Dear Liz ,I am an introvert. I find it hard to make good, long-lasting friendships. Why is it harder now than when I was a kid? People come and go in our lives constantly. People don't seem to prize deep relationships anymore. Any tips?
New Carlisle, Ohio
Hi, thanks for writing. I wrote a column this week on this subject exactly, and I Couldn’t agree with you more. As an entire society we are lacking the ability to prize these relationships. It’s a common statement you make here also, that it’s so much more difficult as an adult to make friends than it was as a kid. My guess is that kids have a much simpler agenda, with less fear, believe it or not, and more faith in the process. I would say that it might be more difficult for an introvert to make friends, but my research has also shown, that an introvert is more likely to keep friends. So hang on to that thought.
My first tip to you would be to ask you to try and reach beyond your comfort zone as an introvert and attempt a more proactive effort to make friends. You seem to know it will be worth it. I know it’s difficult, but do it. Secondly, I Would say pay very close attention to the opportunities around you for friendship, some you may not have noticed. Friendship can begin with something as mundane and as silly as a question. “Where did you get that belt?” Put it out there. Also, re-assess who you’re exposed to right now in your life and see if you can get something going.
Next, I would suggest you seek out some sort of group situation to add to your life. A class in anything, knitting, writing, bowling, pottery, exercise, soap making, book club, whatever interests you. Find something and join. This can create the opportunity for you to meet, and be around the same people week after week, in a way that can offer a real shot for friendship to bud. And lastly, I would recommend that you make sure to nurture the friendships you have. Even if the friends live far, write cards, letters, and call, it’s an important practice to let the people you care about know that you’re thinking of them and are there for them. The more you put effort into something, the more you’ll get back. Good luck to you!