Since its getting to the end of the year again, I began to feel more lonely/sad because I feel like I haven't changed anything from previous years. I'm currently in year 11 and in previous years I also didn't feel happy because I wasn't able to make any close friends - feels like my current friends and I dont have much in common and they don't care much about me. I also felt worse because people made an effort to get to know me but because they were outgoing I felt intimidated and insecure because I was scared that they were making fun of me when they said hi to me...smh. So I generally avoided them or smiled quickly and looked away when I saw them because I didn't want to get into an awkward conversation where they would realise that I am really awkward or boring or not what they expected.
I want to make new friends because I like the people who have made an effort to get to know me, however I avoided them again because I was afraid of getting rejected/leaving a bad impression and I questioned whether we would even make good friends before I even got to know them, also because they usually already had a lot of friends and why would they want to be friends with me.
I'm able to make small talk, but feel like there is nothing to talk about with new people most of the time and if I do say whatever was on my mind (e.g. general topics) people say "that's random", look at me strangely or they don't even acknowledge it. I feel so awkward and lame when that happens. It makes me want to talk less or speak clearly in case people hear and think its lame. Then I question what I said and why I said it because I dont think I would say that with people I am comfortable with (its not offensive or anything).
Is there a way to get rid of this feeling of insecurity, awkwardness, over-thinking, anxiety, loneliness?
How can I actually talk to people without the conversation feeling boring to both of us or the other person getting bored and walking away? The feeling of awkwardness increases when I talk to someone new and our conversation is so static and toned down compared to how they talk with others.
Also, if I do become friends with someone how do I let down my guard and just be myself? How do people become close friends?
Thanks, sorry for rambling :)
ps: i wasn't always like this haha