Being an introvert comes with its perks, but boy-oh-boy does it come with its downsides too! One of the most challenging things for an introvert to do: making new friends. For a true introvert, putting oneself out there can be absolute torture. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. There are places where you can make new friends in a way that’s gentle on your nerves. Do you want to learn more about where you can make new friends? Great!, keep reading.
If you have been of the mindset that making new friends requires you to put yourself through the agony of bars, pubs, and nightclubs, you’re wrong. There are many other places you can try to meet people, and the best news of all is that while you’re at it, you might just meet other people in the very same boat as you – yes, you guessed it; other introverts!
Want to take a closer look at how to navigate making new friends at introvert-friendly places? Then, let’s take a look at 12 regular places you can go to, to make new friends. Breathe a sigh of relief, because none of these options involves a busy pub or bar, or large groups of rowdy, “confident” people!
12 friendly places where introverts can make friends:
1. The library (or a book club).
Libraries are nice places to meet new people. Of course, you can’t go to a library and lie in wait for someone new to come along. It is better to spend some time browsing and reading books in the library. If you see someone browsing for a book, perhaps you can recommend something that you have read from a similar genre. Or you could ask for some advice. This is going to require you to make the first move, but in a library, there’s nothing to be scared of, right? You might just meet a new friend who has a similar reading style to you! What a great friendship that could be.
2. Social media.
Social media is a great place for introverts to easily and truly come out of their shells. It’s a commonly accepted phenomenon that people are far more outgoing when online. When online, you can join groups, comment on community posts, and share things about yourself that can be supported or ignored by your peers. You can join online social groups and meet like-minded people. Give it a try. If you don’t like it, you can always stop or delete your account.
3. Volunteering programs.
Every town and city has an animal shelter that could do with a free helping hand. Volunteering to assist these kinds of establishments will be truly appreciated by them, and you will get to meet other volunteers.
If you are an animal lover, you will meet other animal lovers and could strike up a meaningful friendship. Even if you are only spending time at the animal shelter, there is always the option of keeping in touch via texting; and there’s the possibility of coffee and movie outings in the future – when you are comfortable enough to ask that is.
4. Join a running club or Park Run event.
Exercising is a great way to get fit and make friends at the same time. Running clubs and Park Run events are great because you will typically meet people in your immediate community. Everyone works hard to get the people in their club into good shape and clocking a good time.
After each running practice, the group usually spends some time together and gets to know each other. You can stay or leave, so there’s no pressure. The more you go, the more comfortable you will get and it would be hard not to get to know people.
5. At work.
Work is a great place to make new friends without any pressure involved. You are all at work because you have to be and there’s ample opportunity to make friends. You can share lunch with colleagues. A good way to break the ice would be to bring something yummy to share with your colleagues.
For instance, if someone does you a work favor, offer to repay their kindness with dinner or a drink. Reach out – you won’t regret it. Most people want their work relationships to flourish, so your colleagues should be quite accepting of a friendship possibility.
6. Support groups.
Finding a support group for extroverts could place you in a great position to make new friends. Introverts understand how hard it can be to make friends and be in group scenarios, so you will be making a valuable friendship indeed. If you search on Facebook, you will find several social groups for introverts available, such as the Official Introverts group. Here you can communicate with other introverts who also want to connect and make friends.
7. Start a blog.
Introverts aren’t particularly shy people or people without an opinion or personality; quite the opposite, really. Owing to the fact that the world has so many introverts, you could start a blog about your struggle with being an introvert, your passions and hobbies, or just your life. You can advertise your blog on introvert groups and get your name out there. Your followers will soon become your friends!
8. Find a hobby and join a club.
If you like cooking, join a cooking class. If you like scrapbooking, join a scrapbooking club. Find a hobby or activity that you feel you would really be able to get into and then join a group or club in your area. Even if you start out by just keeping to yourself in the group in the beginning, the more you participate and attend, the easier it will become to strike up a conversation, ask for advice, show off your skills – and before you know it, you will be making friends.
9. Coffee shops.
Reading a book, writing a letter, and checking your emails could be done at home, but they can also be done at the local coffee shop. Choose a coffee shop that offers a comfortable atmosphere and that has friendly staff. Even if your new friend is the barista in the coffee shop, that’s fine. Having someone to regularly chat with will do you a world of good.
10. In the park.
If you have a dog, why not head to the park for a walk. People generally approach dog owners walking in the park to say hi to the pet, give a pat/stroke, and to generally be friendly. You can use this to your advantage as people will generally come to you. Also, because the focus is on the pet, you won’t feel so on the spot, so the conversation will be a little easier.
11. A community program.
Community programs and projects are great ways to meet and befriend people in your neighborhood with absolutely no pressure attached. Look for programs in your neighborhood that you can get involved in. Maybe a litter clean-up group, a community veggie garden, a soup kitchen, or a neighborhood watch. Whatever there is available – join it and make sure that you show up. You will make friends with people who are interested in bettering your community. Who knows where that may lead?!
12. Family gatherings.
Believe it or not, making friends is quite easy at family gatherings. If you have cousins, aunts, uncles, and other relatives that are having a weekend gathering or barbecue with friends, get yourself an invite. It’s a great way to make friends while in the comfort of a group of people that already know you (your family), and if you feel out of place, you won’t be seen as too rude if you excuse yourself.
Making new friends as an introvert can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. If you really want to make new friends, be willing to commit yourself to the process. You don’t have to put yourself in unwanted or uncomfortable situations – just try the above pointers and you will come out smiling. Best of luck!