It has taken me into my 27thyear to realize that I am not as good at being a friendly person as I thought I was. Usually my face looks like I just smelled something bad and introducing myself to others makes my blood pressure spike like an angry step-dad. I’ve been fooling myself long enough while all the while failing to fool other people. Like…any of them. How do I know this? Well through the power of putting myself out there in the form of a podcast/radio show I’ve continually gotten the feed back that everyome thinks I am a total Bee at first, and this myth is still believed by those who I have never made the effort to befriend.
Here are a few tips for my fellow introverts who want to demystify the process of friendship:
1. Practice Smiling
· Use a mirror. Be sure not to look pained, this is important. We want to attract friends not a 911 call.
· In my experience, if smiling hurts you ARE doing it right
2. Leave Your house
· I know your house is warm, I know you are used to the non-judgmental yet empty stares of your pets but you gotta get out there!
· The sun is not going to hurt you (SPF 20 Recommended)
· Most people aren’t trying to hurt you (keep an eye out for weapons and you’ll be fine)
3. Introduce yourself
· Just because you feel invisible does not mean you are actually invisible –people can see you (Hint: Say Hello)
· Make sure you know your name before engaging, I know these can be high pressure situations. You got this! Use flashcards if necessary.
4. Find Common Interests
· If this seems daunting make a list before you leave the house. Writing them on your hand so you don’t forget can also be helpful.
· Many introverts don’t have interests because it’s been so long since they left their house. That’s okay! I recommend picking a few things you might like and googling them to learn just a little. Think of it as lying on your resume. If they knew the real you they’d never give you a shot, but if you give them a little push they are going to be lucky to have you once you start friendshipping.
· If I get into a high pressure situation (aka a conversation) and I don’t know where to go I like to use a technique call mirroring.
o Instructions for mirroring- If the person you have started an interaction with likes weight-lifting, guess what? You love weight-lifting now! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done a bicep lift or a neck curl in your life, you can figure that out later. Brandish those guns and walk like you just stepped out the gym, son!
5. Do not try too hard
· No one likes someone who actually likes them
· After initial pleasantries do not make eye contact and continue to appear aloof. I know you are hoping this person likes you so bad but trust me. You’ll freak them out if you show your cards.
· Making friends is all about making everyone believe that they need you to be cool, not other way around. Keep it tight.
6. Never let go
· You are Rose they are Jack and now that you have chosen a friend you guys are in it for the long-haul
· Once you’ve actually found someone you want to be friends with DO NOT LET THEM OUT OF YOUR SIGHT THEY COULD LEAVE YOU OR MAKE COOLER FRIENDS
· They may not know you are friends yet, don’t worry, this is normal. Just keep showing up. Soon they will forget that there was ever a time you weren’t there and the next thing you know you’re the best man at their wedding, regardless of your gender or their gender
I think we’ve all learned a lot here and I hope this was helpful! Trust me, follow my tips and you will have plenty of friends.
I am writing this in front of my best friend RIGHT NOW. He doesn’t know we’re best friends (or my name) but once he figures it out he is going to be fuckin’ psyched.
Good luck everyone!