An introvert’s guide to making friends
My how to be friends with an introvert post resonated with many, probably because we know we can be confusing to the extroverts among us. Introverts don’t typically need or want dozens of friends; we’d often rather have a small circle of true friends. We tend to hang onto loyal friends, sometimes our whole lives long. But it can be hard for us introverts to make new friendships — so what happens when life puts us in a new town, a new job, a new church, or simply in a new season of life?
Our struggle to make friends isn’t because of shyness; not all introverts are shy! It’s mostly because we engage the world a bit differently than our extroverted friends, and our society tends to be geared towards the extroverts among us.
So, from one introvert to another, a few tips on how to make friends:
Comfort zone are cozy but you’re unlikely to make friends there. Consider joining a club to meet people with similar interests. Perhaps a book club, a Bible study group, an art class, a photography club, a fitness class/group… The same suggestion goes for students in a new school. Or if you have teeny kids and very little adult conversation, maybe a mommy-and-me class is worth a try.
Talk to people you don’t know: your new neighbors or co-workers, some of the folks in your new group/club, or the other moms at the playground. You might hit it off with someone you wouldn’t expect, so keep an open mind.
It’s scary to open up to someone who hasn’t yet earned your trust, but it’s the only way friendships can ever develop depth. Obviously, use caution with what you share; your deepest darkest secrets are not appropriate to share with new acquaintances, but if you choose to stick with superficial conversation, that’s all you’ll ever have. But keep in mind that friendships don’t all have to be incredibly deep; sometimes simply having another mom to chat with while the kids play, or a co-worker to lunch with occasionally, may be exactly what you need at a particular stage of life.
Even if you get out there and talk to people, you simply won’t “click” with everyone you meet. It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. At the very least, you’ve likely had some interesting conversations and experiences.
Remember: this is a worthwhile endeavor!
“It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.” – Zora Neale Hurston
–> Introverts, when was a time in your life you had to do this, and what other tips do you have for forming new friendships?