Why Introverts Don’t Really Hate Socializing and Making Friends As An Adult, Even When You’re Scared

Welcome to edition #20 of our news series, where we share with you the latest resources we’ve found on social skills, making friends, and more. In this edition, we’ll shatter the myth that introverts hate socializing and discusses how making friends as an adult is scary but why you do it anyway. Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss any future editions!

Introverts Do Like Socializing… Just Not In The Traditional Way

introverts and small talk

Many introverts prefer to be alone sometimes over going to parties and events. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t want friends! The truth is, introverts crave connections, too… but despise shallow socializing and small talk.

This article points out the difference, and gives insightful tips on how introverts can stretch beyond their comfort zone to gain quality, meaningful friendships that last. Like anything in life, it takes balance. Some days the anxiety wins; other days leaving your safe haven pays off, even if it means enduring some shallow small talk to get the end goal of meeting a like-minded friend.

Paul’s commentary:

If you’re an introvert, I wouldn’t encourage you to make small talk even when you don’t feel like it. I would however tell you to learn and practice it at least.

I get it, you prefer close friends with whom you have a more meaningful connection. But… when you’re meeting new people, how do you know they’re *your kind of people*? Well, you gotta make some small talk, discuss many subjects quickly, so you can *quickly* figure out if there is potential for a deeper conversation.

Once you find those special things in common you have with the other person, you can dive deeper and enjoy discussing those subjects in more detail.

If you’re an introvert, then you probably have a particular taste in socializing. You want to do it less often than the most extroverted, and you want more meaningful connections.

The way you achieve that is to get good at making friends. If you’re not, the few times you will be out socializing won’t be enough for you to connect with the right friends. So get the right social skills, so you can seize the few (fewer?) opportunities you have.

Making Friends as an Adult is Scary – Here’s How To Do It Anyway

making adult friends

credit: Jonas Husballe Norman

Sometimes making new friends as an adult, especially when relocating to a new city, can be scary. It can mean walking the fine line between social media interactions and real life meet ups. It can also mean pushing through obligatory events that don’t exactly delight you, somtimes.

Friendships have been proven to be vital not only to our mental state but to our health. Having close friends has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, decrease your risk of depression, promote a sense of belonging and lower the heart rate, as well as reducing cholesterol and decreasing blood pressure.

This Telegraph article follows the year-long efforts of a journalist and author, Helen Russell, who moved to rural Denmark from London, and how she struggled to create adult friendships. It offers a fabulous checklist on overcoming the myth that ‘everyone has all the friends they need by now,’ and shows a great technique called “Yes, and…” to distract yourself from fear and make true connections.

Paul’s commentary:

Hellen went through many ups and downs, after moving to Denmark. And what makes her story interesting is that she was definitely not a quitter. She stuck to figuring out how to meet and make friends in the new world she was entering.

One harsh discovery for her was one women she thought would definitely be a great friend-fit for her. She later discovered that that woman already had enough friends and wasn’t really interested. It’s quite disappointing and potentially heart-breaking to get your hopes up for a potential friendship, only to discover later that it’s never going to happen.

This is why I say… don’t just assume that, because you think you’ve hit it off with someone, they’re gonna be your friend. Make sure they, too, are open to new friendships and have space for you in their lives.

The State of Modern Adulthood Friendship

Mostly, Helen is describing the classic case of the “surprise” of realizing that “Hey! I didn’t know that making friends as a grown up would be this hard…”

It happens to millions of people, be it those fresh out of college, new moms, or those who just moved. It happens to all of us.

One important thing to realize is that you’re not the only one struggling, many people (wherever you are) are in the same boat: adults, busy, tired, and would love some new friends to enjoy life with. As adults, we spend most of our active time working. The rest of the time, we spend it resting, taking care of our homes. There isn’t enough time.

But, with the right skills, you can fill that little time that you do have for socializing, with great friends. It takes some practice, but it’s well worth it.

The right skills are all about knowing how to find friends, how to carry out conversations with anyone (so you can figure out who’s right for you),… it’s about making sure they too want friends, and about how to carry that potential friendship to the point of “casual friends.” And it’s about how to turn some of your casual friends into “close friends” with whom you spend more time, share more personal information, and connect on a more meaningful level.

Those are necessary skills for any adult; introvert or not. It took me years to figure them out for myself, and now, as you may know already, I’m sharing them with you, through the Get The Friends You Want eBook, and the Advanced Social Skills Training.

– Paul Sanders

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