • You can also talk to other kids who are quieter and shy like you. Try to get to know them and you might find interests in common.

One thing to remember: if you often stay by yourself in class, during recess, after school, or just most of the time, other kids might think you want to be left alone.

If you’d like to try being with others more, here are some steps:

    1. Find some kids that are playing or just hanging out that seem friendly or fun. Try to just stand near them at first.

    2. Try to smile and make eye contact with someone in the group. If they smile back or say something, try to join in. Start off slow.

    3. Listen to what the kids are talking about. If it’s something you are familiar with (a TV show or sport for example) you can try making a comment or two.

    4. When you do start talking, try not to take over the conversation. You might be eager to make friends, but it’s a good idea to go slowly at first.