I am definitely not an extrovert. I love spending time in my own company, struggle with small talk at times and am happy staying home. This makes creating and maintaining friendships an interesting challenge. This lead me to creating “Connect with friends” as an intentional focus for this year.
I am pleased to say I have made some new friends this year and deepened a couple of friendships. However, this has been more in bursts and not a consistent priority for me. In fact, if not for my daughter wanting to go out often, I probably wouldn’t get out as much as I do. I find it especially difficult to keep up conversations when I’m tired, which is most days when you have a 3 year old who doesn’t sleep through and is an early riser.
So why bother? Mainly, I don’t like who I become when I’ve been in my own company for too long. I am self-focused and allow my mind to dwell in fantasy/escapism way too much. It isn’t healthy for me or my family. I also have some awesome friends whom I don’t want to lose.
The year isn’t over yet. I have a new opportunity each day to renew this focus. I will push past my comfort zone and keep making the effort to go to a playgroup where I don’t know many people. I will make time in my schedule for play dates. I will make time to organise coffee catch ups in the evening when I usually prefer to be in my pyjamas.
We can do this, fellow introverts! We can contribute to social gatherings. We can maintain meaningful friendships. We can overcome the barrier of our comfort zones and reap the benefits.