Friday, February 26, 2016

10 Ways to Master Making Friends as an Introvert

Making new friends does not come naturally to me, and many other introverts. If I'm not intentional about it, I can easily become quiet and reclusive when I'm out and them go home all mopey and sing a chorus of "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I guess I'll go eat worms." (I'm not making that song up - Google it!)

All kidding aside, meeting new people can be intimidating and small talk can be just agonizing. Having a conversation with no real substance feels like going to a restaurant and paying way too much for a small portion of bad food ... Social interaction can drain us, so interaction without a real connection is just "bleh".

Having a conversation with no real substance feels like going to a restaurant and paying way too much for a small portion of bad food.

So, from one introvert to another, here are 10 ways to build community:  

1. Pray  
Starting out with prayer is always a good idea. Pray that God will bring friendships that are real and genuine into your life, and that you will be a blessing to others.

 2. Show up 
You have to get out of your normal routine in order to meet new people and grow new relationships. so whether it's a church service, a birthday dinner, or a library story time with the kids, go - and leave time to mingle with others before or after the event. Then go home and recharge your batteries!

3. Say something
Showing up and then being a wallflower isn't going to help you much. Introduce yourself and strike up a conversation with someone. I know, I know. Small talk. (Why did it have to be small talk?)
Think of small talk as an investment.  Even the strongest friendships have to start somewhere. And who says it has to be boring? The ball is in your court, my fellow introvert. Make it interesting.

 Think of small talk as an investment.  Even the strongest friendships have to start somewhere.

 4. Be genuine 
Your friendships will only be as authentic as you are within them, so be real.

5. Reach out 
If you see a need, offer to help! This doesn't have to be anything major. For example, a few months ago a friend's baby had a diaper malfunction and had nothing clean to wear. I always try to have a change of clothes for Z on hand, so I loaned her an outfit.

6. Get involved 
Joining a group is an awesome way to connect with people. Bible studies, mom groups, interest groups, and volunteering are all awesome options! I especially like volunteering in some way (classic INFJ) because it makes the small talk easier.  You already know you have a common interest in whatever cause you are supporting!

7. Use, but don't rely on social media
Digital interactions just aren't the same as face-to-face hang time. Don't just be friends on Facebook, be friends at the coffee shop too.

8. Extend an invitation 
Be intentional about creating time and space to build relationships. You don't have to jump straight to inviting people into your home -start by asking some friends to join you for a lunch out. Once story time at the library ends, let some other moms know that your planning to hit the park down the street next. If you have some friends that you already know pretty well, invite them over for tacos or a game night.

9. Smile 
I know it sounds cheesy ::insert rim-shot here:: but I'm serious... especially for introverts. I think we need to be even more aware of this because we tend to internally be in our own world of thought - which affects our expression. If your resting face looks super pensive or even angry, you don't come across as approachable to those around you. Smile!

10.  Keep it up 
Making new friends isn't an overnight thing. Continue to get out of the house, smile, and say hello. Chances are that with a little intentional socializing, you may find a few good friends.

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


  1. Thanks so much for this, my nature is to stay at home in my happy place. I don't get to do this often being a pastor's wife and it is always taxing to go against my nature. But I understand completely!

  2. Thanks for these practical, do-able ideas...from one introvert (who also likes to sing and cook!) to another. :) Visiting today from the SHINE Blog Hop!

  3. Great tips! I especially like the one - Pray! I was told once by a friend that I was an answer to a prayer -she had literally prayed to God to receive a good friend. Not only did she pray, she actively pursued our friendship - which was a great help for this introvert. :) Today, we are still close friends; a testimony to the power of prayer.

  4. I think that showing up is 100% the most important! I have such a bad habit of bailing on plans, which I know I need to get better at!

  5. Ashley, I love this post! Being slightly introverted myself, I need some alone time and I'm not always up for meeting new people. =) I think #3 was my favorite. Oh, Lord help us- the small talk. That one gets me every time. I think that is why I don't love meeting new people all the time. If I could just get past the small talk I would be fine!! Your idea of small talk as an investment is brilliant. It makes it a whole lot more palatable and less of a waste of time! Thanks so much for sharing at Monday Musings.

  6. It's great to hear how you are pushing yourself to engage with others. I'm sure this list will be helpful to others who struggle as you do. Thanks for adding this to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!


  7. You and I are both INFJ's. Small talk is the bane of my existence. Being innately sarcastic there is always a slew of things that run through my head when engaging in small talk. I know, I know... small talk is essential. It reminds me a drive through west Texas. It's so long, dry, boring. All I want to do is hurry up and get to South Florida beaches. Ha ha.

    I can handle small talk when humor is injected, though. It's hard to portray humor online, but I have been known to look at people and do a quick run down. Hi I'm Olivia. I grew up in Texas and California. No kids. Love dogs. Three brothers. Played basketball and volleyball. I'm also a weirdo who researches everything and only watches period movies. I think I was born in the wrong time period. Okay. Done. Your turn. Go.

    Whew... So really... that's out of the way, lets talk about religion, politics, exciting adventures traveling.... What is the most important thing your grandmother taught you and why?

    :-) I'm usually giggling when I pull antics like that. I've never made anyone mad or not gotten a chuckle out of them. Most people hate small talk. It's not just us INFJ's.

    I'm really glad you were on my list for Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. I would have stopped by anyway because I spotted INFJ.

    Girl, I could go through each of your points and say something; especially on social media. Guilty!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend. ( No, really, I mean that. I'm not just saying it because it's socially polite. #INFJ problems LOL)

    Thank you for joining us at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop,
    Olivia, co-hostess
    Reinvented Collection


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