A lot of introverts are hardcore animal lovers. Sometimes, we even love our animal friends more than people. Who can blame us?
Animals offer a kind of companionship that feeds an introvert’s gentle soul like nothing else. While people drain our energy by expecting constant conversation, animals replenish us by offering comfort beyond words.
As serious and stoic as we may seem on the outside, we introverts need love and affection, too. Often, our animal friends are just what the doctor ordered. After a long day filled with too much peopling, a cuddle from a furry cutie has us good as new again.
My strange animal best friend
This is a little embarrassing to admit, but growing up, my best friend was my pet rat.
Sure, I had human friends, too, but Mickey the rat was an endless source of joy and companionship for me. After all, we had so much in common.
We both loved to explore nature, munch on yummy food, and take naps. oh yeah, and we were both very quiet as well. Mickey the rat and I didn’t have very many deep conversations, and that’s what made our bond all the more strong.
Introverts need companions who allow us to feel safe in our silence. Animals do this naturally. – Tweet this
Overthinking and anxious? Animal friends cure all
Many of us innies have a tendency to overthink. We create thought knots that we spend the whole day trying to untangle. This gets very tiring, and can cause a lot of anxiety. The pure loving presence of an animal friend gets us out of our head and into a more peaceful state of mind.
Don’t just take my word for it.
Many research studies show that animals really do help reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression in humans. One study that I found especially interesting explored the impact of animal support during a stressful social situation. The study by Beetz et al. (2011) compared the effects of social support by a dog versus social support by a friendly human on children with insecure attachments.
Can you guess what they discovered?
The dogs trumped humans when it came to reducing cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the anxious children. I’m no scientist, but I have my theories on why this is.
Why animal friends soothe the introvert soul
One of the things that is so refreshing about our animal friends is that they are so easy to understand. Animals don’t lie. When a dog wags his tail, he’s happy. When a cat purrs, he’s pleased. When animal friends bark, or meow, or squeak, there’s usually a good reason for it.
You see, animals simply don’t do small talk.
Otis the dog will never ask you how your day was, or what you did on the weekend. But his eyes will light up when you walk in a room. And he will stay by your side through good times and bad. Should you ever feel like opening up, he’ll perk his ears in your direction, and listen intently without ever interrupting you.
The other reason animal friends soothe our introvert soul is that it’s so easy to make them happy. Food, affection, fresh air — that’s all they really want. People are much more complicated. They want us to talk when we don’t want to talk. Humans have expectations, you see.
Most people expect introverts to stretch and strain ourselves to the point of exhaustion. They want us to fill our social calendar, and be busy all the time.
Meanwhile, cats don’t care if we want to spend all day Saturday in our pyjamas. As long as we offer food, and the occasional belly rub, they won’t judge. The same goes for dogs, hamsters, and parakeets. Their expectations are blissfully low. This is such a relief in the demanding, extrovert biased world we live in.
As if all that weren’t already enough, there’s another often overlooked reason why animal friends are so comforting to introverts.
Introverts need this in our day
Most introverts love structure and routine. Having some predictability in our day helps to protect us from overwhelm. Animal friends create a healthy routine that gets us away from our worries and into nature. When we feed our pets their much-anticipated daily meals, we feed our soul at the same time.
One of my email subscribers, David, who has a standard schnauzer named Jasper, explains the the importance of routine:
“My day with Jasper always starts the same way. I sit on the floor, and he climbs on top of my legs. He lays belly up on me so that I rub his stomach. That routine, I find, is a main grounding factor to my day.”
David has also noticed that Jasper helps him to better navigate the challenges of daily life as an introvert. “Being an introvert, what I can say is Jasper recharges my energy. This helps me to go and meet with countless people. To endure the robust conversations required in my line of work.”
Adorable animal pics ahead
A while ago, I asked my subscribers to share pictures of their beloved animal friends. The cuteness avalanche that ensued was almost too much! Indeed, we are a community of introvert animal lovers here at Introvert Spring, and we want to share the love.
That’s why I’ve compiled a selection of the most adorable pics below. Before you get lost in the adorableness explosion, I’ll leave you with a sweet quote, which our longtime reader Matthias, ‘cat dad’ to a tabby named Rosi, has hanging on his door:
“You can go without many things, but not without literature and CATS.”
True words of wisdom! Enjoy the pics, innie friend. 😉
Do you have special animal friends?
I’d love to hear about it! Please do share your animal friends stories in the comments below.
P.S. While our animal friends are essential, human connection is just as important for introverts. Discover how to make meaningful friendships as an introvert with my free 50-page Introvert Connection Guide.