How do introverts make new friends?
The answer to this question can be widely applied to people in general… not just introverts. It comes down to demonstrating something about yourself that other people want to be around. Why do attractive people, or rich and famous people not have any problem with people wanting to be around them? (Wanting to be around them is VERY different than How to make friends). A pretty girl for example has no shortage of people wanting to be around her… Why? Because of her looks. She is demonstrating something that people want to be around. And just because someone is attractive does NOT mean that they are moral people, or ethical, or not an asshole. Attractive people might be attractive but that gets old very quickly if they are horrible to be around… and some are!
So what kinds of things can you demonstrate to cause people to want to be around you? From my experience teaching high school… The kids who had plenty of friends were fun to be around. (Fun for their classmates to be around… I didn’t hang out with them)
Introverts are introverts for a variety of reasons… but lots of times they are stuck in their own heads… That may be a sign of intelligence but it is also a sign of……………..
An introvert MUST get out of their head and get into conversations with people. That’s it in a nutshell. They don’t have many conversations with people either because people annoy them or bc they struggle to think of something to say to get a conversation going and are putting too much importance on the words used to open the conversation. And from an brutally honest perspective… A person will maybe spend 2 seconds on the conversation opener and then they are at a loss for what to say next, and what to say after that, and what to say after that, and what to say after that…
The first step in an introvert’s development should always be to get past the opener and continue into a more detailed conversation. A conversation could be a long windy and sometimes dangerous journey but the introvert never usually even gets through the door of their home because there are so many details to take care of first when really they just need to get “out of the house” so to speak and get started on the journey and worry about the dishes, and vacuuming, and turning off the lights, and tidying the bookshelf, and watering the lawn, and turning off the lights, and doing laundry, and feeding the fish, and weeding the garden when they get back.
And that means that you must follow your feet and move towards someone if you are at a public place like a bar or club. Make very short conversations with the mailman, the gas jockey, the security guard, the stranger holding the door open for you at the mall, the person working behind the counter.
The more you open your mouth without planning what to say ahead of time, the better you will get at it.
The social kids in my classes almost couldn’t keep their mouths closed… they got enjoyment from talking bc they inherently understood that they got their needs met by talking… perhaps because they subliminally knew that they were being heard… and if they weren’t heard, they didn’t blame themselves like introverts tend to do… or think that someone was ignoring them… as introverts also tend to do… they just spoke again, or louder, or said something different.
That’s another thing introverts could do better at… talking louder. They are usually uncomfortable hearing their own voices and are usually uncomfortable with other people overhearing their conversations… They tend to be quite private like that and it is EXACTLY the opposite of the more social kids… They don’t care who overhears them and are quite pleased when everyone hears them. They like the attention but introverts shy away from the spotlight… probably because they aren’t used to it. But just because you aren’t comfortable with something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Introverts wish the rest of the world worked like they do and don’t bother anyone and the more social kids haven’t even thought about the possibility that they are annoying anyone… they don’t care and are surprised by the notion.
In many ways, as an introvert trying to make friends… you have to do the opposite of what your first instinct is to do. If you walk into a room filled with people standing in groups talking to each other… What is your first instinct? Probably to turn around and run back out the door. DON’T! If your first instinct is wrong and you keep doing it… you are going to get more of what you already have. If you were running a class on how to be an introvert you would probably teach your students to sit down at a table or chair off to the side where there was no one close by and get on your phone to scroll the internet or watch Tik Tok videos.
But if you DON’T listen to your first instinct bc you are trying to get better at making friends then your reaction to entering the room should be to walk up to a group of people and interrupt them, stick your hand out towards someone and introduce yourself… politely or not… that part is up to you but sometimes those groups of people are looking for an excuse to change topics or they just naturally flow with the change in conversation or now become interested in the new shiny thing… which is you.
If you remember nothing else from this post… Do the opposite of what your first instinct tells you to do!