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  1. #1
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    Default INFJ - Problem with socialising and making friends

    hey guys, after recently starting uni life and meeting new people, i've discovered that i have a serious problem in socialising and finding friends, and was wondering if any of u guys had ever experienced the same problem in the past or would be kind enough to give me some advice as to my dilemma.

    although i said i started having this problem wen i started university, wen i think back it seems like i always had this problem since i could remember. wen i was a kid i remember family friends and relatives occasionally telling me to smile more or be happier, but i used to dismiss those claims by thinking that they were just being too superficial to understand wat i was truly feeling inside. although, now that i've become older i'm feeling that it's becoming a more serious and recurring issue, and it seems that i had been too arrogant and confident in my own ideas to see myself as being wrong back then.

    the more i think about it the more it seems as though my angry/aloof/uninterested appearance coupled with my social awkwardness is making me unapproachable, as more and more people are beginning to hate me or find me weird after about a minute of talking to me. i find that i become more likeable during those rare occasions when i'm happy to the point that it shows on the outside, so that i smile naturally and become more welcoming. but i know that i'm often not that happy, and that my tendencies to overthink things along with my inability to keep a good and interesting conversation are wat make people uncomfortable around me. i'm just not good at small-talk, and it seems more and more so that in today's society, the people who succeed in life are the popular ones who can.

    i've tried smiling more or being more extroverted, but i think that just comes across as being too forced and unnatural as they still shy away from me. some people have tried tolerating me but after a while it does seem that talking to me is really trying for them. i have to be honest, i'm starting to hate and doubt myself, and it seems that i'd be more happy if i stayed believing that others are just lesser-minded.

    anyway, it was good getting all this off my chest, but i was wondering if any of u had the same problem once, and how u solved it?

  2. #2
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Welcome here!

    Most of us were much less comfortable when we were younger. You've hit the nail on the head about what is wrong - people need to feel that you are approachable. I learned a lot from dating an ESTJ about how much people respond when you initiate communication, assume people will want you around and even impose your company on them at times, while amply repaying them with edible treats or some kind of skill you have to offer. Here is an excellent place to test approaching people first and taking initiative rather than only responding. Follow up on an interesting idea in the thread via VM. Rep someone if you agree with them or have a comment to make. Send people you've interacted with friends requests first. The stakes here are very low, but what you'll learn is that people respond warmly when you show an interest in them.

    This is true for conversation too. Our self-consciousness is actually a mild form of selfishness. We don't have enough margin then to think about putting the other person at ease in the conversation. One of the solutions is to get into the habit of looking for what subject that person is an expert on or is passionate about. Everyone has one. Ask them questions about it and they will carry the conversation. People love to have the opportunity to talk about themselves. It's an interesting topic to them, they are an expert on it, and they rarely run out of information! At the same time, you will learn a lot yourself and also become aware of what kinds of skills/advice/knowledge or help the people around you have to offer, which is very useful to you as well. Express appreciation for the things people do for you. Assume that you are welcome and approach them first. Most people feel just as uncomfortable as you inside and are just waiting for someone else to approach them and make them feel comfortable.

    Keep developing your own confidence and strengthen your connections to whomever is within your support system. This gives you a base to work from, people to test your ideas on and to mirror back their perceptions of you. Add to the skills that you have, which again gives you an avenue for meeting people or having a positive way to interact with them. Practice talking to strangers - taxi drivers, people while you are waiting at a bus stop (if they look receptive), people when you are waiting for an appointment, etc. Again, the stakes are low because you will never see this person again, but you are gaining valuable practice in doing something that is hard for you. Usually the less confident we feel personally, the more rejecting our body language becomes (lack of eye contact, poor posture, arms crossed, short answers, lack of animation, neutral or negative facial expression etc). We often are not even aware of this. As your practice, experience in a variety of situations, skills and people connections increase, you will find yourself less and less stressed in these kinds of situations.

  3. #3
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    thankyou for the welcome and great advice . it's relieving to know that approachability doesn't always come naturally and can be attained.

  4. #4
    Senor Membrane
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    Hmm.. I'm not an INFJ, but my mother is and I know she had similar issues when she was at your age. Interestingly, now that she got past them, she has like hundreds of friends... Everyone seems to like her. I think she just started to be more interested about people. It is quite interesting that your attitude can be sensed by others very accurately. Myself as a teen, I was afraid of people and thought that they are a bunch of animals, basically. I thought myself better than them, so, not surprisingly, I was bullied a lot. Now it is better. I am not super popular, but the world is a lot nicer place. I don't keep in touch with acquaintances but have a bunch of good friends. I think this is mostly due to the shift in my attitude.

    So, if I were you, I'd start by finding out what are the things that keep you from being open to people. After that it'll just work out.

  5. #5
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    In my experience, meeting people and making friends quickly in a new setting is extremely difficult. I remember the first few weeks of college feeling very uncertain and not sure how to go about socializing with strangers. On the other hand, as time went by, I became very very close with several people that I interacted with every day and I left college with a large group of very close friends.

    INFJs are not the kind of people that attract attention or make wonderful first impressions. Instead, we are the people that others slowly come to value more and more over time. Because we're not great at small talk, initial meetings are painful and awkward, which makes it feel like we'll never make friends. But as people move past the small talk phase, the appreciate a friend with whom they can let their guard down and be themselves.

    So, I guess my advice would be to engage in activities where you are likely to be around the same people on a regular basis. It may be difficult and uncomfortable at first, but if you start opening up a little people will respond. When something seems funny to you, or you have one of those clever thoughts that you usually keep to yourself, turn to your neighbor and say it out loud. Not everyone will be in tune with you personality wise, but eventually you'll stumble across one or two people that just totally get it.

  6. #6
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Enjoy yourself without worrying about the outcome. Your friends will come.

  7. #7
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Yeah I like fidelia's advice about asking questions about people. I think that's one of the best ways to get to know someone. You are gathering information about them to form a base so then you can know how to connect with the person. The more you know, the more you can connect in more meaningful ways. Of course there will be the random people with whom you just 'click' immediately, but most of the time it's slower, layer upon layer of getting to know people.

    The other good thing I've found is doing things with people. Going for a hike, cooking, going to a parade, etc. Somehow just spending time with an activity helps to connect in other ways than regular talking does. If you see people with whom you'd like to be friends, observe the kind of activities that they enjoy doing. See if there's something in there that you wouldn't mind trying. It's a good way to help a relationship/friendship form.

    My friend put it a good way, that you are planting the seeds for future. You cannot see them growing yet, but just keep watering them, keep letting the sun shine and soon you will be able to see the little sprouts popping up from the soil. Ok maybe a little cheesy, but it's how I've found it to work.

    And welcome to the forums BlueWolf!
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  8. #8
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    ^ I agree with this!

    You may also want to look at what extra-curricular clubs/organizations you can get involved with on campus that would bring you into contact with people. I only discovered the international students association during my last semester of university and wish I had known about it much earlier. I met a lot of good friends there, and they were looking for a network of people because they were far away from their own. I don't know if your campus has something like SafeWalk, but if they do, volunteer for it. You will have many opportunities to get to know people and if you feel awkward or things don't go well, you never need to see a lot of the people again.

  9. #9

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    Hey, yeah I'm new to this website as of today but yeah I have alot of trouble socializing and meeting new people. I find it difficult to talk to people in big social situations alot of the time. I like hanging out with like 1-2 friends usually and even then I'm usually pretty quiet. I dont think its on purpose alot of the time my friends just talk alot about their problems and worries to me than I do to them. Plus I like listening and working through their issues more than talking about myself. I get really uncomfortable talking about my own issues or thoughts to others even my closest friends soo socializing is always an issue for me. When I do go out I dont know if I'm awkward per se more like generically nice and pleasant with everyone. Most people are super nice to me and talk to me its always just your general conversation which I'm usually not into or I just see how routine it is and then I loose interest. Umm for meeting people I would say they would most likely meet me through family, friends. When I'm by myself at school or out and about I'm guessing I look really serious and sad sometimes soo people don't come up to me alot but if they do I'm really nice alot of the time. Soo I don't know usually I make connections with select people and we enjoy the same conversations and hobbies sooo it randomly works out. Plus I'm extremely shy and sometimes when I try to be extroverted end up disliking myself and going through these bouts of doubt and anger all at myself soooo I figure I should just be myself and it works for me most of the time. I like my time to myself and I have a few close friends to hang out with and talk with. I don't know if any of that made sense?? But thats typically how friends and social situations go for me. That may totally be a mass of jumbled confusion if soo sorry and I'll try to explain it better.

  10. #10
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    thanks to everyone for the replies and welcomes .

    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Hmm.. I'm not an INFJ, but my mother is and I know she had similar issues when she was at your age. Interestingly, now that she got past them, she has like hundreds of friends... Everyone seems to like her. I think she just started to be more interested about people.
    same actually, although i don't know exactly if she is an infj my mum does show most of the traits. and from wat i know about her past she never really smiled as a child, but the present her makes friends with everyone she meets. she recently told me that the happier u are the luckier u are, and i think that really matches with ur idea of the importance of attitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omission1234 View Post
    Hey, yeah I'm new to this website as of today but yeah I have alot of trouble socializing and meeting new people. I find it difficult to talk to people in big social situations alot of the time. I like hanging out with like 1-2 friends usually and even then I'm usually pretty quiet. I dont think its on purpose alot of the time my friends just talk alot about their problems and worries to me than I do to them. Plus I like listening and working through their issues more than talking about myself.
    hey , like u I have a hard time talking in a big group even if with close friends and the subject is something i can relate to, i just can't catch up. i find that i used to enjoy helping others with their issues when i was younger but now i think i am more empathetic to animals and children, maybe i have a lot of hate that i need to get rid of.

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