When I was a little girl, way back in my girl scout days, there was a song we used to sing.
Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.
It was sung in a round, with lots of us taking turns, and from that moment on it stuck with me. It is something I try to remind myself often… try to keep the old friends you have while still attending to the new ones you make in life.
As we grow older our relationships with our friends change just like time changes us. Sometimes, we out grow old friendships for one reason or the other, it happens. It can be because we have matured faster than others or our priorities change in life, whatever the case maybe, it does not sting any less to loose a connection with someone who you once held dear.
In January of 2018, I lost one of the best friends I have ever had. She passed away unexpectedly, which was a shock to not only her friends but her family as well. We were all left feeling like a big portion of our lives had just left us. She had a smile that used to light up a room, and a kind heart that would reach out to others in need. Feeling her loss deeply, I reached out to several of our old friends and attempted to make re-connections with them. Some were willing, and others were not. Like I said, sometimes time changes people, but not always for the better in some cases.
Some decided that time didn’t matter and we picked right back up where we left off in our friendships, while others despite my reaching out and genuine attempt to make an effort have fallen back into their routines leaving me behind once again. I don’t blame them, but it does not hurt any less. So, I left it simple with them… We need to do better. We need to make things right between us, so that should one of us pass there isn’t that huge disconnect. We should try.
Now I admit, it can be hard to be my friend sometimes… I am opinionated, stubborn, and do not think inside the box. But, to those who have chosen to remain friends with me know I am loyal, kindhearted, and there when you ask me to be.
I do not like to venture outside of my comfort zones, I tend to be a home-body and introverted in my “old age”. I do not have time for drama, he said she said crap, I do not want to be in overly crowded, loud environments for long periods of time, it takes a lot out of me. But that does not mean that I do not want to hang out, that does not mean that I do not want to have a connection with friends, no… it just means friendship with me, takes a bit more. It takes time, it takes understanding, and patience.
Here is a quick guide to understanding some key differences between Introverts and Extroverts.
The breakdown above may help some but just encase you need a bit more help understand how to be friends with someone like me, I will give you some simple guidelines to go by too. Who knows, maybe it will improve some of my own connections and reconnects. If nothing else, perhaps it will help someone improve their own friendships with an introverted friend they may have.
The Introvert Friend Survival Guide: Crash Course
- We like spending time being alone or at home.
- Silence doesn’t equate to boredom.
- We may refuse your invitation to hang out, but that does not mean you need to quit asking us to. We appreciate you asking us and love that you want to include us in your life!
- We often are not open about our thoughts and feelings with those we are not extremely close with. Don’t give up, encourage us to speak up and share. Also, give us time to build up our trust with you. We will open up when we are ready.
- Cheer us up with an activity that doesn’t require much energy. Movie marathons at home with snacks galore are wonderful!
- We like talking too, just a different sort of conversation. We have to be comfortable with you, try you and be in an environment that isn’t completely draining.
- Text instead of call. As annoying as this may seem to some, texting gives us a chance to really think about what needs to be said, instead of rushing to create responses on the spot. Does not mean we cannot talk on the phone, if we are close, we can have long conversations with you.
- Unless something’s on fire, don’t show up at our home unannounced. Nothing stresses us out more than unplanned visits, its not that we don’t want you to come over… just check with us first. [ I personally tell people my door is always open, just give me a heads up. With three kids and a zoo of pets, I need some time not only make my house presentable but myself too.]
- If it’s supposed to be just the two of us, don’t invite other people. Please, keep this in mind, last minute changes can really disrupt us.
- Give us a tiny moment of real connection over hours of polite chitchat. We love meaningful connections, no matter how small they may be.
- We need more than 10 minutes to mentally prepare to hang out.
- We’re probably going to head home earlier than you. You have to be okay with that. Too much time in a crowded area and or event is draining!
- Understand that even though we had fun hanging out yesterday, we probably don’t want to hang out again today. We need time to recharge.
- Seriously, we’ll be at home. If we say we are at home there is almost a 100 % chance we are. Not going to lie, we like being at home, it is our safe haven.
If nothing else, I hope this helps you and your friendships <3
Until Next Time,