Dear Marwa,

I hope you had the time to read my problem and find a solution for it.

I’m a shy 21-year-old girl who feels she doesn’t know how to make friends. I only had one friend whom I honestly don’t like that much but have no other alternatives. I don’t speak a lot and don’t think I’m interesting enough to anyone. I simply don’t know what to do.

Last year, I started dating a college colleague. He’s kind, supportive and is always physically or virtually there for me. He’s the only human being I interact with besides my family. The problem is, I’m travelling after the summer to do my masters degree abroad. He says he’s coming too… but I’m afraid he wouldn’t and I’ll end up all alone…Help!

 

Dear Shy,

The key to your problem and its solution lies in this statement:

“I don’t speak that much and don’t think I’m interesting enough to anyone.”

There is an old proverb that says “Character is Fate” which means that your character becomes your fate; I would like to add that the way you view yourself shapes both your character and your fate.

In your case, you perceive yourself as a silent uninteresting person and this has led you to actually become uninteresting and has trapped you in total solitude. You do not need to be a social butterfly, but a healthy social life is built upon having some sort of social circle where you choose when, how and with whom to interact.

You have one friend whom you dislike and this is far below the healthy social life requirements I just mentioned. You need to draw a small circle with you in the middle and add a maximum of two or three people with you in that circle and call it your intimate zone, then draw a bigger circle and add 5 or 6 people and call them good friends, then another bigger circle with more people and call them friends, then another bigger circle with more and more people and call them colleagues, co-workers and neighbours; the biggest circle involves acquaintances.

People in these circles interchange places, come and go, or totally change because we all grow and change. Having one man in your intimate circle poses a risk to your relationship itself. He will eventually feel the burden of having to love you, listen to you, entertain you and keep you company. One man cannot become your whole social circle.

Back to you, why do you think you’re not an interesting person? We’re all interesting one way or the other. We all have our perks and geeky points but we’re all interesting. Some are better at listening to others than speaking about themselves – and such people are also interesting.

If you go to a coffee shop and spend a whole day there, you will notice several interactions between people. Some sit quietly together, some talk about intimate details in the faintest voice, some share funny stories and laugh, while others talk about work, politics, or any serious issue. There are those who talk about sports, movies, books, or events, and then you have those who stare at screens alone or together. They all find themselves interesting and they are all interested in sharing.

Start with the biggest of circles; start with making acquaintances. This is the easiest and simplest form of social interaction and out of this circle zoom into colleagues and co-workers, then friends, best friends, and very intimate relationships.

Even if you’re shy and quiet, you’re still interesting!

Your upcoming move is a great opportunity to be “reborn”. No one knows you and no one already thinks you are uninteresting; you still have the chance to present yourself as whoever you want to be. There will be so many things to talk about to help you settle in the new country and so many things to explore in the company of a neighbour or a colleague – or a total stranger.

Be open to meeting people and remember how character is fate!