I am 17 and have no friends in my age group

Dear Diana,
I'm a 17-year-old student who is reserved by nature and as a result, I don't hang out with my friends often. Most of the free time I get at home is spent playing with kids from our building. I enjoy their innocent company. Lately, I've started wondering why I don't  have friends from my age group. I have never made an effort to make new acquaintances. Not that I hate grown-ups or anything. Also, isn't it a bit immature to fool around with friends who are almost 10-12 years younger to me? I wish I was like the others. Am I normal?
- Prafull

Illustration/ Satish Acharya

Dear Prafull,
It seems like you have never made an effort to get friendly with people of your age group. So why blame anyone for your situation? It is odd to find a 17-year-old hanging out with tots and even playing with them. You say that you are shy by nature but you manage to get along and strike a friendship with those younger to you. Similarly you can do so with people in your age group. Don't you interact with people in your class? You need to shed your inhibitions and get out there and make friends. In a few years, these tots will grow up and they won't want to hang around with you in the building compound. If you feel you cannot overcome your shyness, approach a counsellor who will help you. I am sure your family is aware of your 'problem' and can also pitch in.


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