Introverts are usually misunderstood. They keep to themselves a lot, and probably have less friends overall, but the friendships that they do have are often deep and meaningful. Introverts are the hidden gem of friendship in many respects. Here are 4 reasons why introverts make great friends.
1. They are Low Maintenance
Being friends with an introvert means that you don’t have to put in a huge amount of effort to stay friends. Once you have an established friendship, most introverts are perfectly fine with not talking to you everyday. You may go weeks without talking. Introverts do not typically take it personally because they understand the need for solitude and downtime.
Look for an introvert if you want a friend that doesn't need a lot to be happy in your friendship.
2. They Respect Boundaries
Introverts can be harder to get to know, which seems like a negative at first. However, because introverts understand their own need for comfort and privacy, they may respect the privacy and comfort of others more. And although they may not be the chattiest person at the party, once they open up to you, they may be the most interesting.
If you like your downtime and your space every once in awhile, an introvert is a great choice for a friend. Their respect for personal boundaries is one reason why introverts make great friends.
3. Extrovert and Introvert Personalities Compliment Each Other
Studies have shown that when extroverts and introverts become friends, they tend to compliment each other’s personality types. Even though their way of going about life may seem incompatible, the pair is actually quite compatible.
The friendship works because extroverts and introverts balance each other out. Extroverts tend to introduce their introverted friends to more people than they would typically meet on their own, as well as bring the introvert stimulation that they may need. Introverts tend to give their extroverted friends the downtime and calmness that they need.
4. Friendship with Introverts Develops More Over Time
Friendship with extroverts seemed to be perceived as “at first sight”, while friendships with introverts were described as being longer and slower to develop. Why is this a positive? For those who enjoy deep friendships, getting to know a friend better over a longer period of time may lead to more intimate companionship.
If you're looking for a deep and long-term friendship, an introvert may be the perfect fit.
Tips for Maintaining Friendship with an Introvert
If you're an extrovert, it may be difficult to understand your introvert friend at times. You may not understand when they prefer to stay home rather than go out with friends, or when they would rather sit at home alone rather than hang out one evening.
Here are a few tips for understanding and being friends with an introvert:
- Don't misinterpret their silence – silence does not always mean that something is wrong. Introverts tend to be highly introspective, so their silence may just be self-reflective, even in the presence of others.
- They do like people – It may not always seem like it, but they really do enjoy being with people. They tend to prefer smaller groups of people rather than large gatherings or crowds, or they may not mind going to a larger event if they have a familiar person to hang out with during it all.
- Don't make them the center of attention – In general, introverts hate being called out in public or in front of other people. You probably shouldn't make a personal joke about them in a group setting or put them in the spotlight.
- They like to listen and they want to get to know you – Introverts don't mind listening to you talk about yourself, as long as you're willing to listen to them as well. They would rather talk about the “deep” issues in life, and not about surface level stuff. If you're very good friends with an introvert, they want to know your biggest secrets.
Here are a few more things you need to know in order to understand an introvert.