Let me begin by saying that I am an introvert. Any other introverts out there? You know, the one who mobile orders coffee so you can sneak up to the bar, grab your coffee, and walk out with hardly anyone noticing? No? Is that just me? People seem surprised when I tell them this. I’m outgoing and I absolutely LOVE talking to people. I love people SO MUCH. However, lately I have just needed a lot more recharge time after social things. I figure that it’s the phase of life I’m in. I’m constantly surrounded by people who need me all. of. the. time. Many times I feel a lot of guilt for not spending more time with my friends, but I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that my friendships are going to look different right now.
Also, I in no way whatsoever have it all together. I work really hard to maintain peace. At home. In relationships. Internally. Discord makes me anxious. I am working through postpartum anxiety, and it is hard. It’s hard because I’m busy and life is chaotic. So many days I can’t throw off our schedule because it disrupts the peace, and peace is what I need right now. It’s not perfect. But it’s life. And this is where I am. I say this because I think on the outside I keep a pretty “cool” exterior. People don’t realize I’m struggling with this anxiety that feels debilitating at times. I am okay and I am happy and working through it. But there are days that can be very hard. I don’t talk much about those days, not because I’m embarrassed per se, but more so because I don’t have the capacity to document how I’m feeling.
I wanted to give you this background about me before I tell you what is working for me with friendships. I don’t want to give a false impression that this is something I’ve “mastered”. I am in the thick of learning how to have authentic friendships in this stage of life. There are times that I feel a tinge of jealousy that people have these “Mom Tribes.” I wonder why I can’t be more social. More present with my friends. Be more spontaneous. And then I realize, you know what? It’s okay. I’m a homebody and an introvert. Friendships just look different for me, and that’s okay. Because true and lasting friendships are based on being honest and vulnerable. It’s hard to develop a deep bond if you’re trying to be someone you’re not (I have to tell myself this all of the time).
Even though I am an introvert, I need to connect. I’m working on looking at the way I connect and maintain friendships in a positive light. That’s why I’ve created this list…
5 ways to connect with friends as an Introvert:
- Texting. I try not to be on my phone all day, but I do like to find time to text my friends. It makes me feel connected. I have ongoing conversations with several. Also, I have friends who I almost never see who I have kept in touch with solely through messaging on Instagram. I still consider them very close friends – sometimes they’re the only ones up with me in the middle of the night when I’m feeling lonely and isolated.
- Moms Groups. Find a MOPS group! I am not currently in a group, but MOPS was so important for my growth as a mom. And I have lifelong friends because of it. This is a great way to meet people if you don’t have a friend group. It forces you to meet people, but it’s also organized, which helped me not get too overwhelmed.
- Bible Study through YouVersion. This has been incredible for me. One of my best friends lives about 45 minutes away from me and it’s hard to get together. I’m able to feel connected and feel like I’m having authentic conversations with her about important topics.
- Marco Polo video App. This is fun! I only have one friend I do this with, but it makes it fun because we have gotten closer since we have started. It’s almost like doing FaceTime, except it’s recorded and then sent. It kind of feels like we are actually together even though we obviously aren’t.
- Group Outings. Whenever I take my kids to do something (including errands), I try to invite someone. Currently my friend and I are trying to align our Target runs so we can spend some time together.
Are there any ways you connect with your friends that are outside the box? Please share!