Introversion and Friendship: Mutually Exclusive?

09 Apr


Photo by hotblack on Morgue File.

Do you find it easy to make new friends? Tell us how you’ve mastered the art of befriending a new person.

If I wish to make a new friend,

I simply and thoughtfully say,

Would you please−me, befriend?

If no, then I reply only to say:

Very well, I shan’t ask again,

Please go, who needs you anyway!

The truth is making friends is not something that I do well. Though, as I think more about it, this may not be entirely true. Perhaps I should amend my statement to say, keeping friends is not something I do well. Then again, that may not be quite to the point either. (I must say, this thinking as you write can be quite exhilarating!) Perhaps what I should stay instead is, keeping up with friends is not something I do well. Yes, I do think that is more to the point.

I am not going to claim to be the most gregarious person alive . . . nor would I want to be! As an introvert, making friends does not come easily. Though, it is often times not that I am uninterested in having friends; it’s just my introversion seems to send the wrong impression to others. I think people have a misconception about introverts. They think if a person is introverted, if that person is quiet and reserved, then they obviously do not like people, nor do they want to be around any of them. This is simply not true . . . well, not entirely!

It is not that I do not like people; in fact, I find I like a good many of people−even a step further, I find I like all sorts of different types of people; the issue, however, comes up that I do need breaks from people. I must have those times to unwind and be alone. I do not consider myself an island isolated from the nearest shore by miles and miles of sea. No, I rather think of myself as a ship, keeping with the sea theme. I have the ability to come into dock from time to time. I have the ability, and yes, even on occasion, the desire to port. But, I also, being a well-crafted iron-hulled ship, have the need to be on the open sea too. So, you see, introverts are rather flexible. As long as we get to define flexibility of course!

I have made a good many friends. And, I tend to keep friends as well. I cannot think of a friend that I have ever parted ways with over some argument or disagreement. There have been a few that I felt pulled away from me, a few that distanced themselves, but even then, I cannot think of any problems that arose between us. For the most part, my problem is just in keeping up with friends. I may go weeks or months without contacting a friend, then, out of the blue I will realize it has been ages since I have contacted that person.

You see, I am very much an out of sight, out of mind sort of guy. However, when we do reconnect, it is as if we had been talking all along.

Now, it is true that I may also define a friend differently from others. I have discussed this before in another post. I do not count as friends every person with whom I am friendly. I consider myself to have many acquaintances; and no, I do not consider this to be a pejorative term. I know some people who count as friends any and everybody they have ever spoken to seemingly. I am not that way. Now, what moves a person from acquaintance to friend on my list I really do not know. More than likely it is simply time. The more I am around the person, the more time we spend together and talk, the more I feel they are a true friend. However, I do not count many as friends. A handful of people, maybe a few more, I really cannot say.

None of this, however, precludes me from being a nice and likable fellow. I think most people would say I am easy enough to get along with and nice enough. I am a very laid back sort of chap. I take it as it comes. I have joked with a few people, if you cannot get along with me, you probably cannot get along with anyone! Put simply, I just do not make a fuss over things. I care nothing for drama in relationships. My philosophy is simple: let’s just all be adults and behave as adults and everything else will tend to itself.

I think for many adults, many of their problems with people would be solved if they would simply just grow up!

Okay, I will step down from my soapbox now. It is not Sunday and I do not feel like preaching just now!

Having said all of this, I appreciate friendship. I am thankful to God for putting people in my life to be my friends, and me to be theirs. I am thankful for that closeness where you can go ages without seeing a person, but then when you do, it is as if it had only been yesterday. The Bible teaches us that friendship is important.

As a Christian, I believe all fellow believers are my brothers and sisters in Christ. So, we have a bond that goes even beyond friendship. In very reality we are family. It is by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that we are bound together in love and unity. I am thankful for this. I am thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ. Of course, most of all I am thankful for Christ who makes all this possible.

It is truly a thing of grace to allow another person into your private world; even more, that someone would let me into theirs. I pray we do not take such privilege for granted. I pray we do not take advantage of that privilege. So, be thankful for your friends, whether new or old, and prove yourself to be a good and lasting friend.


Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Daily Prompt, Grace in the Everyday


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

20 responses to “Introversion and Friendship: Mutually Exclusive?

  1. JustDeb

    April 9, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    • Timothy Murray

      April 10, 2014 at 8:17 am

      The oldest, I have a younger sister.

      • JustDeb

        April 10, 2014 at 9:49 am

        Explains things.

  2. Beth Murray

    April 10, 2014 at 11:07 am

    JustDeb, I am his mother and would love for you to explain things to me.


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