How to make friends with others if you are a modest introvert
The advice of psychologists will help you achieve your goal and not suffer. Subscribe to our Telegram channel. We often publish such valuable articles!
If you’re unsure if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, take the test Menteora. As a bonus, artificial intelligence will list the most suitable professions for you. The accuracy of the test is 70-80% (read about Menteora's unique career guidance methodology).
1. Be yourself
Introverts need solitude, and you should not refuse to be around other people. Before looking for new friends, ask yourself if you need them. Maybe you think you should have more acquaintances — like everyone else? Or have you imposed this point of view?
But if you want to expand your social circle, determine what kind of people you want to see next to you. Usually, the most comfortable is with those who share your interests and outlook on life.
Therefore, it is worth focusing on what fascinates you, finding people with similar hobbies, letting new acquaintances get to know themselves better, and falling in love with you. Read Five techniques to help introverts communicate successfully with the outside world.
2. Change not yourself, but your behavior
Personality traits are not easy to change, but you can sometimes try to behave differently. Psychologists have found that more extroverted behavior can positively affect a person’s well-being.
Try to have a few words with a colleague in the office kitchen, accept an invitation to a party, and leave a comment in a community on a social network. Track how you feel when you do unusual things. If you’re uncomfortable, don’t force yourself.
3. Don’t be afraid that people won’t like you right away
We often try to make an excellent first impression on people; we are afraid of disappointing them and think they might not like us. But you don’t have to worry about it. Experts from various US universities have proven that after meeting people like you, much more than you think.
4. Greet people first
The advice may sound trite, but modest introverts are often embarrassed to say “hello” or look people in the eye. But it is these simple actions that show people that you are friendly. Therefore, do not be afraid to be the first to wave to someone and smile.
5. Use friendly body language
To gain self-confidence and improve interaction with people, try to show your body that you are open to communication, advises Vanessa Van Edwards, founder of The Science of People laboratory, which studies human behavior. Do not cross your arms over your chest as if defending yourself. Keep your back straight. Smile and nod to encourage the other person and encourage them to continue the story.
6. Give yourself time
We show who we are only when we feel comfortable with someone. It takes time. If you’re uncomfortable with new friends, don’t beat yourself up, says writer Jenn Granneman. The more time you spend with them, the more comfortable you feel.
7. Be interested in people, ask questions
When we meet new people, we have to talk about ourselves, which is what every introvert fear. But the conversation doesn’t have to be about you. People love to talk about themselves and what they think. Give them a chance and occasionally answer their questions.
8. Use your strengths
Other people may like your character traits, behaviors, and skills. Use it. Examine yourself, and find out what you are good at. For example, you can be a great listener, compassionate and empathetic person, and your friends can count on your support and ability to keep secrets.
Your unique qualities may appeal to another introvert who recognizes you as a kindred spirit or may complement the opposite traits of an extrovert. Read Who is an introvert and what are his strengths?
9. Don’t be afraid to try new things
Look for new hobbies if your current hobbies aren’t helping you expand your social circle. You can start with what you have always been interested in: signing up for a dance class or a tour of your hometown, volunteering, or participating in social events.
You don’t need to talk to anyone for the first time if you feel uncomfortable. But if you like it, you can keep going to events and keep in touch with someone you’ve already met there.
We are often drawn to people with similar values and experiences, but don’t be afraid to meet people who are different from you. Communication with them will help expand your horizons or even change your outlook on the world.
10. Take a closer look at people you already know
You don’t have to look for friends among strangers. The author of books about introverts, Sophia Dembling, suggests paying attention to others: one of them may turn out to be an exciting person with similar hobbies and outlooks on life.
Maybe your colleague loves the same music as you and will be happy to accompany you to a concert. Or he reads just as much and is willing to share his collection of interesting books. Or maybe your former classmate is an exciting girl with whom you can talk about everything in the world? Look at people!
11. Be a little more assertive
If you want to make friends with someone, don’t be afraid to take a risk and take the first step, write, start a conversation.
Our sensitivity can work for us or against us. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Be empathetic enough to know if it’s worth stepping aside.
And do not be afraid of awkwardness in communication if it arises at first. It does not characterize you or the other person in any way. It just happens at the beginning of a friendship. Read What to do if you always present yourself awkwardly.
12. Don’t chase quantity
Psychologists believe it doesn’t matter how many friends you have. What matters is how they suit you. Because the quality of relationships with people directly affects the feeling of happiness and satisfaction with life. Read Happiness formula.
It may be enough for you to have a strong relationship with your family and one friend, get along with your colleagues, and, if necessary, maintain a polite conversation. And if you’re comfortable with that, fine. In the end, it’s better to have one but a good friend than to gather a crowd of acquaintances for whom you have neither time nor energy.
13. Practice communication, but don’t overdo it
To improve your ability to interact with other people, connect with them. However, you do not need to be socially active all the time. Don’t spend too much time with your friends if it causes stress.
14. Dive into a friendship routine
Many introverts love routine, so don’t be afraid to ask your friends to meet up once a week at a specific time. For example, to dine on Saturday at your favorite restaurant or take a walk in the park on Tuesday after work. When we know what to expect, we feel more comfortable and use less energy. Plus, this way, you won’t have to come up with something new and exciting every time you get together.
15. Don’t get upset if the friendship doesn’t work out
Sometimes relationships just don’t work out, and that’s okay. Sophia Dembling says: that when friendship fails, there are no losers. Therefore, give up self-flagellation and continue the search for your man.
Take the Menteora career guidance test; artificial intelligence will name your most suitable professions. The accuracy of the test is 70-80% because we use a mathematical-statistical algorithm (read about Menteora's unique career guidance methodology).