Introvert has tried everything but has no friends

29

Dear IntrovertZone,

This website gave me good advice in the past but now I have approached another bridge in my life that I need to get across but I don’t know what to do. I am 38 and I have no friends. I am an unhappy introvert who wants to change because I want to end my loneliness. Over the past year and a half with the help of this website, I have tried very hard to make new friends by going to many social events thanks to meetup.com which was recommended from a post. In the beginning it was very hard for me but I did gain confidence to go up to total strangers and introduce myself and start a conversation. But here is my problem. I can’t sustain the conversation and keep the attention of the other person. The conversation always ends the same way with disappointment. This happens every time for me and I have become very frustrated. What do I need to do to change this. I have read many books on how to make good conversation and I have used all the methods mentioned but none of it is helping. Thanks.

Photo credit: rileyroxx

Share.

29 Comments

  1. Explain a bit more about what you mean when you say that you “can’t sustain the conversation and keep the attention of the other person. The conversation always ends the same way with disappointment. ”

    My first thought is that many social events are “mixers” – conversations aren’t really meant to be sustained for long periods of time, and the people you’re mixing with are going to want to meet several people, not just one. It’s natural to move from one conversation to the next, one person to the next, at events like this. So what you might read as a failure could just be the natural pattern of the social event.

    What are your expectations from these conversations, that they “end with disappointment”?

    I think it is great that you’ve pushed past your previous boundaries and gained the confidence to make conversation with strangers. That’s huge – you can’t develop friendships without talking to people!

    Other types of events might work better. Volunteering events, especially if you become a regular volunteer (thus potentially seeing other people regularly, which makes it easier for friendships to form), are easier in many ways than straight up social events, because you have something to do, but conversations will still happen. It takes some of the pressure off, but you still can get to know people.

  2. Dean j@social skills on

    My heart goes out to you really. It’s a horrible place to be but first you gotta know deep down that you can get better and get out of that place.

    As Deb mentioned I’d be curious to know a few more details about your situation. But if you wholeheartedly tried many different techniques to improve your conversations the problem might be deeper.

    Maybe if you first work on improving self-esteem your conversation skills would follow. My experience has been that getting yourself satisfied with your life outside of social skills first helps to raise your self worth. After that talking to people because much easier.
    Dean j@social skills´s last post ..5 Action Steps When You Don’t Know What to Say

  3. I think the real question is what kind of friendships/relationships are you looking for? It’s fairly easy to form friendships that are on the surface. I’ve had many work “friends” who were people I liked and could chat with at work, but when it came down to it they weren’t friends I could call in the middle of the night if something came up and I really needed someone. If you are looking for a deeper kind of relationship, that is just going to take time to develop. You can’t just go to a mixer and expect to find a new “bff.” I think maybe you’re expecting too much from these events and maybe people are sensing that from you. Also, friendship after a certain age is just different. People have responsibilities, families, work, etc. It’s not like when you’re a child, teenager or even a young adult. There are so many other things going on in a person’s life that friendships aren’t usually high on a lot of people’s lists. I think you need to find something in common with people to form a friendship, so instead of “mixers,” maybe attend an event that has something to do with what you are interested in and you’ll have a better chance of finding someone to get along with than just a random group of people. It could be church functions if you’re religious or a book club if you like to read, find something that truly interests you, not something that’s socializing just to socialize. That way, when you’re talking to someone, conversation will be easy and flow much better because it will come naturally.

    I’m not sure if you’re unhappy because you’re lonely (here’s the secret no one will tell you: everyone gets lonely! whether you’re young, old, single, married, introverted or even extroverted, lonliness is a part of life sometimes.) or if you’re unhappy because you haven’t accepted yourself as an introvert. I could be wrong, but I sense from your question that you’re trying to change yourself into being more extroverted because you think that will make you happy. Once you relax, accept your introverted self and stop trying so hard, I think you’ll find friends and form true friendships.

  4. Hi! I’m an introvert also. MBTI says I’m an INFP. I tested my friends and my boyfriend and best friend bith turned out to be INTJs. Them and nobody else which tells me I’m having easier and better relations with INTJ people.

    So my advice is, find out the type of the people you can befriend more easily and search for them online or offline: dating sites, forums, local meetings..
    Ela Iliesi´s last post ..Ce inseamna INFP

  5. I’m not sure if you’re unhappy because you’re lonely (here’s the secret no one will tell you: everyone gets lonely! whether you’re young, old, single, married, introverted or even extroverted, lonliness is a part of life sometimes.) or if you’re unhappy because you haven’t accepted yourself as an introvert. I could be wrong, but I sense from your question that you’re trying to change yourself into being more extroverted because you think that will make you happy. Once you relax, accept your introverted self and stop trying so hard, I think you’ll find friends and form true friendships.

  6. I think you shouldn’t push yourself too much to be so friendly to everybody. Good conversation is a good try, but you must talk normally and not just talking because you have to. Don’t blame yourself if you think it isn’t still working for you, maybe because you are trying to talk with people who is more interested in other things rather than what you are trying to talk about with them.
    Born27´s last post ..Reservationless plus Conferencing

    • I agree to that.. Mostly successful personalities are found to be introvert. They have so much time for themselves and so they can develop their talents more effectively. The more friends you have the more complicated your life is.
      Hanna Bell´s last post ..Proenhance Patch Reviews

    • Why isn’t it a good thing? I can understand that it may not be a superior thing, but it by far isn’t a bad thing. I think it’s good to be introverted for the reasons Hanna Bell said. We think deeply and are good at analysis. I personally enjoy being introverted and I don’t like the drama and complications from a lot of relationships.

  7. I would say I’m an introvert but that’s not because I am shy. Instead I try and live my life by dale Carnegie’s teachings in his book how to win friends and influence people. People like warren buffet also use this style but they still seem to find stuff to talk about without insulting or criticizing people.

  8. Hey Sir, I feel really bad for you!! Crazy thing is, I am THEE most outgoing, silly/fun, talk-a-tive person in the world but MOST of my friends are introverts!! People are always asking – how did you get ‘so & so’ to talk to you when they don’t talk to anyone!?! 🙂 I don’t have any advice for you – other than just be yourself!! If someone doesn’t like you for you (introvert & all) then they might not be the friend for you….

  9. I dont know if this is an option to you or not but what i like to do is infiltrate (for lack of a better word!) groups by making friends with with just one or 2 person and then meeting their friends.

    I am in my late 20s and most of the people I know are from school or a long time ago and I am aware I need to keep in contact with them but I do really enjoy been able to keep myself to myself so its about balance!

    Good luck.
    Rene´s last post ..click here

  10. I think what you need is a conversation exit strategy. You’ve made a ton of progress by learning to introduce yourself and talk with people. You don’t have to have a huge prolonged conversation with them before saying goodbye. Come up with a couple of good exit lines like, “It was great to meet, you, I’m going to say hello to some other people. You’ve got my card, let’s keep in touch.” A graceful exit is as essential as a good introduction! And make sure you have business cards. Even it you just print them on your own computer or get them at Vista Print. They can just have your name, email and phone with some kind of picture or design that represents you. That way, you can continue getting to know someone through email where you are more comfortable.

  11. Marnie Byod on

    It was sad truth that at the age of 38 still an introvert person has still no friends. I feel pity to those introvert because they actually don’t know how to control their emotions and change it as well. By the way, this post is a great help to all introverts out there.
    Marnie Byod´s last post ..mitchelton property website

  12. I can totally understand what an introvert person is going through. I experienced it before and I was able to work it out. Having social problems is not easy to resolve but you will found a way to get away with that fear in the long run.
    Joseph´s last post ..eToro

  13. It is really hard to become an introvert person because you can’t find a true friend that could understand what you are and could jive on your way of thinking. Since introverts are more private and less public, it is backbreaking with them to blend with natural people. However, talking about social problems there may be solution for that.
    Daniela Foster´s last post ..Alta White

    • Introverts are natural. lol. Time and again I am seeing misconceptions about introverts. Everything you said sounded fine, except that last thing about how it’s hard for them to blend with “natural” people. To me, I am not only natural, but I feel like I am totally true to myself and honest. I don’t like to have all that small talk with extroverts because I feel like everyone is putting on airs and upholding their personas. That is because when you are upholding an image persona you have of yourself, you rely heavily on opinions in conversations with others. Introverts don’t need that because they are who they truly are. No acts means you don’t need to impress with talk, wit in conversation, etc. You just don’t need all that when you’re natural.

  14. Just be yourself. Don’t expect too much because when you click with someone, it just happens. I am not the most sociable person myself but I manage to make really good friends in the most random situations. Go to a small gathering at first and start up a conversation as practice.

  15. im not the expert, but you should expand your circle of friends, learn from the past and always use new technique. joining a social networking site is good choice but you should join a site who exclusive for people who looking for a relationship, like a dating site, perhaps this could solve your problem of being lonely

  16. I so can relate to your loneliness … I have been introverted all of my life … but I have always been respected and appreciated for my gifts and talents … have always had friends … although just a couple of close ones … but was always well liked … until my husband’s job got transferred to a place 800 miles from where we grew up … I grew up in a small town of 5,000 and now live in an area outside of a major city … we have lived here now for over 20 years and I still have no close friends … a few acquaintances at church but no social life … my husband and I are both introverts and no matter how hard we both have tried … we have no social invitations … so I decided to turn the equation around and took on inviting people to my house … with success … as long as I was the hostess … people came … even having 39 people respond to one of my SS socials … but eventually being “the little red hen” for so long I burned out on always being the giver … I longed for return invitations but never any … our church is large (there are no small ones here in our denomination … and I do not want to change denominations … tried that … and not happy with any other) and small groups here means 40 people … I am looked at as odd because I am not an extrovert … has puzzled me all these years why back in our home state we were accepted for the way we are but here we are left out and looked down on … I had a “friend” here all but tell me it was my fault … I needed to do this and so … what she doesnt realize is how hard I have worked at trying to be a part … volunteering in areas that were sooo out of my comfort zone … even leading and planning social events in my church for nearly 3 years … I have tried … I have worked my butt off trying … but my efforts seem small compared to all these extroverts … all I have wanted since I moved here was to be a part of them and be accepted by them … I am retired now and need them more than ever … I understand your loneliness …

  17. I’ve always been fairly quiet, and have found that most people like to talk, so I listen. I have a set of questions I ask people…name, where are they from, what are their interests? I share recipes or discuss books I’ve read; if you have an interest that you feel confident discussing with others, it takes the focus off of you and onto the subject at hand. When possible, I avoid “normal” gatherings and opt for book clubs instead. I can read the book ahead of time, highlight quotes, and go “prepared” and many readers are quiet types as well. Less stressful.

Leave A Reply

CommentLuv badge