As an INFJ making friends as always been hard for me. Always. I’m pretty shy at first and awkward sometimes. The more I want to be friends with someone the worse it is. But when I can find someone I’m loyal for life.
Shy & awkward
When I was young I thought people didn’t like me. I was always too afraid to approach anyone and they rarely came up to me on their own. When I did get the courage to approach someone I never knew what to say. It was so awkward.
I ended up spending a lot of time by myself. I was always fine with it, in fact I preferred to be alone most of the time. Everyone always told me I needed to try harder because making friends was very important. This made me think there was something wrong with me, which I’ve leaned is not the case. I’m just different than they are.
Things really haven’t changed that much now. I have learned how to talk to new people, but I’m always anxious. I hate approaching people. I’m always concerned that I’m bothering them, which I hate.
Most of my current friends have found and adopted me. One of them approached me when I was waiting for a train at 6am. All she had to say was “so how does this work?” And we ended up riding the train together every day. I never would have thought to say something like that.
I met my best friend at work. She is absolutely gorgeous, a former model. Me, well I’m not what anyone would call model material. I immediately made assumptions about her and decided we couldn’t be friends because she was too pretty. I just thought she wouldn’t want to be friends with me because of how I looked. Thankfully she was very persistent. Once we sat down and started talking we realized that we had so much in common.
We’ve been friends for over 10 years now. She’s the only person who understands that I need time and space sometimes. She doesn’t get offended when I don’t call her for 6 months. We just pick right back up where we left off.
I learned a hard lesson with that situation: I’m a lot more judgmental than I thought and it’s really something I have to work on.
I also have another problem. I seem to find people that I would like to be friends with who don’t want to be friends with me. So I try and try and try and it never works. I’ve convinced myself that we would be great friends, but I just can’t seem to convince them of that. It’s always awkward and I feel weird. I don’t know why I keep doing it. If I were talking to someone else about it I would say “they’re not interested in being your friend. Just stop.” I don’t take my own advice though.
Once I have made friends with someone it’s always challenging for me to keep them. I need lots of space. I’m not the type to spend time together every single day, every week is even challenging. I even find it hard to respond to text messages sometimes. They are way easier than phone calls though.
I’m not good at shallow conversations. They wear me out so easily. I would much rather talk about the meaning of life or landing on the moon or traveling to a fun place than talk about the weather or some new piece of celebrity gossip. I think about things very deeply and research things deeply. I know lots of things about the things that I’m interested in. So a conversation with me could go from serial killers to politics to music to personality types. I’ve noticed that not a lot of people think about some of the things I think about or find them interesting. It’s challenging for me to carry on a conversation when it’s not interesting to me. I’d just rather not. I'm ok with the quiet.
I’m very honest. A lot of people say “oh that’s great!” Most people don’t realize what that means though. For me, it means don’t ask me what I think unless you want a very honest opinion. At times I don’t realize how honest I am until I see the horrified looks on people’s faces when I’ve said too much. Some people don’t know what to do with that kind of honesty, they can’t handle it. They immediately think of me as rude and uncaring. But that’s not the case. It’s all about understanding.
It’s important for me to be able to be myself, to be genuine. I haven’t had that luxury for most of my life. I’ve always been told to hide certain things. “Don’t be so honest. Be nicer. Make sure people like you. Don’t tell people you listen to that music or go to see that movie.” It’s exhausting. I just want to be me. I want to be wholly and completely me. It’s important to me that my friends are the same way too. I’d rather know the truth than be around people who are not honest about something. I can usually tell when something is off, even if I can’t pinpoint what it is, I know something is wrong.
The worst possible thing for me is being betrayed. When people turn against me I just disappear. I’m not one to fight and argue. And I certainly don’t want to be somewhere that I’m not wanted. All it takes is a little bit of betrayal or rejection for me to split.
Friends are hard
To sum it all up: friends are hard. I want just one or two that will approach me and that I will instantly click with. They also need to leave me alone most of the time. In return you get a loyal friend for life with a deep connection.
It took me a long time to realize these things about my self, come to terms with them and be ok. I’ve accepted that I’m not the life of the party and will never be. That’s not me. I will never had a bunch of friends and I don’t want a bunch. I just want a couple, just one or two that will let me be me and accept me for all of my uniqueness. I’ll do the same thing in return.