In theory it shouldn't be hard right? Just talk, just be yourself and make friends.
It is so frustrating seeing everyone making friends so easy. I do my best, I go outside, I socialize, I work and hang with my colleagues. Still when socialising it seems fake and forceful. I never feel like myself, but like a robot. Imitating others to be normal. It's like I can't be myself but a version of me that I think others want to see.
It's just tiresome.
It's ironic because people have complimented me for my people skills, but I hate it, it's not real, not authentic. Maybe i'm just scared to be myself. I don't know anymore, I feel like I have been playing a role for to long. Can't even tell anymore.
I hear you. When I was growing up things seemed pretty similar - it looked like everyone else was making friends so easily, but I struggled. I didn't share a lot of the same interests with the people around me, and I didn't share personalities with them either, so I didn't have much to talk about, and I didn't think or act like them, didn't have the same kind of temperament/nature. So I withdrew into myself, for fear of getting teased and labeled - I figured I would rather be nothing than labeled a loser.
It took me a long time before I started to open up more,
before I stopped caring as much what others thought of me (figuring that those who don't like me weren't going to like me anyway so don't worry about it),
and before I started trying to figure out more, who I really was, instead of just going along with however I was by default.
It took me until 8th grade to make any lasting friends that I still have to this day, because that's how long it took me to start finding people who not only matched my interests, but matched my personality, matched how my mind worked, my temperment/nature/way of thinking and talking.
I think that's the issue - it sounds like you're talking about socializing with work colleagues, as opposed to close friends, where you've had deep conversations and shared good feelings together. It's easier to "be yourself", around people that you have deeper, more meaningful, emotional connections with, someone you relate to in an emotional way, than just the fact that you happen to go to school or work at the same place, at the same time. That alone doesn't mean there's anything deep between you bringing you together, it's just circumstance/coincidence. Work colleagues tend to be more superficial in nature - you don't really get to know someone on a deep level at work, it's mostly just surface-level chit-chat, nothing that emotional - there's this sort of professional distance maintained, a boundary between professional and personal life.
I'm sure some people can, and do, turn connections that started out as just work acquaintanceships, and grow them into meaningful, genuinely emotional friendships or even romance. But I wouldn't say it's common.
Another thing, it's hard to "be yourself" when you're not entirely sure who "yourself" even is - what you really are like. I'm trying to figure this out myself, who I even am, what I really think and feel about anything, what I care about, what's the real me, and what I just think is the real me because it was my default setting/I never questioned it/I never knew better or considered what other options might suit me better, for what I think and want out of life.
All in all, I feel like there are some general social rules to follow (which haven't come to me instinctively), but also that you have room to follow those rules, in your own way.