Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:
Find a way to get closer…slowly! I can't say I am an expert at this, but I have had my share of being lonely and the new kid or strange kid with all the moving around I did as a child.
I would suggest:
- Sit at her table or near her.
- Make eye contact and smile nicely from time to time.
- Talk to a friend or someone else, near her and in her earshot, about some of the things you described experiencing–She will hear things she can "relate" to you about. This may make her feel less alone and isolated.
- What stranger noticed you? What did they say? What did they do? How did that "break your spell?"
- Consider asking her for help. Most people in a withdrawn and depressed state do not want to hear that they have a problem or need help. They may be willing to help others with a similar situation thereby opening their mind and thought to what they are experiencing.
I would also consider talking to an experienced professional on the matter to get more substantial advice. I admire your desire to help and your compassion for others. I too have that same drive, just be careful and smart about it. Confrontation is typically a negative way to go. Subtle gestures of compassion and caring I find has better results.