A week ago I moved into a single-room college dorm. I have 5 neighbors who have quickly gotten to know each other and now it's like they've been friends for years. They all typically hang out in the dorm room adjacent to mine.
I on the other hand, have avoided talking to them because I am nervous around people and have trouble socializing. I stay in my room while they all hang out with each other inside and outside the dorm. We all live really close together so oftentimes whenever I leave my room or come from outside, one or more of my neighbors is in the hallway (it's a small dorm building). All I can do is say hi and walk on. No eye contact.
I don't want this to stay the same for the entire year because I can feel the awkward tension whenever I'm around them. I am the quiet scary guy who doesn't want to be around them. I figure they think that I am a serial killer or that I just don't like them, neither of which is true. As far as I can tell they've all been respectful and I haven't heard any negative behind-the-back talk about me through the thin walls.
I have spoken to two of my neighbors individually, but we haven't moved on from small talk since I went back to my reclusive ways after talking with them.
I'd like to get rid of this awkward tension by interacting with them in order to get rid of this spooky image they have about me. But I am a shy person. Also, choosing which way to do it is difficult.
Do I make friends with each person individually, or do I wait until all of my neighbors are together in their dorm and address myself, or both?
I realize that interacting with a group will be different since they've all gotten to know each other and I am the weird outsider who not only has to deal with everybody's misconceptions of me, but also has to prove himself to be a potential friend. While on the other hand you tend to have more control over person-to-person interactions. The group interaction is the particular one that will be hardest for me.
I was thinking I could wait until they are all together, knock on their door, and ask if I could come in to use their computer to flash a file onto my USB drive (that is an actual problem I need help with) and go from there. But I'm not exactly sure how to go about turning that situation into a befriending opportunity.