How To Make Friends If You're An Introvert (part 1)
Most introverts don’t know how to make friends, and in this world where even extroverts are spending more time behind a screen, socializing is getting tricky. You Need a Plan!
If you’re an introvert, you probably can’t figure out why it’s so easy for others to meet and make friends with new people, while you feel as if there is a wall between you and the fun experiences that others are having. If you like spending time alone doing stuff you love, does it mean you’re not allowed to socialize and have fun with people when you actually want to? Let’s see…
So, What’s Wrong with Introverts?
The answer is simple: Nothing! Introversion is just a way you live your life—it’s neither better, nor worse than extroversion.
Recently, some scientists discovered that there is a correlation between introversion and an area of your brain called the amygdala, and they found out that the more reactive and attentive to details you are, the more likely it is that you’ll behave in an introverted way. Here is what that means: on one hand, you probably notice more stuff, ask yourself a lot of questions, and have a strong curiosity, which is good. On the other hand, you probably get stressed too much around people, especially if you don’t know them that well.
This second fact means that your brain reacts too much to new situations, which stresses you out! Your emotions go wild as if you’re about to get attacked by a group of bears, and that’s the part of you that you need to take care of and improve.
Why Many Introverts End Up Lonely
As we’ve established, introverts detect more social noise (and pressure) than extroverts. If you’re an introvert, then you would avoid social situations because they drain you of energy, as they get your mind racing in trying to process everything. In the meantime, an extrovert would arrive at a busy party and talk and move in a relaxed way as if they knew everybody.
The thing is, most people think that if they want to make friends, they have to go out more and just go where people go to socialize. That’s a good idea, but it doesn’t work for introverts most of the time, which just leads to more isolation, and more avoidance. You might find yourself thinking “I tried to go out to parties, and I made no friends, I just got stressed out and left”, and that leads many people to just give up and stay lonely for a long time.
How to Make Friends in a Way that Suits Your Introverted Nature
Fortunately, there are ways that you can make friends and socialize as an introvert, and here are two of them:
Avoid The “Social Burnout”
Being social doesn’t mean being social all the time, so don’t spend too much time with friends if it feels stressful to you. While extroverts can spend ten days in a row doing nothing but hanging out, you need time to breathe. Give yourself that desperately-needed “me-time” to recharge your batteries, then meet friends when you’re ready—that way you can enjoy both time with friends, and doing what you want do alone.
Reveal the Quiet Leader in You (in a cool way)
When introverts think about how to make friends, many instantly believe that they should make friends with popular, go-out-all-the-time people, but the reality is that you would be much happier with cool, interesting friends that are more low-key, and like to go to quiet environments. Most of these people have no idea how to make friends—I say LEAD them!
What you can do is decide where you like to go out, when, and how often, then start connecting and inviting introverted people that seem interesting and fun to you. This is a mini version of what I call “Build Your Scene”. It’s basically a set of techniques and principles that help you design your social life, and how to invite people to meet you in a way that would make them love to do it, and other introverts are more likely to say yes to your plans, because it will be compatible with their style.
These two mindsets should get you on the right track, and in part two of this article, we’re going to dive into more specific techniques for meeting people and making friends, in a way that is compatible to your introverted nature.
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