How To Meet New People If You’re An Introvert

­­Ahh, peopling: the struggle introverts greatly understand. We don’t hate socializing, but it’s just not worth it in the wrong company and even with the right ones can still be draining. How do you find other people to meaningfully interact with when you’re mostly a professional homebody, though? Here are seven suggestions for how to meet new people if you identify with this personality type.

Through work

I generally don’t advise getting too deep with coworkers, but introverts like familiar. You’ll automatically have shared ground and won’t have to deal with orchestrating places to go for interaction since you’ll naturally be running into them. The great thing about workplace relationships is you can keep it casual to satisfy a need for conversation, but also maintain enough distance to have space in your private off-time. I wouldn’t use this for finding a date, though—fraternizing with coworkers is bound to end up being messy.

At common places you already frequent

Introverts don’t like anything forced. It’s easier to connect with someone you can relate to in some way. Even if you tend to be a homebody, there are always some places you regularly go, for example, the laundromat, car wash, coffee shop, and/or a place of worship. If you have a routine, you will get to know people simply because they will also be there. At the very least, you will know they either share proximity to where you work or live and they also may share lifestyle choices with you.

Through an app

Introverts need to be in control of the flow of incoming social interaction. There are times we just need to be to ourselves to conserve energy or recharge. For this reason, Bumble is my favorite dating app these days. No one can message you on there first, you can unmatch anyone for any reason, and you can even set yourself to unavailable if you’re traveling. Apps put distance between you and a person by design, but beyond that as a baseline, having the extra ability to manage goes a long way and makes it much more tolerable. For friends or social interactions, Peanut and Meetup are alternative app options that could pose viable networking options for digitally putting yourself out there. You have the option to search as much for socializing as much and as little as you want, including self-scheduled and much-needed breaks.

Through a shared connection

Introverts appreciate a starting place with someone. Socializing can be hard and a complete stranger you’re beginning from scratch with just adds more to something already stressful. It makes someone feel a little less unknown if you know someone you already trust approves of that person and you’re previously linked in some way. If you let your friends and extended family know, they’ll likely think of you if they have other friends/coworkers/neighbors/etc. they know are single and eligible. People who know and like you are generally happy to recommend you to others and it helps them out if you know couples who want other couples to go on group outings with.

On social media

Social media makes things easy because it does some of the leg work for you. You can connect and reconnect with people you either know or have bumped into before. The sites may even suggest someone you might know to you and advertise you to others. In a way, it’s like a free social matching service, which is a dream for an introvert who isn’t up to doing it themselves. Sending a friend request may feel awkward, but worst-case scenario if you regret taking the risk, you can just cancel it or even block the person and be done with it. The inbox options also allow you to sit back and let people come to you, which is even more convenient. An introvert may dread trying to find people to talk to and end up having a potential slide right into their DMs for them.

Through your parents

This may sound funny, but when my relationships get serious, I bring the person to get screened by my parents. I do value their opinion and wisdom. They also know me well and have maintained a successful long-term relationship themselves so why not just fast forward through trying your own luck and get someone they approve of off the bat. After striking out on love enough times, you’ll be ready to turn over your picking to someone you respect anyway. At this point, I’m not really opposed to the idea myself if it might actually work and save me the trouble. I also don’t want to run the risk of being left to my own devices and ending up dying alone because I gave up my search efforts. After being tragically single this long, even a whole arranged marriage doesn’t sound like the worst idea anymore.

Leaving it up to fate

 If it’s meant to be, it should flow into your life somehow. It’s not always a bad idea to just focus on yourself and live your life. Some of the best things that happen in life are complete surprises.

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