I recently responded to a call from A Modern Mom’s Life who was writing a piece on introverted moms. She wanted input and perspective from other women on the topic, one which I am very familiar with. It didn’t take me long to realize that I have far more to say on the topic than just a little blurb. This is something that has been on my mind more and more lately, especially since my 30th birthday has come and gone.
I have been an introverted person for most of my life, more comfortable reading at home than socializing at parties and the like. As time goes on and I become busier with work, family time, and after school activities, I am beginning to feel a growing sense of loneliness and a longing for more meaningful friendships. Simultaneously I feel that I lack the time and energy I need to see such friendships flourish.
I have had several women attempt to connect with me over the past few years. They have asked me out to dinner, the movies, out for drinks, and the like. Occasionally I accept, but often I respond to their invitations with “something came up” or “maybe next time’ because as uncomfortable as it is to admit, I am no social butterfly. I don’t drink, I can’t dance, I’m a wallflower, if I even show up at all.
Riddled with insecurity, I judge and question myself. I’m too boring. I wonder what stupid thing I am going to do embarrass myself. Come to think about it, this sounds an awful lot like dating, doesn’t it? Except it feels more difficult than dating.
There are no friendship apps, you cant judge compatibility or chemistry by looking at a photo, and you certainly can’t swipe right to find a BFF. Wait, can you?
Aristotle said that there are 3 types of friendships, and I have to agree with the man. The first two types are accidental friendships of utility and pleasure, often forged out of convenience. These friendships usually revolve around common interests and activities such as school, sports, and work. While these friendships are often plentiful, they are flimsy and fleeting, and they will fade away as quickly as the season changes.
The third type of friendship that Aristotle spoke about was The Friendship of the Good, or virtuous friendship. Built with intention, and based on a mutual appreciation of character and goodness. This type of friendship takes trust to build, is strengthened over time, fuelled by mutual growth. If it does thrive, then this friendship will last a lifetime.
I have never had a problem making the first two types of friendships, but they have always faded out when I left the school, the job, or the activity. When that common bond, like venting over stressful assignments and deadlines or your miserable co-workers is gone, you find that you have less and less in common and the connection just isn’t there anymore. It’s natural, but it’s still depressing, and when you don’t have any virtuous friendships to fall back on life can be lonely.
When I see older women who have been friends for many years laughing together in the best of times, or comforting each other through the most difficult of times, it hits home. I strive to have a friendship like that. Until that day comes I will work on taking myself out of my comfort zone, and being open to new opportunities, new situations, and meeting new people.
Are you an introvert? How does this affect your ability to make meaningful and long lasting friendships? I would love to hear from you, leave a comment down below.