Being An Introvert Does Not Make You A Bad Friend

Being An Introvert Does Not Make You A Bad Friend

Needing your space should not result in having your ability to be a good friend questioned
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I had a friend come up to me once, crying her eyes out, telling me how she thought our friendship was coming to an end because I stayed in my room for a week reading books. I was not only puzzled but I was amused because I had no clue what was going on or why she would think that the two were related.

I should have seen that coming the way that I felt responsible to keep my bedroom door open so it wouldn't hurt anyone. Hurt anyone? Keeping my bedroom door closed while I am in it, hurts people? Interestingly enough, that isn't the only time someone has ever been concerned about our friendship because I wanted to be alone for a few days or a few weeks, even after having communicated that.

I never thought being an introvert was a problem until I came to college. It is honestly crazy how agonizing it is for others to understand that I, and a lot of other people, want to be alone six, maybe even seven, days out of the week. That I want to do things alone, like shop, eat out, go to a movie, or go to the gym. Actually, I want to do everything and most things alone. I love my friends and family, but it gets tiring having to entertain others. It should never be something that is taken personally, but as an introvert, my energy is restored by doing things and being alone but that does not make me a bad friend.

Most people cannot and do not try to understand introverts. They instead, blow your phone up wondering why you are dodging all plans and asking if you two are still friends. And you, even having communicated the way you are and jokingly talk about being an introvert, question your ability to be a good friend to others. Well, stop, the only reason you associate your introversion with being a bad friend is because of those you hang around.

As long as you are communicating who you are to your friends, how they respond to that is out of your control. Wanting alone time, wanting to do things alone, and saying "no" to plans does not make you a bad friend. Not constantly texting them back or answering their phone calls does not make you a bad friend. In fact, everyone knows I hate phone calls and for some reason, my friends still find the nerve to call me and then ask why I did not pick up. But, I am not a bad friend and not answering calls or wanting to constantly text them does not mean that I do not cherish what I have with them.

We live in a time where we are expected to drop all responsibilities for our friends. This means that whatever we are doing is less important than texting our friends back and letting them know that we are still on for plans tomorrow. Because, if not, our friendship is questioned. Somehow our ability to be a good friend has become measured by how well we keep constant communication. This becomes hard for introverts to live comfortably in.

There is a growing negative connotation regarding introverts and introversion. You are not "anti-social" and you do not "hate" people. You actually get along with others great, but your time being social is not as long as others want it to be. In fact, it would make your friends more comfortable if you were social for longer periods of time. But, you are not here to make them feel comfortable.

Feeling comfortable is the only reason your friends have a problem with you being the way you are. There is nothing wrong with saying "no" to every other plan or every single plan but one. There is nothing wrong with going in your room and shutting your door. There is nothing wrong with going out one night and then wanting the whole week to yourself.

It is who you hang around, and to be honest, even friends in college are childish. Never think a friend needs to stop asking you to hang out because you say no, after communicating how you enjoy your alone time. Never think a friend needs to isolate themselves from you or "give you time away" because of what you prefer. Stop blaming yourself and thinking you are a bad friend because of what you would rather do.

There is nothing wrong with being an introvert and you are not a bad friend. You have become conditioned to think that the things you prefer cannot be understood and so they are a problem. Which is not your fault, only those you hang around.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Warning: This letter is about to get extremely cheesy. I am talking four cheese lasagna cheesy. But no one deserves a love letter like this more than you do.

This Valentine’s Day, I want to express my love for you. On this wondrous occasion with which most people express their love to their significant other, I want to tell you, my best friend, how much I cherish our friendship.

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You are the ultimate love of my life. Boys have come and gone but you remain a constant; for that I am grateful. You have been there for me when my family could not be; for that I am grateful. You have been my backbone, my rock, and all those other clichés people use to describe the people they care about, and yet you have been so much more than that as well; for that I am grateful.

All my love this Valentine’s Day goes out to you, my friend, because you do not receive it enough. You have picked me up out of the dirt, brushed me off, and kissed my wounds more times than I can count, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that, but I am sure am going to try.

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Cover Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.pederson.5/photos

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To The Friends I Can Be Myself Around

An open letter to those whose friendships I value more than a pint of Graeter's ice cream.

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There are those friends I love and care about deeply, but cannot be my true self around. Someone asked me before, "How can you call someone your friend if you can't be yourself around them?" I don't change myself to accommodate them or act in a manner unnatural to me — I just don't show them some sides of me. Growing up, some of my friends did not understand how I could ever want to write books or how I could love reading so much, so I learned at a young age to keep that side of me to myself. And yes, those are important parts of me, but my friends who did not understand it did accept it, and that was enough. Some thought it bizarre and humorous I love Celtic instrumental music or said some hurtful things about what I love that I realize now wasn't okay. But at the end of the day, there is love between us and common ground where I just remember to not mention some things.

Then there are those friends I can be my complete, unapologetic, authentic self with. The ones who support and encourage you to chase your dreams, even if they don't understand them. The ones who you can cry to about something silly, say whatever is on your mind without regretting it, and who thinks it's preposterous you refuse to fart in their presence because your other friends would give you crap for it (pun intended, and also true story). The ones you stay up late into the night talking about philosophy and crushes until your voices begin to rasp. The ones who are the closest to your heart.

I want to say thank you to these brilliant, caring, beautiful friends, new and old. Your love and support has helped me at all times, through the good and the bad and the boring. I only hope to be the same friend to you, to be open-minded, supportive, and enthusiastic. I believe it is important to cultivate a wide range of friends and support, but many of the friendships I mention earlier will most likely only be kept alive through memories; ours will last many lives to come. I look forward to growing old with you all and growing together.

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