Weekly advice column, Hosted by Fii.
Fii is a psychology student and self-love & femme rights advocate. They have been sharing their own struggles with depression and anxiety openly on their platforms for years in order to remind people that they are not alone and to fight stigmas of mental illness.
So.. I have been in university for almost a year now but still only have one close friend. I have a lot of acquaintances, but I can't seem to go past small talk with any of them. I ask the typical questions like "What course are you in?" or "Where are you from?" but I just don't know how I can get to know people on a deeper level and still have it happen naturally. I just don't know if I should ask them questions randomly or what.
Just want you to know how much I relate to this before I go on my way to give you my advice. I just transferred to a new school and haven't made real friends yet, and at my school prior I only had a few! I found it uncomfortable in the beginning when everyone was overly friendly and nice because everyone was trying to make friends. I realize that it can and will happen naturally.
Firstly, don’t define yourself by the amount of friends you have. Having lots of friends can be nice, but it also doesn’t make you any better of a person, per say. I would recommend keeping those casual conversations flowing when you see your “acquaintances” in class or in the halls. The first step to any relationship is getting to know each other—and through these little conversations, that can happen. Maybe ask for their number and study together! You just have to put yourself out there more (something I didn’t do). The more you try and talk to these people, the more you’ll get to know them, and maybe they’ll even invite you over or something : - )
Also, you don’t always have to get deep with someone to be real friends. It’s good to learn to have different types of friends; some for emotional stuff and others just for light-hearted fun! Intimate relationships are beautiful and meaningful, but not all relationships have to be intimate to be good. Finally, while having lots of friends is nice, you don’t have to have a million friends if that doesn’t seem nice to you. I constantly feel pressured to be social and go out, but that’s really not what makes me happy. Just find what works for you : - )
I just finished freshman year (crazy as it is) and, looking back, it's weird to see how much I've changed. I've accepted different aspects of myself that I used to have extreme troubles with and I've let those aspects shine. I find though that my friends are more used to the way I used to be rather than who I am now. Not that they aren't accepting, but they almost seem to think I'm faking it. How do I continue to be myself freely without worrying that I'm perceived as fake to others?
That’s amazing! You are becoming you more everyday, and that is very admirable. Although your friends might not see it that way, you should continue to push yourself to grow and find comfort in the person you are becoming. You have worked hard to get to the place you are at right now— have pride in that, don’t let anyone dim your light.
If they’re your true friends, they’ll learn to love and accept this new you you’re becoming. Friends are there to empower and support you. If they don’t, they are not good friends. It’s important to surround yourself with people that push you to be the best you! If your friends are making you feel bad about your new self, try to talk to them about the situation, tell them how you’re feeling. Maybe they just need time to get used to loving this evolved you, since they knew the old one for so long.
Either way, find power in your abilities to change and take life as it comes. Those friends may have been right for you at a time but perhaps not anymore, and that’s okay. Through your journey you will find new ones that fit better into your life.
I recently started university, and I am having some trouble making friends. I'm extremely shy and, knowing that, I've tried to get out of my shell and talk to people. For that, I'm very proud of myself, but nothing has really developed into a friendship or anything similar to it. And although its very destructive for me, my mind puts the blame on me to justify why people don't approach me or, when I do, why they don't see me as a friend. Do you have advice on being alone while surrounded by lots of people and not letting that limit or take over you?
I relate so much to this ! And I am proud of you for being proud of yourself. It’s really important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and try new things, even if they scare you. And it’s important to be proud of yourself for pushing yourself!
I know it’s hard to be alone, especially amongst a sea of people, but it’s better to have a few very important relationships than a bunch of frivolous ones. These relationships aren’t developing because they are not meant to. If you are trying, that’s all that matters! I know it’s frustrating but the people that are meant to be in your life will come when it’s time!
As I said, the important thing is that you are trying, and being alone doesn’t mean you are lonely. Find strength in knowing yourself and find comfort in the solitude. Being alone can bring so much growth and understanding of self. Take advantage of this time to focus on you. The amount of friends you have does not define you, but you can define yourself. Walk proud, stand tall, and know your worth.
Hey there! My roommate/one of my best friends has been a really huge source of negativity for me and I’m not sure how to deal with it. She just has this super negative energy around her all the time, and the way she approaches and sees life really brings me down. She’s also recently told me she doesn’t like the guy I’ve been dating and she doesn’t want to be around him, but we live together. She didn’t give me a reason for not liking him—he’s not a toxic person, she’s just being judgmental. It just hurts to hear that my happiness is less important to her than whether she personally hits it off with someone I’m dating (and falling really hard for). How should I approach this, because it’s hard to live with someone who’s a constant source of negativity for me.
Dealing with friends in this way can be very tricky. On one hand you love them and they’ve been your friend for so long, but on the other hand they are bringing you down. I think the first and most important thing to do is communicate with her. In a civil way you should talk to her about the situation and how you are feeling. Try and be productive about it—ask her if there is anything upsetting her that is bringing her down and if there is a reason she doesn’t like your man. Try to have a constructive conversation about the situation.
If this conversation doesn’t end well and the situation keeps progressing (with the negativity and all) it is best to part ways. Although she is your friend, having a negative entity in your life is solely going to bring negativity onto you, especially if you’re living with them.
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