As Told by an Introvert: How to Make Friends

This may come as a shock – brace yourselves: Millennials are apparently one of the loneliest generations (a close second to Gen Z). Please, I know. With all the social media platforms, Facetiming, Netflix and Chilling (hello, death of the movie theater), how could we – the kids who you used to yell at to “put down the damn phone” all the time lonely?

We suck at talking to people when it’s not behind a keyboard (real, or touchscreen).

So, when I moved to Sarasota, FL (the lobby to God’s Waiting Room), I was presented with a challenge: making new friends. But how? I didn’t have school anymore. Dating apps were still creepy and only for hookups (mostly). And as an introvert, I wasn’t ready to introduce myself to the cashier at Publix like, “Hi, I’m Sam – wanna be friends?” Apparently, that stops being “okay” after second grade. Read on to learn how this introverted homebody managed to get a life in a new state.

Make Friends through Work

There’s a time and place for this and if you really like your job and want to keep it, it’s important to make sure you keep things professional while on company time. But I’ve met some of my closest friends working in Florida. From retail to writing, I’ve been fortunate to have found some awesome people to hang out with outside of the office or store. And while it’s important to always prioritize your job while at the office (or representing your business), it really helps having a work buddy around if things get stressful or you need a little boost.

Make Friends through Activities

I’ve made some friends through races and writing down here. Pursuing a hobby or a longtime passion and joining groups or clubs can be beneficial not in just improving your craft (whatever it may be), but it can also help you find some other crazies to bond with over your birding, boating, fly fishing, running, cheese curd carving – you name it, they probably have it.

Make Friends with Your Local Stalker

I’m kidding. Partially. While running one morning, one of my neighbors approached me in her car. Apparently, she’d been watching me train for my marathon and decided to “kidnap me” as her running buddy. Although she didn’t offer me candy, we’ve been training together for races since October. And, thanks to her, I was reminded to switch up my running route daily.

Make Friends by Forcing Your Other Friends to Move

It may be a little hard to totally convince someone with a stable job, steady income, decent roommates, and family/partner to pick up and move a few states south. But if you can’t charm them with the white, cool sands and glittering emerald water on Siesta Key, no shoveling, no winter, beaches for miles, no shoveling, and substantially less traffic – and no shoveling – you clearly did not do well on your persuasive essays in school, did you?

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