The brave, rare question my Introvert clients ask in session; How do I make friends?
This question is asked quietly with eyes averted.
From where I sit, I can feel the shame and embarrassment that came into the room as the question was asked.
When I hear this question in my office, it breaks my heart just a bit for a few reasons
- I’ve been in this place before and I know that’s it a hard lonely place to be.
- It’s a really hard question to ask so I imagine my client has been thinking about this for a long time before they finally felt safe enough to speak the question out loud.
It’s a really brave question to ask as there is so much stuff that comes up when we are in need of better connections. When we don’t have friends, we likely aren’t feeling good about ourselves.
And we are told making friends is easy; just go talk to somebody, ask them out for coffee, a hike, bike ride…
But as introverts, we don’t fit with just anybody. We have to feel a connection in order to spend time with people. So if we don’t find our people, we are on our own.
And if do find our people, sometimes we don’t believe that they would want us as a friend so we don’t try to make a connection.
I also want to honour how it can be really hard to reach out when we are in a low place.
Now you might be wondering when I’m going to get to it and tell you the step by step process to follow to make friends. And I do have one, it just might not be exactly what you are expecting.
4 Steps to make friends as an Introvert
- You need to somewhat believe that you have something to offer a friendship. Can you name 3 positive things about yourself? Maybe a great sense of humour, a great listener, you are loyal to people, you are good at helping others problem solve?
- You need to be willinging to go outside of your comfort zone. This can be a tricky one for us because as introverts, many of us like things to be predictable and consistent. But if we want things to be different, we have to do things differently which means leaving our comfort zone.
- You need to look for people that you actually like. This might seem to be a silly one to put here as it looks obvious but the one very common thing I’ve seen is that Introverts are scooped up by people into a friendship sometimes by people that don’t have a great record of treating others well.
- Once you have identified one person you would like to get to know better, invite them out for coffee.
This list may seem obvious and simple but I’m guessing as you read this, your brain is shouting why these will never work. I get it, I’ve been there. And I know that it can be different.
The next question that may show up for you is; but what about social anxiety?? I’ll address that in next week’s blog.
If you want to learn more about how to connect better with others, you are welcome to join the waitlist to be notified when my course is ready for purchase: Building Better Relationships; Introvert Style
Tracy, a fellow introvert and therapist, helps introverted people manage anxiety, find success in the workplace, and build better relationships.