Confidence, Anxiety & Friendship in the Blogging World: My Two Penneth

Do you let an absence of confidence hold you back in life? I know I do. I've written quite openly the past about the things I lack confidence with. Talking candidly about the subject certainly has helped me to boost myself up, but I'm certainly a long way from being crowned Little Miss Self Assured. My issues with confidence most hold me back when it comes to making new friends. And it seems that I'm not alone.

In a lot of responses to my post on blogger cliques, people said that although what I had written had caused them to rethink the cliques which many believe to plague the blogging world, they could still not shake the feeling that they were unwelcome. In a lot of cases, this feeling doesn't seem to stem from the blogging community being inherently evil. I think it comes from the lack of confidence that many of us have about approaching people. Blogger pals have told me in the past that they don't have the courage to start conversations and that they feel an outsider in the community because of this. And I know exactly where they're coming from. I lack confidence when it comes to friendships, with existing friends and new friends alike.

My lack of confidence surrounding friendships stems a lot from anxiety. My anxiety will take pretty much every opportunity to tell me that my friends don't like me. If a friend is older than me, anxiety tells me that they think I'm immature and that they don't want to listen to what I have to say. If a friend likes going out on the town and dancing the night away, anxiety tells me that they think I'm dull and uninteresting because I prefer an evening in. If a friend is more stylish than me, anxiety tells me that they won't want to be seen out with me.

Headband: Primark (similar)
Watch: ADEXE
But recently, I've had an awakening. I realised just how much this lack of confidence was holding me back. Let me tell you the story. Grab your tea and biccies, and listen with open ears. I have been in a group chat with a group of really lovely uni pals for the longest time now and I'd count all of them as good friends. However, from the start I always had the feeling that one of them hated me. There was absolutely no evidence to back up this claim, but my anxious brain nevertheless persisted with thoughts like "she thinks you're stupid", and "why are you bothering to answer her question, she doesn't care about YOUR opinon."

More recently, this girl and I have become a bit closer. We'll talk one-on-one fairly frequently and she'll actively seek me out to ask for my thoughts and advice. In the middle of one of these conversations, it hit me. Maybe she hadn't hated me all along. Perhaps we'd have reached this level of closeness in our friendship way sooner if I'd just had the confidence to properly talk to her. I kicked myself so much for letting my anxious thoughts hold me back.

Crop top: Primark (similar)
Trousers: Thrifted (similar)
So, how does my story relate to making friends in the blogger community? Well, what I'm trying to do here is to encourage you to ditch the mentality that nobody likes you. Easier said than done, I know, but hear me out. I'm not saying you'll become besties with the first person you send out a tweet to in the blogging community. Hell, some people may just never respond to your messages. But some people will! And those people could become a really important part of your life. What I'm saying is cliché but it's true: you never know unless you try. For all you know, the people you're getting all worked up about talking to could feel the exact same way about speaking to you! Put on your big girl pants and make the first move. You never know what could happen when you press "send"!

The photos which illustrate this blog post demonstrate my point exactly. These gorgeous shots were taken by Lloyd Morgan-Moore, husband of Sally, a good blogger friend of mine. I initially "met" Sally online when I first started blogging. I was a tiny young upstart with a handful of followers and Sally was already a blogging big-wig, with a following of thousands and a huge influence. (And you can see why when looking at her blog - wow!) However, I decided to bite the bullet anyway and send Sally a message, asking for her advice about running a blogger giveaway. And she replied! And she was incredibly kind and helpful. Since then, our friendship has blossomed and we've met up countless times, sometimes at blogger events and sometimes just for coffee and a chat when I'm in Cambridge. This friendship, which I value so greatly, and these lovely photos, may not have come about if I hadn't made contact, and I'm so, so glad I did. If you take anything away from this post, it should definitely be a renewed desire to put yourself out there. You have amazing friends out there waiting for you!

Do you struggle to make new friends? Do you lack confidence when interacting with the blogging community? Please share in the comments below and have a read of other people's responses too - a new friend could await you!

Until next time,

A x