Making friends as an introvert can be a minefield of awkward socializing and small talk when you’d rather just be under your covers eating cookie dough and watching your favorite show.
You don’t want to be alone, but you don’t make friends as easily as your extroverted friends who always seem to be the life of the party.
Especially as we become adults and don’t have the automatic friendships that come with school or where we live, it can take double the effort to put ourselves out there.
I am and always have been the world’s biggest introvert.
My own company is perfectly fine for me most of the time, and my best friend is also an introvert so we’re not all up in each other’s space at all times.
But when it comes to making new friends as an introvert, I can struggle.
Here are some of my top tips for introverts making friends so you can expand your social circles while still being yourself.
My Favorite Book for Introverts
After years of reading allll the books on introverts, I’ve happy to say I’ve found the best one no matter whether you are one yourself or want to understand them more.
The book? Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (click here to check it out on Amazon)
Okay, everyone grab their favorite introvert shirt and let’s get going.
1. Invite People Places by Text
If you have someone you want to invite somewhere to do something, you don’t have to do it in person.
Text or Facebook message them to see if you can make plans to go see a movie or go to lunch or something.
Often we feel like when we meet someone new, we have to cement our new friendship then and there, but it’s not true!
Maybe you went to a dinner with a group of friends and their friends and you really got along with a girl, Sally.
But you’re exhausted and spent that night, so it’s all you can do to tell Sally it was nice to meet her before retreating to the comfort of your own space.
The next day, reach out!.
“Hey, it was really nice to meet you last night and chatting about our favorite records – can’t believe we share so many! Would you want to meet up and get coffee and go record shopping with me sometime?”
A lot of introverts are more confident in their writing skills rather than in their speaking eloquence, so take advantage of this and send people a text to kick off that friendship or continue to grow it.
2. Stick to One-to-One Friendships
If it isn’t your thing to have a circle of 20 friends, then don’t worry about creating one.
I prefer one-to-one friendships rather than friend groups as I find I get a bit lost in a friend group, and that’s no problem.
You don’t need to be somebody you’re not.
The key here is to cultivate those interpersonal friendships and try and put yourself in situations, like inviting somebody out to lunch or coffee, that is going to give you that one-to-one friendship.
Yes, you could go to a bunch of big group events to try and make friends, but try and see who “your people” are and then get to know them more on-on-one.
3. Be Honest about Your Introversion
The world has a lot of introverts, and nobody is going to be surprised or offended if you are one.
In fact, being honest about this can help you find your friends faster than pretending you are the life of the party.
For me, this means that if you turn down an invite because you just need some alone time, be honest about it so the person isn’t thinking the problem is them.
You can also kind of do a pass by of the outskirts of a party, the people in the corners watching or sticking to the buffet table, and make a joke like, “hey, you’re not an introvert too by chance?!” and strike up a conversation.
4. Compliment People on Specific Things
Nothing makes a friend like a compliment.
And while extroverts may know all the right lines to say to make new friends and can keep talking at the speed of light, sometimes us introverts need a bit more help when it comes to figuring out what to say – small talk is not often our friend!
So compliment someone.
Compliment their shoes, their shirt, their car.
Whatever you can find that you can specifically compliment, do that.
It starts off a nice conversation between most people as they say thank you and tell you more about the item or the talent they have, and you can consider your friendship started.
5. Don’t Ghost People
I am super guilty of ghosting people (temporarily) by not responding to their texts or other messages for awhile, which is a really bad habit.
For me, this is because I’m “checking out” and find it overwhelming to feel like I’m constantly texting or talking to people, but it can lead to damages in your friendships and relationships with other people.
You don’t have to be responding to people 24/7, but at least set aside a time each day to make sure you’ve responded to everyone in your life who has gotten in touch with you or has a message you need to respond to.
The number of times I’ve had to do the “omg I’m so sorry for not responding two months ago!!” message is not great and isn’t going to put you on the right track for introvert friendship.
Unless you make friends with another introvert so could possibly understand!