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Meeting Other Introverts

goldfish jumping out of the water

Say you are an introvert, how do you go about meeting others of your kind? On the surface it seems easy, but the problem is that the introvert isn’t going to come up & introduce themselves or anything. If you happen to sit next to an introvert they probably won’t talk to you beyond acknowledging your existence (if you even get that) unless they’ve had a few too many.

If someone does talk to you, they are probably an extrovert & talking to them can either be mildly amusing or can be exhausting. The problem is that extroverts don’t really parse their speech; whatever comes into their heads comes out their mouths, generally. This is why talking to most people can be so annoying.

Meeting other introverts is a lengthy process, but it is worth it because once you get them to talk to you they have incredibly interesting things to say. They spend most of their lives in solitary activities like reading books & looking up things on the internet. Sometimes they just roll ideas around inside their heads until they either make sense or are discarded.

So how do you do it? Well, little known fact is there is a place introverts gather; happy hour at your small local neighborhood dive bar. Extroverts go out at night; introverts gather from happy hour until about 10 when the bar fills with the late night extrovert crowd. Now if you are an introvert, you might find it difficult going into a strange bar because places full of people aren’t your cup of tea, but gird your loins & go in. The perfect bar is one where when you walk in everyone looks at the door, but no one greets you except maybe the bartender.

So if you successfully enter a bar & obtain a beverage, then sit at the bar & drink your drink. Sitting at the bar is imperative; no one will notice you if you sit at a table & if they do notice you, sitting at a table signifies that you want to be left the hell alone. Sitting at the bar is a friendlier approach even if you never speak to anyone except the bartender to say “Miller Lite”.

If anyone talks to you, they are either an extrovert or drunk. You can either talk back or ignore them; it doesn’t matter, you are biding your time & becoming a regular. This is a lengthy process. You may show up at the same bar for a month & never meet another introvert, but they all see you, and your repeated appearance will make them more comfortable around you (and you them).

Extroverts are bewildered by the mere thought of this process, this mating dance. Extroverts have no problem meeting people, so they see no need to get comfortable around people before opening their prolific yaps. Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap. I mean, don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends & favorite siblings are extroverts. They are super swell, but they just don’t understand.

Since this is such a lengthy process, you would do well to do this at multiple bars. Three different bars should be sufficient. You don’t want to be seen at the same one every day, if you can even drag yourself out in public that often. Plus, you need more than one bar because seeing the same people time after time can be draining. It’s like they need more time to have different topics of conversation, or if you see them too often you get sucked into their drama. Drama = trauma.

After the second or third time all the other introverts see you, they will start to give little signals of acknowledgement: a nod here, a grunt there. This is good – baby steps. Eventually one of the less introverted ones will actually speak an entire sentence or ask a question. When this happens, you are in. You have been accepted. It may take another month or two to be fully integrated into their “cone of silence” but once you are in, the place is yours forever.

You may think I’m poking fun, or this is a satire, but I’m absolutely serious. Both my husband & I are INTJs, and this is how we deal with socializing. Just as you need some quiet alone time, you also need to talk to other people. You can’t sit home forever (well you can, but I don’t suggest it). We have four or five different small bars (occupancy < 80) we shuffle between. All of them are populated almost exclusively by introverts during happy hour – not at night; the night crowd is very different. Right now there are two of them we are avoiding (don’t ask), but in a couple of months we will have a different two we avoid & will return to the original two. Sometimes people have to miss you to appreciate you.