How to make friends as an introvert is always a problem for introverted persons at some point in their lives. Here are some steps that make it easy to make quality friends.
Introverts are very comfortable in their own company and do not find the need to be around people, especially people who do not add value.
They also make good friends as they are loyal and have deep connections with whomever they have as friends. They believe quality is better than quantity when it comes to friendship.
Read how to know if you are an introvert.
However, there are times in the life of an introvert when the need to connect and make more friends arises and they cannot ignore this fact if they want to grow in their career or business.
In this post, you will learn how you can make not just friends, but quality friends person and also how to make friends as an introvert with social anxiety.
How to make friends as an introvert
Below are the ways an introvert can make friends without losing his identity or giving away too much of himself.
1. Know why you want to make friends
An extrovert can naturally make friends without making much effort, but that cannot be said of the introvert.
The introverted person trying to make friends should first know and evaluate the reasons why they need friendship.
You don’t want to go on a friendship spree and go against your nature because people chide you on being a loner or keeping to yourself while you are comfortable with it.
Related: How To Tap Into Your Intuition With Simple Tips
There are many reasons you might want to make friends and they should be genuine and confident enough.
It could be to make more connections for business opportunities, it could be you are ready to step out of your comfort zone to explore to see what it is like.
It could be for any reason that makes you fulfilled. Knowing the reason for the friendship is the first step on how to make friends as an introvert.
2. Quality friendship over quantity
Some people say “the fewer friends you keep, the less shit you have to deal with.”
This is true when one makes friends with anybody who is willing to be friends without having a standard, you have a lot of garbage to deal with.
It is believed that quality relationships give the most desirable benefits. The introvert already is keen on making quality friendships and has a way of filtering out friendships that don’t add value even before they take root.
Stepping out on how to make friends as an introvert, you should know who would make quality friends and who would constitute a problem for you.
3. One friend at a time
As someone who is not used to making friends with a group of people, or having a clique, you should start by making friends one at a time.
It takes a long time to be able to be prepared and sure someone would make a good quality friend.
You don’t want to go making friends here and there and end up being confused and inviting troubles into your life.
Cliques are made up of different kinds of people including those who might not be what you need.
Having one friend at a time is easier and less draining than going with a clique or crowd of friends you find difficult to know in the long run.
Also, there are people who have mixed qualities – both good qualities and ones you might not desire. The key is to know what works for you.
4. Find people in your interest area
It is good to find friends in your areas of interest as this would provide you with familiar topics to talk about which should be the platform for the friendship.
Friendship is not built on nothingness. Something must be the object of interest, either business, similar interests, same skills etc.
Though people can find quality friendships across areas of interest, for someone starting out, you have a strong footing when you have similar interests with your prospective friends.
There are many online platforms where one can find prospective friends who share similar hobbies by going through their profiles.
They don’t have to be introverts, having similar hobbies provides a familiar platform to have something to talk about, and that’s how friendships are built.
Here some activities introverts love doing:
- Creative art
Finding these communities online would be a great step in finding friends with similar interests.
However, it is always good to branch out carefully if you don’t find fulfillment in your areas of interest.
Focusing only on people in your interest areas might give you a limited scope of life and the world entirely.
5. Know your strengths and amplify them
Everybody has got areas where they shine brightest. These are the traits you are good and can appeal to people.
It could be:
- Deep knowledge of issues
- Good listening skills
These are traits that are capable of drawing attention to you.
Capitalize on them and let them put you in the spotlight. People who are considering how to make friends as introverts should be comfortable being in the spotlight.
That’s how people would find you likable and drawn to you. Know your strengths, capitalize on them and you have people drawn to you whom you can filter from.
6. Know that friendship needs commitment from you
Friendship is not something you do and you go to sleep. It needs efforts from both parties to make a friendship work.
I remember making friends who always tell me I don’t call, check up on them, and show that I value them.
They complained they were always the ones reaching out for me, and according to them, it felt like they were forcing themselves on me.
As an introvert, I knew exactly what they were right, and that was because I didn’t actually was ready to put all of the energy required into servicing friendships.
I however changed and became a good friend to them because they were worth it and I was sure I was on the right path.
Knowing that you are going to put energy and time into servicing friendships at the onset would save you complaints and contempt from your friends.
7. Participate in activities around you
When thinking about how to make friends as an introvert, you should consider participating in activities in your comfort zone or around you.
You could join in watching a game in the neighbourhood or join them in the table tennis game across the street.
These would provide an opportunity to interact with people and get noticed. The good thing is you have control on how far you go with each conversation while gauging if it’s best for you.
Also taking greetings further by taking interest in people and asking what they do and other questions that would get them talking about themselves is in good taste.
8. Don’t change your identity but behaviour
Learning how to make friends as an introvert should not be a reason to change your identity.
Your identity is who you are and your behaviours are the way you see the world and your reaction towards such.
You can be same person while reacting differently to situations. You can be an introvert and have quality friendships with people that can benefit you and others.
The key to not allowing friends to affect your identity is to always be firm in the things you want and not be swayed by the whims of others.
Emotional intelligence becomes handy in knowing how to smoothly make your friends understand without hurting them.
For instance, if you like to be at home by 8:00pm, make it clear to the people you are with so they know so they don’t feel offended when you insist you are leaving when it’s 8:00pm.
When you are consistent enough, it becomes entrenched in your friendship with them and they don’t need to bother.
9. Patience is key
On your journey on making friends as an introvert, you will be faced with weird behaviours by people and you would see you miscalculated people’s behaviours.
People would change without any reason and you would be dazed by others who put up unanticipated attitudes that never were likely.
However, patience is what would keep you going. The numerous experiences would make you more competent in social awareness.
It could be disheartening that you decided to come out of your shell to make friends as an introvert and you are disappointed with wasted efforts.
Sometimes you are rejected and you regret ever making the move, but these would enrich your social life and you have more experience on how people behave on the social scene and inform your next moves.
10. The more chances you take, the more likely you are to succeed
When you begin to mix with people while being cautious, you begin to relax around people without giving too much away.
Not everyone you desire to be friends with might be willing to extend same gesture just as described above.
And that should not strip you of your confidence. Knowing that this is part of the game would make you more confident.
The soft rule is, ‘the more people you meet, the more likely you will meet your type of friend’.
It’s a number game and that means you should meet more people or position yourself in situations more people would discover your attractive traits.
11. Position yourself for extroverts to find you
Extroverts are the opposite of introverts. Just as introverts find it difficult to approach people or even when people approach them, extroverts derive fun and energy from approaching others.
The key thing here is to be approachable and receptive. Sometimes we introverts don’t know the messages we send out through our facial expressions, body language, and postures.
In our hearts of hearts, we might be screaming ‘please talk to me’, while our facial expressions are saying otherwise.
While we want people to approach us, we should show interest in our eye contact and facial expressions like smiling and putting on a bright face.
How to make friends as an introvert with social anxiety
Introverts sometimes find it difficult to mix up and make friends, even though it’s in their nature to enjoy their own company, but introverts with social anxiety are something else.
Introverts who have social anxiety worry a lot about activities that have to do with meeting strangers, starting conversations, working with groups of people, and even shopping and eating in public.
They try to avoid these situations at all costs and this takes a toll on their mental health and social growth.
Social anxiety is bad because it deprives one of their desires to socialize, unlike introverts who are very fine in their solitude.
Some symptoms of social anxiety:
- Fear of people judging you
- Nonexistent thoughts and imagination that make you apprehensive
- Low self-esteem
- Stiffness or rigidity in social scenes
- Loneliness that you don’t enjoy
- Finding it difficult to make eye contacts
- Tensed muscles
Here are some steps to help someone having social anxiety make new friends:
Facing a problem, no matter how daunting is the first step in tackling any problem.
Sitting and complaining in your head would not solve the issue. Deciding to tackle the issue head-on is the most brilliant decision to make.
Here is a screenshot of what someone answered on the topic on Quora.
Accept invitations to social events from trusted people
Attending social events is a way to face the problem of social anxiety. The more you meet people, no matter how awkward your performance in social functions is, keep at it.
One thing with social anxiety is, it’s something that happens in our minds and when we mix up, the anxiety almost immediately gives way.
When you find it too difficult to have a conversation, ask for people’s contact so you can keep in touch
Almost everyone battling anxiety are comfortable with keeping in touch online by chatting.
In fact, chatting is an alternative through which people suffering from social anxiety keep in touch.
Suppress your negative inner voice
There is always a negative inner voice that would tell you negative things about your fears.
When the voice comes, we are apprehensive and all the confidence we must have gathered would crumble.
Suppressing and shutting it down is in good taste because it has nothing good to do with our social situation.
Reach out to a professional
Sometimes your efforts might not yield any results and you don’t have to leave it at that.
It could be a sign of more serious underlying mental health problems. Seeing a professional is in good taste.
Therapists help people who struggle with interpersonal issues including social anxiety in introverts who find it difficult to socialize and make new friends.
Someone like me is very much okay and secure in my independence and solitude and so it’s not a problem for me if I don’t socialize.
I don’t need to take lessons on how to make friends as an introvert.
I do socialize when I see the need and I seize every situation that promises a business opportunity for me.
This shows my introversion is not a problem for me and I have full control of it also, age and experience might play a huge role.
However, feeling lonely and dejected while in your solitude as an introvert is not a good one.
Being introverted is not a flaw or a disorder, and not having friends is not bad either.
But there is a time in your life it might become necessary to increase your connection with people and that is when making friends become handy.
Taking small steps at a time in expanding your social reach will always help.
Make Friends As An Introvert With Social Anxiety
How to Make Friends as an Introvert: 10 Tips – Healthline
The Introvert’s Complete Guide to Making Friends Who ‘Get’ You
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Personal Development Content Creator and an author. I write about life ethics and love to document and share life hacks and experiences of people to help others make good life decisions.
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