Introverts are commonly portrayed as loners, individuals who prefer to ‘ride solo’.
However this is not necessarily the whole truth. While introverts enjoy solitude, they also crave to form meaningful friendships. They do like people (just not in big groups) and would love to get to know them. Unfortunately, introverts grow up feeling different, as if something is wrong with them. Thus, they wrongly believe that a ‘misfit’ does not have what it takes to approach people and talk to them. Finding friends seems like an incredibly difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be so. Here are some ways you can make friends as an introvert.
Be a friend
Introverts are usually underestimated by society, consequently they lack social confidence and at times, social skills. Normally, they wait for others (mainly extroverts) to approach them first. They don’t even consider making the first step. It does take courage to put yourself out there but it is not as scary as it sounds. The world will not end if the person you tried to engage conversation with disregards you completely. You can always wait for people to come and offer their friendship yet chances are you might end up lonely. In order not to let that happen, you need to take some action. As a saying goes “to make friends, be a friend!” Simple as it sounds, it is actually profound in meaning. Be friendly and see how naturally people will be drawn to you!
One on one
A lot of interaction with humans will drain your social batteries, okay we got that. The best way to escape social exhaustion is if you start small. One friend at a time. Or one friend only. Either way the best solution would be to stay with only one other person. It will be less pressure and you don’t have to divide your attention to multiple people. You will have to listen only to one person and that is ideal. This way the connection will also be deeper. Therefore, wherever you are, school, work or a family event, find one other person and the two of you can withdraw from the bigger group. It is pleasant to have some other company other than being by yourself.
Introverts are known to prefer staying inside and enjoying the comfort of their rooms. Well, you don’t need to leave your haven, you just need internet access. In general, introverts spend a lot of time online, so why not use this time to find some potential friends along the road. It is an effective way as the virtual world gives introverts the opportunity to fully express themselves. This personality type usually need time to process their thoughts before saying them and can do this best in writing. Quiet in reality, introverts are active on social media feeling freer in sharing their thoughts. By joining different groups related to their interests, they will stumble upon kindred spirits. One comment to the other, they will find each other immersed in the conversation while chatting for hours. After spending some time to know one another, online friends often decide to meet in the real world.
There are plenty of cases when people are loners in elementary school and high school while they gain some kind of popularity in college. During childhood and your teenage years you are stuck with people who might be the complete opposite of you, and you have to spend half the day with them. Bummer, we get it! You may have tried to join their circle but got rejected. Kids can be mean. It takes time but don’t get discouraged. Once you get to college, you will be surrounded by like-minded people. At this point you will also start to be aware not only of the world but your own self. You know who you are and who you want to be acquainted with. If you have classes with people who have the same opinions with you, normally your curiosity will be aroused and starting a conversation will stop feeling like a burden. Instead of making conscious efforts to get to know someone, you’ll genuinely want to hang around that person and explore their mind. If you talk to them in lectures, you can even skip the annoying small talk and ask them some more important question directly. You can discuss about your field of study, as it is something both of you care about. Thus, without even realizing you’ll find yourself among friends.
We already said that people who share common interests make the best of friends. So what better way than to join a club or two? Firstly, you need to find your passion, your calling, and later on to pursue it. Numerous introverts enjoy reading as it is a solitary activity. Find a book club, or start one yourself, and attend their meetings. The idea of talking to strangers is still scary, yet remember you will get to share your thoughts about books and fictional characters. Or it can be any other club you can be part of. Remember if it is something that makes you happy, you will certainly want to share it with someone, especially with people who share your idea of happiness.
All in all, it is not impossible to make friends. You can find people who understand and befriend them. However the crucial thing is to be friends with yourself first. Only after maintaining a healthy relationship with your own self, will you succeed in relationships with others.