There is a ton of information (and hilarious memes) about introvert and extrovert friendships and relationships of all kinds, but the idea that introverts can be friends with one another is one that seems a little foreign, to put it mildly. What on earth are two introverts supposed to do during a hang out session on a quiet Friday night? Better yet, how would two introverts even become friends in the first place?
Being introverted myself, and in possession of a few friends that are on the same spectrum of introversion as me, it’s surprisingly been a learning curve. Because contrary to popular belief, introverts don’t always start on the same footing. Being similar in terms of our hesitancy regarding how sociable we can be towards other people doesn’t really give us a lot of opportunities to open up to a fellow introvert. However, it’s definitely not an impossible feat, and here are a few things you can keep in mind if you’re an introvert seeking the company of another:
1. An understanding that the silence shared between us is appreciated
It can get a little awkward when you’re hanging out with a new introverted friend and you’re not sure if they’re okay with the quiet, so make sure to establish that understanding in the beginning. Chances are, both of you are going to be more than okay with spending time together in shared silence.
2. But that the window to conversation is always open, as well
There’s an underlying myth that introverts aren’t very talkative people, but that’s probably because you might not have heard an introvert expounding on their favourite topic of conversation for hours on end. Being introverted shouldn’t stop either of you from talking about your favourite things together, and even if you might not share the same interest, it’s nice to be able to learn about new things from each other.
3. Staying at home is great, but sometimes, we all need a little adventure
I’ll be honest; I’m a huge fan of staying indoors, whenever I can, as most other introverts I know are as well. However, there’s also such a thing as staying home too much. For a pair of introverts, it could be a little daunting, even downright annoying to think about trying something out of your comfort zone, but you miss out on the rest of the world when you’re stuck at home all the time. And sure, the latter bit sounds like a lovely idea, except, one, the world doesn’t revolve around you in the first place, and two, there’s so much to learn and explore that it’s a shame to have to miss out on all of that, just because you’re “not feeling like it”.
4. Courage to face conflict within the relationship, together
Conflict isn’t something most introverts handle easily, admittedly. We like to sweep it under a rug, or bottle it up inside, or just completely swim in denial instead of having a much-needed confrontation. Yet, this is unhealthy in any relationship, and while it is incredibly taxing on the emotions, introverts should understand that it is a necessary evil from time to time, and both halves of the pair need to step up and face the conflict together.
5. We can’t stay in our heads all the time
Introvert friendships still need room to grow, and that space gets drastically diminished when we don’t allow ourselves to make space for the other in our lives. When introverts hang out together, there’s still a need to be present for the other, especially when one of us feels like talking. Being too caught up in our thoughts allows us too many opportunities to overanalyze everything and can lead to us being too inhibited by our own doubts and insecurities. So make an effort to come out of that head space, and learn to appreciate the presence of your fellow introvert, even it’s just a mutual need for quiet between the two of you.