Caution: The ideas expressed in this post are solely the author’s and are not reflective of introverts all over the world. Every introvert is different and I do not consider myself to be the champion of them all. Though, we are all champions in our own different ways.
Anyhowwww. It’s Thanksgiving break time and work feels duller and the ambient sucky weather makes it hard to roam around and admire my surroundings. Which means, my only respite from hibernating at home is interacting with … (cue gasps) … people. Introverts aren’t exactly fascinated by interactions with a multitude of people.
Though, interactions with a few people that seem interesting, yes. Also, let me introduce you to the most cliched introvert love story ever (*cough* John Green *cough* Rainbow Rowell *cough*): I fell in love with him/her because he/she was so much more free spirited and comfortable talking to everyone, which is a trait I can admire from a distance but can’t imbibe. This may be followed by getting screwed over by the very same outgoing f(r)iend.
So I thought to myself, why not come up with a social skills survival kit for introverts? Most of these are probably (not) obvious, but it’s a good idea to list them down for further reference. Also, listing is a good idea in general.
- Binge on pop culture. Because, big POPulations put the pop in POPular. Which means, it makes for amazing small talk across a variety of people. Watch the latest Marvel/DC movie. Definitely watch Game of Thrones. Listen to EDM. Listen to the latest Taylor Swift album and keep track of how many people she has dissed on it. For girls, just keep track of beauty and fashion trends, cause… vanity. How to stay in touch with the latest pop culture trends? Just check YouTube trending videos. The React channel by FBE is pretty good with this.
- Food! Everyone loves food. So if you make good food, or give people free food, you are likely to gain some social goodwill.
- Booze and cigarettes. Apparently great bonding agents, I was told by a senior.
- Board games, card games, escape rooms (basically any distraction that can keep you from getting to know the other person too well). And these are fun too!
- Now this may sound nasty, but there are a few people who care too much about what other people say. And they call you over and ask you what you feel about things that are inconsequential to you. Like whether one pair of heals looks sexier than the other on them. And you can give any opinion, even if you have the remotest understanding of it. So yeah, hangout with such people. They value your opinions.
- The common enemy theorem. This was something I learnt during college: it’s easy to bond over common hardships or better, common evil person, who wants to sabotage you. In college, this was in terms of cruel professors or jerks who took themselves too seriously. Or the education system in general. So find someone who wants to whine about the same stuff that you do. And whine.
- Get a sense of humor. Now this is tricky because different types of humor appeal to different people. Some people like it crude and nasty. Some like it cute and innocent. Some like it intellectual. I’ll say try each and figure out which works best for your audience. This is also good training for an alternate career, while you’re accomplishing your primary goal of making friends.
- Have and showcase a talent. If you want to be a part of a group, you need to have some distinguishing quality. Anything. You could be the girl who gets wasted a lot. Or who can do two backflips in succession. Or who is good with money. If life is a sitcom, pick a quirky character to play. If your show becomes popular, you keep at it. People may get tired of it at one point, but by that point they’re too used to seeing you, so they won’t switch channels and you may also end up raking in millions (don’t … bank on this though). It’s a win win.
Gah. The cringe!
I go by these rules, and I have accumulated a whole of … *an embarrassingly low number of* friends. Nah, I bet they should work for most people. I just haven’t followed this seriously enough. Might be a good social experiment to do and report back on later. Until then, happy friend-making!