Making friends and maintaining them are some of the challenges faced by introverts. However, with the right resources and orientation, one can harness their introvertive nature into a friend-attracting superpower.
Do you ever find yourself wondering if there was some sort of friend-repellant attached to your personality? If you answered yes to that, you are not alone!
Difficulty making friends is common among a percentage of the population described as introverts. While other factors like social status, looks, reputation, temperament and environment vastly influence one’s chances of making friends, introversion and extroversion are two major players on this boat.
INTROVERT VS EXTROVERT
Before you get stuck trying to figure out how being an introvert or extrovert may be affecting your social life, it helps to discern the meaning of both terms and how they apply to you.
Introversion is the tendency to be quiet, reserved and thoughtful, while extroverts are more outgoing, sociable and optimistic.
These terms are two extremes in the human personality theory. Thanks to their outgoing personality, extroverts find it easy to socialize and are often the life of the party. This in turn attracts people to them even without lifting a finger.
The reverse is the case for introverts, gradually plunging them into a sea of loneliness. This is not to say that one personality outweighs the other, as each trait has its perks. Hence, while an introvert may seem like a social-failure, they excel in other spheres of life like career and creative thinking.
The good news is even a chronic introvert can work around their innate anti-social nature and make more friends without feeling trapped. Keep reading to discover ten trusted and fun ways to make friends easily as an introvert.
1. GET RID OF THE LABELS
In an ideal world, there are no such things as introverts and extroverts. Those are simply terms used to qualify certain behavioral patterns, with each individual having a mix of both, albeit minutely.
Hence, rather than considering yourself an introvert, address the factors linking you to that trait, and work on them singly. In the end, what one considers their introvert nature might just be plain old shyness or fear stopping them from making the first leap.
That said, never underestimate the social damage posed by the “fear of what others may think.” It just might be the bridge standing between you and your dream social life!
2. PUT ON THE ARMOR OF LEADERSHIP
No, this is not about the protective gear used in warcraft. Lol. In this case, anything that makes you bold enough to make your own friends and gradually build your preferred social circle could suffice as leadership armor. Just make sure it’s reinforced. You’d need it.
This could be as easy as letting go of the shyness, overcoming the fear of rejection and adopting more confidence. Once that is accomplished, go all out to hand-pick people with similar interests you’d like to become friends with and make a mental note.
Then approach each person on that list and strike up a conversation with them yourself! If indeed you have shared interests, both parties would hit it off immediately!
Follow up by inviting them for a hangout you organized. Repeat those meetups at your own pace, create an online group chat to carry everyone along, and watch yourself become the queen bee of your new clique.
3. HAVE THOSE CONVERSATION STARTERS HANDY
Introverts may find themselves weary of socializing, or simply at a loss of how to go about it due to their reserved nature. The resulting awkwardness can be easily avoidable by using a simple trick.
If you find yourself next to a potential friend, throw in a conversation starter or two, and chances are they would reply positively. Mastering the use of conversation starters makes you seem more open, friendly and accommodating. Pairing that card with a smile, you are unstoppable!
The beauty about this is if done rightly, the conversation would flow naturally thereon, leaving the other person reluctant to walk away without fixing another meetup.
4. MAKE INTROVERSION YOUR SUPERPOWER
As an introvert, you have more to offer emotionally and intellectually than a typical extrovert or ambivert. Make those perks your secret weapon for swiping the heart of a potential friend.
Introverts are mostly amazing listeners, the best advisers, confidants, empathetic and pay keen attention to details. Coincidentally, those are qualities everyone secretly wants in a friend underneath their thirst for fun. Play to those strengths and you’d have a better chance of keeping friends glued to you.
5. LIVE IN THE MOMENT
While you’d rather be indoors reading a book than attending a colleague’s birthday party, it doesn’t hurt to flow with the tides this once. It might prove difficult to get the hang of the whole fun fest, but exercising some discipline is key.
Set a goal of meeting at least one new person before the party ends, and make that your motivation to become more involved. Be sure to catch fun while at it!
It does not have to be a party. Going out of your way to get involved in charity events, group meetups, social gatherings or volunteering at the local shelter increases one’s chances of hitting it off with a potential friend. Appearing interested and invested in any chosen activity makes an introvert more approachable. Why not give it a go?
6. KEEP THE QUESTIONS COMING
Asking questions works wonders like those conversation starters. The trick is making the other party feel you are genuinely interested in them. Dish out questions that prompt the potential friend to talk about themselves, their interests, career and experiences, while you listen.
That serves to make the process a two-way conversation, kill the awkwardness and satisfies an introvert’s curious tendencies.
7. ENSURE THE OTHER PARTY IS INTERESTED
Not everyone is bold, or in this case, mean enough to outrightly reject an offer of friendship. Hence, the importance of observing the other party’s body language during a conversation.
Body language is a trusted means of gauging a person’s interest in a friendship. If the person seems more interested in their phone than in the conversation, perhaps it’s time to take a step back.
Other signs to look out for include the frequency of the other party’s responses, their willingness to fix another meeting or exchange contact information, their contributions to the conversation flow among others.
8. SAY MORE WITH LESS
It’s okay if conversations do not work for you as an introvert. You don’t have to beat yourself up for being you. Instead of racking the brain constantly for potential line-fillers just to keep the conversation momentum on overdrive, Do YOU!
Tapping into your sensitive side as an introvert makes you more relatable. Saying only a few words or stories that are relatable is more effective in creating a rapport than throwing in a truckload of humorous stories.
That said, do away with the misconception that only witty and outgoing people have chances of making friends and building a social circle.
9. STAY IN TOUCH
After managing to make new acquaintances by following these tips, staying in touch with them is what actually sustains the friendship. Constantly call or text to check up on friends and share some of your experiences.
Meeting up routinely is also a friendship booster, as it helps you forge a deeper connection with your new circle.
10. BE PATIENT
What if it doesn’t work out? No matter how many times this question pops up in your quest for friendship, discard it and forge ahead. Remember that friendship can not be rushed especially if sustainability is desired.
Therefore, if the process seems awkward and tiring at first, with several rejections and unrequited interests, just be patient. Repeat the cycle no matter how many trials it takes to earn the desired result. It gets easier with constant practice until it subconsciously becomes a way of life.
Still, believe making friends is not your personality? Feel free to at least make it into a sustainable culture that would change your social life forever!