Introvert no friends

Why I Struggle to Make Friends as an Introvert (and What I'm Doing About It)

I’m learning that silences in conversation aren’t necessarily a bad thing and that not every silence has to be filled.

Making friends has always been difficult for me, ever since I first went to school. I’m shy and quiet, I have social anxiety, and I’m an introvert. Ever since I was young, I’ve had to rely on other people talking to me first and befriending me. I would tag along with some groups of people, who wouldn’t really consider me a friend, just so I wouldn’t feel left out. Over the years, I had two or three close friendships, but as we got older, we all headed in different directions and discovered that we had little in common anymore. Perhaps you can relate?          

I panicked when I realized that I’m in my 20s and I don’t have any real friends left. Making friends when you’re an adult is difficult, but if you consider the fact that I’m an introvert who works from home, sometimes it feels impossible. I know that I could join a club, or do some volunteering, or even reach out to some old friends to see if they’d like to meet up, but the idea of those things is completely overwhelming. Here are some reasons why I struggle to form close friendships as an introvert — and how I’m trying to change that.

Why I Struggle to Form Close Friendships as an Introvert

1. I’m not good at small talk.

Small talk isn’t for everyone. Some people love it while I think it’s safe to say the majority of introverts don’t. I sit somewhere in the middle. It’s not that I hate small talk — I find it hard to sustain it. After the initial, “How are you?” and comments about the weather, I hit a brick wall. I don’t know where to go from there. 

I rack my brain for things to say, anything that might sound mildly interesting or enthusiastic, but I often come up short. I feel the awkward silences stretch for what feels like an eternity, and then I look for an escape. The escape might be a literal escape — a door or an elevator. Or it might be my phone, which I’ll pick up and pretend to have an intense amount of interest in. But really, I don’t care about my phone. (I’m just trying to hide behind it.) Even though the phone is generally not an introvert’s friend, it is in this case.

Do ever you struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

2. I find it hard to follow through with plans.

I never like being the person who cancels plans. If somebody goes to the effort of organizing something, I like to keep my word and show up. But sometimes anxiety gets the better of me. 

A few days before meeting up, I get that overwhelming sense of dread. In my head, I rehearse things that I should say and questions that I should ask before I realize that I’m making things worse. I’m taking the fun out of everything. But still, it’s a habit that I can’t kick. My fear of silences and running out of things to say sometimes drives me to cancel plans. It just seems easier than explaining the truth.

3. I don’t leave the house much.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why I struggle to make friends is because I’m a homebody. I work from home during the week, and on the occasions that I do go out, it’s with my partner and my family. Although my partner understands my struggle to make friends, he’s an extrovert who participates in sports, socializes regularly, and has a handful of loyal friends, so he is miles apart from my reality. 

I don’t go to social outings, parties, or clubs; I usually keep myself to myself. The idea of socializing with lots of people leaves me feeling drained and extremely anxious. Honestly, it’s not my thing. I’ve accepted that. The truth is, I love spending time at home because it’s my safe space. It’s the place where I usually feel most calm and at peace, and it gives me time to recharge my batteries in my very own “introvert zen zone. ” But too much of anything can be a bad thing. And in my case, I do spend a bit too much time in the comfort of my own home.

4. I’m not spontaneous — I need to plan in advance.

As much as I would love to become more spontaneous, I’m not that kind of person. If I get an invitation to go somewhere, I like to know a few days in advance, at the very least, so I can start preparing for it: travel arrangements, what time to be there, what time I’ll be leaving, whether I’ll be eating, and how many people will be there. These are the details I’ll agonize over for days until I convince myself that it’s just not worth the stress. I’m a big overthinker and a massive worrier, so for that reason, I just can’t be down for last-minute plans.

I can’t change who I am and I will never pretend to be someone I’m not. I am, and always will be, an introvert — but that doesn’t mean that I’ll never be able to form close friendships. Here are some things I am doing in order to expand my friend circle and meet more people who “get” me.

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How I’m Trying to Make More Friends as an Introvert   

1. I’m trying to take more risks, like starting conversations with strangers.

I rarely take risks because I prefer to stay in my introverted comfort bubble — it feels safe and welcoming. The problem with this tendency is that I end up shutting myself away from the world and inadvertently pushing people away. If I’m not willing to take chances, I’ll never be able to make meaningful relationships, which will make me feel even more isolated. It’s not easy to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people, but I have to at least try. 

The first step I’m taking is engaging in conversations with strangers online and via Bumble BFF, a dating app that has a making-a-BFF section. When I feel comfortable, I ask them if they’d like to meet for coffee, and we see where it goes from there. I’d rather experience some nervousness than feel regret for the rest of my life.   

2. I’m accepting the (uncomfortable) silences.

I’m learning that silences aren’t necessarily a bad thing and not every silence has to be filled. This is something I need to keep reminding myself of. If there’s a short pause in a conversation, I’m learning to not take it personally. I allow the silence to wash over me and use that time to be alone with my thoughts. Conversations can be exhausting for an introvert, so it’s completely fine to sit in silence for a while. It also gives us time to think, which is one of our introvert superpowers. 

3. I’m becoming (a little) spontaneous. 

I’m not saying that I’ll ever book last-minute plane tickets with a group of friends, but being more spontaneous is great for my confidence. I hate turning down invitations because of my social anxiety; it makes me feel left out and disappointed. I am learning to accept that not everything has to be meticulously planned out. So, going forward, I’m saying yes to last-minute plans and offers to meet up instead of shying away from every spontaneous social opportunity.

4. I’m letting other people in more.

One of the hardest things for me to do is to let someone get close to me — physically and emotionally. It takes me a long time to fully open up to people and show genuine emotion and affection. I’m not the biggest hug-giver and I don’t like making myself vulnerable in front of people I don’t know very well. 

But I’m well aware that this needs to change if I want to make close friendships. I am learning to let go of the fear, embarrassment, and anxiety that lives inside my head and simply let people in for a change and give them a chance to get to know the real me.

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Introverts Want Friends, Too, But We're Bad at Staying in Touch

I simply don’t have enough energy to maintain a roaring social life or constant contact through texting and phone calls.

After discovering I’m an introvert, I looked back at my life, and a lot of things finally made sense. In the friendship department, I tend to have one or two close friends at any given point in my life, and even then, once we go our separate ways — different classes, different schools, different life paths — I simply don’t maintain contact with them.

And honestly, I’m fine with that.

I’ve never felt like I had to be friends with everyone. Instead, I prefer to go with the flow, and if I click with someone, I click. If not, that’s okay, too.

As I grow older and work takes over more than half of my waking hours, making friends has become less and less a priority for me. As long as the people around me contribute significantly to the projects or tasks I’m working on, I don’t mind being social with them. But usually, after that project ends, if there’s no further business together or if a special connection never developed, I move on.

Not to say that I shut them out completely — I just don’t bother keeping up. Their lives and mine go in different directions, and different things take turns being priorities.

So… do I have friends? Yes.

Keeping up with them and staying in touch, though? That’s a whole other story.

Why Introverts Don’t Stay in Touch

The thing about staying in touch is there’s just too much small talk involved. I think by now, enough has been said about how introverts and small talk are not exactly the best of friends.

As an introvert, I prefer deep, meaningful conversations with one or two people at a time, and I’d rather discuss a subject near and dear to my heart than my weekend plans. Small talk tends to drain me because it means I have to get through the facade of being “nice” and “polite” before getting to the meat of the story — the real stuff I want to talk about.

With all the mental work it takes for an introvert to do small talk, imagine trying to do it on top of a busy schedule. Like many introverts, I tend to draw a strict line between work and play, and I give it my all during my working hours. Combine that with my tendency to deeply anticipate, nay, fear losing my train of thought, and I exert so much energy during work that by the end of the day or week, I’d rather spend time alone recharging.

Bottom line? I simply don’t have enough energy left over to maintain a roaring social life and constant contact through texting and phone calls. This applies not only to our close friends, but much less to those who we subconsciously categorize as our “work circle” or “that guy I just met.” I guess it’s fair to say that when introverts say “we’re too busy” to stay in touch, it has some truth.

How I Make New Friends

Like many introverts, I’m generally quiet in social settings, especially ones that involve meeting new people or networking, again, because of the exhausting small talk they entail. By default, small talk consists of surface-level questions and answers, rehearsed smiles, and sometimes feigned interest. With my penchant for genuine, meaningful conversations, I just can’t stand to fabricate interest for long.

So how can introverts make new friends? One way is to let someone else, preferably someone who has known you for a while, introduce and describe you to other people so you don’t have to do the chit-chatting yourself.

I’ve found that this actually gives you several advantages.

First, you get to hear another person’s version of you, seeing yourself through someone else’s words. This gives you insight into how well you’ve conveyed yourself and how well they’ve understood you.

I’ll be honest, I like that touch of validation. Being an introvert, I’ll probably always have a need for acknowledgement but won’t be keen on actively getting it out of people. Hearing someone else talk about me fulfills that need in a strange but comforting way.

Second, being introduced via someone else is a way for you to gauge if the new person is actually interested in who you are. If they change the subject, or worse, carry on the surface talk, then they’re probably not very interested. But if they ask questions about you, or turn to you and want you to answer for yourself, then it’s potentially real interest.

I say potential. Because as we all know, introverts only reveal small parts of themselves, one layer at a time, watching others’ reactions. If we sense that they vibe with us, then we may be willing to reveal another layer. But if we get even the slightest hint that they might not be a good person to spend more time with, we back off and shift our energy somewhere more fulfilling.

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But Do We Really Need More Friends?

If I had to give an honest answer, no. Introverts are so comfortable with our own company that we don’t actually need many people around us. In fact, we can be very easily drained if we have too many people around us for too long.

What we need is just a few friends, who, as mentioned before, are willing to put in the time to really get to know us, respect our boundaries and personal space, let us finish our train of thought before answering their questions, listen to us without judgement, and allow us our precious alone time because they know that’s how we recharge.

Let me finish by saying this. Introverts don’t need a lot of friends. We allow only a select few into our inner circle. No offense, nothing personal, that’s just how we’re wired.

So when we welcome you into our world, it means we really want you there. It means you’re that special. It means we want you to be our friend.

But please understand and cut us some slack when we’re not so good at keeping in touch. We love you all the same.

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  • Telephonophobia Is the Intense Fear of Talking on the Phone, and It’s Real
  • For Introverts, Skipping the Big Party Is About Mental Health

how an introvert can meet and make friends - Personal experience on

A plate of fried potatoes, a juicy steak and a glass of wine. You can enjoy life and watch your favorite series until two in the morning. Living alone - what could be better? Eaten steak. Drinking wine. I make the bed, and for a moment it becomes chilly and lonely - again this acute feeling that life is wasted. Will I always be alone? The experience of the creator of the project "Vest".

296 281 views

I know that many people ask this question. They want freedom, but they get lonely, they want to find a mate, but they don’t grow together, they want love and tenderness, but in life there is only work and TV shows. Can this be changed?


I lived alone for seven years. Of course, I sometimes saw friends, parents and work colleagues, but there were few people in my life. The lack of communication became especially acute when I went freelancing and began working from home. It happened that for three days the only person with whom I exchanged words was a cashier in a supermarket, and these words were: “Hello. The package is not needed.

Much has changed since then. I made new friends and many acquaintances. I got married and we recently had a baby. In retrospect, I realize that I have gone through a great evolution from a social phobe who was scared of people to a person who enjoys being surrounded by people (although I also like to be alone). How did this metamorphosis take place?

Advantages of being alone

The desire to be alone does not arise from scratch. Loneliness has a lot of beauty in it.

The main advantage of loneliness is the freedom to manage your life without regard to others

Woke up from a thunderstorm at 3 am and wanted to walk barefoot in the rain? No problem. Decided to move to another city for a week? Gathered things and went. Want to lie on the couch and stare at the ceiling? Lie down and watch. Loneliness gives rise to a feeling of omnipotence: “I can do what I want! The world belongs to me!"

When you don't have to look at others, take into account their interests and habits, you begin to pay much more attention to your own needs, thoughts and feelings. Questions from the series come by themselves: “What do I really want? What is important to me? Loneliness makes me realize what is interesting for me, to separate the values ​​imposed by the environment from my own. This is first.

And secondly, loneliness protects against disappointment. Almost all problems in our life are problems related to people. People get hurt. One said something wrong, the second did not call, the fourth betrayed, the fifth was dumb as a cork, the sixth needed something from you all the time, and the third was always in the wrong place. Loneliness solves these problems at once.

No people - no problems :)

Thirdly, loneliness is romantic. Whoever you spit on, even in Eugene Onegin, even in Jack Sparrow, the main character is lonely, interesting and often misunderstood. A trifle, but nice.

They are beautiful and lonely :)

Cons of being alone

I felt them keenly when I met people. When I was called to a friendly company, I experienced real throwing. I knew that I would feel awkward if I went. And I knew that I would not forgive myself if I did not go, because I still really wanted to meet people. I enjoyed meeting my family friends, but when I left them, I felt very lonely - such a chilly, unpleasant feeling, like being caught in a sharp draft.

I felt uncomfortable with people because loneliness turned into a flaw. It seemed to me that everyone understood that something was wrong with me if I was alone. He walked down the street, collided with the eyes of the girls he met and averted his eyes. I saw couples in love and felt envy. It is difficult to describe this feeling of some kind of disproportion with others, otherness, as if it had emerged from the depths of the ocean as some kind of goggle-eyed monster, and everyone is looking at you with curiosity, but they are in no hurry to get to know each other.

Holidays. Sometimes they went great, but sometimes . .. I panicked when I realized that I had no plans, that all my affairs were redone, all my thoughts were changed, I didn’t want anything, and I would just kill time. I go to the store, buy delicious food and cook it intricately, watch a series, and then, you see, it’s evening, and it will be possible to write this day off.

An agonizing feeling that I am not living, but just waiting out life

A feeling that you can't hide behind the hustle and bustle of a healthy life...

Let's add to this the desire to meet "the one" and the realization that this will probably never happen.

Soul picture. Sorry, I don't know who the author is

Let's add that the lack of people also means the lack of popularity and professional demand outside the narrow circle, which knows that you are doing well. And it turns out that loneliness is such a pleasure. Why then was I alone?

What prevents you from making acquaintances?

Remembering myself in the “period of loneliness”, I am amazed at how many troubles I had. To people who have not experienced such difficulties, these troubles may seem like a whim, but from the inside they looked like an absolutely insurmountable obstacle.

Firstly, I was tormented by the fear that I was not very interesting, I could not maintain a secular conversation, I had no idea how to answer the question: “How are you doing?” All this made it very difficult to get to know each other. And if you consider that because of my shyness they did not notice me, and the lack of mutual interest in itself caused suffering, a vicious circle turned out.

Secondly, in need of people, I tried my best to please them. I tried to adapt to their manner of communicating, smile more often, listen more. These efforts created a lot of tension and anxiety, I felt that I was losing my autonomy, that I was too involved in other people's affairs, that it was difficult for me to defend my interests. I felt comfortable being alone when I didn't have to pretend to be friendly and interested.

Thirdly, since communication gave me a lot of stress, it often turned out to be crooked: I joked not funny and felt stupid; I started to tell something, but they interrupted me, and I felt wounded; spoke too frankly - they laughed at me. Such “misfires” gave rise to a lot of shame, and shame is a feeling that is poorly tolerated. Therefore, I quickly concluded that something was wrong with my new acquaintances. They are boring, devoid of a sense of humor and tact, rude, and not seals at all!

Vasya Lozhkin knows a lot about cats

From all this, a reinforced concrete conclusion followed. Few people can understand me. This is only available to a select few who are almost impossible to find. And the girl that I am able to love (and who is able to love me), she is the only one on the whole planet, and hell you will meet her. And if you meet, you will immediately understand this: “Love jumped out in front of us, like a killer jumps out of the ground in an alley, and hit us both at once! This is how lightning strikes, this is how a Finnish knife strikes!

It's amazing how ridiculous notions of love can be :)

I think you now understand why I was alone for so long.

At the same time, I easily managed to build relationships with people at work and school. There one could take a closer look at a person, find a business (read, safe) reason for acquaintance and get to know him better. Sometimes these acquaintances grew into friendship, but even with friends I did not like to spend much time.

How things have changed

How did I manage to change my reclusive lifestyle? This was facilitated by a number of external circumstances that triggered internal changes that led to a change in external circumstances that stimulated internal changes that ...

The habit of being among people

It all started with the fact that I met a person with whom we decided to create a marketing agency, and in order to save on office costs, they began to work at my home. As a result, we spent the whole day together, plus we had to communicate a lot with clients and our team. After a period of seclusion, it was difficult, but gradually I got used to being among people. However, globally, nothing has changed in my worldview. I was still afraid of companies and believed that serious relationships did not shine for me.

And people are not so scary...

The worldview began to change when I went to group therapy. Group therapy is a good trainer for shy people who live their fantasies about other people (here I wrote about it in detail). The main effect of group therapy is that you realize that all people are alike. Everyone has their troubles, difficulties, fears, everyone wants happiness, respect, recognition, love, everyone is trying to achieve this, albeit sometimes in very crooked ways.

The cool thing about group therapy is that it has taught me:

  • to clarify what people think . This is important, because a huge pile of conflicts and a desire to stay away from everyone arise from fantasies that other people think nasty things about us.
  • talk about your needs . At the group, I learned, for example, to attract attention to myself: “Friends, give me time, I need to puff” and defend my interests: “Listen, I don’t need advice now, I want you to support me.” It helped to be in contact with people, not to ignore their own needs and to maintain autonomy.
  • appreciate yourself more . The group members talked about what my personal qualities they like, for which they appreciate me. This feedback boosted my confidence and, as a result, I was much easier to withstand criticism. Now I no longer fell into shame if the communication went wrong: “Yes, I didn’t manage to make a funny joke, so what? It happens".
  • treat yourself and others easier . When self-confidence appears, you no longer need to seek solace in fantasies of your imaginary superiority. How before? “Although my life is a complete mess and there is nothing to brag about, but in fact I am wow! It just hasn't shown itself yet. " At the same time, this allows you to see in other people just people with their own characteristics, nishtyaks and weaknesses, and not fantastic ideals or miserable nonentities.

You may get the impression that the group is to blame for all my changes. This is not entirely true, the group allows you to recharge your confidence and try new behavior first in a safe situation on the group itself, and then transfer it to everyday life.


And then I really liked one girl, and I asked her out on a date. And if earlier it would hardly have gone well, because I would definitely wind up myself, fantasize that I don’t like it, and ruin everything, now everything went fine. The first date was followed by the second, and a year later we got married.

And now, comparing my feelings of loneliness and living together, I can say that it's much better together (and I say this not only because my wife reads me :)) It's hard to explain, but a loved one, as if complements, makes you complete and more harmonious.

Present yourself to the world

Of course, against the background of everything else, this is a trifle, but I would like to note the training, which also launched interesting changes. The funny thing is that it was a training in ... vocals. And what about the vocals?

Tell me, can you afford to sing loudly? Most people need vodka and karaoke for this, otherwise it's strange and indecent. But in the same way, in our culture it is not customary to shine, attract attention, be noticeable, and in general - to be. In order for the voice to open up, you need to be liberated, and a fair part of the training was devoted to not holding back, straightening your shoulders and finding a voice.

The results were interesting. We yelled songs in chorus for three days, and the voice did not sit down, although for this I just need to talk loudly for a couple of hours (for example, give a lecture to a large audience). But even more curious is that immediately after the training I started a blog, where for the first time I dared to publish personal texts and exhibit my drawings.

Instead of output

The way out of loneliness took three years, and was both the result of my efforts and a fortunate combination of circumstances, which, however, still had to be able to use. Although each of us has our own path, looking back, I understand that it would be easier for me if someone shared their thoughts and experiences with me - then I would feel less alone and cut off from people.

A year ago, I was inspired by the idea of ​​“silent support” and created the project “Vest”, the purpose of which is to create a space where you can be not perfect, share your thoughts and experiences, learn to better understand and accept yourself. Initially, I conceived "Vest" as a project for introverts and lonely people, but it suddenly turned out that the project is interesting for everyone who likes to understand their lives, cultivate self-worth and understand themselves better. Take a look, see if you like it.

Introverts or those who have no friends - What do you do in your free time from work/study?

Introverts or those who…

39 answers

Last - Removing






are you not from Moscow? we can get together, otherwise the same garbage)

No, I don’t live in Moscow) alas . . #6





#12 9000




What kind of introvert are you if you want to hang yourself? An introvert gets high on loneliness, not hangs himself.


with a dog I walk

to relatives I go

to the store and sometimes in my divisions

and do not work






2. Listen to music

3. I am in the language of

with the Internet in general I will tie it soon, but I have forced introvertion,


At home, I do household chores, or sleep . Well, I have a couple of hobbies.

otherwise I go to shops - I like to do it alone.

I go skating both in summer and winter on an indoor ice rink.

I can go somewhere with my girlfriends, or go to the movies with my friends, well, all sorts of weddings, DR, new year, housewarming - not every weekend I can sit at home. I appreciate these minutes and just go crazy, put myself in order, put things in order in the closet, dye my hair, etc. Not enough time at all!



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  • #24


    people really dive.



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    222 #30


    and I'm sitting at the computer, somehow I don't have free time.

    Univer-domashka-sleep-univer-domashka-sleep), and far from being the smartest in the group



    And at home is normal with home. Muzh is also introvert. Syem, silently hugging. Khoroshch!



    9000 #36

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    And you are not from Moscow? we can unite, otherwise the same garbage)



    You guys are just friends and unnecessary, for some psychological reason.

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