Do you have a friend who’s always there during your tough times, but oddly disappears when you invite them to parties? They are great listeners but when you request them to do adventures with you, suddenly, they’re all gone. And you’re wondering, “What’s wrong?”
Don’t worry. Your friend isn’t shy or being weird. They vanish not because they dislike you or what. You see, having an introvert friend, it’s probably a character you need to get used to. Truth is, once you drag them out into the crowd, all social interaction slowly exhaust them to bits. They can only take enough external stimulation in a day.
Signs your Friend is an Introvert
You may have an introvert friend right under your nose, and don’t notice it at all. Contrary to the misconception, not all introverts are quiet. Your outrageously laughing and giggly friend may be surprisingly an introvert, too.
That said, here are more definitive signs your friend might be an introvert:
- They concentrate and work better in individual setups or solo projects.
- Although they walk in enthusiastically at a party, they yield to exhaustion after a few hours and it may be written all over their face.
- They rarely join long trips and get-aways.
- They choose to stay at home rather than loud Friday night-outs.
- You may find them leaning on individualistic, creative projects.
- They rarely initiate conversations with strangers.
- They often stick with their closest friends.
How to Deal with Introvert Friends
Since this is a query I found often asked, then I would like to answer it based on my personal experiences and what I mostly observed with my introvert friends. I’m glad I’m surrounded by several introspective and like-minded people!
Let me know in the comments how it’s going between you and your introvert friends, too!
Going back, here’s how to deal with introvert friends and what introverts actually want to tell their friends:
1. Even if they’re under the weather, texts are better than calls.
Like everybody else, introverts also struggle with a whirlwind of setbacks. It’s easy to talk about this one-on-one with a friend. But if you have an introvert friend who opens up to you through texts, then maybe it’s better to keep the conversation through texts, unless they call you first.
I had this experience where a friend checked on me and I admitted to her that I was emotionally tired. Out of pure concern, she landed me a call. I honestly missed it, but by the time I saw the missed call, I just know that “I’m too tired to talk” and explaining the situation through a call won’t make me feel better.
I know phone calls would save a lot of time, but to keep your introvert friend’s solitude, let them compose and explain things to you through texts.
2. They wanted to stay at home more than to travel.
While the bucket list of wandering the world sounds compelling, I think a 3-day rest at home is way better than a 3-day get-away where I have to endure long travels, possibly engage with strangers and have no quiet time. In the end, I’m sure I’d go home all beat. Na-ah.
So if your introvert friend declines your invitation or says “they aren’t sure,” the truth is, they are secretly wishing you won’t insist. Declining sure is hard.
3. Don’t mistake their quietness for loneliness.
When an introvert is quiet, don’t immediately jump to conclusions about them getting lonely. They’re not. When I was in college, forceful engagement and topics that don’t interest me are enough reasons to drift away and find my peace. But to be fair, when the conversation is interesting, I can be drawn into it, too.
Introverts can speak up when they have something to say, but can also keep their silence if they don’t have anything to contribute.
Other reasons they might be quiet are:
- They are tired from the prolonged social interactions.
- The group topic doesn’t interest them.
- They are busy minding their own business.
For introverts, alone time is better than forced interactions. They are people who can find entertainment from the simplest things and enjoy their own company.
4. They respond more than initiate conversations.
I, an introvert, and my extrovert best friend were guests in The Jianna Show’s pilot podcast episode.
It was funny how my extrovert friend observed introverts as “one question, one answer” type of people.
“I asked a lot already, and I was waiting for her to ask me back, but she didn’t!” She complained. We were all laughs.
It’s true. Introverts are responding types, especially with strangers. We struggle to maintain small talks especially with strangers.
Unfortunately, conversations with strangers always end up with an awkward silence. Nonetheless, rest assured that introverts respond better with people they are comfortable with or on topics they are interested in.
5. Check on them once in a while because they rarely open up.
Introverts will open up to you if they trust you. But there are also cases where introverts keep to themselves what they’re dealing with.
They may not always initiate talks with you, but once you check your introvert friends once in a while, you might be surprised about the number of new things going on in their life.
6. Introverts treasure their most real friends.
Extroverts effortlessly make friends whereas introverts stick to several trusted friends.
That said, when an introvert recognizes you as their real friend, they can get out of their way to extend help especially when you need a shoulder to lean on.
This side of them may not be known to people, but they treasure people who treasure them the same. More often than not, they express these privately, unlike extroverts who can express themselves more openly.
7. Don’t invite them to parties and leave them in the crowd.
It’s not that an introvert can’t handle themselves. But come to think of it, if you invited them to a party, that means they went there to accompany you. Not to make new friends.
Don’t assume introverts would go out there to meet new people. It’s unlikely – unless people initiate conversations with them. Also, introverts may find it hard to blend in with an unfamiliar set of people. They observe rather than engage. More often than not, they focus on who they know, and everybody else in the crowd may seem like white noise.
8. If you can send a text, don’t call.
Introverts and calls really don’t get along. Here’s what your introvert friends want you to know: if your message can be delivered through texts, then please, leave a text. Please. don’t. call.
Calls require an immediate response and it forces introverts to make quick decisions. Many introverts abhor it. I’ve worked answering phone calls in the past. But I’m still uncomfortable with it as it leaves me a short amount of time to process my thoughts. If dead air looks dull in person, it’s more agonizing in phone calls. Ahh. It makes me anxious.
9. It may take time to be real friends with introverts.
Making friends with an introvert doesn’t happen in a day. Unlike extroverts who feel comfortable the first time, introverts need continuous and several natural engagements to build their trust.
They take time, but indeed they make great and awesome friends.
Are introverts good friends?
Introverts sure make good friends. They are great listeners who can contribute profound observations to subjects that matter to them. Once they value you as a friend, they can go out of their way to help you with what matters to you, too.
However, it’s common how many introverts are misunderstood even in their circle of friends. Introverts’ choice to not join get-aways and parties are often perceived as being lonely or anti-social, which is not often the case.
Thankfully, society’s growing knowledge about personalities and social orientations allows both introverts and extroverts to live harmoniously with a deeper understanding and respect for each other.
How to be a good friend to an introvert?
Becoming a good friend to an introvert boils down to respecting their personal space. They lean on individualistic activities and embrace their alone time to recharge their batteries. It’s necessary to maintain a healthy and functioning mind.
If an introvert disappears or isolates themselves, it doesn’t mean they’re mad at you. It’s just how they regain their energy to keep themselves operating in the bustling noise of the world.
Book Recommendation for Introverts:
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