Are you an introvert or empath who finds it hard to socialize? You need advice on how to make friends.
Reaching out to others is a significant challenge for those who are introverted, and their difficulties may seem trivial. But they aren’t. Introverts just need some sound advice on how to make friends. The good news in that they have many avenues to walk.
Why An Introvert Finds It Difficult To Make Friends
So, what stands in the way of introverts getting to know others?
First of all, they prefer deep conversations and relationships. They find making small talk bothersome and shallow. Such is true of some introverts, particularly those with the INTJ (intuitive, thinking, judging) personality type, who hanker after depth and truth.
Networking is difficult for them because they’d rather associate with a select group of friends. Their behavior sometimes gives the impression that they don’t care enough about friendships.
Social anxiety is another reason introverts find relationships challenging to maintain. Socially anxious introverts are afraid to make plans with people for fear that they wouldn’t show up. The fear of rejection causes a lot of distress.
Of course, introverts crave and deserve meaningful relationships. They may come across as snobbish but just need some help with making connections. Interactions with them are genuine. What you see is what you get. They are not afraid to share their photographs and inner thoughts once they get to know others. Also, introverts are non-judgmental. You can be yourself with them. You won’t have to feel foolish for saying or doing the wrong thing.
How To Make Friends With Like-Minded People While Being An Introvert
So, introverts want to build healthy relationships but need to know how to make friends with like-minded people. If you’re among them, you’ll want some answers.
1. Resolve to make friends.
First of all, recognize that you want and need friends. Be determined to make them or you never will.
2. Get over your shyness
Also, take steps to get over your awkwardness in social situations.
Remember that you have full license to be yourself. Don’t feel that you have to make everyone like you. You may make yourself vulnerable, but openness is the way to closeness.
3. Become a member of a community
Find opportunities to get to know others, and if you can’t, create your own. Join groups that share your interests or make your own community. It’s one of the best ways to meet like-minded people.
If your colleagues are having a social event, get yourself included. You may be the shy coworker they want to know better.
Of course, making such a drastic change is a tall order. The trick is to do so gradually. Set an informal quota of events to attend per week or month. It gives you the opportunity to socialize and space for yourself.
4. Get a social pet
The fastest way to make friends is to get a pet that enjoys doing it. A dog is an excellent candidate. You’ll get to make friends with other dog lovers when you take it on walks or go to dog runs.
Your pet may even offer a few tips. Dogs are highly social animals and get to know other people and their pets quickly.
5. Use the Internet
The Internet is one of the best ways for the introvert to meet people who share their interests. If you haven’t done so yet, set up Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Once you’ve met people who make you feel comfortable, deepen your relationships with them. Start Skype or Google Hangouts video conferencing sessions, and after that, invite them for tea.
6. Be aware of how you communicate
Self-awareness is an integral part of social interaction. Watch your body language; shake hands, make eye contact, and try not to fold your arms over your chest as that indicates defensiveness. And then, just say hello. A simple greeting tells others that you are friendly.
Try to put up with your pet peeve – small talk. Meaningless as it seems, it’s a precursor for getting to know each other better. It’s difficult to share personal information without chatting about the weather first.
7. Find an Accountability Partner
Making friends isn’t always a breeze, even for the most extroverted person. You may feel that it’s too much hassle, and give up eventually.
Find someone – perhaps a family member or supportive friend – who has your best interests at heart. Get him or her to make you accountable for making friends. He or she will prevent you from withdrawing too much.
8. Don’t take rejection personally
Moreover, remember that rejection is part and parcel of life. You may meet another introvert who shares the same difficulties with making friends. The person may not be ready to get to know you, so don’t take the rejection personally.
Socializing takes effort, and no one gets it right at once. Be deliberate about it. Make plans with those you meet over social media or in your interest groups. Realize that it becomes more comfortable with practice.
10. Have patience
Finally, making friends takes time, as does everything else. But a little patience goes a long way.
In all, the answer to how to make friends lies in persistence, patience, and effort. Introverts can excel socially when they make up their minds to do so.
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