Introverts are loyal people who value quality over quantity in our friendships.
Our intuitive, thoughtful, and calm nature is a gift to the few people we allow into our inner circle. That doesn’t mean that our friendships are perfect.
Making and maintaining friendships can be challenging for introverts. Here are 4 friendship struggles that introverts will understand all too well.
4 Introvert Friendship Struggles
Expecting next level loyalty
As I mentioned, introverts don’t let just anyone in. If we open up and trust you enough to call you a true friend, we expect you to match our level of loyalty.
This is why friendships with extroverts can be especially challenging for introverts. We feel left behind by social butterflies who don’t make enough time for us.
Self-doubt and overthinking
Letting someone into our well-protected inner world can make introverts feel extremely vulnerable. Once we reach a certain level of closeness, we might start to feel insecure.
Introverts are used to being misunderstood. When you spend your whole life starving for acceptance, it’ easy to doubt people’s true intentions.
New friendships can be especially challenging for introverts who tend to be sensitive to the energy and emotions of other. It’s the same feeling as when your eyes open in the morning and they’re still sensitive to the light.
We need to gently ease into friendships so that we don’t get overwhelmed by all the new thoughts and feelings.
Questioning if it’s worth it
Since introverts gain energy from being alone and lose energy with others, it only makes sense that we’d have reservations about making friends.
We wonder if it’s really worth the energy drain and stress. Many introverts are also idealists who feel disappointed, and even personally slighted when others don’t share or understand our ideals.
When friendships cause more stress and disappointment than joy, we think about giving up and withdrawing to the only place we feel safe and at home: within ourselves.
Trouble staying in touch
There are so many reasons that an introvert might lose touch with a friend. Inconsistent energy levels can make it hard to maintain contact.
Many introverts also tend to withdraw when we’re stressed out. Instead of reaching out to others, we retract into ourselves as a way to restore emotional equilibrium.
Sometimes, we just plain forget. We get caught up in our own world of quirky hobbies, projects, and fantasies. Before we know it, it’s been weeks since we reached out to our bestie.
That’s why I included “Reach out to someone” in the Introvert Self-Care Checklist.
Reaching out can mean anything from sending a simple text, to making plans, to actually getting together with someone.
Having it on my daily self-care checklist ensures that I’m always doing something to stay in touch with people I care about.
How introverts can have more satisfying friendships
With all of these very real introvert friendship struggles, you might be wondering how to have friendships that are actually fulfilling and don’t drain the life out of you.
There are many introvert specific ways to improve your friendships, including…
- Clear boundaries that honour your introvert needs
- Setting reminders to reach out to people
- Learning how to communicate your needs in a way that strengthens relationships
- Gaining confidence in your friendship skills, so you stop constantly doubting yourself
- Accepting yourself completely—you’re loveable just as you are!
For more specific tips on how to attract and keep meaningful friendships, grab my free Introvert Connection Guide.