Ask Sydney

Free Help for Teens!

Read answers to questions, comment ... or ask your own questions. If you're having any problems at home, school, or life, I'm happy to listen and give you my advice. Just send me your question (anonymous) and I will I'll be happy to help.

This is where your truth is safe to be told.  My passion is listening and helping others work through their situations. 

(Disclaimer: I am a senior in high school. This means although I do aspire to obtain a psychology degree, I realize there are some situations which I simply do not have the tools to deal with. So as long as the topic is not outside of my realm, I will do my best to help you and send you an answer.)

I have already taken a college level psychology course and plan to continue on this path.  Send me any questions about love, family and/or social life and I'll give you my honest perspective. Don't be shy; This is what I love, and I won't know it's you unless you wish to leave a name!

I am shy. How can I begin to be/feel more natural around people?

Dear Sydney…

I often times find myself feeling alone or left out. I feel like I don’t have many friends and I am worried that I will always feel this way. I honestly just don’t know how I can be more like myself around others because I am a naturally shy person. Do you have any advice for me?

Before I fully address your question, I just want to let you know you are not the only one! As someone who used to be shy, I totally understand what you are going through. Loneliness is actually something we all encounter, regardless of whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. I know that’s probably hard to believe, but loneliness is something that isn’t easy identifiable from the outside.

Now with that being said, there are a few different tips I have for becoming more natural around others.

  1. Smile. I know that may seem weird, but a genuine smile communicates to others that you are accepting of them and a potential friend. You begin to feel more approachable.
  2. If you were only to say one thing to someone, make it a question about them. A simple “How are you?”, “Where did you get those shoes?”, or “What T.V. shows do you watch?” could be the few words needed to start a friendship!
  3. Don’t suppress natural reactions. If someone says something funny, laugh! You have no idea how many times I’ve made friends with strangers by bonding over a funny situation.
  4. Compliment others! Make it a specific compliment though, as well as genuine. Something like “Those red boots fit your look so well.”
  5. Identify and mention common interests! If you see someone with a shirt of your favorite band, you could say something like “Hey, I love (insert name of band/singer here) too!”
  6. If someone asks you a question, answer as casually as possible. Don’t get too caught up in pre-thinking everything out…I used to do this a lot. Just quickly consider the question and answer as you go! (Go with the flow, as they say)
  7. Don’t be afraid to mess up when you’re talking to people. We all do! Many times, I’ve stumbled in my speech, misspoken, or forgotten my place in a story. But people can relate to making these kinds of mistakes, because we all do. True friends will stick around and listen 🙂

I hope some of these give you some insight on ways to become more natural. It’s not an easy thing to develop, but it is possible, I promise!

Best wishes!

–Sydney Johnson

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Why Ask Sydney?

My entire life, I've always been drawn to the idea of helping others. As a young child, I was taught very early on the importance of kindness. And now as a young adult, I realize that many people struggle on a day to day basis with little to no people reaching out to give them a hand. When I realized that I could be a helpful resource for people and make a living at it too, I was so excited!

Other interests I have: In my free time, I usually play video games, hang out with friends, listen to music, write or play with my dog. I have a huge love for animals, music and people in general!

(PS: Each and every question is appreciated.)