This is my first forum post so bear with me >.<. I can certainly empathize with the frustrations a person might have with finding friends in Second Life. It can seem like a barren wasteland of afk avatars, unfriendly or shy people waiting for someone else to make the first move. And having to be the aggressor, feeling like you are bothering other people, well it can leave you feeling pretty negative about Second Life in general. Now I can't speak for other people, but from my own experience, I can maybe share some personal preferences. While some people detest local chat, it is my favorite place to meet new friends. Why? Conversation is usually pretty casual, and I don't feel the pressure to answer which a boon for an anxious person. IMs sometimes feel like work for me because I am a terrible at multitasking. I simply don't have the brain power to divide my attention between conversations I may be having with others, and a new person that I may have attracted for whatever reason. I don't mind people asking me questions pertaining to SL in unsolicited IMs, I in fact love to help if I can. But, I won't go out of my way to keep those conversations going usually. Now you just have to find the best hubs for open conversation. Personally, I do not hang out in places where other avatars are spamming emotes (honestly it's the quickest way to get blocked by me). You want a place where people are chatting at leisurely pace. I found my current friends by consistently going to the same music venues, and interacting with local chat going on there. And it didn't happen over night either. Took me several months to really get to know them, but your mileage may vary. Aside from music clubs, I recommend joining groups that interest you in SL. Even my store groups are popping off with lively discussions all the time! Having a predetermined common interest is one of the easiest ways to organically interact with new people. Any genuine friendship will take some time to develop as it should. Don't lose heart though, your people are out there!