In breaking free from shyness and loneliness it is important to consider the divide between “different” and “unique”. Different often implies odd or doesn’t fit it in. Unique can be understood as rare and,often, valuable- to the right person.
People are are collectors- they collect objects, experiences, and, yes, people that match their interests, that fill an area of their life that is incomplete. Shy and anxious individuals often fear missing opportunities to join the ‘people collections’ they see around them. In an attempt to belong they try to fit in anywhere they can. The challenge is that even the casual collector will recognize a ‘copy’, an ‘imitation’ of what they are looking for. They may be interested by what they see at a distance but they quickly recognize that things are not what they appear to be on closer inspection. If you are not the real thing- they will know it and move on.
Finding a place in a group, a collection is important. The solution has two parts: First, become the collector yourself.. Recognize that you are as a much as the collector as the collectible. Find the experiences that are valuable to you and go where these things are happening. Join with others who are doing these things and become knowledgeable and passionate about them. Others will be drawn to your energy.
Second- be a discriminating collector.Don’t settle for less that what you want or at least do not pay ‘top dollar’ for copies or things that do not fit just so you can say you have it. Your time, your emotions, and your energy are valuable. Spend it carefully and make sure you get the most for your investment.