Secondary school can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially for girls who are forming new friendships, dealing with anxiety and learning more about their personalities. The desire to fit in and form genuine connections might be accompanied by feelings of unease. However, it's crucial to recognise that you have the power to forge secure friendships while staying true to your authentic self. This blog is dedicated to guiding girls with anxiety through the process of building meaningful connections, focusing on embracing authenticity, managing anxiety, and fostering supportive relationships.
Tip 1: Embrace Your Authenticity
Authenticity is your superpower, and it's the foundation of lasting friendships. Embrace your quirks, passions, and individuality. While anxiety might make you worry about how others perceive you, remember that people are drawn to genuine personalities. The friends you make when you're your authentic self will appreciate you for who you truly are.
Tip 2: Shift Your Focus
Anxiety often makes us hyper-focus on ourselves and how we're perceived by others. Challenge this by shifting your focus outward. Instead of worrying about how you're coming across, focus on being genuinely interested in others. Ask questions, listen attentively, and show curiosity about their lives. This not only helps in forming connections but also eases your own anxiety by redirecting your thoughts.
Tip 3: Find Comfort in Shared Interests
Shared interests provide an excellent foundation for friendships. Seek out clubs, activities, or groups that align with your passions. Engaging in activities you genuinely enjoy not only eases anxiety or worries that you may have, but also introduces you to like-minded individuals who share your interests. Conversations about shared passions flow naturally, making it easier to connect.
Tip 4: Choose Supportive Friends
Look for friends who are empathetic, patient, and understanding. These are the people who will stand by you during challenging times. Avoid individuals who make you feel pressured to be someone you're not or who dismiss your feelings. Secure friendships are built on mutual respect and acceptance, so surround yourself with friends who uplift and support you.
Tip 5: Small Steps Matter
Building friendships doesn't have to happen overnight. Take small steps to engage with others and gradually expand your comfort zone. Initiating conversations, attending social events, or even joining online communities related to your interests can help you practise social interactions in a manageable way.
Navigating secondary school might present challenges, but it's also an opportunity for personal growth and forming secure friendships. Embracing your authentic self, focusing on shared interests, and surrounding yourself with supportive friends are key steps in this journey. You have the strength to create meaningful connections that contribute positively to your life.
To support young girls with forming secure friendships at school, we are running a webinar on 13th September at 4.30pm where our presenters, Silja Litvin and Dr Philip Jefferies will discuss tips that you can utilise.