December 13, 2013 - submitted by Zeynep, Turkey

I have a problem. This year I'm studying in a new class. But I have no friend. I think my classmates don't like me. But I want to be friend them. Please help me, what do you think? Any suggestions? What should I do?

The Oracle replies:

My solution may sound simple but I’m aware how difficult it could be. The first thing you need to do is know that you are not the first and won’t be the last person to feel these feelings when starting a new class. Many of us arrive not knowing anyone.
I’m going to try a logical approach. You may think your classmates don’t like you but they don’t know you so that’s not possible.
They may be shy or as nervous as you. Perhaps you need to be brave and make the first move.
It’s not easy to make the first move but that’s what you need to do. The first thing to do is smile at people. Sometimes when people are nervous, they can look quite unapproachable. If you’re giving off an open, friendly vibe, people will see that. You may have to make an effort to say ‘hello’ or go and sit next to someone else who is on his or her own. If you know their name beforehand, you could approach with, “hi, it’s Sally* isn’t it?” They will see you’ve made an effort and that goes a long way. *Use their name obviously.
If there are already small groups forming, take a deep breath, go over and ask if it’s ok to sit with them. I’m sure they’ll welcome you.
Another thing you could try is joining a school social group / activity. You’re sure to meet like-minded people and that will help you form bonds through your shared interest.
One last thing that people can forget and it’s a hard topic to bring up with anyone - personal hygiene. At school it can be hard to stay sweet smelling when your hormones are raging (nerves don’t help). Keep a breath freshener & deodorant handy and go for it.
Above all, just be yourself.
Over to you.

I think you should find out what they like, and on what clubs they are. Do they like football and you too for example, ask if you can play with them. If they are nice, I guess you may. If you may not, then they're not the guys who could be your friends. Maybe you can find out who hasn't got friends as well. I guess they want a friend too. Maybe they have a special local language you can learn, or other stuff like that.
Goodluck with searching. If you take it easy, you can have a lot of friends later. Isabelle.

I think that you should start trying to talk to them, trying to show that you want them to be your friends! I know that it's hard, because it's a strange situation, but of course you will find someone that likes you! If you don't find someone, I know that us (coldplayers) will always be here for you, believe! All the best for you! Kisses and kisses from Brazil. With love, Thuane.

Just be yourself and show them appreciation. From Matias.

I think all you need to do is to be open to them. I'm sure that by the pass of the time you'll get very well along each other. It always happens, you'll get used to it cuz you'll see them everyday. Just give them the chance to know you, my suggestion is that you should start talking to them, getting to know each other, just be yourself and I'm sure they'll like you anyways. Just be you. Hope I helped, Caroline.

I think that if you want to be part of their group, you need to be yourself. You don't need to change at all. You don't need to change the way you are. Just be who you are. You should start saying "hello" to one of them, and have any kind of conversation! Remember being yourself! Remember that trying to be someone else is useless, because everyone else is taken. I will tell you the way I am. I was very shy at the beggining, I almost had no friends, because I didn't accept the way I was. Now, I act like the original me, I have lots of friends, real friends, because I accepted myself. And If in the future you are included in the group you are talking about, don't let them treat you bad! Don't let ANYONE treat you like if you were nothing, everyone is beautiful and everyone should be treated the way they deserve it. Don't change yourself, Be yourself. Lots of Love, Ximena.

I've never been a mainstream person, and as a teenager it wasn't easy for me to find a group where I would fit in. As I grew older (I'm only 21 though!), I realized that I won't make friends wherever I go. I will sometimes find people that are incredibly similar to me, people with whom I share the same interests, people that I feel as if I’ve known forever. Sometimes I won’t. Even though you might not find friends in your class, you might find them ANYWHERE ELSE. When I was a couple of years younger, I felt distressed because I wouldn’t find interesting what other people my age would, and I always felt as if something was wrong with me. Things are not that different now, what has changed is the way I see things. Now I feel BLESSED to have a different perspective. I take Arabic classes (the language) three times a week in the biggest mosque in Latin America, in Buenos Aires, and I get completely along with my classmates that are 75, 60, 29… I have friends of all races, ages, walks of life, people that I’ve met everywhere but at university. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may not make friends at university, but that’s OK. There’s some special place awaiting you, it took me a long time to find it. I've finally learned to be independent, and not to be influenced by “how things should be”. Caro.

I have been in a situation like that when I transferred to a new school. Most of them knew each other already. Everybody is a new face and ignoring me and seems to be talking with each other except me. I also thought that they don't like me. But I didn't know that exactly for a fact, I just assumed it in my mind. Eventually, I have actually made friends and remained friends with them even after graduation. Here's a suggestion that may help you. Strike up small talks like, "Nice shoes, where did you get it?" or "I'm new here, where's the best place for lunch? Can I go with you?" or "Hey, what song were you listening to? Do you listen to Coldplay?" Keep the talk light but sincere. Make eye contact and smile. Then at the end of the conversation introduce yourself, "By the way, I'm Zeynep." You can start from there. Some conversations might be a dead-end of sorts, you may never talk to that person again, or you just remain acquaintances. You just have to handle rejection very well and don't take it personally. Move to the next person/set of people and you'll definitely make a new friend or a set of friends. Remember, us humans are all wired to connect. We just have to find the right person/people that we can make a connection with.
Sincerely, Jennilyn from Manila, Philippines.

I think you should try to talk about things you both like, do not be shy. must also be because you are new to the school and they do not really know. I also went through this. I started to talk about where I came from, I also talked music (Coldplay haha), and also tried to know more about them, what they like to do on weekends, musical taste, among other issues. I'm rooting for you! Good luck. Virna, Brasil.

Approaching slowly, be gentle. Choose people that you have more affinity. I usually always use this thought: "If you want friends, be a friend" Good luck!

Zeynep, that time since you wrote this question until today: I bet there was at least one situation in your new class when you could say: "Maybe she/he seems to be someone who does NOT dislike me“ I can’t imagine anyway all students of a whole class don’t like you. They know each other, but they don’t know you, so it’s naturally you feel quite foreign there. To befriend needs some time.
Be friendly and open, offer your help if possible, talk to them, find out their interests. It’s almost impossible there’s no one sharing any interests with you at all. And even then you can show interest, not to fake, but real things. You are new there, there will be anything you can ask the others about. If they really should be mean to you - play tricks on you or insult you - you should not handle this alone and tell it someone who can help you.
I want to finish with this quote: “Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.” Rod McKuen
Best wishes. L.Q.

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