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7 Ways To Make Friends As An Introvert

7 Ways To Make Friends As An Introvert

The feeling of loneliness can be a painful reality for some introverts.

Introverts value time, space and energy. Making “friends” as an introvert can feel like another thing to-do. There are several ways to make this “challenge” interesting, and even more adventurous. Below are some ways to make friends as an introvert, and maintain control of your environment without losing your energy.

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1. Start a meetup group

Take the initiative and create your own community. Starting your own community gives you the chance to “hand-pick” the people you want in your circle. Carefully crafted, meetup.com gives you access to a wealth of new social connections without being stuck in somebody else’s group. Choose a hobby or interest you love, create an event, and cap it at 5, 10 or even 20 people. Find a number that makes you feel comfortable. Be sure to include questions for new members to answer and require that each person display their photo for approval. As the group leader, you are in charge of picking events you’d naturally enjoy.

2. Go to lectures

Lectures are a major draw for introverts. You can sit and listen to big ideas and concepts. You can look around the room, observe the curiosity of others, and simply enjoy a close-ended experience. There’s plenty of time to ask questions in an orderly fashion, and pinpoint others you’d like to get to know. Afterwards, it gives you an opportunity to strike up a conversation or engage with a group of people.

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3. Go walking or jogging at the same time everyday

There’s something about taking a walk on a quiet morning and seeing other members of your community in their daily routines. You see familiar faces if you follow the same route. This provides a sense of security and comfort. As an active member of a running or walking group, you easily meet others with the same fitness goals. These types of activities have a clear start and end time, and everyone has something in common to discuss. If you don’t want to talk after a while, you can always change your pace without disappearing.

4. Take a cooking class

Who doesn’t love to talk about food? Cooking classes are a place to indulge, make mistakes and be silly. Letting go of control is challenging as an introvert. However, that is the point. After 2 hours of watching others flub the beef stew, conversation at the sit-down meal is more fun and just flows.

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5. Enjoy being alone when you go out

Most people have experienced the random questions about time, directions, etc. when out alone. To make friends as an introvert, answer these questions with eye contact, and give details if necessary. It’s great practice for talking to strangers, and maybe making a new friend.

6. Have a drink at a hotel bar

Head to the local hotel bar, and meet out of towners who will talk to you just out of curiosity. Do it right, and you may even get a free drink in exchange for tips on the best sights and sounds they can check out.

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7. Find a cafe, bar, beach, park, or bench that is “yours”.

It should be close to home, and take minimal effort. Visit it often, same time, same place. It will take about 3-4 visits until you appear as a regular to the staff, and about two to feel comfortable if you’re an introvert. Normally, after a first visit anywhere, introverts are more relaxed, and “know” the place. It certainly doesn’t take long!

These tips will give you a sense of empowerment as you make friends as an introvert, and create new social connections that can enhance your life.  Don’t be surprised if you attract other introverts as your new friends, too.

Featured photo credit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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