Introvert friends: the perfect fit

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Like many of you, I have an oddly diverse assortment of friends. I’ve often felt bad about not ever doing “enough” with most of them, and in fact I think a couple of friends have dumped me over the years for that very reason. If I say yes to dinner, then they ask hey, can we also go to the world’s longest yard sale? If I say yes to getting together for a long walk, then they ask if after that we could go see what Sally’s up to. No matter what I do with some folks, it’s never enough. And when I have plans with some of these people, I almost feel a little dread, up until the very moment when I’m really with them, doing whatever we planned. So my gut reaction really isn’t that I want to be with them, but I always know I’ll be glad I did. I really thought that was what my social life would always feel like, and that seemed a little more like work than fun, frankly.

Now I have a relatively new friend to do things with though, and it’s totally different because she’s an introvert too. When we have plans to do something together, I always really look forward to it without reservation. I actually didn’t think much about introvert/extrovert a couple of years ago when we first started doing things together, so I didn’t realize she was “one of us.” I soon found out though! The first time we decided to go see a chick flick, I was driving, and I asked as I pointed the car toward our area, “Um, did you want to go somewhere else now?” and she replied, “No, I want to go home and recharge just like you do.” Cool! So I took her home then I went home to recharge just like my natural preferences wanted me to.

Although you and I have fun writing and talking to each other on Introvert Zone, being able to talk about these introvert things in person in real time with someone is an extra treat for me. I’m an INFJ and my friend is an INFP, so we see things very much the same way – and in a way that a lot of the world would never understand. We talk about our offices or other acquaintances, or even about her recent follies in the world of online dating. Who else but an introvert could she tell how much she despises the phone and has to tell guys that she doesn’t want them to call her! And then we each go home, and we don’t talk to each other or see each other again for maybe two weeks or maybe a month at a time. I make plans with my extrovert friends too, in between, and they are very nice and fun too. But while they keep going and going and going, I can usually only hit the high spots with them. They’re like awesome condiments, without which my “meal” would be too bland, but I could never try to do things regularly with them as often as they do them.

If you don’t have a good friend who has a personality type very close to yours, I urge you to keep your eyes open for this person. He/she probably won’t be the person who talks your ear off at a party or comes to bend your ear while you work on your car or yard. Instead, this will probably be the person who quietly offers to take care of your pets while you’re on vacation or gives thoughtful advice about technical things to those who ask. We introverts definitely need our alone time, but there’s another kind of time that’s really cool too and doesn’t just drain our energy away. An introvert friend can get us out into the world a little bit, in a very comfortable and enjoyable way!

Photo credit: wilhei55

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47 Comments

  1. How weird. I was just thinking about this today because well today is Valentine’s Day and I was thinking I would like to be a little more social as the year progresses. My first challenge, though, is finding other introverts to hang out with. I work from home so no coworkers. I thought about looking for some kind of introvert group on Meetup. I don’t know, I’m sure a solution will present itself.

    But I do agree that it is nice to have someone who is like you to hang out with. In fact, I would say it is life affirming. Sometimes when I’m around people who are not like me I start to feel like a freak of nature or something. Here are all these other people talking a thousand miles a minute and I’m the quiet one in the corner (lol).

    Anyway, my personality type is INTP – the architect.
    .-= Arwen Taylor´s last blog ..Dealing With The Expectations of Others =-.

    • That’s how I’ve always felt when I only hang out with extroverts. If I hear enough of, “my brother’s weird,” or “my neighbor is strange – keeps to himself…” it tends to make me feel kind of bad or maybe just a little angry. I hope you find some nice introverts to hang out with!

  2. I’m an INFJ as well. I married my opposite. After 10 years, he has finally learned I do not want to be interrupted when I am reading a book. :)

    I would love to have an introvert friend again. I used to have one in college. We spent Wednesday afternoons going to the library. Sometimes we would stop at a bakery and get a snack, and read while we ate. There was a neat bookstore that had a cafe, and we would have lunch and read. Then we would go home so we could recover and recharge. :)

    I thought maybe I could take a class or something. Maybe I’ll run into another introvert. I was thinking a sign language class would be good. It’s only an hour a week. I could probably survive an hour. ASL was fun in college. It would be fun to learn it again. I love languages.

  3. I’m an ISFJ-the nurturer. I have a few friends who I consider good friends since we click well together, but even then I feel like a freak sometimes. Then I meant my friend’s step-brother Ryan on a blind-date and I knew I was in the presence of a fellow introvert. No sparks on the date, but he became the friend I can talk to and not feel judged. Its nice having someone who understands and doesn’t ask “whats wrong?” when you simply want quiet.

    Unfortunately, his family (who all know me) are convinced that something more is going on between us. Oh well I can’t win all my battles…haha

  4. I’m so happy for you cb. :-) Again, friendship is hard to find these days. I’m glad you get to spend time with someone who you’re comfortable with and share the similar opinions. Sometimes I’m amazed with how a conversation with a friend can be so much connecting comparing to some closed friends (weird that even though we supposed to be close, we may not share the same ideas), because we share the similar view points and how we should embrace life. ^^ I always treasure the time I had with those friends, we could have an enjoyable chat, talking about realizing dreams and not feeling silly at all. I call that a blessing, you think?

    Best wishes my friend!

    @wchingya
    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..7 Features to Brand, Market, Manage with MarketMe Tweet =-.

    • I’m with you! There are a lot of people I’ve known for a long, long time, and yet some of those are the ones who truly don’t understand these little things that really make me unique. I still like them very much, but it’s so much fun to talk and dream with someone who’s really walking the same path I am. Best wishes to you too, sweet friend!

  5. You said, “If you don’t have a good friend who has a personality type very close to yours, I urge you to keep your eyes open for this person.”

    I’m sooooo lucky. Not only did I find this person, but when I asked her to marry me, she said yes. Now we stay home together.

    Happy belated Valentine’s Day, all!
    .-= James´s last blog ..Cuff links =-.

  6. I found out yesterday that I’m an introvert and all of a sudden everything made sense! :D I always felt like I was a weirdo, constantly listening to people urging me to “speak more”, or asking “what’s wrong with you?” or “what are you thinking about?” when I’m quiet or hearing my boyfriend say that I “don’t like to have fun”.

    Even my dislike of phone calls, my extreme exhaustion after parties, college classes (with long discussions) or a day out with close friends. I always thought I had lack of vitamins or some other health issue, for getting so tired after only a couple of hours out.

    Then people inquired me, and I could never explain why I’m like that. I would always end up saying I’m shy or don’t like people (in a humorous way) – but I can be sociable, can speak in public and I love meeting new people. So I couldn’t understand what was it about.

    Don’t you all had to go through a situation where you’re in a big group in a party, and everyone is talking a lot, then someone says out loud something along the lines “shut up Erica! You’re talking too much!”. Everyones laughs, and you try your best to laugh too. Then the room goes quiet, expecting you’ll say something now – but you still haven’t got anything to say! So you just stand there like an idiot waiting everyone to forget about you, LOL.

    Oh god, that happens to me everytime. Sometimes I feel forced to socialize, or disappear without being noticed, just so that doesn’t happen again. I would always go home feeling bad about myself, feeling like I’m not making the most out my life.

    Anyway, I’m just happy I found out about introversion, and I’m glad there are sites like this where we can talk about it :)

    • That’s awful – I hate for people to call attention to me in a group with something like that. When I was younger, I’d try to laugh it off, but then as I grew more tired of things like this I started to snap at the person who called me out like that. That’s not a good response at ALL, but it was my reflex, because I felt the need to “protect” myself, although really the person meant no harm. I guess you could prepare a reply ahead of time, to be delivered in a relaxed, slightly amused voice!

  7. We are each born with distinctive characteristics. In array to play our fastidious traits to their best advantage it is required to become aware with specifically what we are, our drives, inhibitions etc. Self-knowledge comes mainly from introspection, a unexpectedly difficult process that requires discipline to surmount our mind’s inherent reticence.

    If you desire sitting quietly to socializing, if you prefer less, deeper relationships to several casual, shallow friendships, chances are you are an introvert. Introversion is not something we have or not, rather we all occupy a specific point on an introvert extrovert continuum.

  8. We are each born with distinctive characteristics. In array to play our fastidious traits to their best advantage it is required to become aware with specifically what we are, our drives, inhibitions etc. Self-knowledge comes mainly from introspection, a unexpectedly difficult process that requires discipline to surmount our mind’s inherent reticence.
    If you desire sitting quietly to socializing, if you prefer less, deeper relationships to several casual, shallow friendships, chances are you are an introvert. Introversion is not something we have or not, rather we all occupy a specific point on an introvert extrovert continuum.

    Turning Winds

    • Absolutely. I know a lot of people who claim to be extroverts yet are definitely on the introverted end of extroverts, and vice versa. It’s good for us to remember that it’s a continuum so we don’t feel isolated or like there’s an “on” and “off” and we’re stuck with the “on.”

  9. I think it’s about time I dated an introvert cos all my exes have been extroverts and cracks grew in the relationship cos of my addiction to “loads of ME time” and never wanting to go drinking with friends, clubbing etc.

    It would be nice to date someone who TOTALLY understands where I’m coming from and I doubt if there are any extroverts out there that do so i guess an introvert would be my best move ;)
    .-= Udegbunam Chukwudi´s last blog ..Beware Of MMO Blog Setup Services Like This One! =-.

  10. This is very meaningful post.Hey as I told before I am also quite introvert but I have all extrovert friends.I have no problem with them and I always enjoy with them.Sometimes its good to have opposite nature friends.

  11. How I wish I had an introverted friend. That would be spectacular, but I’ve only ever had the loudest, craziest extroverts come into my life LOL. I love them, I really do. The love of my life is an extrovert and he always wants to stay at an event until the very last person is standing. I think also being shy – or a shytrovert as I deem myself – has something to do with me attracting loud people.

    My honey tries to understand me, and I think he does intellectually but not on a visceral level, if that makes any sense. We should all have a good introvert friend or significant other.

    • I know exactly what you mean as far as the events – I remember when I was dating an extrovert who was the life of the party. I didn’t know about introvert/extrovert at the time, but I do remember thinking it seemed to me he liked to stay at an event long after it had stopped being fun! We’d arrive at parties EARLY to help the host set up – then we’d STAY ’til AFTER. If I’d only known I was an introvert, I would have brought my own car and arrived at the peak of the party, said hello to all, then left when I wanted. Yep, it can be a good match, as long as your guy accepts you and doesn’t think something’s wrong with you. But yep – you could also use a nice introverted girlfriend to talk to and do the occasional quiet hanging out together. :)

  12. It seems quite common for introverts to date extroverts. I heard many stories of introverts dating the-life-of-the-party types – including me. It’s funny, there must be something that makes the opposites attracted to each other! However, it’s extremely difficult for us introverts, as there’s a lot of pressure for us to keep up with the partying, otherwise we’re being “anti-social”, arrogant or just plain weird.

    cb, I had the same experience with my extrovert ex-boyfriend. Sometimes we would sit quietly and bored with some people after the party had died a long time before. I would be dying to just go (or dig in a hole and crawl in), but for some reason he simply couldn’t leave until the last person left. It would terrify me every time he had a party to go! With time, I learned to leave before him without feeling guilty.

    • Hi Erica, yes you’re right about that attraction! I know if my extrovert was out of town for a few days, I felt as if all the “life” was gone from our place. Can’t live WITH ‘em… ;)

      You were very smart to go ahead and learn to leave parties before him. As long as he understands and accepts that, you have it made! :)

  13. Emily Roberts on

    Well, fortunately (I think), I have never been in any kind of romantic relationship… the whole idea of getting that close to someone who’s a perfect stranger when you first meet has always weirded me out big time. Anyway, no extroverted boyfriend to complain about, but I do have my friends; all but one of them is an extrovert, and that one is the type of friend I’m only comfortable seeing in a group; you know the kind of friend I mean, the one that you can laugh and joke and have an awesome time with and treat as your best friend until they leave you alone together. It’s a real pity that I haven’t ever been able to find a good introvert to spend time alone with; I think I’m drawn to extroverts because due to my shy nature; I need someone who’s comfortable taking the lead, and that person is invariably an extrovert! I understand perfectly what you mean about socialising being more of a chore than fun; I love hanging out with my friends for a time, and am always glad to have the opportunity, but in the days or hours leading up to the event, it always feels heavy, like a burden or extraneous effort to see them. I don’t know if it’s because I’m introverted or because I’m shy, but I’ve realised recently that for my entire life, I’ve been going out at the suggestion of others, not once has it been my idea. I’ve never invited people over for a party (except for birthdays when I was younger), I’ve never been the one to suggest we go out somewhere or do something, and frankly it’s a little worrying; should I be taking more initiative with my friends?

    • Sometimes it might be because it’s all you can do to have the time/energy to go to most of the things THEY think up! :) If they’d just give you a chance to initiate something instead of thinking of so many things themselves. :) But seriously, maybe you should start thinking of something you really like to do, and when an opportunity comes along, give it a try asking the others to join you.

  14. Yeah, I once suggested to my extrovert friends to have a “Swap your Lunch” picnic, where everyone brings a sack lunch intended for someone else. Then, the lunches are tagged with numbers and everyone draws a number from the hat to see which lunch they get to eat. There were around 20 college students participating in this picnic. It was fun for me to people watch… Some guys got dainty sandwiches and complained of being still hungry, while some petite girls wondered who packed such a humongous meal for them… It was very funny.

    • Great idea! I’d never heard of that, but it’s a good “mixer” and gives people something to look around at and talk about so the introverts don’t have that uncomfortable feeling of the group lunch small talk thing.

      • Absolutely! I hate the small talking, but I actually like parties IF a fun activity is at the center of it. At New Year’s my sweetie and I had some friends over and we did a game night. We played balderdash and I had so much fun doing that.

        Cocktail parties with strangers and just sitting around small talking is like hell for me. I don’t like answering the same lame questions over and over, or the discomfort of fumbling for topics with people I don’t know and will likely never see again or for a long, long time. It seems like such a forced and excruciating way to get to know someone.

        When you’re doing something together conversation comes organically and I prefer that. So much easier for someone like me who is both shy and introverted.
        http://theshytrovert.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-got-your-personality-right-here.html

  15. I’m an INTJ – the scientist, and I think most people think I’m this cold emotionless person. Most of the friends I have got are from when I was younger, and more outgoing and friendly. I’ve been finding it really hard to keep these friends, as the majority of them are extroverts, so they demand socialising and don’t seem to realise that some people don’t really like that. I feel like if I do one thing with them, they want me to do more and more and more, so what starts out as a quiet walk with the two of you, ends up to be a week long shopping sleepover extravaganza with twenty other people (okay maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get my point). I like to know and plan out what is going to happen so when I’m faced with something as spontaneous as that, my mind fills with dread right until the last minute, when I’m forced to come up wih an excuse and cancel. They are getting bored of all the excuses now and I fear I will have no friends left. It seems what I need is somebody similar to my INTJ type, or at least a fellow introvert who understands me.

  16. I can relate to all of you in some way. Me – introvert with extroverted tendencies. I can easily entertain and keep myself occupied, I find that I don’t really need people to live. But sometimes I get a nagging feeling that won’t go away, I just have to go out and have fun. I could go months without seeing my friends but suddenly realise, crap, I haven’t seen a friend for ages. It would feel to me as-if just a week had elapsed not a month or two since my last social ‘event’ (to me a social even is a movie, even a coffee).

    People often mention how they like parties, how they ‘live to party’. Well, not once in my 21 years of living on planet Earth have I EVER looked forward to a party. I simply have zero excitement and 100% dread. I used to wonder why I hated parties, then epiphany! I hated parties because I hated people in groups of four or more, and wasn’t that far off hating people in general lol. I do long for an introverted pal of sorts, someone I could laugh or cry with but then abandon for a month.

    Peace fellow intro’s.

    It’s hard being an introvert sometimes because it’s sociable, bubbly, fun loving other half is the socially accepted form of human behaviours. To many people introverts are weird or not right, but that’s okay with me.

  17. So, I’m an introvert and it wasn’t until last year that I really started to understand what that meant. I’ve always felt like there was wrong with me because I’m so incredibly quiet compared to most everybody else. Needless to say I’m surrounded by extroverts; both in my family and at school. Everyone is always saying “are you okay?” “is something wrong with you?” “you need to be more talkative. i hate quiet people” and so on and so forth. It would be amazing to have another introvert to talk to and hang out with. Especially since extroverts are a majority. I do love spending time with them, but somethin’s gotta give.

  18. OMG. I would love a good introverted friend. Just someone to go to things with then go our separate ways. LOL. I am surrounded by extros everyday all day. My husband can’t understand why I NEVER want to join him and a buddy (sometimes one I’ve never met) directly after work on a Friday. And his pressure for me to have a booked social calendar every weekend drives me to the brink. Most of the time I’m content to catch up on reading or a movie at home. He sees that as killing time until the next social engagement. So it would be great to have someone like me to hang out in a non-pressure situation every now and then. I don’t know how to find that person. I’m an extrovert magnet.

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