Question from Ivan
How can I make friends?
Remember, you don’t just need friends. Others need your friendship. So if you want a friend, be a friend.
There are many ways to form a friendship, and they all require kindness, eye contact, smiles, listening, and concern for the other person. Shared activities can foster conversation and friendship.
Join classes, programs and clubs that will connect you with like-minded people. Then make eye contact, smile, compliment what someone said or did. Ask a question to find out more about the person and show them that you care about what they are thinking and feeling.
Always remember that someone needs you as a friend. You are not just asking for something you would like to have. You are giving the gift of your friendship.
(video by Marla Catherine)
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Question from Marie
OK, so I know this is extremely stupid, but when I finish the anime I get extremely depressed. I have a difficult social life. I don’t have any friends and I have a hard time dating the only friend I have. She practically has to drag me out of my house to go out with her.
Here is the problem: when I finish the anime I am extremely depressed, I feel lonely and sad and I feel worthless and not good enough, like my life feels useless to me afterwards and I don’t know why this is happening. .
Watching an anime brings me so much joy and excitement, it takes me out of reality and into someone else’s world, but it’s like when I come back I feel miserable. So I throw myself into a bunch of anime to keep that feeling from happening, and sometimes I’ll go months without watching it because I’m not emotionally prepared for what I’m going to feel next.
I don’t want to stop watching but I hate that depressing feeling that comes when it’s over. Is there a way to change this or a reason I feel like this?
It’s an interesting question, and I’m sure if you ask it, others will feel the same as you.
The anime serves as a kind of drug. Just like video games do for some people. It’s wonderful to enjoy the escape from all activity, but you need to be prepared for back to school.
I think the # 1 job for you right now is working on your social anxiety. What happens is when you are done with your anime, you remember that you have that job to do which will be difficult but will also make your real life more rewarding.
You need friends. Not a ton. Just one or two. You need to enjoy events and you need to be able to look forward to them rather than just fear them.
To you, the real world and growing up are just scary. It’s for a lot of people.
Why not start by going to https://teenlineonline.org and talking to someone. They will help you find resources in your area.
You may also want to let your parents know that you are feeling socially anxious and would like to talk to a professional about it. Once we’ve desensitized your real life, you’ll be able to leave your anime world with a sense of satisfaction rather than depression and panic.
Always know that what you are going through is human and therefore there are people who can help you get through this. Ask for this help.
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Have a question for Weezy? Email him at [email protected] and it can be answered in a following column.
– Louise Palanker is the co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel titled Newspapers, actress, director (click here to watch her documentary, Family group: the story of Cowsills), a teacher and a mentor. She also co-hosts the podcast Media journey with Fritz Coleman, and teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read the previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.