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My 18 year old son won’t make friends

My 18 year old son won’t make friends

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Casual scribe
Pen7penny
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My 18 year old son won’t make friends

My son, about to start uni but will be living at home, doesn’t seem to want to make friends.  He has been to a couple of freshers events, didn’t enjoy them and came home early.  The first event, he wouldn’t even get out of the car so had to bring him home. 

He is a very privileged young man in that he has been privately educated, just finished 5 years of boarding school where he has refused to maintain contact with anyone from there.  No friends from primary school where he was there for 13 years.  

He is very sociable with his family, very talented, he plays the piano, is extremely good at drama, has a great sense of humour and is a handsome young man.  

I’m very concerned that on the brink of this exciting new chapter in his life, he is sullen and I’m worried that he will struggle socially as he gets older.

He has just started a part time job in hospitality to earn money for uni.  

Any help you can offer me would be so appreciated.

Thank you for “listening “

penny


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Community Manager
Walter-RO
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Re: My 18 year old son won’t make friends

Message contains a hyperlink

Hey @Pen7penny 

Im really glad you shared this here - it takes alot to share our worries.

I can hear how much you just want the best for your son. He sounds like a great young adult but that perhaps he has not had very close friendships outside of the family.

Social relationships (friendships, romantic relationships, etc) are very important so its understandable that you're concerned.

Im wondering if there is a bit of social anxiety? You mentioned that he couldn't get out of the car. Mind you, transitioning to uni from high school is a big change and is pretty scary for most people. Its a big adjustment for anyone and meeting new people can be super daunting especially in a new environment that we aren't familiar with.

Im wondering how much pressure he might feel to make new friends? That pressure can sometimes make it even harder.

There are some great articles on various things to do with friendships here (https://au.reachout.com/relationships/friendships) - maybe it would be worth you checking these out or even gently encouraging your son to check them out also.

You mentioned he has started a new part time job - i think thats great and that in itself may already be helpful - working, often forces us to interact with workmates and customers, where we are more likely to develop connections, friendships, even relationships with workmates. I'm wondering if that is already a positive step for him that you may not have recognised - what do you think?  

 

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Community Manager
Walter-RO
Solution

Re: My 18 year old son won’t make friends

Message contains a hyperlink

Hey @Pen7penny 

Im really glad you shared this here - it takes alot to share our worries.

I can hear how much you just want the best for your son. He sounds like a great young adult but that perhaps he has not had very close friendships outside of the family.

Social relationships (friendships, romantic relationships, etc) are very important so its understandable that you're concerned.

Im wondering if there is a bit of social anxiety? You mentioned that he couldn't get out of the car. Mind you, transitioning to uni from high school is a big change and is pretty scary for most people. Its a big adjustment for anyone and meeting new people can be super daunting especially in a new environment that we aren't familiar with.

Im wondering how much pressure he might feel to make new friends? That pressure can sometimes make it even harder.

There are some great articles on various things to do with friendships here (https://au.reachout.com/relationships/friendships) - maybe it would be worth you checking these out or even gently encouraging your son to check them out also.

You mentioned he has started a new part time job - i think thats great and that in itself may already be helpful - working, often forces us to interact with workmates and customers, where we are more likely to develop connections, friendships, even relationships with workmates. I'm wondering if that is already a positive step for him that you may not have recognised - what do you think?  

 

Casual scribe
Pen7penny

Re: My 18 year old son won’t make friends

Hi Walter

thanks so much for your email.  Very comforting.  I will check out the link and i think my son’s part time job may help bring him out.  

 

Mod
Dem--RO

Re: My 18 year old son won’t make friends

Hi @Pen7penny,

I'm glad that you found some comfort in @Walter-RO's response, and I hope you continue to find support amongst the Parent's Forum.

Please know that you are not alone, and this is a very welcoming community to share concerns and seek advice Heart

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