This is a question I get asked a lot: How can an introvert attract and make friends with other introverts?
Whether you want to date fellow introverts, or simply find a friend who understands your unique introvertisms, it can be hard to know where to begin.
After all, introverts are known as quiet observers who hang out on the edges of the room.
We tend to let others initiate conversations. If no one’s willing to make the first move, how can two introverts connect? Not only that…
There’s that whole yin and yang philosophy about lovers and friends. If opposites attract, what happens when two similar personalities end up in the same room?
In the case of introverts, we might not even notice each other because we’re surrounded by extroverts who do all the talking.
And sure, this can be annoying, but there’s definitely a comfort to hanging out with extroverts who carry the conversation.
However, too often, things become very uncomfortable, as we get overwhelmed by bigger, louder personalities who don’t really understand us. Don’t get me wrong, not all extroverts are like this.
The pain of introvert extrovert relationships
Unfortunately, I hear from a lot of introverts who have had painful experiences with extroverted partners or friends. They constantly felt judged for their preferences.
Rather than embracing one another’s differences, the extrovert tried to change the introvert, pushing them to talk and socialize more than was natural to them.
At the root of the pain of extrovert/introvert relationships that don’t work is the sense that we’re not understood or accepted.
We all want to feel heard and seen in our relationships, romantic or otherwise. Some introverts feel that being with a fellow introvert is the only way to achieve this. I get it.
I used to attract highly gregarious, outgoing personalities who talked more than they listened. These were not bad people. In fact, they were warm, kind, and open-minded. But they also exhausted me.
I felt like I had to fight to join the conversation. If it’s too hard for an introvert to feel heard in conversation, we’ll just give up.
So, that’s what I did a lot of the time. I turned in the towel and allowed myself to be outshined by bigger personalities. But there was a big problem.
Even though we’re introverts, focused on our internal world, we are also human beings. As humans, we have an innate need to express our authentic selves and be accepted for who we are.
We can never connect in the meaningful way that we need and desire if we hide in the shadows of extroverts.
That said, here’s how to find and connect with other introverts:
Go to the right places
Introverts are everywhere, but there are certain places that we prefer to hang out. Outdoor groups and artist events are crawling with introverts.
Think nature walks, spoken word slams, music open mics, and biking groups.
If you’re at a party, you’re likely to find introverts at the edge of the room, playing with a pet, helping the host, or simply observing. They may also be attached at the hip to an extroverted companion.
Know how to spot an introvert
I talk about how to spot an introvert in this video. One thing to keep in mind is that introverts often disguise ourselves as extroverts. We’re not always quiet and solitary, but there are always telltale signs of an introvert.
Look for the people who speak more slowly and seem to avoid small talk. Introverts also tend to start zoning out after a lot of socializing.
As I explain in this video, a lot of comedians are introverts. What I’ve noticed about comedians is they tend to dive into whatever topic of conversation interests them, without much pretence.
The conversation can be silly, serious, or ranty, but it’s usually devoid of small talk. This is true of a lot of introverts who’ve managed to escape, or just plain flip the bird, at extrovert social norms.
Make the first move
A fellow introvert is less likely to initiate conversation. Bite the bullet and make the first move. This means being the first to make eye contact, smile, approach the person, and introduce yourself.
Commit to the conversation
Commitment is a key aspect of connecting with anyone. But it is especially essential when talking to fellow introverts.
Many introverts worry that we’re too boring and weird to be interesting. We wonder why anyone would want to be friends with us.
If we notice that our conversation partner is looking at their phone or around the room, we’ll assume it’s our fault. We’ll start to feel self-conscious and retract into our shell.
Conversely, if you bring your full attention to the conversation, asking thoughtful questions and truly listening, the introvert will feel safe to open up to you.
Follow up and follow through
If you meet an introvert who you’d like to get to know better, you’ll probably have to be the one to make the second move. That is to say that you’ll have to ask for their contact info.
Then it’s as simple as following through by reaching out and setting up a time to meet.
Depending on the situation, it might feel more natural to invite them to a social event that you’re already attending, such as a BBQ, or outdoor meetup.
For more tips on how to connect with innies, outies and anything in between, download my free Introvert Connection Guide. You’ll also get my Introvert Conversation Cheat sheet and Confidence Lessons straight to your inbox.
Over to you
Are you an introvert who wants to befriend fellow introverts? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
P.S. In case you’re new here. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michaela, and I help introverts gain confidence and connections, all while embracing their introversion. I have hundreds of articles and resources to help you live your best innie life. You can start with my free Introvert Confidence Lessons.
I agree sometimes I just have to bite the bullet and make the first move. It’s gotten easier with practice. I’ve actually learned a new technique about gauging the emotional barometer of people in conversation and believe it or not backing off from sensitive topics and asking other questions makes a person feel taken care off and later after some time they may just want to answer that sensitive question because you noticed that they were uncomfortable with it.
We introverts like our depth, however small talk has it’s place in conversation and is just a gentle segway into deeper topics, even if we’d like to deep dive on each other sometimes doing that can touch on old wounds.
The trick I found is look for deflections in speech if in person or answers left out in online replies. Respect is fundamental in maintaining connections. I find that asking permissive questions helps in getting a good read on people, and I watch for their micro expressions or emotional reactions.
Something to keep in mind for us deep innies.
Thanks for sharing, James. 🙂