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