I have this romanticized view of what a good friendship should be. Drawing from some of my favorite dramas, the quote from Grey’s Anatomy comes to mind.
“You are my person!”
I need a person. I desperately need a person.
Even an introvert can feel lonely. A lone wolf needs some meaningful social interaction and genuine friendship.
LINK TO HOW an INTROVERT FIGHTS LONELINESS
The combination of moving around a lot and being extremely introverted has led me to my current predicament. We have finally settled down, my husband and I. In the perfect location to grow some family roots.
Problem is, we have no connections. “These things take time, ” my husband tells me. “You will make friends when we have a baby, that is a chance to meet moms.” Hmm… do I have to wait to make friends? Is being pregnant the answer? How do people find friends outside of work obligations and children?
A part of me knows that I have issues with friendship. “Friends” either use me or I use them. Or, we lose touch. To be honest, I am horrible at staying in contact. That one is my fault, I have ghosted many a colleague and acquaintance after moving away.
Friendship has always been a struggle. I do not like small talk, nor do I care to share my darkest secrets. But a part of me longs for a friend that understand me and in turn, I can understand. Someone to lean on, or to be strong for.
I looked around and wondered how everyone else had become friends with each other so quickly. It was then that I realized I wasn’t making an effort to get to know anyone. I had wrongly assumed that making friends would just happen. – Jenn Granneman
I have come to the realization that a friend is not going to just appear magically. I will have to search. Where to begin? What do you look for in a true friend?
A Short List of Genuine Friendship Criteria:
Give and Take- Equal amount of listening and sharing
Listening skills-Genuine concern and attention while listening
Understanding of an Introvert-The ability to push me past my comfort zone but not exhaust me with a constant barrage of socializing
These are the only qualities I am looking for. These are the criteria that I would like to give in a friendship too! I can’t ask for what I wouldn’t want to give myself.
Now that I know the qualities to look for in a friend, how do I find them? Jenn Granneman (a like-minded introvert) wrote an excellent article with ideas for how the lone wolves in the world can slowly make quality friendships.
I am going to try the following ideas from her list to hopefully make a genuine friend:
- Try to make the first move– terrifying as it may be, I need to make an effort to find friendship. To ask someone to coffee or send a message first.
- Ask questions (and actually listen to the answers)– I ask questions for a living, but listening is a skill that takes practice for me. I am so concerned about what the other person is thinking, that sometimes I can’t focus on the information they are sharing. This is tricky, but definitely something I need to work on. Self-growth people!
- Choose Your Friends Wisely– As an introvert, meeting new people and socializing leaves me drained. We need to choose friends that understand that, take it slow, and don’t overwhelm us by pushing ALL their crappy problems on us all the time.
Where can I find a genuine friend?
It’s all fine and dandy, knowing yourself as an introvert and what will work for you. But seriously, where do you find friends when you have no connections? Starting fresh in a new neighborhood, where do you turn? If you are an introvert and have found your tribe, “your person,” please share.
How did you meet people that understood your quirks and social awkwardness?
Check out these writers who have an interesting take on introverted friendships too:
- How to Create Lifelong Connections Between Introverts and Extroverts in College by Janelle Brown
- How to Make Friends With an Introvert by ThunderPuff