If you’re an introvert, socializing probably isn’t your strong suit. But interacting well with people is the key to success in dating, friendships, and your career. Stop settling for less in your life—hone your strengths, shore up your weaknesses, and become the Introvert Unbound!
One of the biggest introvert pet peeves is “small talk.” That’s usually because deep-delvers such as ourselves don’t want to waste our precious social energy on petty topics like weather or sports scores, but instead connect on issues that matter to us.
This quest for meaning is one of introverts’ most admirable traits. Unfortunately, with most people, it’s not always possible to get into such weighty matters right off the bat. For example, it comes across as a little weird to introduce yourself for the first time to a stranger and then immediately ask, “So, do you think there’s such a thing as pure good and evil?”
When people get together with strangers, they’re sussing one another out. So it’s understandable that a lot of folks are wary about baring their souls to people they don’t know the first thing about. And that’s really what small talk is about.
I’ve always been an extreme introvert, preferring to spend much of my time completely alone or in very small groups. It’s not that I hate people, it’s simply that—as with all introverts—socializing drains my energy, so I tend to enjoy solitary activities the most.
Over the years, though, I started to accept the fact that my aversion to socializing might be keeping me from living the life I wanted.
After graduating from college, I found it difficult to make new friends, as that required putting myself into new situations and introducing myself to people. Since I worked from home, my professional life was mostly fine, but I knew I was limiting my prospects because I never wanted to network in person with colleagues who could’ve expanded my horizons. And, needless to say, my social isolation made it so my dating life was pretty dismal.
Finally, it got to the point where my misery was greater than my dislike of socializing and I decided to just launch myself out there into the world. And the discovery I made changed my life: I had been using my introversion as a crutch.
Let’s face it: as an introvert guy it can be tough to make friends. In many ways it’s easier to go out and find women to date than it is to meet a dude friend to hang out with. Sadly, there’s even a bit of a stigma around doing so (“no homo,” etc.)
Most people make friends through school (elementary, high school, college), work, or social circle. In college, everyone is around the same age and living a similar life, so friendships are made pretty organically. But once you graduate and enter the “real world,” it’s not so easy.
Work can be a decent place to make friends, but that’s largely dependent on how many people work there. If it’s just a few of you, you travel a lot, or you work from home, you might not find anyone you resonate with. Friends of friends is perhaps the simplest way, but if you don’t have many friends to begin with, it’s not too helpful.
So what should an introvert guy do to make friends?