Can be two introverted friends
Introverts and friendship
Friendship is an important issue for me. Because I have few people in my life who I would call friends. And only have a manageable circle of friends.
Friendship is not something I give away or accept lightly. It takes time and trust for an acquaintance to become a friendship for me.
Acquaintances only know one side of me. Most of the time, I only show the qualities that I think are appropriate for this person and in this situation. My close friends get to know me better, I can show them more of myself.
We introverts often have a hard time building friendships. Because it takes us a long time to let someone get closer to us. It is important to us that we feel safe in the presence of the other. Until then we seem closed, aloof, boring, disinterested or even arrogant. Although we just need regular rest and time for ourselves. Or are in the process of observing the other person, getting to know them and assessing for us whether they deserve our trust.
Sometimes the other person has already disappeared from our lives by the time we can answer this question with yes. This is a pity. But the people who stay in our lives and become our friends can expect a trusting, deep and long friendship from us.
Friendships between intros and extros are often put to the test. Their needs are very different, and extros often can't understand what makes their introverted friends tick. Misunderstandings and disappointments are the result. That's why I've put together ten points that are important for introverts in a friendship.
But first of all it is about what can make a good friendship, but also when a friendship is in danger.
What do I expect from a friend?
We know that social contacts and friendships are important to us. They improve our well-being and health because they strengthen our immune system. Those who have no friends are lonely and can only develop their personality to a very limited extent.
For me friendship means:
- Enjoy spending time with each other, being happy together
- To feel comfortable and secure in the presence of the other
- Doing things together
- Helping each other and asking for advice
- To be interested in the other person's opinion, even if it is not your own
- To stand by yourself in a crisis
If you still want to divide friends into “normal” friendships and “deep or close” friendships, I would assign those people to the second category whose weaknesses and mistakes I know and can accept very well and who also survive crises as tests. But I also expect more from these close friends. The risk is greater that they will disappoint me because they may not meet these high expectations and then make me feel that they are neglecting me.
Misunderstandings arise quickly when you expect the other person to understand me. But we all have our very own view of the world around us, see different things and circumstances. When we share what we expect from the other, we let the other see into our world. Then misunderstandings can be avoided.
In general, friendship only works if you are on a common level. If you want someone to look up to you, you need admirers, not friends. That doesn't mean that you always have to agree. You feel connected when your friend has listened to you, understands and cares about your concerns, even if they give you unwanted advice afterwards. Friendship means not only giving advice, but also accepting it when the other does not want to accept it: friendships work without mutual demands.
Mutual listening with understanding and respect is the basis for building trust and sympathy. I have written a detailed article about active listening, the right body language and your inner attitude in conversation.
Casual acquaintances are also important for our social network. It doesn't always have to be a deep friendship. When it comes to new impulses and perspectives that serve our own personal development, when we need important contacts or are looking for information, our acquaintances can often help us more than our friends, with whom we already have a lot in common.
10 tips for friendship with an intro
# 1 Be patient
Introverts have a great need for security. They need a stable sense of trust until they can open up to someone. They like to stand in their own way or fail to understand their own contradicting needs: The desire to form deep friendships is just as great as the need for rest, retreat and time alone.
Intros are often afraid that a friendship will take away much of their need for peace and quiet. They ponder for a long time what expectations you could have of them and whether they can meet them. Freedom and independence are very important to them. This must not be restricted by a friendship. Demands for more closeness or even obtrusiveness lead to an intro withdrawing from you instead of allowing closeness.
If you want to get to know an intro better, the only way to do it is to gain its trust. But an intro takes time for that. So be patient with him, prove yourself trustworthy and give him the time he needs without imposing you - then you will be rewarded with a trusting and long-term friendship.
# 2 Get in touch regularly
Intros like to sink into their thoughts for a long time and forget the world around them. They'll be fine if you take them out of there every now and then - but respect it if they decline your offer. Intros love their inner world, it is an important part of their personality.
As a result, introverts sometimes come across as aloof. Then remind yourself that in there they are very sensitive people on the inside - even if they appear cool on the outside.
The best way to get in touch is by text message, so your introverted friend can get back to you when he's ready. A short "Hello" shows that you value him and that your thoughts are with him - even if he would rather be alone at the moment.
Don't be disappointed if an intro gets in touch with you less often than you do with him - he still thinks of you a lot!
# 3 Give him space
Intros love close friendships. But just like the connection with other people, they need their freedom. People exhaust them quickly. This is because their filter in their heads for external sensory stimuli is not so fine-tuned - that is, they pick up more details that extraverted people may not even notice. And all this information has to be sorted and processed in the head. In addition, many intros also feel and absorb feelings from other people in the room - especially if they are highly sensitive. That costs a lot of energy. Intros process all of this information and emotion best by stepping back and being on their own for a while.
Intros are like an "emotional sponges" - when they are soaked, nothing works anymore, they feel full and heavy.
So don't take it personally if an intro doesn't accept your invitation or says goodbye after a short time. It is not meant personally and has nothing to do with your friendship. Just accept it as part of his personality. He's probably having a moment right now when he just needs rest to recharge his batteries.
After the break, your friend will be there for you again.
# 4 Spend quality time together
When you're with an introvert, you usually have their full attention (unless the sponge is full right now - see # 3). He decided to hang out with you - an intro doesn't do that for everyone! - and that's why you should also give him your full attention.
Do not be elsewhere with your thoughts, chat in between or invite other friends of yours to do so. In large groups and with people they don't know (well), they feel more insecure. Intros love familiar rounds in a small, protected circle, or ideally just in pairs.
Appreciate and enjoy the time and energy that an intro has reserved for you. You have someone by your side who listens to you, understands you and is totally involved with you. You can talk to him about things that are important to you or tell stories that you like. You have a listener who can give you advice if you want, who can contribute interesting thoughts, or who is just there for you.
# 5 Feed your intro
Okay, of course that is meant figuratively 😊
Feed him conversation! Introverts love to learn new things, share knowledge and opinions, immerse themselves in a topic. If you have a topic that interests you, you can easily get your friend excited about it and discuss it with them for hours.
Feed him books! Intros are mostly bookworms - there is hardly a book that they are not interested in. If you know them well enough, you will also know their taste in books.
Feed him with experiences for the senses! Listen to good music together, cook together and enjoy good food, visit exhibitions and the most beautiful places in nature together. An intro is fire and flame for such things.
# 6 Intros need security
In contrast to extros, intros tend to be cautious and concerned about safety. That doesn't mean they can't be spontaneous or brave. But they are usually very structured and like it when everything around them is in order. Order around them also means being able to sort out the clutter in your head better - and in there in the intro heads it can sometimes be quite turbulent!
Therefore: Avoid changing plans together at the last minute or postponing appointments at short notice. Intros hate that.
Sometimes intros get stuck in the structures they have created themselves. They are grateful when their boyfriend or girlfriend inspires them to new experiences. They are open to trying new things (in the safety of your area) and like to be surprised by your plans from time to time. There's a bit of a thirst for adventure in every intro - help them wake them up!
The shared experiences create shared memories that strengthen your bond.
# 7 Intros love reading from you
You already know that intros are bookworms. You have an intimate relationship with everything that is written. Make your introverted friend happy by texting them. It is best not to use a text message made up of sentence fragments and emojis, but rather correctly.
A loving card, a detailed letter, if you like, also as an email - you make him a huge pleasure with it. You are guaranteed to get something back: also a letter or email, or something completely different, with which he shows that he appreciates your effort and wants to give you something of equal value.
# 8 Make intros laugh
Intros are often serious, thoughtful, and reserved. This is their normal "operating mode". But just as extraverted people need to be quiet now and then, intros also want to be able to get out of themselves and let out the many feelings that are floating around in them. It's not that easy for them.
If you can make your friend laugh with all your heart, you win. You will be amazed at what else comes out of him and get to know a whole new, lively, funny and maybe even exuberant side of your friend.
# 9 listen
Intros are good listeners but often feel unheard and misunderstood. If you want a close friendship with an intro, learn to become a good listener. (In this article you will find out everything that goes with it.) If you listen to your intro really well, you will learn a lot of new things: about him, his thoughts and points of view, about interesting topics, about the world. And how he sees you.
It is rare these days to find people who are interested in other people's thoughts and able to listen. Intros are often saddened by this. It is one thing to think a lot for yourself and to be interested in a lot, but it is something completely different to be able to exchange ideas with others. It's a sign of mutual respect - something that I feel has become too rare.
# 10 Be on his side
In our society, the extraverted people are the focus. They seek and get other people's attention. Being quiet, reserved and thoughtful are not qualities that immediately inspire everyone's sympathy. It's not easy for intros and always gives them the feeling of being second-rate people. They come across as complicated, aloof, sometimes dismissive, and it's hard work for them to work on personal charisma. Most don't take the time to get to know an intro better if their first impression hasn't piqued their curiosity. (That brings us back to # 1: be patient.)
Give YOU an intro the feeling of being accepted and belonging. Accept him for who he is (# 1, 3 and 6), help him to open up (# 4, 8 and 9) and also show understanding to others if he prefers to be alone on some days.
Mutual trust and respect are the basis for a close friendship. But for it to last in the long term, common interests, goals or projects are important, otherwise you get bored with each other quickly.
Let your intro boyfriend be who he is - you can't turn him into an extravert person anyway. Take your weaknesses with humor and use your strengths in the areas that are less important to you. Intros choose the people to whom they open up very carefully - if you are one of them, you are very special to them! (And they hope you want to know a lot more about them!)
Maybe you have an extrovert friend who sometimes doesn't understand you? Or ask yourself why it is always so difficult for you with friendships? I hope I was able to shed a little light on friendship with introverts. Feel free to share the article with your friends - so that your friendship will become even better!
What does friendship mean to you? Are there any other things that are very important to you as an intro to a friendship? Or are some points not right for you? Feel free to add your opinion in the comments!
All the best
If you like it colorful: Here you can download an infographic on the subject of friendship.
For further reading:
Why you should (sometimes) do something alone as an intro
What does "having fun" mean for you as an intro?
Your intro strength: listening properly
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