How to Maintain Friendships when You Are an Introvert
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How to Maintain Friendships when You Are an Introvert

Introverts, despite common belief, often enjoy other peoples company. They want and need friendships just as other types of people do. Maintaining friendships can be difficult however, as they do not always like attending social gatherings, and may prefer one on one friendship. Keeping in touch can make a big difference as to whether a relationship thrives or fades.

Introverts can find it difficult to maintain friendships, and only those that are strong, or are held with other introverts may survive long-term. It can be hard for people who do not like to attend overcrowded parties and social gatherings, preferring to be alone often, to keep friendships thriving.

If you are an introvert, the chances are that you like people, enjoy their company and desire to have friends. However, sometimes being around others for too long, or going to social gatherings can feel almost painful when you force yourself to attend and you would rather not. It can be easier to stay true to your feelings and refrain from activities that overwhelm you and emotionally leave you frazzled.

Introverted people live in their own dream world sometimes, because the outside world is too loud and busy for them. They escape into their imagination, or seek to spend time alone often as a way of avoiding overloading their senses with more than they can stand.

It can be tough for newfound friends to understand you if you are an introvert. They may not realize why you do not always feel like being with them, or do not want to spend too long at social gatherings. They may even take your lack of enthusiasm personally, and believe you do not really like them.

However, it is okay to let people you hope to form friendships with know that you will not always be open to attending every social function they arrange, but this is not a reflection on the strength of your friendship. As they get to know you better, they will come to see that you are a true friend, despite having to spend time alone, or preferring one on one friendships as opposed to big gatherings of people.

As an introvert though, there are things you can do to help make sure your friendships do not weaken when you are not socially as active as your friends are:

Contact

One reason friendships with introverts can fail is that not enough contact is made regularly. Keep a diary logging when you have called friends, or made contact in any way. Recognize if they seem to be putting in more time and effort than you, and rectify this if appropriate.

Introverts often lose track of time, and are not worried when friends do not contact them for a while, whereas extraverts are better at communicating regularly, and like to keep in touch.

Methods of contact

If you do not feel like throwing a party there are other ways you can stay in contact with your friends. Consider old-fashioned letter writing as a means of keeping in touch. You may not spend hours at wild gatherings with friends too often, but they will consider your friendship to be different and special if you make the effort to write to them now and then.

Perhaps you are busy, hate making telephone calls and find texting impersonal. Sending a ‘hello’ email occasionally though, will show that you still care and remind friends that you are there.

People often mistakenly believe that introverts do not need friends, and assume that they prefer their own company all the time. As an introvert, you will know that this is not strictly true, and that you love the company of others, providing it does not overwhelm you. If so, you can help your friendships to blossom and thrive by keeping in touch, and explaining your behavior so that it is not misunderstood.

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Comments (1)

As an extrovert communication is vital. A friend of mine is an introvert and thanks for pointing out the differences in examples as in one on one he is fine but in a crowded situation there is a big difference.

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