Being an introvert is awesome. I mean, how convenient is it to be able to have the best time in the comfort of your own home with your own company? However, you may feel isolated at times. Without a few trustworthy, close friends to confide in, you may miss out on key benefits of socialization. It’s important to note that introverts and extroverts both share very similar characteristics, including the need for socialization, because we are all humans! The key difference lies in how each charges their “social batteries.” Introverts recharge by spending time alone while extroverts recharge by interacting with others. Finding trustworthy friends is hard in and of itself, and it’s even harder as a solitude-loving introvert. With that said, here are some tips on how to make friends as an introvert.
1 — Quality Over Quantity
According to a 2015 study published on PubMed Central, high-quality relationships seem to be most beneficial to both parties. You might find it difficult to make small talk with acquaintances or initiate conversations with strangers just for the sake of talking. The truth is, you don’t need to do any of that! At the end of the day, you may only need a few people in your life to keep you happy and socially satisfied. It can be draining to make everyone happy, and attempting to build artificial relationships that end in a few weeks is just not worth it. Try forming a deeper connection with those you are already comfortable with; high-quality relationships will really benefit your general wellbeing and happiness.
2 — Know What You’re Good At
Everyone has different sets of strengths and weaknesses when it comes to socialization. Some are great listeners, while others enjoy frequently voicing their opinions. Some enjoy large parties, while others feel at ease hanging out with small groups. Take some time to reflect on what you are good at and utilize them while interacting with others. Not only will you feel more comfortable being your usual, familiar self, but your confidence will also be reflected through your actions, filling the room with positive energy. Socialization in and of itself may already be really daunting, so this may not be the best time to portray yourself in a different way than you usually do. Your traits and strengths may resonate with those of another fellow introvert, or they could nicely complement those of an extrovert or ambivert.
3 — Create More Opportunities for Yourself
It doesn’t hurt to get more involved in what’s already happening around you. Maybe it’s lingering one extra minute to talk to the barista at the coffee shop you usually visit. Perhaps it’s saying “yes” to that picnic your coworker invited you to. Or maybe it’s even saying more than “I’m fine, thanks,” to someone’s inquiry about your day and instead sharing your latest passions and projects. Though it may seem like the only way to gain opportunities is to completely break out of your routines, many hidden gems may be revealed through minuscule adjustments and a curious mindset. To be honest, everyone may enjoy the company of another person, but not everyone is willing to be the initiator. As soon as you take the first step, you will realize how simple and easy it is to make friends.
4 — Ask Questions During Conversations
You may be familiar with worries like: “What if the conversation becomes awkward?” or “What can we possibly talk about to make the conversation interesting?” or “There’s nothing exciting about me, how can I contribute to this conversation?” Talking about oneself can be what many introverts dread, however, this sheds light on one of their greatest strengths: being a thoughtful listener. By intently listening to your friend and occasionally posing questions, you ensure that the spotlight isn’t always on you, and that may make you feel a lot more comfortable. Try asking questions like: “What’s new in your life?” or “Well, what is your opinion on…” The other party will feel understood and respected, since those questions will signal that you care about them as a person.
5 — Patience is Key
True friendships and deep connections do require effort. It’s likely that you’ll encounter all sorts of people in your life; you don’t have to connect with every single one of them. Personalities, values, and traits conflict, and that’s just the natural way of societal functioning. If you feel deeply connected with someone, feel free to reach out often and communicate that you want to get to know them better. If you’ve already made an effort to connect with a person but never hear anything back, then don’t be afraid to simply move on. Finding your true, best friends is a process of trial and error. However, as long as you make an effort to find them, they will show up and fill your life with joy and wholesomeness.
6 — Get Into a Routine
Let’s say making friends is easy. Things aren’t done yet; maintaining the relationships might also be difficult. It’s simple to add someone’s number or social media and call it a day. As advanced as technology is, the connection always feels different when you meet and spend time with them face to face. To truly learn about a person, try to constantly arrange events with them. It can be as simple as going to the park for a walk or getting food together. Also, try not to worry about what to say or what topics to discuss when you meet; the physical presence of each together in and of itself can strengthen bonds.
Please don’t feel upset about having a lack of friends. Not everyone needs daily socialization in order to live a fulfilling, happy life. Extroversion as a “golden standard” is also something that society has conditioned people to believe; introverts are equally cool and unique in their own ways. The bottom line is, stick with whatever makes you comfortable and confident. However, if you do feel isolated at times and crave companionship, try creating opportunities for yourself by making micro-adjustments in your actions — those opportunities are out there, waiting for you!
Granneman, Jenn. “The Introvert’s Complete Guide to Making Friends Who ‘Get’ You.” IntrovertDear.com, 7 Aug. 2020, introvertdear.com/news/introverts-guide-making-friends-get/.
Person. “How to Make Friends as an Introvert: 10 Tips.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 11 Dec. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/how-to-make-friends-as-an-introvert.
“How to Make Friends If You’re an Introvert.” 16Personalities, www.16personalities.com/articles/how-to-make-friends-if-youre-an-introvert.
Cabello, Rosario, and Pablo Fernandez-Berrocal. “Under which conditions can introverts achieve happiness? Mediation and moderation effects of the quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability on happiness.” PeerJ vol. 3 e1300. 8 Oct. 2015, doi:10.7717/peerj.1300