Making friends as an introvert can be harder for you because your natural instinct pushes you away from socializing with others. It always seems like it’s a natural thing for other people to do, but for you, it just feels weird and awkward whenever you try to socialize.
It feels that way for most introverts because they try to imitate the ways extroverted people use to socialize and connect with friends.
And it doesn’t work. It’s just not natural to act like somebody you’re not.
In this article, I want to share with you how you can avoid socializing like an extrovert, which doesn’t work for you, and what you can do instead, to be able to connect with new friends.
Why It’s Easy For An Extrovert To Make Friends
Extroverts find it easier to make friends compared to introverts because they can spend a lot of time talking and socializing while remaining energized. Extroverts will find energy and excitement in social interactions while introverts are less likely to remain excited in social gatherings for long periods of time. Introverts will need to return to isolation and safe spaces in order to compensate.
An extrovert will go on for three consecutive days socializing with friends without being exhausted. For you, this will just drain your energy. As an introvert, you need time for yourself.
Introverts also tend to think more. You maybe like to reflect on stuff and find deeper meaning. You also like to rely on yourself to get things done and achieve your goals.
Extroverts aren’t like you. They need to talk to think. Talking allows them to clarify their minds.
Sometimes, an extrovert would tell you something, then take it back a minute later. That’s because they tend to talk about what goes on in their minds, to be able to think about it better.
If you are interested in a subject, you maybe go deeper with them and analyze details. Extroverts tend to get interested in a variety of subjects, that’s why they can relate to more people, and therefore, make friends easily.
How to Get The Friends You Want, while Staying Naturally Introverted
So, if introverts are different, they need to socialize in a different way. Here are some tips you need to keep in mind as you socialize and make friends as an introvert.
Tip #1 – Quality, not quantity
Most networking advice doesn’t work. Especially if it tells you to connect with as many people as you can, and gather a huge pile of business cards or long list of phone numbers.
If you’re an introvert, focus on less people, but connect in a deeper way.
Unlike extroverts who befriend everybody in the room, you can simply select a few people you feel like you can really build a connection with.
Spend more time getting to know those people. If you focus on keeping in touch with 5 to 8 friends, that’s more than enough. Make friends only with the best matches for you.
Tip #2 – Don’t like to talk about yourself? You don’t have to!
—at least, not at first.
Use your ability to focus and ask more precise questions to the people you meet. That will show them that you’re actually interested in them, and encourage them to spend more time with you.
Always share your opinion on what is being discussed, that’s important. But it doesn’t have to be specifically about YOU.
You can do your best to divert the topic into anything else aside from being about you. You can ask about the other person and let them speak, you can talk about any other topics.
Eventually, though, if you want to really build a friendship with others, they’re going to have to know a few things about you too. Make sure you allow it to happen eventually, but you can worry about that later on.
Tip #3 – Give yourself time to breath
Being an introvert, you NEED time for yourself.
If you go out and meet friends twice a week, that’s great. You don’t need to go out everyday. And people can easily get used to the fact that you’re not always around.
You need to have moments of just relaxing, staying at home, and being by yourself as someone who’s an introvert. This is how you can energize yourself for when you’re actually out to socialize.
Your friends will want to spend time with you anyway and understand your reasoning since you’re an introvert.
Tip #4 – Contact your friends
We’ve talked about giving yourself time to breathe, now it’s time to talk about the other end of that line.
You can give yourself time for yourself for sure, but if you’re eager to make friends, you also need to actually take the time to make your presence known.
If you don’t make an effort to have a connection with people, they won’t try harder to get to know you.
You need to know that people have millions of distractions in their lives. It will be SO EASY for them to forget about you if they don’t hear from you for a long period of time.
Don’t take it personally, though. This is a very normal happening. If you’re not showing up every time they meet with friends, they’re not gonna make a huge effort to contact you and make sure you come. at least, not when they’re just starting to know you.
They already have a zillion things they need to remember and they’re not getting around any of that.
So. You need to remind people that you exist by contacting them more often. Make an effort to actually show up every once in a while. Make sure your existence will not be overshadowed by being absent all the time.
Tip #5 – Schedule your hangouts
You can schedule your hangouts so you can mentally prepare when it comes to socializing.
As an introvert, you may feel very uncomfortable with going out on a whim. A lot of people will ask you out on the spot and that makes you nervous. That is a very normal feeling for an introvert. You don’t have to let go of that side of you, for now.
You can make friends as an introvert by planning your schedule accordingly. Plan ahead. Know when you’ll actually go out so you can be prepared for it. That way, socializing is something you will always look forward to instead of something you’ll be afraid of.
Tip #6 – Be yourself
Being genuine with who you are and being authentic as a person is very important if you’re to make friends as an introvert. As mentioned constantly in this article, you don’t need to stop being an introvert for you to make friends.
If being an introvert is who you are, if that’s your skin and no one else’s, you don’t need to shed that off. People will appreciate you more if you’re able to maintain who you are and make an effort to make friends with others at the same time.
In this day and age, nobody will not want to be friends with you just because you’re an introvert. What they will see is how you treat them, how you act around them, and your overall goodness as you socialize with others. People will even be interested in getting to know you if you’re still able to socialize with others even if you’re an introvert.
Tip #7 – Be familiar and comfortable with your hangout places
It will help you out a lot if you’re comfortable with the places you’re going to socialize in. If you like the place you’re in, you’re able to focus on people better.
You can familiarize yourself with the places that are most known for being hotspots. You can see the places for yourself before you even socialize there by visiting the place by yourself first without socializing with anyone at all. You’re just there to check the place out.
If you can see yourself socializing in a place like that, if the crowd is not too overwhelming for you, or if there’s no other factor that may limit you from socializing, then you’re good to go. The place you’re in can be just as important as the socializing itself.
Tip #8 – Don’t let anxiety and shyness control you
Anxiety and shyness are two things that come very strongly to introverted people, especially when it comes to socializing. Though this is something we can consider a constant in your life, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
Yes, you will feel anxious and shy every now and then. Yes, it is normal to feel this way. But should you allow it to control you? Should you just stop socializing altogether because the anxiety and shyness just won’t go away? No!
You can take a lot of measures in order to reduce your anxiety and shyness. If you drink, you can sip a bottle or drink just a little if that can help. If you don’t want to go to a place alone, you can bring a friend. Whatever it is you have to do to ease yourself and to make yourself more comfortable, feel free to do so.
Tip #9 – Keep a friendly personality
Your appearance and attitude are very important if you want to build new friendships and make friends as an introvert. Maintain a friendly personality to a point that it becomes a sort of reputation for you, then good. Making friends will become so much easier after that.
Having a reputation of someone who’s friendly will not really make people go after you, but it will make approaching them so much easier. If they know you’re friendly, or if you appear friendly, they will not feel guarded or shy to be approached by you.
Your conversations will be smoother, they’ll understand your other less appealing flaws because your friendliness makes up for it, and actually building a strong friendship can be done faster.
You can have a friendly personality as an introverted by not being a snob, which unfortunately, a lot of people seem to misunderstand about introverts. You don’t necessarily have to greet every single person you meet. Just do things like nodding and smiling back if someone meets your eyes. If someone greets you, you can return the courtesy by greeting them back.
You can appear friendly and approachable just by doing something like this. If you’re comfortable with it, make sure you do it as much as you can.
Tip #10 – Manage your expectations
You need to understand that not everyone you’ll approach will end up being your good friend at this point. As an introvert, you will not make it a point to interact with everybody. That means you’ll handpick your interactions. When those interactions don’t end up leading to a friendship, it can be very frustrating.
Make sure you realize before going in that things like this are bound to happen in the world of socializing. Don’t let something like this get you down and turn you off to the idea of making friends as an introvert.
You might begin to think things like “Oh I wish I was just an extrovert then maybe I won’t be rejected”. This just isn’t true and it will not help your case. Not only introverts experience this. Extroverts get rejected too, maybe more considering they speak to more people.
You just have to push on and move on to the next interaction if you do end up getting rejected. Better yet, use them as lessons learned. Maybe you did something wrong? Maybe you said something you shouldn’t have said. Just see every rejection as opportunities to learn from and you’ll be able to socialize better in the future.
Tip #11 – Make use of social media
Thanks to modern technology, you don’t even have to go out all the time in order to make friends. More and more people have turned to the world wide web in hopes of building connections, and they were able to do just that. If they’re able to do it, so can you!
There are a lot of social media sites out there that were intended for socializing. Facebook is perhaps the most popular right now, but that’s only that tip of the iceberg.
You can join forums where you’ll be able to chat with a group of people, you can join groups for people of specific interests, and so on and so forth.
Take note, though, with many of these interactions, chatting online will just be your initial interaction. Chances are, you’ll get the chance to meet some of the people you chat with online. If you feel like you’ve made a connection and a genuine friendship with someone on the internet, make sure you’re open to the idea of meeting them in person.
All you have to do is sign up to a couple of websites, or maybe even just one, and start finding people like you. You can literally socialize with strangers in the comforts of your own home.
Tip #12 – Know that you’ll get better with practice
Finally and most importantly, you have to know that you will eventually get better and better. All you have to do is to keep on practicing. Study, study, and study even more, then apply it in real life.
Eventually, making friends as an introvert will come so naturally to you. You will never feel the need to act like somebody you’re not. You’ll never be disappointed if someone rejects you. Maybe you’ll even embrace your introversion even more. Whatever the case, you will become so much better at building friendships with others in time through constant studying and practicing.
You can also ask for help from other friends. Ask them on tips on how to socialize, how to approach people, how they approach others, etc. There’s always no shame in asking. Better yet, if you have a friend who’s really extroverted, ask them for advice. Not on how to be extroverted, but on how they’re able to catch people’s attention.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Those are lessons too. Considering them part of your “training process” and instead of feeling down, use them as motivations to be better next time. Embrace and learn from your mistakes and you’ll come out as a better person in the long run.
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