If you’re an introvert like me, you might know the thought that “other people aren’t that important”. Or at least that “friends aren’t so important”. And that you can be just fine (or even very happy) on your own.
So why surround yourself with people at all? And why ever make an effort to meet somebody new?
I’ve lived both lives: The life without people and the life with people. Both lives are able to make me happy. However, I now tend to prefer the life with people.
I mean, just look at all the advantages you got when you have people in your life:
First and foremost: People can bring an immense amount of joy into your life. Think about how good it can feel to talk to others, to laugh with others or to play with others.
Of course you are fine on your own. However there are going to be plenty of situations where it would be nice if you had someone to help you with something. For example, if my family and friends wouldn’t have helped me moving, I’d probably still sit in Bavaria. Or what if you’re in an emotional emergency? Or in a real emergency? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had people in your life?
People can open up new worlds for you. At least if you let them. Every person has her or his own individual perspectives. If you are open to those perspectives, they are able to change your world. For example, my brother helped me to develop a more accurate view on politics, which now helps me to understand the world and my role in the world better.
People are a mine of opportunities! In fact, almost all of my career opportunities (roles in theater plays, composition jobs, gigs, writing jobs…) came from my existing social network. But there were also a lot of non-career-related opportunities that came from my social network that made my life more enjoyable: When I had no money, people often invited me for drinks. People also sometimes set my name on the guest lists of their concerts, parties or events – that way I was able to enjoy some entertaining evenings for free or very little money.
From the intention manifestation/law of attraction perspective, every person carries other vibrations. If you want to manifest a new intention into your life (for example “more travelling”), the manifesting process will be much faster when you surround yourself with people who already carry this energy in them. In the travel example would choose people who travel often and don’t think that this is special.
People are always teachers. They won’t only teach you by what they say but also by what they do. You will learn a lot about yourself when you interact with other people. About your social insecurities and about your social strengths. Yes, even as an introvert you can have social strengths! People will teach you about trust, patience, diplomacy, justice, acceptance, love, freedom, intimacy, leadership and a lot more.
If you feel like your current or former social environment can’t/couldn’t give you anything of the above (or not enough), you might have created the wrong social environment.
The right social environment consists of people who are compatible with you.
Compatible people are people who share something with you personality-wise: They might share hobbies or interests with you or they might share values or political perspectives with you.
Compatibility is the condition for connection. That means it’s the condition for relationships that work. And compatible relationships will also give you at least some of the advantages I have listed above.
Generally I enjoy contact with all kinds of people. However, I chose very well with whom I want to spend more time with and with whom I won’t. It’s not because I’m arrogant. It’s because I want to spend my time as enjoyable as I can – so I will always choose the more compatible relationships over the less compatible ones.
So, if you’re not content with your current social network, I would suggest, you disconnect with everyone who is incompatible at first. Then start looking for more compatible people.
You don’t need people who are 100% compatible with you. In fact, that would be boring. Instead look for people who are compatible with you in some areas of your life: Maybe they also like playing video games or maybe they’re also into personal development.
For introverts it’s often hard to find new friends. But it’s something you can definitely learn. However, be prepared that you need to meet a lot of new people in order to find the really interesting ones. Creating a compatible social network is just another skill you need learn.
Having a big social network doesn’t mean that you have to spend all your time socializing, btw. I would go crazy if I needed to do that!
I still live alone, for example, and enjoy it very much. Living alone helps me to balance my introverted with my extroverted site: By default I’m alone (introverted) but because of my big social network I can connect with people (extroverted) anytime I want to.
But even if you don’t live alone you don’t need to (and should not!) neglect your introverted side. Make sure that you have enough time and room for yourself every day.
If you don’t do that, you might never be in the mood to socialize with anybody!
When I talk about people in this article, I don’t mean people you only know over the internet. I mean people in your actual physical environment. People who can hug you, people who you can talk face to face with. An online community is never a replacement for a community of real people. So if you think you’re social life isn’t that bad because you spend your whole day on facebook, read this article again (and read “real people” anytime I wrote “people”).
Above I listed all the beautiful things that people can bring to your life. But let me be clear: There’s no taking without giving. And if you’re only trying to “get” something from people, you will not only creep them out (and come off as needy) but you will also never be able to build a healthy social network.
But don’t let that scare you off: The good thing about giving is that’s it’s immensely fulfilling! And soon you might find that the giving part is one of the biggest motivators to connect with people.