Thursday, 15 November 2012

Being a Social Outcast

OK!!!!

I can't believe I'm writing this, so here goes (by the way, you probably want to read this fast before I feel bad about it and delete it):


Sometimes, I feel kinda bad about being a social outcast. I mean, I don't know people that well and I have trouble breaking the ice, but I don't get how you finish this conversation:

Me: "Hello, my name is Solal..... (Awkward silence)
Guy I'm trying to make friends with: (Back away slowly)

Invasive? Yes
Can I stop myself from doing it. Yes
Do I stop myself from being weird. No

Because in my eyes, I'm not.


And I envy those people in the Lunch queue who just turn around, talk to random people and become best friends (and beyond) instantly. I find it hard to go beyond my class. And those lunch groups. ARGHHHHHH. I try to join them, but how? Do I just walk up, come up with something amazing to say and just hang out? Because I can never find the right thing to say. And I'm not popular. And people don't take me seriously. Because of my size? No, there are loads of popular shorties. Because of my appearance? No, there are loads of popular uglies (no, I don't mean you). Because of my personality? It seems rational and probably is the reason. But then there are the endless websites that tell you to be yourself and not change your personality. So now what? How do I change the fact that people go "Oh, what's Solal doing here?"to my face? And if they say that to my face, what must they say behind my back?

That's also why I don't really tend to invite people over (yep, the question marks again) What if they don't like the place where I live? What if my family are embarrassing? What if I embarrass myself? And if any of these things happen, then I leave a lasting impression on the person.

But I think the main reason that I'm practically friendless is because it has become 'Uncool' or 'Unpopular' to be friends with Solal. (Yeah guys, I'm not stupid. I do care.) I bring this up because recently, I sat down on a bench with two guys, started a conversation with a pun and got into a lasting chat. Because they didn't know I existed before. Or the sixth graders in my bus. Good friends. Because they don't know about the fact that they shouldn't be friends with me.

And sometimes I get annoyed because I'm sometimes at home when I can imagine others having fun but I have this stuff to do that they don't. So yeah. I've been wanting to write this for ages and haven't brought myself to do it yet. Until now. So if you read this equally unpopular blog, please share this post since its aimed at most of middle school. I don't really know how to finish this off, so I'm going to press the post button now. But then I just ended it, didn't I? Uh, paradox.


134 comments:

  1. It is 1:38 am. I just got home from dinner with some friends and decided to check in on my kids. Yes, I really do love reading your blogs. I really do care about who you are and what you share. And I now, I am nearly in tears, not for pity or any other meaningless emotions like that, but with joy and pride. I am beaming with it.

    I am proud because you chose to be brave. You chose to be vulnerable and trust us. You chose to be strong and amazing. You chose to say what we all feel, but are terrified to admit. I love it and I loved you for it.

    It is not easy wearing your heart on your skin and exposing your fears like this. We talk about taking risks and imagine photos of brave, tough men jumping from cliffs or buildings, but seldom to we see an honest and scared 7th grade do what you did.

    Please do not erase this. You have made the initial jump now enjoy the flight. You are the voice of so many people who do not have the courage to do or say what you did.

    This post is proof that young people are aware and that you have feelings and you are brave enough to share them with your peers, even though you have no idea how they will react.

    But please do not wait for their reaction. Take pride in your own courage and know that you have done something important.

    Your classmates may choose to mock you for your honesty, or they may be too afraid to react at all, but trust me whether they choose to react negatively or hide in the shadows they are working through their own fear and anxiety about belonging.

    I hope your classmates to react, and follow your lead to be open and honest and courageous. I cannot put into words how proud of you I am. Might not be cool, but I would love to have lunch with you anytime you like.

    I am sure I can learn a lot from a young man who can be so fearless.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was looking at your tags/labels and I hope that you add these words to the list:

    brave, courage, risk taker, honest, open, fearless, intrepid.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Remain true to who you are, Solal. DOn't t hink "weird." Think "not ordinary." We need more brave, extraordinary people in the world. It is painful for a while, but if you fight against the forces that try to put you in some kind of container, you will emerge with freedom and joy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the way Solal, This is Howard and he is a professor in the US. Check out some of his work:

      http://rheingold.com/art-gallery/

      Delete
  4. Your teacher is right. You are the voice of so many people. And what a beautiful voice you have. Please keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a beautiful post. So honest, and so hard to read because it's so honest. I hope that you at least know that there is nothing wrong with you Solal. And you will not always feel this way, because you will continue finding other people like the ones on the bus, who either don't know or don't care who they're "supposed" to be friends with. I hope writing this brought you some comfort, as I know it will to many others. Keep writing, and I will read every single word!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks you, Solal. I hope my son, who is now 2, is one day as brave and intelligent and creative as you are. You have a wonderful life in front of you--and I'm positive you're going to do something amazing that helps make the world a better place.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey, at least you have Internet friends. We didn't have the Internet when I was in 7th grade haha.

    From my experience, the time you're in right now is weirdest and most difficult to handle socially. Even the kids who you think are having a great time are probably stressed out like crazy because their friends don't like them enough.

    My advice is to use this solo time to pick up some skills. Learn to play the guitar, program, edit videos, etc. Those skills will help you connect with like minded people.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I showed your post to my class of sixth grade students as a model for personal blogging. I am sure you appreciate the feedback from us 'old folks' about what you wrote, but I want you to know that there are kids in the United States that appreciate what you are feeling as well.

    Mr. C
    NoelTigers.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi people,

    It is 5 in the morning, WEEKEND, and I can't believe this has gone semi-viral. It was just a quick thing on the bus and I had to end it off because my bus friends had just entered (ironic, haha). Looking back at it, there is so much I could add to it, because it was rushed. There is now way I'm going back to bed. :)

    However, I think this post going public in UWCSEA will make people have 'Fake' friendships with me and try to approach me in an awkward way, and always have this post in mind. It won't feel that real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good morning Solal.

      It is nice to wake up and realize that our voice is being heard. Isn't it? But don't let that feeling or the "popularity" of the post to it cloud your thinking. I know it feels good to be accepted in person and maybe even on line, but the power of your post is that it speaks to issue we all face.

      I will tell you some stories from my 7th grade experience. Sound a lot like yours. The important thing is to realize that you will make it through this period and come out stronger for it. You are lucky to have such an articulate voice and courage to share it.

      Some people will gravitate toward it eventually. And you are right that some people at school may give you some fake attention, because they want to be with what is "popular" at the moment, but give them a break. They are feeling what you are feeling. Even the ones who feel so connected.

      I think you are simply experiencing the human condition of needing to be loved and accepted. Eventually, you will find your people. There will be few one or two people who get you and love you for you. Just be patient. Be honest. Be kind. Be you.

      And just keep writing these amazing posts....

      Delete
    2. Hey,
      thanks for that. I feel more laid back now. It just really came as a shock when I got the emails this morning. I've thought about this way of being before and think I'll probably adapt to it. I think I'm probably seeing this situation as something to important and invasive. I think its right to just get over it. Thanks!

      Delete
  10. Oh, and this blog is popular now so you can ignore that bit too :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I write this post with tears rolling down my cheeks. They are not tears of pity but tears of your incredible bravery Solal. I love your words. I love your honesty. I love that you have shared your experience. Thank you for being the voice of so many that couldn't put themselves out there like you have.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Solal, I ditto everything above and admire your courage and honesty in a word that is so often without. People hide behind masks and false fronts and seem so real yet most times they are not. Know this and believe and trust that being yourself, whatever that is, is the only way: there is only one you. You are at the turning point right now in your life and you will look back on this as a defining moment - enjoy the ride and love it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello, Solal. I have a daughter who is in 12th grade. She has felt like you since 8th grade. I also felt this way in middle and high school. Middle and high school time can be a very difficult time. You are incredibly brave to post this. Whether you know it or not, you are an inspiration to others. You said what so many would love to say. All I can tell you now is, one day you will find others who appreciate exactly who you are...for all your quirkiness. Please don't change and don't be ashamed. Your time will come and it will be amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Solal,

    Jabiz had sent me this post and I am so glad that he did. Many adults that have written to you have probably gone through something similar and I remember being very awkward as a kid and wondering where I fit in. Sometimes, to be honest, I feel the same way as an adult. We are each so unique and it is hard sometimes to show your true self and find your voice, but so many people are going to be glad that YOU did. We are all "weird" in our own way and when we find those that not only accept, but cherish that, those are the friends that will last a life time.

    As Jabiz had told you, the words "brave, courage, risk taker, honest, open, fearless, intrepid", should be added to your tags. You should probably also add "inspiration" and "leader" because your words will make you those things to many.

    Thank you for your honesty and your bravery. Your words will inspire many and one day you will look back at this post and realize the positive difference you have made in the lives of so many.

    Thank you.

    George Couros
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  15. Solal,
    I am in Texas. I am going to share your blog post with some other social workers who work with students who have problems fitting in.
    Your post proves that you are empowered when you take risks and say what you really feel.
    I believe some of those kids in the cafeteria line feel like you do in different situations.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Solal,

    I read a post on twitter by George Couros, and as he's never steered me wrong before, I quickly selected his link to your blog entry.

    Am I ever glad that I read your post. I've taught many young people over the years and was blown away by your honest and heart-felt writing. I know that I will be sharing your work with my class, and I'm sure your words will resonate with the majority, if not with all.

    We've been talking about "Embracing the Unknown" and one of our classroom agreements is to "Be Brave." Your blog exemplifies both of these ideas. Your writing is also an outstanding example of how the written word can allow you to find your true 'voice'. By sharing your words with others, you are forever changed. I feel privileged that by reading your work, I too am changed because I'm inspired by your courage and character.

    Thank you for sharing your experience, I look forward to reading more of your posts,
    Ms. Brophey
    Intermediate Teacher
    London, ON

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Solal,

    I am moved by what you wrote and I hope your words open the hearts of your peers so that they too can learn to change, risk, trust. I have watched my son go through similar difficulties and have taken solace in the friends he has made via the Internet. I have included a link to his server where kids from all over the world are connecting and want to invite you to check it out. Here is a link to the server's webpage. http://www.stormcraftgaming.com/

    I'll be rooting for you.

    Mary Ann Reilly
    New Jersey, USA

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Solal,

    I think you are speaking for more kids than you think. Way to go ahead and put it down. The thing about many "social" or "popular", they are very lonely and unhappy. Just look around and when you see someone else alone, walk over and say "Hi". You will be amazed what happens. Look what happened when you pressed "Post".

    You now have friends in California!

    Geoff Belleau
    Vacaville, CA

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi, Solal!

    First off, I second, third and fourth all of the comments above! Your honesty is beautiful and needs to be heard by so many. People tend to mask what they are really feeling. I am blessed to be able to work with middle school students and generally, everyone does a fantastic job of hiding their true feelings. Your transparency will help students everywhere. Thank you so much for being courageous and putting yourself out there. You rock, my friend! :)

    Allie Holland
    North Liberty, Indiana

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Solal,
    I'm a complete stranger and found your blog via someone who shared it on Twitter.

    Here's what I want to say to you: You are normal. Like you, sometimes I have trouble figuring people out. I over-think things and I am constantly asking myself questions about peoples' motivations, feelings, and actions.

    What I've learned about myself over the years is that I am an introvert. And that being an introvert - someone who gets his or her energy from the inside rather than the outside - is normal and totally okay.

    If you have twenty minutes, watch this video: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

    Is this something you can relate to?

    Erin Quinn
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    ReplyDelete
  21. Solal,
    I really admire your willingness to discuss your vulnerability as a human. More of us should follow suit.

    I believe you are the type of person who will be a great friend. It will happen.
    Keep reaching out,
    Meg King-Abraham

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks so much for your post, Solal.
    You've given me a lot to think about. I am a teacher of teachers in Canada and I would love to have them read your post. I think it's so vitally important that they get to hear voices like yours so they come to better know the inner feelings and voices of their future students. You have shown great bravery and honesty in this post and I hope that you will continue to write here. No pressure, but I've subscribed to your blog so that I can read you from time to time. I'm looking forward to hearing your future thinking. It has influenced me, which means it will likely influence my students (future teachers) who will then have it influence their students. Your voice matters. Stay brave. Stay vocal. And make it count.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Solal,
    I'm an 8th grader in East and Mr. Raisdana shared this post with me. Just like all of the others, I'm truly amazed. Unfortunately I haven't got anything original to say as all my thoughts have been mentioned in the comments above. You are absolutely doing the right thing by being yourself, being honest and by sharing your feelings. These are wonderful qualities to have especially as a middle-schooler. I honestly haven't gone through these experiences personally but I can imagine how it would feel. I look forward to reading more of your posts and it would be great to run into you in school someday. Here's my blog: dhanya-n.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is such an honest post describing an experience that many, many people feel during their lifetimes. First of all, please know you're not alone in feeling like this--many feel the same way at periods in their life. Also, please talk to a school counselor or teacher that you trust. I think the best way for you to move beyond this experience is to get involved in something that is meaningful to you. Then you will meet others and gain friendships that really matter. It might be that the group you join is outside of your school. There are often organizations in communities that bring like-minded students together. I know that local libraries often host book clubs, and local nature preserves often have youth volunteer and development programs. Volunteering in organizations you care about can also lead you to friends with similar interests.

    I was similar to you as a young person, and since growing older I have found that I tend to enjoy activities that are more intimate and cerebral such as art, writing, problem solving and analysis. I have found like-minded peers in my profession and online. I have also read a lot about my interests which has led me to great groups of friends and activities. Now I'm a mom with sons, and one of my sons is similar to the kids you describe who have such social ease. It's interesting for me to watch him and realize that's who he is and to also realize he doesn't have some of my more intimate, artistic interests. We're all so different from one another, yet similar in our desire to connect.

    I'm so happy you were able to share your experience, and I hope you will invest in a journey to get involved in the interests that really excite and engage you as that's the best avenue to finding like-minded friends. Also, by talking to someone you trust at your school, perhaps your school will work a little harder to diversify their clubs and activities so there's a place for everyone to get involved and make friends. My best to you. You've done a lot for so many just by writing this post.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Solal,

    Anyone who writes this way must be one of a kind, a unique individual who has so much to teach the rest of us.
    i have a daughter who I believe experiences much of what you write about and I only hope she is as honest as you are in her blog.

    Stay strong Solal, you have taken a mighty step forward in revealing your innermost feelings in this post.
    If our paths should ever cross, I would be honored to make your acquaintance.

    Walk the path you have started on. I wish you every success in your journey ahead, Liz

    ReplyDelete
  26. Solal,
    First, let me ditto what everyone else wrote in your comments (it's a good thing you said you enjoyed comments!)...
    Second, let me be a bit of a prophet for you, if I may.
    You WILL find your niche.
    You WILL find those friendships that will last you a lifetime.
    You have to be true to yourself, first and foremost.
    You will end up finding people very like-minded, and bonds will just happen.
    Please don't try to be anyone else, or you won't be happy with yourself, or with any so-called friends you make if you're not acting like yourself. Everyone commenting here has seen something you write that he or she has felt at your age. Personally, middle school years were the worst years of my social life. The friendships I hold dear did NOT evolve in middle school, when people are still trying to figure out who they are. It looks like you are gap head of the game - you know yourself. That's one of the traits of a genius, Solal.

    Keep doing what you're doing. Keep on the path of self-awareness, and you'll go far, with true friends, at that!
    Sincerely,
    Joy from IL, USA

    ReplyDelete
  27. Solal,

    I think by now you can sense from the reaction here how powerful and important your post has been to so many now including me. I am a high school principal in Chicago and with your permission I would like to share your post with our students. Your experience is not uncommon in schools but your public voice is, in a way you can become the voice of the voiceless and give other students in a similar position the confidence to claim their own voice.

    Thank you for your courage!
    Jason Markey
    Principal
    East Leyden High School

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, you can share it with your students. Thanks for the feedback!

      Delete
  28. Hi Solal,

    Thank you for sharing your true feelings. You are not alone - there are many people who feel the way you do. Middle school is a challenging time in one's life. There are those who appear to fit in and have no problems socially and there are kids who are on the periphery - whom few befriend. But I can guarantee you that as everyone gets older, they become more discerning and people like yourself - honest, brave, unselfish, caring, empathetic - become the valued friends. I have seen this happen so many times. You demonstrate the qualities that make someone a great friend. Hang in there.

    Be true to yourself,

    Hailey - Melbourne Australia

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you, Solal. You are a voice for many, and in that way you are courageous. And you are dealing with normal, self-doubting feelings and thoughts which is also courageous, and insightful. You are also finding a bigger, accepting world when you move outside of the "school circle" of people. I encourage you to keep doing that. Also, let us know how it goes, by posting future blogs. Thanks again,
    Mark Flynn-Milwaukee, Wis.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Woah, man. I can't really explain how amazed I am. You are super brave to be able to post something like this. I am not that brave to be able to do something like that. I find you very inspiring and I am sure many other people think that of you. I wish you good luck in the rest of your time in this school.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm remaining anon for this reply

    Ok, I know how you feel so don't worry about it. I know it's sort of frustrating when people always tell you to be more social and you try so hard to fit in but it doesn't work. But this year things are better and I don't think you're that "alone" when it comes to things like this. That's basically the reason why I'm remaining anon on this- cause I'm a very shy person in reality- and pretty awkward, but I guess that I like being abnormal and I just tell myself normal is boring.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow, I think that it was really brave of you to post something like this because I know that feeling when you feel unpopular and I know that I would never be brave enough to post this even though I know so many other middle schoolers are going through it but they would never say it. I'm sure loads of people feel the same way about inviting friends over and you don't want them to judge you ((my parents are the worst trust me)) Don't be afraid to come hang out with me during lunch (:

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello Solal, I recently read your blog post. A lot of people are also dealing with this kind of issues. You are very inspiring! Thank you!

    Joanne

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi. :3

    I can relate to a lot to your post. I mean, I felt left out and lonely sometimes too. Personally I don't know you in seventh grade–we don't really talk and we aren't in the same class–but I'm short too. Makes things worse since I'm one of the oldest in the class. (x c:

    (: tanisha

    ReplyDelete
  35. hi Solal,
    I recently read your recent post i think it's amazing I sometimes feel exactly like you and i think it great that your being open
    And Wow your gonna be popular.:) Lauryn

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello Solal,
    I am a 7th Grader, in your school, and earlier today, my teacher read this to the class and I think that this is very inspiring piece that you wrote. I also think that a lot of people can really relate to this feeling, and I really loved this. ;)

    Nick J
    Singapore, Singapore

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Solal

    I think that is an amazing post and it is very brave of you for doing things. Great good Solal

    ReplyDelete
  38. Solal your honesty and bravery is inspiring. For someone who is supposedly a "social outcast" to pull up with something like that, incredible. I find it strange that this recognition has made you "popular"/"viral", you're a wonderful person with such honesty and bravery people could dream for. You'll find that most of society is also struggling for the courage you showed on your blog, with themselves trying to fit in. Great post and keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Salol,

    I love your blog, I love your work, but this is totally something that has made me sit in bed for 30 minutes thinking, thank you so much, I can now know that there is someone out there, who I can relate to, every time I look at this, I can not stop thinking to myself.

    From Anonymous

    ReplyDelete
  40. ummmm........yeah..........it's a............u know..........good post.
    it's very deep and........uh........stuff.
    yeah..... its.......amazing...and i mean it...........it's.....uh......REALLY amazing
    i REALLY mean it................. (for once)

    bye

    naomi

    ReplyDelete
  41. This was so amazing. It's unbelievable that you were brave enough to post this. Your not weird, your funny and cool and techie (technology person) :P and irregular in you own amazing way :) This post deserved to become semi-viral because it speaks for so many people all over the world. People that are replying to you. Never stop being yourself because it wont be you.
    Your so awesome! ;)
    I can tell you now that your class and so many other people are here for you if you need a friend at lunch :)

    Helen :3
    Singapore, 7Lha!!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. hi Solal,
    We just read your post in class. I could see it was a bit weird for you to be sitting there and listing to your own words being spoken.
    I know what you mean, its hard to fit in, but what is fit in even mean?
    I think it does not really matter that we have to fit in.
    as long as we have at least just one person that cares about us.
    and like everyone kinda like everyone else said: I would never be able to bring my self to write this, you are very brave.
    More brave then you show in school.
    You are famous :D now.(kinda like Obama)
    Please keep writing even though its hard to write you are expected to write good stuff.
    -Manu

    ReplyDelete
  43. You are a talented kid Solal, even though we are the same age, I think you have shown great courage and bravery, and stood up for what you thing, and I admire that about you. You are the voice of a lot of students (new and old).

    Keep Posting!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hey! I think this is a really good post that you have written, you are speaking out for so many people, including me. I have never felt this way since I moved here, to UWC. When Mr. Raisdana read this out the class I almost had tears in my eyes. I have been trying to write a blogpost myself about what I have been feeling recently. But I just can't get myself to write it, it takes a lot of courage to write a post like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey vartika,
      It'a not that hard to write a post like this since it just flows onto the screen through your fingers. You don't need to think. It comes out like "boom". I think u should write about your feelings too. It would be so interesting. You feel bad about it at first but you get over it afterwards. My advice: GET WRITING!!!!

      Delete
    2. Hey vartika,
      It'a not that hard to write a post like this since it just flows onto the screen through your fingers. You don't need to think. It comes out like "boom". I think u should write about your feelings too. It would be so interesting. You feel bad about it at first but you get over it afterwards. My advice: GET WRITING!!!!

      Delete
  45. مرحبا Solal،
    أنا آسف لا أستطيع التحدث باللغة الإنجليزية، ولكن بلوق الخاص بك قد لمسني، أنا أعيش في مدرسة داخلية العربية، وأستطيع أن تتصل كثيرا لكم،

    من مصطفى

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. مرحبا مصطفى،
      أنا لمست ذلك أن جاوبت مع موضوعي. انه لشيء رائع أن تذهب أكثر من حقيقة أنه لا يمكنك التحدث باللغة الإنجليزية أن تعطيني ملاحظاتك وانشر أفكارك! شكرا لكم،
      Solal

      Delete
  46. Hi Solal - great work on contributing something so vital and honest to your class blogging community (and well beyond it)! I shared your work with my class this afternoon, and one of my former students took the opportunity to reflect on her own experiences with anxiety and feeling alienated. It is important to share our thoughts at times like this, I think, because it encourages others to speak their own truths. And like I wrote to Chelsea, No one I know feels as strong as the people around them think they are (if that makes sense), and we do ourselves a favour by acknowledging our weaknesses to those who know that we are strong.

    And you are strong.

    You both are.

    Keep up the brave blogging.

    Chelsea's post: http://talonschelsea.edublogs.org/2012/11/18/an-act-of-vulnerability/

    ReplyDelete
  47. Solal;

    Congratulations on showing your true self in writing! I'm awestruck by how real this post is. Just the other night I was visiting an old high school friend and we were talking about the hard times while looking at yearbooks. We agreed that we just barely survived the experience.

    You have spoken so clearly for many, many people. And not just those in your own culture either. I'm in Canada and I can tell you that you have captured in words the feelings that every human may have felt at one time or another. We all want to be accepted and struggle to figure out how to do that. The comments here are truly inspiring too. If I could encourage you, I'd suggest you keep writing because you have a real gift for expressing important thoughts. Your bravery is really inspiring to witness.

    Thank you sincerely,
    Deb

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hello Solal;

    I know the hardships you've gone through. I've been a social pariah. There was one point in my life where I too found it hard to make friends. I tried to strike up conversation, and they would just answer with as few words as possible, then they'd start ignoring me.

    They found me weird. Even now, they do. So I just say: Everyone's weird.

    The way I make friends (which is very hard): I try to do something nice for a person, possibly a new student at my school. The new students don't know about me, and they aren't influenced by the malicious gossip that travels around the school about me. After the nice deed, I try to talk to them. If we are compatible, I'll try and make friends with them.

    You say in your post that you're scared you don't invite anyone over because you're scared that they will degrade you because your family, or you, might embarrass yourself. If he/she truly likes you and is your friend, then they will appreciate you and like you, no matter what you or your family does. So invite your closest friends. There's no need to feel scared.

    The way I find comfort in my dark, friendless days: reading and writing. I love to lose myself in my books. When I get absorbed in my books, I sometimes forget my life. As for writing… I've loved writing fantasy. I weave a web of plot and characters so thick, sometimes I can't even remember who I am. Those few, precious minutes when I don't and can't think about myself. I was always reserved about myself, but now I'm thinking about writing a story where I'll pour out my soul and feelings.

    I understand what you're feeling.

    Sincerely,
    Connie
    International School of Beijing

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  49. Kia ora (greetings) Solal,

    Thank you for sharing such a personal expression of yourself. What an incredible person you are! Kia kaha (Stay strong)...

    With kindest regards
    Tracy
    Librarian
    New Zealand

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  50. All I can say is WOW!!! You are a phenomenal writer, and this is the deepest and most reflective thing I've ever seen one my students express in their writing. I hope it goes without saying, but know that you can come to me if necessary. I know that's a cliche response as it ultimately doesn't solve issue. That issue not being just how you are feeling but how so many middle school students are feeling day to day in schools all over the world. Keep up the great writing. I enjoy reading it. You have a real talent and are mature beyond your years. Someday the rest of the world will begin catching up. I promise.

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  51. Solal,

    You're probably wondering who I am, this is Aditi M, from 8th grade. Your post was amazing. I could connect to you so very easily. When I was in fifth grade, I wasn't particulalrly popular, (yes, your not alone) didn't really have a Clique to hang out with,and yes I did envy the people who could turn their backs to the person behind them, and make friends immidiatley. Yes. Lots and lots of counselors, teachers, websites, what not, say things like "be yourself" "Why dont you just try to act like you usually do". Well yes. Most of the time it never works. Actually to be honest, for me, it never works. I just cant, it's like attempting the impossible. I really do not know how to respond if someone comes up to tells me a dumb joke, and walks away. I do not know how to respond if someone tells me what they did over their summer- at the end you always come face to face to the person thinking "well, now what?". Sometimes, I feel, If I am my self, I probably won't get any where. Sometimes, what they mean about being your self is "Be funny, Be idiotic, Do what you would do with a family member". Honestly, Maybe I am different around family, I am more open, and ridiculous, and at times, funnier. That's because they are my family. But suddenly, I wiil not know what to say or do, if a popular person comes up to me and says something sarcastic, which they expect I react to, in a dramatic, yet funny way. (except stare in their face, with a blank expression, though I might manage a weak laugh). I guess, the problem is, that I don't know how to react. I can't just look at someone, and make a conversation- I have fear of doing that, for some reason. (maybe that's why I stammer at times)

    Your post took a lot of courage to write. Keep it up!

    Aditi M

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  52. Wow. This is one of the most amazing things I've read on here. I know a countless amount of people have told you that you're brave for putting this up and being honest about everything, but I'll have to be added to that list of countless people because I completely agree. Sometimes, well actually most of the time I feel just like you do- friendless and "uncool", and that nobody wants to hang out with me, but trust me, there will always be someone, even if it's one person, who thinks you're super cool (did I really just say that?) and would die to hang out with you or be your friend. Besides, I'm your friend, even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes (hopefully the feeling is mutual). And like Sara said, feel free to just sit down with us during lunch or hang out with us anytime. :)

    (By the way, sorry for commenting really late. I just saw this post. Also, this was the thing Priya was talking about when she said you were farty.)

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  53. Hi Solal,

    I discovered this post through my twitter feed and felt the need to comment. I too am a person that struggles in making friends, even though I am an adult. I almost feel like I missed that unit in preschool or kindergarten and often look at others that seem to make friends so easily with jealousy. I often find myself approaching people in an attempt at friendship and feel like they think I'm crazy. Approaching people has gotten easier and my success rate is higher than it was at your age, but I still feel like I fail at least 9 times out of 10. Rejection can hurt, but rejection is better than regret that you didn't take a chance.

    I don't know if making friends will get easier for you as you grow, but know that even if you do struggle, you can be happy. I don't have many friends, but the ones I do have are amazing. We often became friends out of awkward situations (at least from my perspective) and I feel incredibly close to my friends. I've been able to become a successful teacher, I'm married (to one of my best friends), and I have a family of my own. I don't feel that my life is lacking friendships that you may feel now.

    Thank you for writing something so courageous, open, and honest about something so personal. You are not alone in feeling this way and even though it can be hard, it does not define you as a person. Friendship is not about the quantity of friends you have, but about the quality of relationships you build.

    Sarah Moulton
    moultonminds@gmail.com
    Chandler, AZ

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    Replies
    1. Garang sometimes i feel that when other people don't talk or think about me and i agree with if you are left out i would feel like a social outcast

      Delete
  54. Hi Solal

    I am a grade 5 student from Calgary in Canada. I thought that your blog was very touching, open and honest. It was very courageous and true.
    Now you have a friend from Canada!!

    Raennah

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  55. I agree with Mr.Raisdana, you are not a lone they are other people like you. In class right now we are talking about this blog and how similar it is to discussions and issues we have in our own class. Keep posting your thoughts, we can all relate.


    Hassan

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  56. آسف أنا لا أتكلم الإنجليزية ولكن أنا حقا أحب مشاركتك.

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  57. Hi Solal,

    I've read through a lot of the comments but not all so apologies if I'm just repeating the same things over and over here but it is genuinely excellent to see someone your age, heck, any age, who understands themselves as well as you do. And then to take the brave step of sharing that personal insight and reflection with others is the truly inspirational part. I hope that the overwhelming response you've gotten here just starts to show you and anyone else who reads your post that the world is both a big and a small place. It's big enough that you'll have no problem finding like minded people in your life and small enough that just a few words on a digital page can help to bring you and them together. As for being worried about people jumping on the "friendship bandwagon" because of this post, just use the same judgment and rationale you'd shown here and I'm sure you'll be fine.

    Jesse
    Canadian Teacher in Bangkok, Thailand

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  58. Hi Solal,

    You probably don't know me but I'm an 8th grade in Mr.Raisdana's class. I found your post really powerful. I love how you were so unafraid to post this. I'm sure that if I were posting this, I wouldn't dare to. Thank you for being so honest with us because in the end, you really got your message across. I'm sure everyone who has read this post can relate to your experiences, even I can. I completely agree with the fact that "being yourself" doesn't always work out.

    I admire your courage and keep it up!

    Pavitra Sankaran

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  59. Hi Solal,

    I am Ms. P from next door and I know everyone's already said everything and so much more. Thing is, I think it's okay to be redundant in the face of vulnerability. It's okay to hear over and over again that...you will find your true tribe some day. That everything will be all right. That it will all make sense. And the parts that don't...well, they won't matter.

    I think you broke through some how here. That you'll never be the same. And that's fine. Because you'll continue to be brave and be honest and be you. That's a gift.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this. And for letting so many of us share your words and your heart.

    Ms. P

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  60. Hi Solal,
    My name is Lina and I'm in 8JRa. You probably don't know me, but when I read this I felt so moved. I don't think that there is anyone who hasn't felt this way ever. So many people can relate to this-including me-who don't have the courage to write about it. I love how honest you are with your feelings and how you're being true to yourself.
    Thanks,

    Lina

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  61. Solal, I just wanted to say that this post is just...... mind blowing, it's really personal and trust me people don't hate you! They just don't know who you truly are and what you are capable of. There will always be someone out there that admires you as a person. Heck, there's probably over 100 people by now who've read this. Anyways my final statement is that, Just put yourself out there all it takes is about 10 seconds of bravery to just sit down and start up a conversation, the rest comes easy. Don't be afraid to be yourself. Also feel free to just come hang out with me at lunch. (:

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  62. Hi Solal
    My 7th grade son from UWC just showed me your post. It's one of the most self aware and insightful pieces I've read - more powerful because it's written with raw emotions and honesty. Even as an adult, I still feel and think what you've written about sometimes.

    I believe you will become a great communicator and encourager to people around you. You have a great gift of having the ability to reflect, understand and be sensitive to feelings. Use it well and help others. You will be surprised how they can relate to you, if they are being honest with themselves.

    Thank you for opening up your heart and being vulnerable. As you can see from all the comments, by being brave - being yourself, you have inspired and helped so many already.

    I would love to meet you one day,
    Carol

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  63. First of all, I just wanted to say something to Eric- it's 20 seconds of courage (it's a quote thing). 20 seconds of courage is something I really believe in- it comes from this movie. It kind of relates to this, but I rather talk about something else.

    You said that you weren't someone who knows what to say and when. You said you couldn't come up to someone in the lunch queue and just talk naturally (exactly the same for me). Well have you read your blogpost recently? You said that brilliantly. You words just work, they work really, really well. They have touched all of these 71 people's heart plus the people who just didn't comment (probably because everything has already been said). I know how you feel. Sometimes it doesn't matter who your friends are, when you are alone for any one reason, you just don't know whether to talk to people or how to approach a conversation with someone you don't know. I'm almost certain that everyone feels this way sometime or another. I'm glad someone has opened up, I really should have by now. Thanks for writing this. Thanks for making me feel more safe and more... well not normal, I like being weird, but something else. Just more comfortable. I'm more of a shy person, so it makes me feel less... I guess awkward. Standing, by myself, in a queue with plenty of people to talk to, but I just don't. Maybe I will now.

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  64. Hi Solal,
    I can only re-affirm what others have said. You are brave and inspiring, and you are not alone. As you are seeing, loads of people (perhaps even everyone) feel like this at least sometimes, often for a long time. It will pass, and I sincerely hope that your post will inspire others who perhaps feel less awkward, perhaps feel just as weird, to approach the person standing off to one side and start talking. Or to let the person who comes up to them in - into the moment, the conversation or into their life. Keep writing.
    At around your age (for me it was really year 9) I was writing letters to those people and then just throwing them in the bin. The internet has made great opportunities for this kind of sharing - but it is still just as scary and I am sure you still feel just as vunerable when deciding to click on "post".
    You are awesome. Don't forget it.
    Danielle, Perth , Western Australia

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  65. Hey Solal,
    I'm Mizuki from Ms. Paula's class-7PGu. I just wanted to let you know, this is amazing. You have such a strong voice, and you are being heard all over the world. Your courage means so much to other people and you need to keep it up! It's okay to be weird, trust me. I know I am. c: And hey, Come hang out with me sometime and hope I can talk to you during the year!
    -Mizuki

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  66. Hi Solal,
    Right now you are my inspiration, I look up to you. To write this amazing piece of writing you must be really strong and courageous, I could never have as much courage as you have to post a blog as deep as this. You have such an amazing thoughts and you don't care what others think. Those are the qualities I want to have. What matters is if you are a good person inside. I am really short and scared of things but I am trying to be like you, strong and courageous. I am one of your fans and admirers, you may not know me that well but I really look up to you maybe we could meet up some day and get to know each other.

    -Toby 7LTM

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  67. Hey Solal

    I think that it is very brave of you to write a post which can be said to everyone. you are speaking from everyone in middle school who are in this situation. I think that not everyone is bad or mean in the world. Maybe you are having a hard time facing your fears, but ideally there should never be fears between two people. I think that if you talk to someone, there will always be someone to help or support you. I really think that you are a great guy with an awesome personality just by reading a piece of writing composed by you. Try to keep a high self-esteem and live your life how YOU want.

    -Pallav 7LTm

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  68. Oh hello, Solal.

    Look, I don't really know you or see you anywhere(probably because of all the so called 'popular' people all over, well. Everywhere.

    I mean you are my inspiration, now. A person like you deserves MORE than this, you need about a million views, I'm glad you wrote this, glad because you just revealed to the world, what is actually happening in this place.

    And the deal with you not having any friends, are you sure you're not just socializing with the wrong people? Everyone should have a friend, well, I've had my experience being a loner and a social outcast, when I was in 2nd grade, where everyone practically ignored me. But I had two really good friends, that stood for me even though everyone thought I was some kind of freak.

    People SHOULD get to know you better, because everybody deserves a friend, no matter how different they are.

    -Jimin
    7LTM

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  69. Wow. Just Wow.

    You are so...inspiring. Why? Because you just had the courage to write (and post) what I have always felt, but never, ever, EVER had the courage to speak of. The amount of bravery you have has really shown me that sometimes, people need to be heard.

    You are like the voice of us. Of those who have felt left out. Felt lonely. Felt like an outcast. I have been exactly where you are now and I know what that feeling feels like. I hope one day, I will be able to write a post on my blog, talking about something I want say and want others to hear.

    Finally, Thank you. Thank you for being brave. Thank you speaking out. Thank you.

    -Mahpara 7LTM

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  70. Hey Solal,
    I am a seventh grader in your school. When I read your post I was shocked. I couldn't believe someone would have the courage to do something like this.
    I wish I had as much courage as you have. Its amazing how you can put all your words on a blog and make it come from you.
    This was very deep.
    You are speaking for millons of people here. So many people feel this way, yet you are the one who was brave enough to post your feelings.
    So many people have heard about this and right now, people are probably talking about it. Its amazing the power of the internet.
    Hey by the way, feel free to have lunch or hangout with me anytime.
    -Georgina 7LTm :)

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  71. Hey Solal,

    I didn't know that you felt that way. I felt that you are brave enough to write this. I mean I wouldn't have that much of courage to write something like this. Your one post has over 70 comments. I mean you are just so inspiring, I will look up to you. I am amazed that you have such bravery to say that. People world wide have read it!!

    Sarah 7LTM

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  72. Hey Solal,

    I feel like I can relate to you, not in the extremity that you personally have but I have also been called weird or different sometimes even "Special". I always used to ignore these comments, I would shake them of and then just keep walking but I know that I will never forget the things people call me. I can try to forget them but they will always be weighing on me unless I can find a way to change the way I feel about the comments. Just like you I had an ENORMOUS fear if the "lunch groups" I really wanted to approach them but I'm new and I felt like they were unapproachable either your part of the group or your not but you cant join midway. In the end I didn't even go talk to them, I had one friend in the lunch group and she had to literally drag me with her because I was so scared. You just have to remember being different is a good thing, imagine every one on Earth was exactly the same do you think that would be fun? Now when people say I'm weird I take it as a compliment, I would rather be weird and original then exactly the same as someone else and not original.

    Having your own way of thinking is a good thing, you are one of the people who is able to see past every ones ignorance and see the world in your perspective not the perspective every one tells you see. Quite a long time ago I started to not be myself, I would make up stories about myself that are not true. I tried to be just like every one else and this may have gotten me friends but they weren't real friends and I wan't happy if I couldn't be myself. If you pretend to be some one you are not it makes you more sad then if you are yourself but no one understands you. So I started to be myself again and I was much happier and because I accepted myself others now started to accept me too.

    I do have friends now but I have real friends who accept me for who I am I its better then having fake friends who accept you for what you are not.

    Don't worry about people coming to you know and maybe pretending to be your friend. Get to know many different people and then you can see who is your real friend and who are people that just feel sorry for you. I really hope that I can become a real friend to you, a friend who cares about you and accepts you for who you really are just never stop being yourself.

    Noa Rosenfeld

    -7LTm

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  73. Hey Solal
    I'm Nikita from class 7PGu.And I just want to say-I really liked this post.I would never have the courage to do something like this even though I feel the same. It was really very inspiring.Just this one post of yours got loads of responses, I'm sure no one has done this before.

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  74. Hey Solal,
    I can really relate to your situation, and I would've have never had enough guts to have posted something like this. Good Job. Be happy with yourself and remember, in 6 or 7 years you'll be in college, you won't remember what people though about you in Grade 7. Be confident, nobody dislikes you. Half the people who are saying the stuff you say they are probably don't even know you. Don't let them bring you down....

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  75. Hey Solal :)
    You don't know me but I am on your bus. I am a student in Grade 8, and I just finished reading your blog post.

    I am really impressed that you had enough courage to put something like this out there for the world to see. After reading this post, I felt inspired. There was a person like this in my old school. Troubled, did not know what to do. Did not know how to convey his feelings. Shy and kept to himself, I would love to send this to him. This will give him the courage to share his feelings, to show how he feels.

    Thanks for putting this out there.

    Hannah Jones

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  76. Hey Solal,

    I am a student from 8MaR, you probably won't know me but this blog post is absolutely amazing. It would take decades for me to think of anyone who could be so brave like you. Sometimes I want to share my feelings with others, but the problem is...well...I can't. I'm too uncomfortable, but your writing really made me move. I really like how you shared your feelings to others.

    Takaya

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  77. Hi Solal;

    You dont know me but Im also from 8MaR. This post of yours is just mind blowing. Its the truth in many ways. It is brave and its inspirational. It happens to many, you are not the only one. And as some say you have a bright future a head of you, Keep looking forward!

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  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  79. Hey Solal,
    You probably do not know me, but I am a student from Grade 8. This post of yours is simply astounding. I am in awe and in shock because really, what you have written here is completely true in many cases. Keep being the person you are, and trust me, there will be that 1 lucky person who will stumble by you, and you 2 will start a great friendship together. You must be wondering how I would know. Well, I know through personal experience. Keep fishing, and you will soon find the fish you want. I really want to meet you sometime, and great writing. Keep it up, and I look forward to reading yet more awe-inspiring blog posts from you

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  80. Solal,
    This right here is why blogging matters. I'm a teacher in Indonesia, and I'll be sharing your post with students in the DP level. Without a doubt they will be 'wowed' like your classmates in Singapore. Keep amazing the masses.
    Kind Regards,
    Tricia Friedman

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  81. Solal,

    The ability to be vulnerable is an artist's gift to the world--giving voice to what drives us apart and ultimately connects us, ironically. Your post hit very close to the bone, as it brought back memories of being in 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th grade . . .
    Thanks for sharing!! Just Beautiful!
    Jackie Frens
    Teacher @ Mr. Jabiz's former school in Indonesia

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  82. Solal,

    I know the feeling when your trying to fit in, it happened to me before, its hard when your home and you know that your classmates are out there having fun with out you. I think the best way to tackle this kind of situation is to start off in finding people who have the same interest as you do, then you can gradually work your way to different classes.
    Awesome post, we are doing conformity in our class btw.

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  83. Your blogpost really show whether one should conform to society. You don't try to be someone else to fit in to the society. You are true to yourself. It's great that you show conformity well. I think at one point of your life you have to go through this.

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  84. Great post! I am in grade 9 and I have to say that I don't even think I can write a post nearly this good. I am currently studying conformity/copying and how it affects people. I am writing an essay about how people would try and copy others to be accepted but I see that you do not do this. Because of this, you will think differently than others and you will create great things that others won't even think about until you made it. Keep writing and I hope you will continue to inspire people all over the world with your perspective, creativity, intelligence and blog proficiency!

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  85. Beautiful post you got there! What do you like for hobby?? Just do what you like and probably they will come. Be brave! get interactive with others. Any friend is fine. Be kind to others, and probably they'll be friends in return. Or get creative! people will then come to you and complement you on your works.
    Go to them on lunch time, and just get into the group. You have rights.
    act stupid and people will start thinking you existed (stupid as if 'funny') People like funny stuff...

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  86. Solal,

    Stay strong. Being different from others is not a weird thing. Being different and unique makes yourself special. You are just amazing, just the way you are right now. Try to be confident in approaching people, and surely someone will be there for you. Thank you for sharing your story, it's very moving and touching.

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  87. (You do not know me, but who cares)

    I know how you feel. I've been through this when I was in grade 7 too. Envying those people who can just turn around and make best friends. Even now, most of my friends are merely acquaintances. Though, just because you're an outcast, doesn't mean you should give up. Someday you'll find a few friends, not much, but they're still better than having the whole grade and the grade above as friends. Keep writing. You got some interesting things to write I bet.

    (I was told to go here, but I didn't think that you would write something so awesome to read :D)

    -Isfan

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  88. Hey Solal,
    First of all, you are a BRAVE person. Not many people with similar case like yours, would want to share their feelings on the internet, but you did and it's very inspiring. Some suggestions that I think will help you are be yourself and be open-minded. Why? There's the only one you in this world and don't take what people say too seriously.
    We are discussing about conformity in our class:) Keep writing!

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  89. Solal,
    I get the feeling when you are trying to fit in. It feels sad when your classmates are hanging out and your not. It was hard for me to fit in with my friends before. Right now I do hang in with friends. Being alone its kind of sad so I'll tell my experience. From my experience the best way to fit in is that first I've tried to find a friend who has the same interest with me and with the friend who has the same interest with me I tried to fit in with the other friends. For me I think this is the best way and the easiest way to fit in. Don't be afraid that you think you are weird. Be confident to yourself.
    And awesome post!!! :P

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  90. Hi Solal, I'm Lidya and I'm a 9th grader.

    After reading your blog post, I feel that you've done a good job on writing this post. Your thoughts actually fit in to the unit that I'm learning now which is dealing with the issues of conformity. I actually like your idea of not changing yourself to fit in to a certain community. To find the right community for you to fit in, you have to socialize, be yourself, and be confident. But the main key for it is socialize, socialize is the most important thing to find the right community. You can socialize in many different ways, example like joining student council, events, after school activities, sports team and many others. So socialize, be confident, and trust yourself go out there and socialize then you will find the right community for yourself to fit in without changing anything of yourself.

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  91. Dear Solal,
    I'm a 9th grade student here in Indonesia. I've been learning about conformity for a while, and from what I know, I believe that you should not change yourself. You do not need to conform to the "popular" people in your school, or the "smartest", or the "toughest", because the way you are different defines who you are. If everyone is trying to be the same, and you're different, doesn't that just make you unique? It doesn't make you a social outcast, it provides you with a chance to change yourself, a chance to do what you feel is right, because if you conform to society, you won't be doing anything unique, and if you don't conform, you won't be accepted at the same time. However, if you take some of both, if you take some concepts from not conforming to society, and some concepts from conforming to society, you can become something truly different, something truly amazing and unique. You have a different way of perceiving things, and receiving things, and that is what I think makes you special. I know the way you feel, I used to feel that way too, throughout kindergarten until grade 6, I was pretty much the same as you, shunned and ignored. However, I moved schools (I AM NOT SUGGESTING YOU MOVE SCHOOLS), and when I moved, it provided a new start, a chance to start things again, to provide a new first impression on people. You see, slowly, people will have no choice but to notice you, and when they notice you, you need to influence that notice, whether in a good way, or a bad way, because it will give you a new image and title that will change the way people think about you. I went through about 8 years of being bullied, ignored, and just being worthless unless if someone needed help with homework (I was pretty smart, not bragging, sorry), but when there was a chance to change, I GRABBED IT. So Solal, first, you do not need to conform to society, but you also shouldn't reject society. You should take principles from both which you like and create your own path, which makes you truly unique. Secondly, there WILL come a day when people will notice you more, and if you truly want to change the way people think about you, you need to influence that notice. Don't give up hope, don't change who you are, just wait for that chance, and then GRAB IT. Great post though, it might not be long in length, but it has a deep meaning. Thanks for sharing, hopefully that chance comes soon.

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  92. I really like your blog post, and the reason was actually because I know how you feel and I've been through situation like this believe me. I actually agree with you when you said that people in the Lunch queue who just turned around, and talk to random people and become best friends. I was like, wow, this kid has the same thought as I do and I thought that's exactly what people tend to do this days. Kind of fake don't you think?

    I'm currently learning about 'conformity' in my English class, and your blog post really help me think of new ideas for my essay, thanks!!!

    My advices for you are just be yourself, rather than you have tons of friends but no one really understands you. I think it's better to have a few friends that really understands you and suit in your personality, but that doesn't mean you don't need to be friends with others, you can still be friends with them.

    Just be more socialize with others, start with simple conversation like, "Where are you going for this winter break?" or "do you have any brother or sister?" or "who's your favorite artist/singer?" just stuff like that. The more you ask, the more that person have confidence to also talk to you, and they can also get to know you even better. You can't just expect other people to come to you and say hi, you need to make your first move, especially if that person having a hard time to socialize.

    Moreover, just be kind to people, even though they're not. But don't be too kind, for bad reasons. Also, you need to think that you don't have to be always be friends with your classmates, you can be friends with senior, and other grades in school just by joining EX activities or CAS, lots of people are in there. Or maybe someone in your 7th grade or whatever grade you in, want to actually be friends with you, but they're shy or maybe they're scared that you won't accept them. That's why, you need to make the first move and try to get used to situation like this (break the ice). Anyways, Good Luck!! :D

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  93. Dear Solal,

    I just want to say that you shouldn't think too much about it. You'll get through it. I know it sounds too simple but that's actually what happened. It'll go by before you realized it. Just stick to the things you love. By the way, if you feel like you need more friends, just be more open to other people. I wish you the best middle school experience ever:D

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  94. Hi Solal

    The way you wrote this post is so sincere it only allows you to express more freely of what is happening. I have nothing to say about this post but a great reminder for all the people out there that do not welcome certain people in a society that everyone has feelings. I think it is up to us whether to change our personality to fit in to one society.

    It's a wonderful blog post. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Kind regards,

    Danny S

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  95. Dear Solal, I hope you don't think you're awkward and alone being a social outcast! Look at how many comments you have :) this should be a confirmation where when you be yourself, people will accept you as you are, no more no les. Believe in yourself, therefore just trust yourself and go crazy! The only thing I could say as a kid in 11th grade, enjoy your free time and gather the courage to come up to people, slowly start to turn around and randomly talk to people! That's how everyone does it, some might end up awkward and some might just take you to someone you'll appreciate :) Solal, best of luck! And if they like you enough to come over, I'm sure they'll like your house ;) haha.

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  96. Hi Solal, I think that your post is very relatable, not only to middle school students but also high school students. I personally have never experienced this but I wasn't part of the popular group too. But now I'm learning to not be afraid to be myself and speak my mind, even though I know that I'm not as brave as you.
    Speaking as a DP student, I really liked your post, I think your style of writing is very accessible and understandable to almost everyone. And the fact that you're writing it as if you're talking to us in a conversation makes it feel even more personal and fun to read. Besides telling us your story, it also gives me a hint of who you are and the type of person you are; someone brave enough to stand up to all the shy and introverted kids. Try reading the book "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, it's a great book about a socially awkward student who eventually found his true friends. Your post kinda reminds me of the book, and the book is one of my all-time favorite.
    I don't know how to end this comment too. So, bye! Good luck :)

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  97. Giovanca Warokka3 December 2012 21:46

    When I first read your post, I could feel how you feel when you tried to approach people and make friends. I've experienced it myself, and it was terrible. I used to be very unpopular, I ate by myself and I had no friends. But I forced myself to change, and I did. When you said that you tried to join a table for lunch and you didn't know what to say, you just need to walk to that table with confidence. There is nothing to be afraid of. If they ask you to leave, don't take it to personally. Life is tough and you just have to deal with it. You don't need to be embarrassed about your family, your house or yourself. If people don't like you, so be it. You just have to gain more confidence.

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  98. Dear Solal

    I just read your blog post for our mock IOC practice and I found your post very interesting. I think the point you are trying to make here is that you are having general issues that you would go through as a teenager (I am 17 years old too :) I can see that you are having problems to be an outgoing person with guts to break the ice, which your ultimate fear would be the loneliness of not having friends.

    The example of your dialogue clearly showed how awkward you could get with your friend because you don't know how to finish a conversation in normal way. Also you envy those students who can just get along with random guys during lunch. Trust me. You are not the only one who felt the way how you felt at that time. It's something that is very normal that every teenager goes through. So you are not alone. Your problems can be solved easily. I could also see that you are worrying too much from your example of questions that you would be thinking when inviting a friend over to your house. You are over-thinking Salal. This is because you are worrying too much about how yourself would be projected to the other people.

    I really liked the tone you used for your blog post, which was very personal. It was easier and much interesting for me to read your blog post than other blog posts because it had your voice in it. You gave lots of personal experience such as your envy, the awkwardness during a conversation, your anxiety, and so on. In addition to your personal experience, I loved the informal languages you used. Those informal languages, which I would say those ones that are frequently used in our daily lives helped me to interact and sympathize you more. Languages like "Arghhh", "Yep", "So yeah", are the ones that a lot of people use in their daily lives and so do I. Those words kept me alive without falling asleep while reading your posts because I felt that the author of this post is someone who is living a similar life as I do.

    If I am not mistaken, what you are trying to emphasize through this post is to get sympathized and get some advices from people who experienced the same thing when they were teenagers because you are obviously having a hard time and got stressed of it. Let me tell you my similar personal experience. I am currently in grade 11 studying in Sinarmas World Academy. I moved to this school when I was in grade 8 and that was my first time moving school. I felt the same way as you felt. I felt awkward with other people and didn't know how to start a conversation with them. That's the kind of person I was at the early time in my new school. However I am now currently involved in a lot of activities and taking leadership roles in most of them. Now I don't find it difficult to speak to a random person no matter how old they are. I would advise you to join various activities both inside and outside school such as community and service or sports activities. In that way you will get more chances to get to know and talk to more people.

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    1. Hi Won Jun,
      I want to start this off by saying that I'm actually 5 years younger than you. Which is ironic because you said that you feel comfortable speaking to people of all ages. :)

      I just wanted to say that your comment is longer than the post itself! I'm really touched at the time that you put in to answer my post. It's really amazing that you really commented on every aspect of my post. So I'm going to reply on every aspect of your comment.

      You have really understood the reason I wrote this. Not to encourage people to be friends with me, but just so they know how I feel. You also gave me some really nice advice in that first paragraph. I'll try and put that into practice, since I don't really participate in activities and service. You have really given me something to think about.

      I think the tone is actually coincidental. Since I was angry when I was writing this, I just wrote whatever came into my brain without really thinking about it first. And since I argue with very casual language, well here it is! I also think that the tone is very symbolic though. I think it represents how casual what I'm writing about is.

      And yes you are right. I am trying to get advised, but not sympathized. I don't want people to feel sorry for me. These are just my feelings and how school is at the moment. Nothing more. At first, I wasn't even looking for advice. I had written it on a word document just to get it out on paper and then I thought it was worth posting on my blog. I love the last paragraph. I think you are one of the only commentators who have reflected on their personal experiences.

      Again, I am very touched by what you wrote. Thanks for posting this!
      Solal.

      PS: What is IOC?

      Delete
    2. Dear Solal

      I just read your blog post and I found it really interesting. Not just it's interesting to read, but it also touched people's heart (INCLUDING ME). To be honest, I've experience what you felt, being a social outcast, like for the whole elementary school year in the past and I understand what it feels like.

      To be alone and friendless is like the worst experience that we have went through. But, I would like to say to you that you must be confidence and don't be ashamed. Be yourself and be patient too. I guarantee that someone will come to you and be your best buddy one day.

      Delete
  99. Hi, Solal

    I really like your point and I believe it's unfair to all those unpopular kids in school. I know your feeling of being in a circumstance with no close friends and trying to fit in with them. You're post is really fun to read since it's a feeling you're expressing, I'm not really good at giving advices, but I really liked your post. Best of luck!

    Love, Dave Days

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  100. I can personally empathize with you there. I faced the same situations that mentioned. But after facing this for a long time, why does it matter to have lots of friends? I mean come on, do you need many friends to live your life? I am not good at making friends but I am still able to live my life to the fullest. If you’re bad at something, do something else (that is my suggestion). Now I am not sure what kind of person are you. Wether you are in desperate need for many friends but when you get used to it, I doubt you will worry about these issues ever again. Embrace loneliness.

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  101. Hey Solal! I've just read your post and I can understand the great challenge that you're facing right now. Because I've also somehow experienced the same thing in the past. How I encounter that problem? Umm.. First of all, I became open to everyone. Although I'm a little shy but eventually people will notice your presence and talk to you. If you seek for friendship, you should find true friends who share the same interests, hobbies, or something that you like. When you've encounter that 1st step, eventually everything starts to work out. Sometimes you will encounter people who thinks bad of you, or ignores you and think you're an outcast to them but as long as you open yourself, involve in projects that a lot of people contributes to, be brave and take the risks of finding new friendship, you will have a higher chance of finding new people. :)

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  102. Dude, I just read your post, a friend of mine sent a link to this writing. It’s cool man, you don’t have to feel discouraged about being an outcast, because if there’re no outcasts, there won’t be popular dudes. Making friends are just about talking to them, eradicate shyness like how you managed to give this blog a go and share with the world. I’m sure there’re many different people who’re experiencing the same thing, and for the fact that your blog is nominated by the edublog, those people will surely be inspired by your actions. I’m glad you kept it short and entertaining, it’s a great piece of blog post. Nonetheless, continue making friends, it’s one of the most important things to have later in the future :)

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  103. Once in a while in life we encounter problems. It is what makes us more experienced and able to develop into an even better person. I believe everyone has his or her own ways to face challenges and problems. There are many roads to Rome, in this context, which is social challenge; you just need to be more confident.

    I think you’re not alone. Creating a new social bond is easy, maintaining it is even harder. Do not overthink on small stuffs because it can lead you to an even bigger problem.

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  104. Hi Solal, I was a socially awkward person , and I hate it. I hate that feeling when I got ignored, it's embarassing, humiliating. I understand that inviting people over is hard, especially if the other kids' living room is the size of your entire house. Here's something I learned from my past experience, when you're socially awkward, improve your grades. You can't help it. Everyone naturally becomes close with the smart ones because they want their knowledge, they need it.

    Stay Strong :)

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  105. Hi Solal,
    I got really touched by your blog post. I think you are a great person just the way you are.
    Try being more confident when you speak to other people. Join some kind of sports team or clubs so that you can meet different people. You don't need to feel pressured to speak to others and care about what they would think about you.
    Your post really got me empathized and I could really related a lot with myself. So thank you for that.

    Overall, I think this is an outstanding post and thanks again for sharing it with the world.

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  106. Wow. You are my hero. I myself have always been asking those questions in my head, but I never had the guts that you had to post it on public. The way you describe how you felt within your post was very emotional, like how you used "ARGHH" and "yeah" to interact with us, the readers.

    I myself experienced something that is slightly similar with how you interact with people: I don't like talking to people, which sort of makes me a social outcast too. I may be all joyful and happy go lucky at school, but outside of school, I wouldn't talk to strangers or try to befriend them because of all the questions in my mind:Should I talk to him? Would he think that I am weird? Do I look weird? Should I approach him casually or try to "accidentally" meet him?

    Even if I meet my classmate who I am all comfortable around with at school outside in a mall, I will try my best to hide inside a store and wait until he leaves since I don't know what to say to him when we meet face to face. And things are worse when I try to talk to adults too. If I try to say "Hi", it will most likely be ignored. Sometimes when meeting my uncles and aunts, I am always criticized by my parents (like "Why are you so rude to your uncles?!" and stuff) because they can't hear my greeting which they supposedly ignored in the first place. I am a very serious case of an introvert who hate talking to other people or meeting them.

    Sometimes, I shout out random weird things, or be very annoying to someone. And that is probably why people label me as "weird" and rarely talk to me. Or maybe they just don't talk to me because I don't start the conversation. I always rely on other people to spark the conversation, and it often doesn't happen. And those questions in my head just keep on appearing every time I want to make a decision! Am I weird? Should I talk at lunch time to make it more "natural"? Its just hard for me to be friends with people I am not familiar with.

    I respect your bravery. You really touched me when I finish reading your post. I wish I can be like you, all friendly and outgoing. I can feel that frustration you feel when trying to talk to people and they ignore you. Or when you try so hard at joining lunch groups. Maybe that's what made me so happy when reading your post. Thank You Solal, for being a role model for all people who experienced it the same way, for people like me.

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  107. Solal, have you made any true friends since you wrote this? You may feel that you are an outcast, and even if that is true, this negativity is only going to make your feelings of rejection by your classmates increase. Try to pick yourself up and think positive. If you continue to try to talk to someone, eventually someone will take notice, and then all the times when no one wanted to talk to you won't matter, because you have finally succeeded.

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  108. Solal, I know you do not know me and this may or may not mean anything to you, but I just wanted to say thank you. I have never seen anyone write like that, from experience about something that happens to most teens everyday. In your own way, you defended all those being bullied. You have raised awareness of bullying and have inspired people to be themselves. So, thank you so much for speaking out! I will never forget what you have said! Be yourself, no matter who tries to change you. Make a difference, even if others say you can't. You are not weird or anything like that! You are unique. You are extraordinary. You are inspirational. So, don't even bother trying to hang out with people who won't appreciate you, and never give up on who you are. Thank you for being you!

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  109. Solal, I think it was really brave of you to write this. For you to stand up for yourself and post this to the whole world is amazing! I would also like to say thank you for writing this. Imagine how many people your blog has helped. I hope it benefited you as well. Your blog has become so popular, are you ever going to write anything else? I hope you do. Thank you for helping others to learn how to stand up for themselves, and don't ever change yourself for other people.

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  110. Hi Solal, i just found out your blog with this post and it's amazing. Thank you for sharing.

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  112. heart warming, you sound intelligent, never, never, never give up, which it sounds like you won't. i'm 62 and still an outcast, guess not as smart as you.

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  115. I think its fantastic that you don't see yourself as weird. Trust me, you'll find people that feel the same way. Then you guys will all mesh together their weirdness and yours mixed together is when greatness happens. You have more courage than I did. I'm now a softmore in high school, and just realized that people can except you for who you are. I think you speak for many kids that are to scared to open up and be themselves. And your never an outcast, your unique. "Imperfection is perfection. Madness is genius. And I rather be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." -Marilyn Monroe. Keep your head high and your writing is superb! :)

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  120. Hi!
    When I started reading this post I thought you were talking about me...! I thought you were one of those girls from High School that used to laugh at me behind my back for being such an outcast. I was from Class 2002 at an only girls school. Some of them knew me for my nickname which is Lali, yes it is pronounced the same way as Lally, and they also had a joke about me being "Sola!", which it is pronounced the same way as Solal. They used to call me "sola" which means alone in Spanish. It’s weird! You almost got me scared... But it made me think I wasn’t the only one, which is good.
    I was an outcast because I didn't dress, nor acted the way anyone did. Not even my personality nor my tastes not even my visions of the world and the future matched any of the groups that were around during my time at High School. I was too mature for my age, way ahead of time. My family used to compare me with my now deceased mother. I guess it’s in one’s genetic makeup to be outcast.
    After I got to the University I became a rebellious woman in my early twenties and got pretty wild and liberal. After a few years of wild partying and hard knocking on the floor while studying and working in part time jobs at the mall. I got sick of it all and desired to become an outcast again. Because it felt more free like a bird. Being an outcast is being free of all societal norms that are pretty much empty. I decided to stop that very social lifestyle, being unsocial. And it feels much more better than trying to be accepted as just another normal human being who never thinks about humanity at large. The world needs new ventures, new horizons to fill in so many gaps out there waiting to be discovered. And I don’t mind being different. I find it special. Many I used to know when I was the wow girl at the University see me living my new life now in my late twenties and get to know I am a successful entrepreneur. You are “flying free like a bird”, that's how they describe me now, they get very envious... and say I look very happy.
    And I know, it's true, because when I was popular back then I was desiring to go back to feel this free again. When you get to be an adult that is what you will be mostly searching for but it's the least you can find out there. Only the outcasts get such an opportunity to be more independent and highly influential, like you. When the outcasts are alone, they can see the world from above, with fresh new eyes able to be brave enough to take on new opportunities whenever they arise. Take advantage of your youth and make new ideas that will give you more success in the future. Always follow your dreams. Always believe in yourself. Keep being the outcast you are. Thumbs up!

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  121. Right now,I really have a bad time like you've stated in this post. Trying to find the way out. But in certain way,I felt like mine is kinda confusing.Mostly girls at my place hates me the way I am (for my way of dressing,social attitude rated 1/10,etc...) and my girlfriends keeps avoiding me like I am carrying some kind of plague or else.Like usual,I just let them be...and recently I saw they started to copy my style: like favorite songs (they used to listen to old,crappy love song in our native languages and I listened to foreign pop,emo and classics),steps to apply makeups,way of talk (I like to use some English words mixed with my daily conversations and now they keep doing that with broken English in front of me,which I felt like they're taunting me).Firstly,I am amused but then me didn't when I realized AT LAST THEY STILL HATE ME.How I know that? I am kinda observer plus such a sensitive person as I can sense someone's emotion by many ways they act. To me sometimes it's kinda a gift which helps me to coordinate my outcome reaction for them. But sometimes,it felt like a curse because when I treated them the way humans should be,they didn't respect me back the way I want. They treated me like an idiot which I think they mistaken for my calmness. Furthermore, I am a Taurean and an INTJ. Is that some of the main reasons ? Somebody please answer me :(

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