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:
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.
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