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Changing from a social isolate to a friendlier person

Updated on February 17, 2011

Being different is something we all aspire to do, but uniqueness or differences are not dealt with just as well by most if not all of us. It is important to consider what this implies and also figure out if you are truly capable of being different, going ‘off the beaten path’ and celebrating the freedom that comes from being uniquely yourself.

What does it involve?

Growing up can be a time of turbulence. There is a strong need to belong to a group, mix and mingle with peers, have common interest and activities and more. This is an essential part of social interaction and also for learning important social skills. Most kids tend to conform to peer pressure or expectations and do what everyone else does to have ‘common interests’. A child with intense interest in studies or someone who has a unique disposition may not be easily accepted and become s loner. This can result in rejection in many social situations, isolation from group activities and not being accepted by peers. The formative years are times when a child needs acceptance and adulation the most, both from family and friends.

What happens when someone is isolated?

We have often talked to those people who seem intensely interested in a certain topic or somehow seem ‘off’ in the way that they communicate. Somehow certain folks seem to simply not to know when to speak of something, what to speak and what not to speak of with people. They tend to go on about what they are passionate about, irrespective of whether the other person is listening or interested in the conversation. This is commonly either because of some developmental problem or the fact that they have not really had much communication or interaction due to the fact that they were social isolates during their growing years. They tend to lack the skills required to have a conversation, read others reactions or empathize with people who need it. These people are often termed ‘cold’, ‘weird’, ‘dumb’ or even ‘retarded’. Being labeled tends to make these individuals draw away even more from social situations.

How to deal with such situations?

It is not possible to change a habituated individual or a lifestyle of isolation and being by oneself overnight. As a person, the change will have to be a conscious decision to smile more, talk more and meet at least one new person every day.  Finding an interest or hobby to participate in with others will also make things far better, especially when you want to begin to meet others. Stop listening to the labels in your head, you can be whoever you want to be and if you do not want to change and turn into a cog in the wheel that is okay. However if you want to make friends, you have to take the first step and smile, say hello. One day at a time, one smile at a time, you can blossom into a more complete individual who has friends and activities to do together with other peers.

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