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Introverts and friendships

Being an introvert, it’s important for me to ‘recharge my batteries’ after being around groups of people. Such experiences just drain all my energy. This is the same with most introverts, if not all of them. They don’t like crowds, they don’t like parties, and they don’t like being the centre of attention. I definitely fit into that category.

But disliking large groups of people is not the same as disliking people. Introverts can really enjoy having people in their life – just not a lot of them at the same time.

I’ve recently culled a whole bunch of people from my Facebook account. These were people that didn’t interact with me in my life, or in Facebook. Some of them had been friends in the past, but time and distance between us have made us strangers. So I dumped them from Facebook. They’ll probably never even know.

I looked at the remainder, and of the 82 people in the list, about 80% of them have been real face to face friends on my life. The remaining 20% have become friends via online interaction.

What are friends, exactly?

I think they’re people who you enjoy interacting with, because they share common interests or activities. Something they do makes your life better or more interesting, and so you seek out continued interaction.

When that interaction stops, when you’re no longer interacting, it can often mean the friendship is over. Time to move on.

But that’s not always true, of course. Some friends might only interact with you once a year, or even once every few years. But they’ve been around forever, and you have a shared history that is still meaningful to you, and they’ll never stop being friends.

As you’d expect, I’m speaking like an introvert that values deep and meaningful connections.

What about extroverts and friendships?

Continuing with this theme (speaking like an introvert) and based on my observations of people, I occasionally find myself wondering how deep and meaningful the friendships are that extroverts have. How often would they engage in deep and meaningful conversations? Or do they just not care for that kind of thing?

Shallow conversations about meaningless subjects seem to be the theme of extroverts. I suspect they’re great friends with those who reflect themselves, who also engage in shallow and meaningless conversations. Shared interests are probably activities where they do things more often than they talk about things.

My thoughts on this only go as far as my own experiences and observations have taken me.

If there’s any extroverts out there that have really deep and meaningful connections with their friends, I’d really love your feedback about how you develop and maintain those connections.

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