Last weekend I attended a small party at a friend’s place. We spent most of the night sitting around the patio talking. The two extroverts in the group dominated the conversation. Topics flew back and forth between the two of them. The rest of us would contribute something every now and again. But for the most part, we were content to listen. I enjoyed the first couple of hours but then the exhaustion began to set in. It was just another reminder of how limited my energy is in these situations.
If you had looked at our group, you would have seen two people passionately discussing things and five quieter people who didn’t say as much. One might assume the loud ones were the only ones having fun, but that wouldn’t be true. Despite my exhaustion, I enjoyed myself, and I could tell my other introverted friends did as well. I enjoy spending time with friends, even if they have way more energy than I do. Introverts and extroverts both have something unique and special to share.
One of my close friends is extroverted. When we hang out, he usually needs someone to listen to him and I’m happy to do it. But he’s also incredibly perceptive. There have been several times where I’ve been stressed out or feeling overwhelmed. He’ll ask me how I’m doing. I’ll reply with the customary “pretty good”. But he’ll just look at me and say, “Really? It seems like you have something on your mind.” And he won’t rest until I’ve told him about what’s bothering me. It’s refreshing to have someone who can see past my façade and wants to know how I’m really doing.
This really makes me appreciate the different types of people in my life. Yes, there are the acquaintances who come and go. But there are also those who are genuinely interested in who I am. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the few I have are very special.
How do you like to connect with friends?