Are you an introvert? Do you feel like the mathematics major who won the marathon just trying to avoid random strangers talking to him? Jokes apart, you must read this article for 5 ways to make friends while being an introvert.
If you consider yourself to be an introvert, then you are not alone. In fact, according to Susan Cain (studied introverts for over 7 years), as many as 33-50% of Americans are introverts.
So, just find peace in the fact that many other people also consider themselves to be introverts.
Having said that, a lot of the people use the quality of being an ‘introvert’ as an excuse to avoid uncomfortable meet-ups with large groups of strangers.
This is a defence mechanism they use in order to combat their insecurities and fears.
However, some of these people might truly be introverts by nature.
In fact, according to some research, the number of friends you have depends on your genes by 46%.
On the flip side, the number of friends you have depends on your actions by 54%.
Also, there is a strong correlation between happiness and your networking skills. People with higher professional success also seem to have strong social connections.
Therefore, it is with no doubt that social skills and networking is important.
So how do you find new friends, even if you are an introvert?
Approach #1 - Find New Internet Connections
This may seem simple, but it is indeed very powerful.
In fact, check this out – more than one-third of U.S. marriages begin with online dating.
How do you get contacts online?
Here are a few tips for the same:
- Join Facebook groups. There are groups for almost anything. Perhaps, you can join your city group and take an active part in the discussions there. Often, they arrange offline meetings called meet-ups, which you can attend.
- Use LinkedIn to connect with professionals in your industry. You can also use this platform to stay in touch with colleagues. Since you have something in common, it is easier to get along with them.
- Just be active in different groups, blogs, and websites. Comment and share. This will allow you to get in touch with like-minded people, which can, in turn, grow into friendship.
Approach #2 - Arrange Skype Dates.
Apart from texting online, you can arrange e-dates. Not only is it faster, easier and more convenient to discuss something on skype, but also it is far more personal.
You might have noticed in the past – after having a skype meeting and then meeting that person in real life, you would feel like old friends.
Therefore, Skype is a good way to establish your friendship with acquaintances.
Approach #3 - Connect With Friends Of Friends.
On average, a person can maintain 6-7 close connections and up to 150 stable social connections in real life. This is called Dunbar’s number.
These 150 people will, in turn, have their list of 150 friends. Therefore, if you concentrate on making friends through mutual connections, the number of possible people you could connect with, becomes huge.
This is exactly why Facebook has billions of people as its user base!
So you can ask your family and friends whom you know really well, to connect you to their friends.
This way, there will be no need for any uncomfortable confrontations with strangers. You already have something in common!
Approach #4 - Connect With Social Influencers
When you look at different populations, there will be few pockets of people who influence the behavior and thoughts of people around them.
There are several types of research done to support this. For example, it is found that sexual diseases are spread by a small group of people within a community.
It is the same with The News – a few people receive the information. They will surely spread it within the community.
So, what does this mean for you?
It means that you don’t need to exert effort connecting with many people. All you need to do is connect with these social influencers, and they will, in turn, connect you with others.
Here is an anecdote from my own life –
I was giving a chess seminar in India. This was my first visit to the country, so I hardly knew anyone personally there.
There was a colleague of mine, S Manikandaswamy (excellent chess coach), who was a reputable person in the local community.
He introduced me to a large number of other people, including a former minister, heir of the former king, spiritual leaders, journalists, top officials and several other interesting people.
All of these connections were possible, only because I knew this one reputable person.
From right to left: Dr. Senthil Kumar (famous cardiologist), S Manikandaswamy (chess coach), Igor (me), son and wife of Dr. Senthil Kumar, Alyona (my wife), Thiru N. Nallusamy (former minister of Indian state Tamilnadu), Ramesha (my good friend).
Therefore, it is okay for you to connect with fewer people but always seek for informal leaders and influencers.
Approach #5 - Send A Thank-You Email To A New Person At The Beginning Of Your Day, Within The Next 21 Days.
Here is an interesting challenge –
Within the next 21 days, send an email to a new person expressing your gratitude.
I’m sure several people have been inspirational in your life. There is nothing more pleasant than sending them an email expressing your gratitude.
People love those who make them feel good about themselves. In this case, if you follow the ‘21 days challenge,’ people will love you. These people might end up taking the effort to introduce you to other people (such as their friends).
Even more importantly, YOU will feel good about yourself. Saying positive words to others will uplift your spirits.
Even if you are an introvert, there are easy ways to make new friends. Here are 5 different ways:
- Find new contacts in the Internet.
- Arrange Skype chats.
- Connect with friends of your friends (ask for an introduction).
- Connect with fewer people, but seek for informal leaders, influencers.
- Send a thank-you email to a new person at the beginning of your day, within the next 21 days.
P.S. Did these approaches help you? If so, please do tell us which ones in the comments below.