What we're about
This Group is for ANYBODY who is socially awkward or has a social anxiety disorder or depression that makes it hard for them to form new relationships or friendships. We are here to listen to each other, laugh together, tell our story, be vulnerable and open, offer advice, be true to our real selfs for the positive and the negative, and most importantly to get to know each other!
Here, we all realize that with social anxiety and/or depression and/or anything else, it’s hard to come to groups like this in the first place and to participate and to speak at all, and it’s an ideal group to step out of your shell, to tell a bit about yourself, and to meet others similar to you. An effort is key with actions and not just words! It’s very hard for me too, but so many of us need this.
WHY THE GROUP WAS CREATED:
Because I am in your position right now, and the best way to help ourselves is to help each other. There really needs to be a safe, fun, happy place for people to go to when they feel friendless or hopeless or lonely. Hence, this support group.
Like me, you probably struggle to make friendships. Which can be terribly lonely. And with general anxiety or social anxiety or even depression, we might not even feel confident enough to make new friends or we just fear to make new friends in general.
I’d like for all of us to meet with each other at least once a week as a group somewhere calm and peaceful and comfortable, for starters, such as a nature park or cafés, and have group topic discussions together.
Once we have a good group of at least 5 or 6 dedicated group members, lets not only meet once a week for group discussions, but let’s also get together as a group once a month to go on an adventure locally, whether it’s to the beach, out to dinner at a restaurant, or just somewhere else fun and relaxing, all as a group. The main goal here is to practice our communication skills on a personal level with one another! Therefore, going to the movies is definitely out of the question!
New members can attend our weekly discussion meetups and gain confidence and familiarity with others in the group before attending any monthly adventure outings!
WEEKLY MEETING/DISCUSSION GUIDELINES:
Everybody is included! It doesn’t matter who you are, the color of your skin or ethnicity, if you speak broken English, what you look like, what your sexual preference is, what gender you identify as, or if you have a handicap or a disability or a stutter. Please be 18 or older and bringing children is discouraged since we will be discussing themes and topics of an adult nature! The only time somebody can no longer be included is if they are always insulting, consistently rude and speaking while others have the spotlight, and make others feel threatened or unsafe or in a hostile environment.
Everybody should be respectful of each other! Yet, respect is also earned over time with trust as the underlying factor. If somebody has a different lifestyle or religion or belief then you in the group, just agree to disagree.
In being respectful, let’s keep things mostly PG-13 and occasionally R. I curse, everybody curses, but keep in mind that there could be families around; especially with small children!
Everybody participates! We’ll do what they call roundtable discussions. The discussion leader will introduce a topic and at that point, we will take turns in the group can then respond to the topic or add something to the discussion.
Participation is completely VOLUNTARY, but I absolutely encourage participation because this is a safe place and judgment-free zone and we’re all here to just get to know each other and help one another.
You may also raise your hand if you wish to say something, at which point you’ll have alerted the group about your desire to speak, and the current speaker will eventually finish speaking and then call on you.
In adding to the discussion, you might explain your personal experiences and struggles relating to the topic, etc. Of course, after any person speaks, anybody else in the group may respond to what was just said, offer advice to that person, offer support, go off of what they just said, etc.
If you are somebody who struggles with socializing, speaking will help you to put yourself out there and to face your fears head on!
Everybody should listen and not just speak (what a novel concept). This is incredibly important! Yes, it’s true we absolutely do want the best for ourselves. We have all been through a lot in our lives, a lot of sadness and the whole mess, and we do want our stories heard, and that’s okay. But we also have to listen to the stories of others, learn from them, and be there for them. We are becoming a part of this friendship group to share AND to listen to others. Let’s always remind ourselves that someone else may need the spotlight as much as we might.
Be not just serious, but also goofy and dorkiness is highly encouraged! If you are socially awkward, let’s embrace it here. Joke and laugh. We are going to share personal stories of social situations that went awry. We are going to share very embarrassing stories, I’m sure. We’re going to embrace humility and open up!
SOME OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:
Individuals can always befriend one other and hang out with each other as friends on their own time. But sometimes people are reluctant to become friends with each other outside of the group. In order to have a friend, you need to be one first with your actions and not words! That’s normal and not to be taken personally, as people have their own preferences and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re undesirable as a friend.
Let those friendships happen naturally and if someone desires to be your "friend", take a leap of faith and give them the opportunity to do so since most people in this world would rather take than give!
If you find yourself laughing a lot with one person and they seem to really enjoy your company and you make them laugh, that is a sign that they may welcome your friendship. It’s okay to ask somebody for their Facebook or WhatsApp, but again don’t take it personally if nothing happens past there, people usually know what particular qualities they desire and seek in a friend, and just because somebody doesn’t follow through, it doesn’t mean that nobody else desires your particular qualities in a friend.
Just by showing up to this group really shows bravery, commitment, and the desire to put yourself out there and to accept change, and most importantly to not feel alone.