I admit (as the introvert) that it’s not easy to deal with people who have introverted tendencies if you don’t understand introversion.
What seems normal to you may make your introvert friend uncomfortable and you’re left confused and wondering what’s going on and how you can help.
If your introverted friend is someone who’s important to you, then you know it’s worth the extra effort to learn how to deal with them.
I’m hoping that’s why you’re here…
In this article, I’ll offer you 7 actionable tips that will show you how to deal with your introverted friend and hopefully help you better understand introverts along the way.
Before we dive into the tips, how about we explain why introverts are the way they are.
Some Interesting Facts About Introverts
- Unlike extroverts, introverts feel drained by prolonged social gatherings, especially loud ones (parties for one), and the only way for us to get our energy back is to spend time in quieter places(preferably alone), doing things we enjoy.
- We’re very detail-oriented and we’re naturally interoceptive that’s why we lose focus easily sometimes, we’re inside our heads.
- Our homes are our sanctuaries. We love staying indoors. We do.
- Animals don’t talk. Animals are cute. Animals are friends.
- Feelings are not to be taken lightly.
- We’re usually not interested in meaningless and shallow conversations, so it’s only normal if an introvert gets awkward and then uncomfortable if you put them through small talk.
- We don’t like talking on the phone.
How to Be Good Friends With an Introvert (7 Actionable Tips)
1. Stop forcing social gatherings on your introverted friend.
This is the number one thing you need to stop doing if you want to keep your introverted friend.
Most introverts are already struggling with social anxiety, so putting them in a crowded place will make things worse.
An introvert’s natural tendency is to avoid people, especially large groups of people they don’t know, and instead, they’ll prefer to spend time with their close circle of friends or alone.
So what I suggest you do is ask them how they feel about going to certain gatherings and then respect their decision. If they don’t want to go don’t put them under pressure or make them feel guilty for sending you without them.
2. Get them ‘gently’ out of their comfort zone
A great way to be a good friend with an introvert is to help them get out of their comfort zone.
Forcing them to do something they don’t like will make them hate you for it, but if you help them discover things they like, they’ll love you for it.
You can help them get out of their comfort zone by asking them questions about what they like and what their passions are.
Once you know what they like, put them in a position where they can do something related to it, like taking them to an art exhibition if they like to draw, a theater play if they’re good at acting, and so on.
3. Compromise and communicate to spend time together
Since we live in a world where social gatherings are the main way to spend time with your friends, then it’s only normal for introvert and extrovert friends to compromise and find a middle ground where they can both enjoy their time together.
It’s not always easy to do, but if you’re willing to work for it, then you can definitely get to an arrangement that both of you will enjoy.
Introverts are more likely to appreciate if you take the time to get to know them and let them do their own thing.
We love spending time alone, but we still want to spend time with you. The deal is not to try and force us to go places we don’t like or talk about things that bore us.
4. Let them talk and talk and just listen
If you want to be a good friend with an introvert then you need to learn how to master the art of listening.
Introverts are great listeners, and we actually love talking a lot, but only with the people, we feel comfortable around.
In other words, if you want to have a deep conversation with an introvert then you need to let them know that you’re interested in what they say by listening to them.
Once you let them talk, then they’ll feel safe around you and will be more open to being your close friend.
5. Give them space
This is something you need to understand about introverts.
We know that our friends love us, and we love them too, but sometimes we just need to have time on our own.
It’s best to be direct when you sense that your friend is not feeling well and ask them if they want to be left alone for a while.
Your friend will appreciate you understanding their need for time alone and will love you even more for it.
6. Support them and let them know that they’re not alone
Sometimes introverts need to talk to someone about what’s bothering them. They need to be able to open up and talk about their fears, anxiety or just express themselves. but strangely enough, it’s one of the hardest things for an introvert to do.
A small push from you in the form of a supportive word or an encouraging hug will make your friend open up emotionally.
They’ll love you more because they’ll feel understood and will not be alone anymore.
7. Ask them about themselves
If you find that your introverted friends’ behavior is confusing, then it’s best you always ask them about themselves. How they perceive things and why they react the way they do to certain things.
Be mindful of their behavior and ask about things that you can’t interpret.
You can ask them why they seem so quiet or what’s stopping them from talking to certain people.
Introverts will appreciate you more for asking them about themselves, and you’ll certainly know how to be a better friend.
There are many more ways that you can be the best friend of an introvert.
These are just a few things you can try, but the most important thing is to be receptive and patient.
Eventually, you’ll get to know them well enough to understand their behavior and you’ll be able to tell when they need a push or when they need to be left alone.
Introverts make for great loyal friends who will always have your back, so you better stick to yours if you have one!