Over time, the people that you meet and form memories with may eventually fall off and walk away from your life, and introverts are not exempt from this. You may remember past friendships fondly and even try to rekindle the friendship, but for the most part, this cycle will repeat itself – and that’s completely normal.
Introverts are not social butterflies, but once they find a compatible and genuine friend, they can be incredibly gifted at sustaining meaningful, long-lasting relationships. The challenge comes when introverts have to actually go out and connect with others. Introverts are selectively social – so they don’t just let anyone enter their lives. To them, it’s quality over quantity.
Here are seven ways to make genuine friendships as an introvert.
1) Be with people that make you happy
Have you ever had the experience of being “adopted” by an extrovert? Many introverts let others take the lead in forming a friendship, especially in an unfamiliar environment. But even if the first impressions may come across as friendly and positive, some people are simply not compatible with each other. You are not a bad person for wanting what’s best for you – so don’t be afraid to communicate your boundaries accordingly and let yourself be the captain of your own ship. Instead, focus on the people that make you happy.
2) Show your authentic self
Everyone knows the pain of rejection; the need to “belong” is conditioned in people of all walks of life and it’s never an easy feeling to overcome. However, masking yourself to gain someone’s approval is a surefire way of making you feel miserable and misunderstood. An introvert has a beautiful and intricate mind that deserves to be appreciated by the right people. And if you lose some friends along the way, so be it. Stick with those who honestly care about you and improve your quality of life by cutting out the fake ones.
3) Invite your friends out first
Introverts are perfectly comfortable tagging along with close friends when asked. But sometimes, introverts take this kind of act for granted and let the other party pull all the strings. Although the dynamics of friendships vary considerably, introverts can get quite the thrill of inviting their acquaintances and friends out for once! Don’t underestimate your ability to find unique ways to bond with interesting people. Exploring new ways to have fun with friends can further deepen relationships and make for the best memories.
4) Find someone who understands your need for silence from time to time
For introverts, participating in meaningful conversation with a friend is usually a good time, but after constant social interaction, introverts can be worn out even if they genuinely enjoyed the chat. At the end of the day, silence and solitude is king for introverts. Having a friend who understands your solitary needs as an introvert is one of the best signs of a deep and comfortable friendship.
5) Get into a routine
Are you a prolific daydreamer? Many introverts are so engrossed in their inner world to the point that they just slip away from reality altogether. This habit is innate to introverts, but it can also lead to damaging outcomes if left unchecked. Maintaining a routine with friendships, whether it is weekly D&D nights or monthly coffee catch-ups, is a foolproof way to make sure an introvert doesn’t just randomly forget about the outside world.
6) Be interested in your friends
Do you know anyone who endlessly chatters and leaves you no room for talking?
No one likes having their voice forcibly silenced. Every introvert can possess valuable insights in spite of their usual quiet demeanor. An easy way to show interest is by asking genuine questions. By showing interest to your friends, you make them feel that they are valuable and worth listening to. This will make your friend have a positive impression about you, and can even lead to them mirroring that interest themselves, leading to more meaningful, mutual relationships down the line.
7) Allow yourself to be vulnerable
Let’s face it: talking to someone who brags about their best self is not the coziest people to be around. Showing only the positive side of yourself can be acceptable in cases like networking, but in order to have a meaningful friendship, you have to become vulnerable.
By being vulnerable, you present a more human and genuine part of yourself that allows the other person to respond with compassion and empathy, breathing a whole new dimension to the relationship. Vulnerability signals your complete trust and respect to them – and for many, that’s a hallmark sign of a genuine friendship.
Some people are blessed with genuine friends in their early years, but if you’re in a time in your life where you don’t have anyone to call a friend, it can be a tough and lonely battle to face. Just know that you are not alone, and even if you don’t see it, there are people who care about you.
The next-door neighbors you greet in the morning. The barista who knows your coffee by heart. The teacher who helped you when you’re struggling in class. Your path is intertwined with theirs, no matter how distant it feels.
To close off, this is a powerful message to ponder.
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” — Carl W. Buechner
That’s all for now, Psych2Goers!
- Cherry, Kendra. 2017. How You Can Tell That You’re an Introvert. https://www.verywellmind.com/signs-you-are-an-introvert-2795427
- Grannerman, Jenn. 2018. Introverts Aren’t Antisocial, They’re Selectively Social. https://introvertdear.com/news/ways-that-introverts-socialize-differently-than-extroverts/
- Grannerman, Jenn. 2020. The Introvert’s Complete Guide to Making Friends Who ‘Get’ You https://introvertdear.com/news/introverts-guide-making-friends-get/