How do I make friends in my early twenties?

3 years ago

About a year and a half ago I moved back to my hometown, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I already have a small group of friends but as a woman of 23 years of age, already graduated from university, currently finding herself I've recently realizedI have no idea how to make friends in a non-acedemic context.

It's pretty simple making friends when you're studying: you're just sat next to people for so long you start bonding over whatever it is that you're learning. Cue the library Facebook statuses that probably irritate other people who are not in college anymore.

I've been in the library since six in the morning and I've only been on Facebook the whole time #studentlife 

I've been guilty of similar annoying self-centered statuses like that but somehow this is a weird bonding process for us young 'uns. But once you reach the ripe age of 21 it dawns on you that no one actually cares about your library regime and your dumb-ass hashtags, your classmates only kind of cared because they could relate to it. Also, like you, they're probably lonely (we're all lonely, let's be real).

I imagine that if I worked in a place with young people like me this would be less of a problem, but how am I supposed to break the ice? 

Hey um. Wanna like hang out and be friends?

I guess a lot of these struggles come from the fact that I am extremely socially anxious and I always feel awkward around people I don't know. I just never know what to say, especially when everyone gets a little drunk and the conversation suddenly descends into an incredibly personal subject.

You've GOT to try anal sex at least once in your life.

I mean, what? Is that how I'm supposed to break the ice? Ask about their sex life or give unsolicited sex advice about their butts? I might pass on trying this approach.

So you're in a long distance relationship, what are you guys gonna DO?

Man, seriously? These are actual things people have said to me when they got a little drunk/looser. Why would I want to discuss these things with you when I've just met you? It just freaks me out. Can't we have a few friend dates before you ask me these things? 

Snooky saying ew, I hate all of you in a night club.

It becomes even more complicated when the person who is talking to you is a boy. Sorry (actually, from previous experience, I am not sorry), but I am always wondering if boys have ulterior motives. Concepts like 'friendzone' really annoy me because it's sounds like women are bad people for choosing who they want to date (hey, guess what, women owe you nothing. Get over it and stop crying about how much of a nice guy you think you are) and impedes boys who actually want to be friends with women from being friends. While a platonic intent is much clearer in a classroom, it's not very clear in a bar or a night out.

Wanna go for a coffe, completely, 100% platonic male friend? YAY!

I've always wondered, what if people had badges that said "LOOKING FOR: PLATONIC FRIENDSHIPS ONLY (harassers, believers of friendzone and stalkers stay away)"  to ward off creeps? This would make my life so much easier. 

Going back to my awkward inability to break the ice, I've recently taken up yoga. While most women who practice Vinyasa at my gym are middle aged or in their 30s (no shade. I just don't know how much I can relate to you because I still feel like a teenager in an adults' world). When I see a young person I'm like "Omg can we be friends" internally but on the outside I'm trying to look like a sane person while downward facing dogging. 

What pose do you like the most? Are you new to yoga? I just started ,wanna exchange notes? OMG your upward facing dog pose is perfect.

I mean, what do you say before or after a yoga class to bond with a person? And now I will eternally be scared of being as weird as that white girl who cried when a 'heavyset' black woman came to her yoga class. Also let me just say some people just do not want to bond over their practice - they just like bragging about it.

Woman doing yoga with a cat on her butt.
Woman 1: I just CANNOT deal with only practicing Vinyasa it's sooo weak . I need to do like real work on my body with astanga, you know?
Woman 2: Oh, reall--
Woman 1: Yah, I just cannot deal, soo weak.*

Well, that's so great for you, but I am rolling my eyes so hard right now.

And when I do meet someone cool in some mutual-friends kind of situation, what am I supposed to do, ask her out on a friend date?

Oh this girl looks cool maybe we could be friends but what is social interaction? I will sit here and be awkward because reasons.

Lately I feel like I speak to my friends on the other side of the world through the internet more than I socialize, trying to make friends. Why? It's so much simpler to deal with people who already like you (and occasionally hate you when you're being an ass). I mean I don't lack friends but man, it is hard to make new ones in your early twenties.

Are you in your early twenties and do you have difficulties when making friends?

*Actual conversation I heard at the gym

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