I’m an introvert—I really like spending time alone doing my thing. I don’t have a BFF, but I’m not an outcast. I’m not lonely at all. But my friends are OBSESSED with me being more outgoing and always hanging out with them. I don’t want to change. I mean, this is my PERSONALITY we’re talking about! Please help!
So Not A People Person
Hi So Not A People Person,
It sounds like your friends mean well, and they’re probably basing their worries on what THEY want instead of what you really want. They see you all by yourself and they’re worried that you’re sad and lonely.
But everyone is different and it sounds like you know who you are and what makes you happy. That’s awesome! You call yourself an introvert, and I want to define that so everyone knows what you mean by that.
INTROVERTS are people who need a lot of time alone to feel happy. It doesn’t mean they don’t ever like to be around people. But, they sometimes find social situations with a lot of people emotionally draining and tiring.
EXTROVERTS are people who need interaction with others to feel happy and comfortable. It doesn’t mean they don’t ever like to be alone. It’s just that being around other people gives them energy.
Some people strongly identify as one or the other. But others are just sort of a mixture, or OMNIVERTS. An omnivert can be happy and comfortable alone OR in a room full of people.
And also, what you are as a kid might be different from what you are as a teen, and what you are as a teen might be different from what you are as an adult.
Right now, you identify as an introvert. You really LIKE to spend time alone. In fact, you NEED to spend time alone to feel your best. It’s great you understand that about yourself!
So first, have you told your friends how you feel? You should try saying something like: “I understand you want me to be happy, and to you that might mean a super busy social life, but I’m really happy the way I am. And the pressure to be someone I’m not is really stressful for me.”
I think the main thing is showing them that you’re happy the way things are. Because they really do mean well and want what’s best for you. It also might help get them off your back if you make an effort to do something social that appeals to you. I’m not saying run for class president. But join a club or invite your friends over every now and then. You don’t have to change your personality, and you might actually have fun!
And then when you’re done being around people, schedule plenty of time to chillax alone. 🙂