For kids who are shy or don't quite "fit in," school recess can be a lonely experience.

Many of us have been there, standing alone on the playground, wanting to join in the fun and games but not sure how. During one of the few times in the school day where kids are free to socialize at will, not having friends can be painful.

Sammie Vance sitting on one of the 'buddy benches' she had made for her school. Photo via Heidi Vance.

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What a guy with social anxiety wants you to know about inviting him to a party.

Here’s what helps (and what doesn’t) when going out.

Dear friends,

First of all, let me explain what it feels like to be me, a guy with social anxiety.

Picture a scene that fills you with gut-clenching dread. A dark alley at night maybe. The edge of a windy cliff with no railing. A deep ocean, too dark to see what’s beneath you.

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Stick figures explain every weird social interaction you may have in a day.

Three different types of super-weird human interactions you've probably had. A lot.

This post was originally published on Wait But Why.

If an alien ever immigrated to Earth, he’d be a social disaster.

He’d try his hardest to learn by observing how humans behave, but it wouldn’t be easy — he’d see someone ask a stranger for a cigarette and he’d go ask for a sip of someone’s latte. He’d see a couple kissing on the street and he’d go try to kiss the policeman on the corner. He’d stare. He’d get food all over his alien face. And when he got tired, he’d lie down on the sidewalk.

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