Tips for Introverts to Stay Connected to Friends and Family

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This is a guest post by James. You can see more about him in his bio at the end of the post.

If you are the type of person that enjoys solitude, sometimes staying connected to friends and family can be difficult. Introverts enjoy spending time alone, but still want to maintain the close connections and bonds that they have made throughout their lives. It can often be a trade-off between doing what feels natural, and at the same time remaining close with people that you care about. Losing these connections can be difficult to deal with, so staying one top of them in a way that works for you, is essential.

Here are some tips to help maintain bonds with people that care about you (even if they don’t understand):

Stay connected with Email and Social Media

Sometimes an email, text message, or comment on Facebook can let people know that you care about them, even though you may want to keep your distance. A quick acknowledgement of your friend or family member by forwarding funny or interesting internet news via email, can let people know that they are on your mind. Text messages also work to this effect, allowing you to hold a conversation at the times when you feel like you want to. It also gives you space and causes less pressure than a face to face meeting.

Social media is also a great tool for introverts because it allows you to stay in touch with people that you might not get a chance to otherwise speak to. Facebook can help you stay connected with old high school or college friends on your own terms. Relationships through email and social media don’t require as much maintenance on your part, but still allow you to keep connected. People that are introverted can keep up on what is going on in their social circle, without being the center of attention.

Setting up Weekly Lunches

If you prefer not to speak with friends on the phone or do so infrequently, setting up weekly or bi-monthly lunches can help you stay in the loop. Try to schedule a regular lunch at one of your favorite restaurants and make it a habit. Doing so will let people know that you are thinking about them. Going out for lunch is a time where you can connect, but not be stuck somewhere for a extended periods of time. If you have a group of people that you meet with regularly, it can be easy skip a week if you don’t feel up to it. Getting lunch is an easy thing that will help you maintain the closeness, that only face to face meeting can accomplish.

Make The Calls

Even though you might not want to maintain a busy social life, it is very important to make regular phone calls to close relatives or friends. Sometimes you might want to push yourself to reach out to family members or close friends, even if you don’t feel like it. As you grown older, relationships can become more distant, so maintaining your “priority” relationships is paramount. People can often get “stuck” in their comfort zones and put less and less effort into outside communication. If you are an introvert, you are who you are, but, there is some exception to be made when it comes to the most important relationships in your life.

About Me

I’ve had a chronic illness for 11 years and it has taken a huge toll on my social life. I have low energy and concentration issues and have a tough time connecting with people ever since. Even though i don’t identify as an introvert, I can relate to this issue because i know it can be very hard to make people understand why you want to be alone. I understand that it’s not a choice, but it is simply how you are.

James maintains the website Chronic Fatigue Treatments which focuses on chronic fatigue syndrome and it’s symptoms that include insomnia, adrenal fatigue, and the inability to concentrate.

Photo credit: Ian Fuller

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37 Comments

  1. I’m an introvert and I get connected to my friends once in a while by texting them or setting up weekend dining out. Some of my friends are really demanding and I most dislike it, so I tend to desensitize them by setting up meet ups once every two weeks. Right now I’m glad that they are all kind of busy so I don’t have to deal with them often.

  2. As we grown older, relationships can become more distant, so maintaining your “priority” relationships is paramount. People can often get “stuck” in their comfort zones and put less and less effort into outside communication.
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  3. Good point, a quick acknowledgement of your friend or family member by forwarding funny or interesting internet news via email, can let people know that they are on your mind. Text messages also work to this effect, allowing you to hold a conversation at the times when you feel like you want to, Thank you for taking your time to discuss this.
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  4. Being an introvert myself, this article is especially helpful. I use Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Yes, I find them helpful for me to engage with others and just keep up to date. I’m just not the type that goes out to lunch with somebody just to catch up. And that personality trait spills over into business too easily, I’ve found.

  5. Hey James. Yes I must admit, I have been guilty of not keeping in contact regularly enough with family and friends. The trouble is that time goes by so quickly, that before you know it, 3 months has gone by.

    I do catch up with people on Facebook, but a phone call or face to face meeting every now and then is important. Someone mentioned scheduling reminders… I might get a diary so that I can set a day to call family and friends.
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  6. Being an introvert can sometimes be hard for other family members and friends to understand. It is not that you don’t care for them, it is just that your tolerance level to continually socialize can be overwhelming sometimes. I find that just being honest and making an attempt to get together now and then develops a pattern, and soon my family and friends don’t take offense as they realize that that is just how I am.

  7. This is a great article. But social networking have made it so much easy for people like us, these sites keep you updated. But still meeting with friends is different than just saying hello on the internet.

  8. Helpful article.I find helpful to engage with others and just keep up to date. I’m just not the type that goes out to lunch with somebody just to catch up. And that personality trait spills over into business too easily, I’ve found.
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  9. Useful tips for introverts! I wish that introverts can get over it just like I did few years ago. I really had a hard time connecting with my friends and family since I didn’t know how to express myself well, but now, with regular practice and exposure to groups of people, I’m out of the shell now!

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  11. I have a (formerly close) introverted friend who lives far away but rarely responds to emails. Sometimes it will be weeks later and they write me to say they have nothing interesting to say. I’m not sure I understand that. I would ask them directly, but I know it would be too confrontational for them. Is this person placing such huge demands on themselves to be interesting that they can find nothing important enough to write? Or are they that bad at being friendly? I’m kind of ready to give up on them.

    • TheTravelingHermit on

      Renee,

      I can answer as an introvert. You probably cannot empathize with an introvert, but you can understand it (like understanding prejudice even if you’ve never been a victim). Introverts tend to make very few, but VERY strong/close relationships. We value them highly. For me that bond is never broken, I will always feel close to that person (regardless of the amount of separation by time/distance). However, I just don’t feel like the price of bus fare in Indiana has anything to do with anything. Introverts want to spend time talking about things that matter. I have a Facebook account, but I don’t use it. It is littered with people making comments about nothing. There is rarely anything of real importance.

      If your friend is like me then even if we never talk, I still have that bond, and I would be seriously hurt by someone who has ‘given up’. When you come back into the life of an old introvert friend, after catching up, you’ll likely find it’s as if you were never separated.

  12. Although this wa a few years ago in your life, I wanted to know more about what happened to you. Your sentences are like those that I spoke in my mind, and I was almost pleasantly shocked. I wonder, if you read this thread aymore. Because it would would b e nice to know the epilogue to your tale since I’m living it now. I’m older than when you wrote this, and if you’ve turned out to be a “yah, no…can’t relate to that anymore,” then I don’t need to hear anymore from you; you know, if it was a fase, but if you have found something, then I’d want to hear more. You do remember, though, that the last thing necessary is preaching. Anyway, if you are not the person I though you were, your writing is obviously well thought out or well written, whatever that doesn’t offen you, and well read over. For that, I think you already rock.

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