An Adult Introvert’s Guide to Making Friends

It can be difficult to make friends even as an adult. By then, most people have established a close set of friends. They also typically have their own routine, which takes a while to change. If you’re an introverted adult, it can be extra hard to make new and meaningful connections. However, with a little more effort and social sensitivity, even introverts can make new friends. 

In reality, individuals may only maintain a few close friends even if they know many people. You may hear about friendships that began as early as high school or college and continue well into a person’s adult life. Since the school setting encourages students to mix with different groups, students have more opportunities to meet different personalities. On the other hand, unless adults are invited to a company event, a friend’s birthday, or other social gatherings, they don’t get to interact with new people often. Some adults also get mired with work and various obligations. This makes it easy to forget about certain social aspects of life. 

Moreover, depending on their struggles and personal dispositions, some adults may seek groups that help them connect with like-minded individuals. For example, while attending a self-help program in Arizona, you can meet new friends when you participate in a drug rehab Phoenix program. Even places such as rehab centers offer focused programs that assist individuals in interacting with others in a safe and inspiring social space. 

The following are key points that can help introverts forge meaningful friendships through the years.

Connect with Familiar Acquaintances 

Adults don’t always have to go out of their way to meet people they can relate with. There might be individuals in your social circle that you’d like to know better. Chances are you’ve probably met them before. For instance, a friend might have brought a good pal to a social event, and you may end up getting along if you make an effort to get to know them. It helps to find connections in areas you’re already familiar with. This makes it more likely to have common interests, such as music, sports, or anything else you both enjoy. 

Having that common ground doesn’t just make it easier to say hello or engage in small talk, but it may also hint at a greater opportunity to have a good connection, especially when you both feel comfortable about sharing personal stories with one another. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Initiate Friendly Conversations

More often, introverts tend to wait for other people to approach them before striking a conversation. This is usually the awkward part about making friends. If a person has not socialized in a while, it’s understandable if they feel shy and uncomfortable. But before overthinking whether a potential friend might not like you, saying hello shouldn’t hurt. It might come as a surprise, but sometimes, people may be just as interested in talking to you. 

In other cases, if the person is not really engaged, then at least you tried. The thought of rejection might sound painful, but take this experience with a grain of salt. This shouldn’t deter anyone from trying to make new friends. When a person expresses disinterest, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not interesting or nice enough. Sometimes people may be preoccupied with other things, which means they have other priorities in mind. Over time, you will eventually meet new friends if you make a little effort to go out of your comfort zone.

Assess If a Person Wants to Be Your Friend

When meeting a new person, it may be hard to know whether they are genuinely interested in being friends. Sometimes they may just be really nice or polite, so try to be sensitive and observe how they respond. A person may be open to friendship if they appear interested in discussing a topic or if they open up new topics that you both enjoy. They may even ask personal questions, which is a way of getting to know you on a deeper level. If the person offers or agrees to give their contact details, such as their mobile number, then it’s a good sign. In some cases, they may even ask if they can add you on their personal social media account. 

Finally, a person would likely want to be friends if they express plans of getting together with you in the future. Setting simple activities like having coffee or lunch will help you get to know each other better.  

Be a Good Listener to Your Friend

Some people are not that skilled in engaging others with conversation. If this is the case, try to play up your strengths. Introverts are often known to be good listeners. One way to keep your discussion going is to ask simple questions. Ask how they have been and what type of activities interest them. Besides gaining a new friend, this might spark interest in trying out new things. Part of gaining new friends is learning from them and even widening your perspective. If they happen to share more personal details, give them your full attention. Anyone can appreciate a friend who listens.

Be Honest and Show Genuine Parts of Yourself

When people make new friends, they usually present the more pleasant aspects of their life. But as friendships develop, people find out more personal details about one another. This is how strong and deep friendships grow. That said, don’t be too conscious about revealing certain parts of your life. Nurturing a good friendship entails trust, which involves revealing vulnerable details of the self. While there is that fear of being judged, a good friend will help one feel more comfortable about who they are.

In contrast, it would be stressful to maintain relationships where one cannot be honest about themselves. This can really be draining for an introvert. In choosing friendships, it’s important to make connections with people on a genuine level. A good friend will appreciate the honesty. It also shows you value their presence in your life.

Making Meaningful Friendships Last

Finally, it’s important to make time for friends. This depends on the kind of friendship two people have. If you have a close friendship, you may call or message each other often. If both of you are busy, you may agree to meet each other once a month to catch up. What’s important is you make time to nurture your friendship and check up on each other.

There’s a reason why people—introverts included—seek deep and lasting friendships for the long haul. The kind of friends we choose can give us support that helps us grow. Good friends look after one another, so try to do the same to new friends. Keeping meaningful connections can lead to a happier and more satisfying life.

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