As an Introvert, How Do I Connect With People? | #ThisGirlEats

The first answer that comes to mind is: force.

I make myself. I have to, otherwise my time on this planet would be a very single, solitary existence and, believe it or not, I actually do have friends. Some, anyway. When I’m having a particularly bad day and just want to banish all communication with the outside world it baffles me how I actually came to make those friends but, nonetheless, they do exist.


My social circles are relatively small and have always been forced out of situations; work, university, sixth form, etc.. I don’t think I’ve ever made a friend as a result of me optionally putting myself out there through something I’ve chosen to do, like taking up an evening class or striking up conversation with a friendly stranger at a bar.

That’s not to say I can’t form close friendships, or maintain them; okay, I could definitely be better at keeping up with everyone (or at least replying to my messages – sorry!) and I have been known to breathe a sigh of relief when plans have fallen through. But really, I’d consider a lot of my friendships to be pretty strong and most of them have been going for a number of years.

But, with me, you don’t really get a choice in that last part – if we’re truly friends, you better believe it took us forever to get there! You see, for me, being an introvert means it takes a painfully long time to even begin edging out of my shell. I’m not kidding – however long you think I mean, double it. At least. People I now consider to be good friends often say they had to spend loads of time with me for at least a year before feeling like they even started seeing a glimpse of my authentic self.


Not that I’m playing a part or anything, but my social hang-ups mean I hide a lot of myself away, only showing very small flashes of my personality. You might hear a quip of my dry sense of humour or see my eyes light up briefly when we talk about music or Disney holidays; you might get an idea about me from my colourful hair, or my Dr Marten boots, or my tattoos, but it’s just an idea. It’ll take a lot longer before you really get to see beneath any of that and understand me as a person.

It makes it really hard to connect with people, and especially hard to fit in, when you can’t show all the way up. Every time I meet a new bunch of people I tell myself, this is it – this is your chance to start all over again, reinvent the wheel, squash your insecurities down and be yourself right from the start. But does it happen? Does it hell.

I keep quiet, I smile politely, I turn down kind offers of joining colleagues for lunch because it’s easier to spend an hour alone plugged into my headphones. I laugh at jokes but am too shy to make any of my own; I say the appropriate thing when inside my head I’m screaming something completely different; I nod along with chit-chat even though I’d rather spend my bank holiday weekend in a festival field than sunbathing in Saint-Tropez and I’ve never even heard of Heidi Klein (isn’t she that woman off Project Runway?!).

Sometimes I feel trapped inside my own skin and, let me tell you, it’s a bloody horrible feeling. I wish I could just snap out of it, but it’s like someone pulls an imaginary zip up over my head and that’s it – every part of me is hidden away except for a breathing hole. It’s frustrating, of course, but that zip is like a comfort blanket, it’s my safe space where I think, if I can just make myself as small and silent as possible, people will leave me alone.

It’s difficult when it takes you twice as long to open up and feel ready to make real connections and bond with people. It’s really, really difficult and, in all honesty, not everyone will always understand that. They’ll expect you to get there faster, and leave you in the dust as someone they “never really clicked with” when you don’t meet their deadlines. But you can’t rush it; the important people will wait for however long it takes you to get there and, trust me, once that foundation for friendship is in place, it’s unshakable.




Is One Type of Friendship Really Better Than Another? | #ThisGirlEats

We spend our whole lives forming relationships. Even if you don’t consider yourself a particularly sociable individual (me, lol) it’s impossible to go through life without new relationships popping up and, in some cases, becoming great friendships.

You go to work, you meet new colleagues. You date someone, you’re introduced to a new circle of peers. You move house, you’re living with new neighbours. If we’re lucky, new friendships develop too and that kinda makes it worthwhile – right?

But when I started thinking about the different friendships I’ve made throughout my life, both past and present, and just how unique they all are, I asked myself something – is one type of friendship “better” than others?


Some people truly are BFFs – joined at the hip, constantly messaging, know intricate details of each other’s lives. It looks pretty good. I’ve definitely had friends like this in my life but, right now, I wouldn’t say I’ve got this kind of friendship with anyone. That sounds a little sad, doesn’t it? But, then again, is living in each other’s pockets really that great?

I once lived with a friend at uni and thought we were as close as it gets. Literally living together. Sharing a bathroom, cooking dinner for each other, taking turns washing up… It was great! But a little way down the line something irreparable happened between us (soz, that’s a whooole other story!) and it all came to a very sudden, very definitive halt. That was that. So much for closeness, huh?

I’ve got friends I hardly ever see, or even speak to. We go months without even DMing and meeting up is an incredibly rare occasion. The ties that bound us together in the past – going to school together and growing up in the same town – have long faded, and a sad distance took their place. But when we do hang out the connection is amazing, like no time has passed at all. It’s familiar, it’s easy; irreplaceable, even. When I think about it, these friendships have really stood their ground.

But what about the friendships that don’t even really belong to us? Ones brought together by work, or perhaps those of your other half. These friendships start off because outside forces shoved you together, but you’ve stuck around because a genuine friendship has blossomed beyond whatever catalyst started it all. For me, these are usually people I wouldn’t naturally be drawn towards; because of that, these friendships are the most fun. They reveal parts of you that you never knew, bring out a personality you might not expect and force you to live outside of your usual circle.


These days, some friendships only exist in a virtual world, glued together by social media and smartphones. I’ve heard people say online friends aren’t “real friends” but many of us bloggers know that the online community can sometimes be more supportive than the actual living, breathing people in your life. Let’s be honest, we spend most of our lives online now anyway, so it’s only to be expected.

Thinking through all these different types of friendships – pretty much all of which I’ve experienced at one time or another – has led me to at least one conclusion: there might be best friends in life, but there’s no such thing as a best friendship.

15 Ways to Help Live a Healthy Lifestyle That Don’t Involve Food or Exercise | #ThisGirlEats

Of course eating well and exercising is important, but being healthy isn’t always about what you eat and how often you get off your butt and do some squats. There are many, many ways to look after yourself and all the aspects of your life. What about healthy relationships? What about a healthy mind? What about keeping your body healthy, in more ways than one?

It’s really difficult to keep life “well-rounded” – as soon as you think you’ve got one thing under control, something else goes off the rails! But these are just a few ways that I think could help me to keep every part of my life ticking over, and I hope they help you do the same!

1. Call your parents.

2. FaceTime your best friend.

3. Plan a date night.

lady tramp spag

4. Make an effort to talk to your work colleagues about their lives outside of the workplace.

5. Message a friend you haven’t spoken to in a little while, not because you want or need something – just to catch up.

6. Spend some quality cuddle time with your pets. Unconditional pet love is a wonderful thing.

cat hug

7. Spend a day watching movies that make you feel good, no matter how cheesy they may be.

8. Try to switch off social media. For a day, an hour, whatever you can.

9. Write a list of all the positive things that happened to you today. Or a list of the things you love about yourself. Or get your partner or friend to write down all the things they love about you.

10. Switch off for a day. Don’t do housework, chores, homework, odd jobs.

bruno mars

11. Spend some time outside. Go for a walk, hang in the garden, sit on the grass.

12. Have a day completely make up free.

13. Take a long bath with bath bombs, music, a book – and don’t let ANYONE interrupt!

chandler bath

14. Cook one of your favourite meals from scratch and savour the feeling of satisfaction. Or ask your partner or housemate to cook dinner for you.

15. Keep a journal or a diary and find ten minutes every day to just sit and write. Get all your emotions out on the page.

An Open Letter to My Friends: Sorry I’m Such a Dick | #ThisGirlEats

I’ve always championed the idea that it’s better to have a small, tight-knit group of genuinely close friends who you can really rely on rather than loads of acquaintances who float in and out of your life. While I do admire those few social butterflies I know, I think I’d always choose a small but significant circle of friends over anything else because, for me, quality trumps quantity. Or maybe that’s just to mask the fact that I was never really very popular… 🤷‍♀️


Anyway, I do think I’ve managed to achieve that throughout my life. I made most of my good, solid mates at school and a few here and there since and, at 24, I can confidently say I definitely know who my friends are. But, you see, the problem nowadays is… well, it’s me. I’ve become a totally useless friend! I don’t know how, or when, but I have. So this is an open letter to my close friends (you know who you are – I hope!) to say: sorry I’m such a dick.

I’m sorry I sometimes ignore the group chat.
I’m sorry I see your messages but forget to reply for literally days.
I’m sorry I don’t always make it when we plan to hang out and I’m sorry that, when I  do, I sometimes leave early.
I’m sorry I don’t live close by and that makes me lazy when it comes to meeting up.
I’m sorry driving stresses me out to the point I can’t always come visit.
I’m sorry I haven’t seen some of you for months.
I’m sorry that I probably still won’t see some of you until “something” comes up, because we shouldn’t really need a reason to catch up.

It’s difficult to keep relationships strong as an adult, once you move away and have your own life to focus on, but it’s not impossible. People do it. I can do it, I just totally suck at it. I’ve become selfish and lethargic and completely wrapped up in my own life, to the point that I’ve forgotten to check in on the lives of people I actually care about. I’ve been shamefully absent, I know that – but I don’t want to be anymore. So, to all you guys, I’m sorry I’ve been a rubbish friend lately, but I’m working on it, I promise.

friends hug

How Moving Out Impacted on EVERY Aspect of My Life | #ThisGirlEats

Last year, I achieved my biggest goal and moved out. Pretty cool, right? People warned me it’d be difficult, but I just got so excited about the idea of me and my partner having our own place that I didn’t really realise how much moving would change my life.

It’s not just the obvious “adulting” stuff, it’s more the ripple effect that comes with it all. Everything drastically alters, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, and you don’t even see most of it coming. I’m so pleased we did it, it was totally the best thing for us, but there are definitely some unforeseen pros and cons and I’d urge people to really think about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G when it comes to moving out!

live with a boy


Independence. I’ve always been an independent girl, maybe that comes from growing up as an only child but I’ve always felt I could go it alone. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be nowhere without my family, but I also knew I couldn’t grow as an individual living under my parents’ roof. I like to do things my own way, I know my own mind and I like my own space. I love the freedom of moving out and the sense of independence was a real boost. It’s the best bit, for me.

Introvert. I’m an introvert by nature (although I’m sometimes convinced there’s an extrovert lurking inside just dying to burst out) and am more than happy to just sit quietly by myself. I’m not UNsociable, but I don’t crave social interaction either. Living alone (well, sort of) means if I don’t feel like talking about my day, I don’t have to. We all have days where we’d rather just shut ourselves off and that can be impossible when you’re living under someone else’s roof, especially if it’s a hectic household. Peace and quiet is really nice.

Creativity. Since living in our little flat, while I’m still somewhat clueless about my career, I’ve realised that my dream job definitely involves sitting at my desk with my cat all day, every day. Working from home would be a dream; again, it comes back to having time to myself. I could quite happily spend eight hours writing and not engage with another soul all day, just focus on the work I love. My creativity has flowed and developed so much since moving out.

Our relationship. Living together really helped take our relationship to another level. People aren’t kidding when they say that living with someone is a real test of how well you know them, but THANK GOD it just seemed to bring us closer together. We spent most nights at each other’s houses anyway so it wasn’t a massive shift, but living alone still made our relationship stronger; it’s been almost a year and a half now and he’s still my favourite person to spend time with so that’s gotta be a good sign, right?!


Money. I can’t emphasise this enough. We’re finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel now, but it’s been 16 months since we moved out and we’re only just getting a grip on our finances.Moving out costs a lot of money, and I wasn’t exactly ignorant of this when we took the plunge – I knew the costs, I knew my earnings, I knew it’d be hard. But I don’t think I realised just how hard, or how long it’d be hard for. We’ve taken out loans and credit cards, lived in our overdraft, worked overtime and sold our stuff just to earn a few extra quid. It’s the little things you really miss, like the impossibility of spontaneous days out, saying goodbye to date night, stripping extravagant “luxuries” like orange juice from the shopping list until we’re left with the bare bones of necessity… It’s tough. Really tough.

Isolation. I live around 30 minutes to an hour away from most of my loved ones, hardly the other side of the world! But it can be tricky when you’re further afield – it takes too long to just pop into town for a drink, everything needs planning (how you’re getting home and who gets stuck as designated driver!) and things you might’ve done on a whim at home, like a cuppa with nan on the way home from Tesco or having a mate over just to watch a couple of episodes of Friends and then go home again, just aren’t doable anymore. Eventually, people plan things without you because they’re sick of you being unable to make it and before you know it, you’re out of the loop. I still see my friends and family, but it’s become a lot harder.

Our relationship. Yep, this one makes it onto both lists! As a unit, we are stronger and happier living together, but the strain of it all definitely takes its toll. Moving leaves you skint (the vast majority of us, anyway) and money becomes super stressful, and it has more of an impact than you ever imagined. Every conversation becomes about money (or lack of) and saying no to everything you used to do together – cinema dates, restaurants, spontaneous day trips, holidays, concert tickets, etc. – really sucks. It makes you grumpier, less affectionate, more exhausted… Like I said, we’re just starting to get ourselves back on track and feel normal again, but it really shook up our relationship for a while.