I don’t know how to reach out

I don’t know how to reach out to people when I need support. Especially if I’m trying to contact someone out of the blue. What do I even say? “Hey we haven’t talked in forever but I feel like shit and I thought I’d share that with you”? But what are they going through? Do they even want to talk? Do I start the conversation with the premise of something light and then go into what I really want to talk about? It feels disingenuous.
Even if I’m not feeling sad but I just want to contact someone I haven’t talked to in a while, what do I say? How do I keep the conversation going and not make it forced?
I think I’m afraid to talk to people, even friends, even people I see all the time - I think I’m afraid to talk to them because I had a close friend who whenever I wanted to celebrate something I accomplished, she got jealous. Whenever I had a problem, she’d try to fix me instead of really help me understand myself. We were just kids, but…I think because we were so close I fear that everyone is like that, especially if I want to be close to them. I keep most things to myself because so many people have broken my trust or abused my openness.
Idk…something on my mind today…I’m reaching out here because I guess I don’t know how else to start conversations or reach out to others I know.


Hi friend. As far as starting conversations… honestly I don’t know. I much prefer online where I can have time to choose when and how I reply. I worry a lot about being too much of an emotional burden for people sometimes, so I just sort of keep offline conversations short and simple. Partially because I’m used to always moving and never really having time to get to know anyone, but also because it has been used against me. I have opened up to people before about some struggles I was having, and it nearly cost me my job, and it did cost me the few friends I had managed to make.

Also, with texting or other internet based conversations, I’m generally pretty clear that I don’t reply quickly and I never expect people to reply quickly or in any sort of way, so at least on my end I enter these conversations with a president set that nobody is expected to reply or even acknowledge in any sort of way.

I also worry a lot about the small talk aspect. I don’t like small talk if it’s just a means to a different conversation because like you, I think it’s disingenuous.

I am a pretty introverted person so I’ve also really had to learn to be ok with it. There’s a lot of external pressure, I felt, to have certain kinds of conversations and just “keep the flow” and I honestly can find it hard to manage, but I also used to worry a lot that I’d swing the other way into overwhelming territory. I have had to kind of release myself from the pressure of needing to keep conversation going. I’ve reached out to people in this community thinking I was going to have a long conversation, and instead it literally went “I’m feeling this way and… I guess I just wanted someone to know.” And that was it. Those are strange times, but it was great becauae I didn’t really feel the need to keep the conversation going due to social pressure or something.

I might be getting really off track here. I apologize if so. Apparently you’ve unlocked something I sort of needed to think through, too. I’m really glad you reached out here. Thank you for starting this conversation with us. I wish I could tell you how to start the conversations and make it easy, but then those would be my words and not yours. What would you want to hear from a long time friend? Maybe you can start conversations that way? Also, as I’m sure you know and will see, this is a great place to start!

I’m always excited when I see you around. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. It really means a lot. I am really sorry you had that experience with your friend. That can be so painful when you just want to share your joy! I definitely understand how you can sort of expect everyone to act the same way, even if you know each person is different, you experince tells you this thing happens in this situation. I hope this can begin to unlock a path for you. We’re here to help you along the way!

((Sorry of you saw my reply before it was done, my kid jumped on my phone))


Hey CrystalSings!

AmandaRuthArt responded to your post live on stream today with some wonderful words of advice and ecouragement.

Here is a link to the video to hear her response for yourself!


I write a post about how I have difficulty reaching out to people, and then I don’t respond to anyone for over two weeks :sweat_smile:

I apologize for that, but definitely want to thank you for your message and taking the time to reply.

I have to remember to check on those boundaries.

It’ll take some practice, but I think the more I reach out to people, the better I’ll get at communication.

Your post gave me some food for thought and it did help. Hope you’re doing well :slight_smile:

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Hi Jezliee! I read your response soon after you posted it, but I’m just now having a chance to reply :sweat_smile:

Same! I’m much better at writing than I am at speaking, so I prefer to take the time to write things out; maybe hit backspace a few times to take back something I couldn’t take back if I had said it out loud. A lot of times I’ll say something and realize after it slips out of my mouth that it could be interpreted in a way I didn’t intend. I try to be careful about choosing my words to be as accurate as possible.

I used to respond almost immediately to texts and messages but I realized that made it so that people always expected that. Realistically I’m not able to live up to that expectation (I literally haven’t responded to replies on this post for over two weeks :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile:.) I also started to feel almost creepy when I’d respond right away because I worried people would think I was just sitting there and staring at my phone, waiting. I always have my phone in my hand, but generally not because I’m waiting for replies.

Being an introvert is hard because I can’t always think on my feet to keep a conversation going. I stumble and mumble and blurt things out awkwardly. When I was in kindergarten, I had a huge problem interrupting people. I was always so excited to talk about things. I remember thinking that I was just joining in on conversations like other people were doing, but apparently no one really saw it that way. I honestly think that’s the root of a lot of my problems communicating - I feel like no one wants to hear from me because I’m not exciting enough or like I’m always interrupting instead of being part of a conversation.

I’m thankful that you always greet me when you see me in chats. And thank you for your advice here; I definitely appreciate you opening up and sharing what was on your mind. I hope you’re doing well :slight_smile:

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@amandaruthart I wish I had seen your post sooner, but I’m glad that it popped up on my YouTube notifications!

Thank you for your advice and for taking the time to reply. What you said was very encouraging.

I think because I miss having deep conversations with people, I get disappointed at more surface level interactions. But not every conversation has to be so heavy and sometimes I do need a more “light” interaction.

I like what you said about how not all friends are going to be people I really click with; I need to remember that. Also really like what you said about fitting in versus belonging. I’ve always felt that I belong among those who are a part of HeartSupport and that I can be myself here. I need to find more welcoming spaces like this.

I’m finding that even as an introvert, lately I really miss social interactions. Maybe it’s because of the current covid situation in the world and not being able to go out. The end of 2019 I had made a resolution that in 2020 I’d be more outgoing and forget someone that I needed to put in the past. Well…clearly I wasn’t able to do that.
But whenever it starts to feel safe again, I want to be able to go out and meet with people whether it’s at an event or even at their house for a cup of tea.

I always look forward to seeing your posts on Instagram and TikTok; you’re a very talented artist and kind person. Thanks for being you!


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