Shedding my introvert nature for my daughter

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If we were having coffee right now, I would ask you one question: “How do you make friends?”

Don’t laugh! It may sound silly to you but it has been bothering me from the past few days.

Since you are a blogger I assume you spend time writing  when you could have gone out with your friends. I assume that you like writing compared to speaking and I assume you are an introvert or an ambivert.

Why I have asked this question about making friends is, I’m an introvert. I worked for several years in a corporate company. I travelled several places. All the while I had only a few friends.  I spend most of the time reading books, writing or enjoying my solitude.  I make acquaintances quickly but it will take a lot of time for me to turn that acquaintance into friendship. I feel uncomfortable in parties and end up sticking to one to two people throughout the party. However, I spent my entire life with this nature without any major problems . Infact, I was proud that I was an introvert when I read the book “Quiet” by Susan Cain. I was elated to know the virtues of being an introvert..

But, lately I have been trying to challenge my introvert nature because of my daughter. When my daughter started going to a new school, she lacked friends. Most of her classmates Moms were already well acquainted and I was out of that social circle. They all celebrated festivals together, went on trips together and made their children participate in the school events together.  I thought that my daughter will make new friends, but that didn’t happen.  Most of my daughter’s classmates had their own group of friends to play with and my daughter was left out. I felt guilty for this. If only I had socialized, if only I had made friendship with the Moms of other children, my daughter  wouldn’t have been playing alone now. Sometimes, I want to hold a board which reads “ My daughter needs friends”!  I became so desperate.

As I struggle to look positive aspect of this situation, I see that my daughter spends more time in reading books. She reads better than most of her classmates. She does rock climbing, swimming and has better general awareness compared to kids of her age. But in the end, I still want my daughter to have a social life. I want her to mingle with other children and be apart of a group.

Now, to help my daughter make friends, I am struggling to shed my introvert nature. I am trying hard to make small talk with other parents.  I’m even planning to host a party inviting mom’s of her classmates so that I can bond with them. If you are a person who enjoys solitude, you will understand how difficult it is to do all these things. That’s brings back to my original question “How do you make friends?”.

Dear blogger, did you ever  face such issue? If you are an introvert, did you face any problems? Are you trying to overcome your introvert nature?

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19 thoughts on “Shedding my introvert nature for my daughter

  1. What a good question! I often ask this question myself. How do you make friends? Because often times, I just wait for people to come to me and that is not a good strategy.

  2. Like you I am an introvert. I do not make friends easily. I was contented because I had my siblings who were always there for me, we played we made fun of each other.We had a great time. I had one friend in the first college I attended. I had three in the second college because I lived in a residence, my siblings were not there to hang out with me. 🙂
    I liked your about page, you live in the United States I live in Canada.:)

  3. It sounds like your daughter could also be an introvert herself, and there is definitely nothing wrong with being an introvert. I didn’t fully understand what that meant for myself until recently either and am still learning.

    The only piece of advice I can give you from a fellow introvert, is to spend the time and energy with the small talk… then find something you can relate to or have in common with that person that you’re discussing… and expand/build on that. Maybe suggest an actual coffee “date” where you can talk about your children and their plans (because that is one thing you for sure have in common with other moms). Some small talk questions that might garner responses you can relate to are “What books have you read lately?” or “Would you recommend any… [whatever you need a recommendation on]?”

    Small talk is exhausting, but if you steer the small talk onto a constructive path with pointed but simple questions, then you might find some commonalities between you and the other moms.

  4. Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends And Influence People was very prescient in this regard, and is still very valuable today. I would recommend it. It is full of simple, easily followed tips that really do help. One or two things may not translate, but on the whole it has aged extraordinarily well and is still very relatable. My blog is in its infancy but it focuses heavily on social anxiety and meeting people, so you might find some of the future posts there valuable, as well.

  5. Hi! I’m an introvert as well, but when I moved five states away from home, I too had to think about this.

    Joining a class for something I was really interested was one of the better things I did. I learned a lot, and I’ve bonded with others who are all new to each other and new to what we’re learning as well. We see each other a lot because of the circumstance and have really gotten to know one another.

    Large groups have always been hard – both when I was your daughter’s age and now as an adult (I’m sure you relate), so finding those small groups where you get to spend consistent time together (for kids and for adults) is super helpful.

  6. Thoughtful post — thanks for responding to this prompt!

    I wrote recently about lacking a “social center” — I’ve traveled a lot in the past 20 years, while my closest friends are also nomads, so we’re all spread out across the world, and I rarely see them. Meanwhile, I failed to maintain close friendships in the San Francisco area, which is “home” by default, so it’s really just me and my husband most of the time! (And also my family, but that’s different.) We also don’t have children, so there’s no outlet there to meet other people, while there are other spaces to potentially meet new people (our gym, our local coffee shop/co-working spot, etc.) but I’m also not in the right mindset (nor am I interested, I suppose?) to make new connections.

    In short, meeting new friends is hard 🙂

    I could go on!

    Great response and thanks for asking this question.

    • Thanks a lot,Cheri, for your comments. I read your post “Lacking a social center” and I can relate to that. I’m compelled to make friends. My daughter’s birthday is coming up in April and I will be very happy if I can make friends by that time so that I will have someone to invite for my daughter’s birthday party.

  7. I’ve been in the same situation, and I’ve worked hard to help my kids have a social life. It’s not always easy, and it often results in feelings of guilt. It’s particularly hard if your kid, like mine, is more or less of an introvert too, and then you have to work doubly hard for the friendships to be formed. I think what you’re doing sounds great, it’s generally pretty easy to get to know parents of other kids since they want their little ones to have playmates as much as you do!

  8. It sounds like you’re taking the steps needed to bring a wider social circle to your daughter. As others stated, the small steps. I still have problems moving beyond the acquaintance stage, but the friendships I do have all started with that first step of small talk, and then finding a common ground. I don’t think you have to “shed” your introvert self. That would probably be too much. I know it would be for me, and if I didn’t make any “progress” as I thought I should, then I would feel like a failure and give up on the whole idea.

  9. Good question and some interesting answers. My partner is very good at socialising and he thinks that everyone he meets is nice! He gets people to talk to him just by asking them questions. Just like you did! You’re half way there already!

  10. Hi Jahnavi, I am also an introvert person. Another problem is, my strong liking and disliking. I can’t make friends. Luckily I got two friends in my school life and still we are… Interesting thing is they are totally different from me. They were very social and funny! Still, I think how can be it possible!!! And, yes I tried to overcome my introvert nature in the first year of my university. It’s not working since it’s not spontaneous. Actually it’s worst! Than I just take it confidently that I am introvert and I am not worried about it… Best wishes for you. Hope you will be successful! Always be happy and confident whatever you are – introvert or extrovert! 🙂

  11. Jahnavi don’t look for for the features of your choice in others…accept them as They are…if possible try correlatimg them to your choices…this will make it easy to gel with them…you had accepted me the moat talkative person to be your friend…you can accept anyone…ask your daughter not to look for her likes in them..but to present herself as she is she…there are whole bunch of gud people around who will definetly be reasy to be her friends….

  12. This post resonates with me in such a deep personal way. I had few friends as a child and in university I spent most of my time with my boyfriend whom I married. As a young mother I had no close friends and worried about my daughter making friends. Like you, I tried to be more sociable but most times no friendship developed. Fortunately my daughter has developed into a young woman with oodles of friends.
    I used to think even if I had one close friend and she had to move away for a year I wouldn’t care because I don’t mind being alone and if I knew I had a friend it didn’t matter if we weren’t together. I always felt that there must be something wrong or different about me. And I didn’t need lots of friends. One would do.
    I am now retired and have many friends although I still relish my time alone.What has happened? When I started taking antidepressants my world changed. I changed and everyone’s opinion of me changed. When I stopped taking them I went back into this little shell. I now take them again.
    I am still an introvert to my very core but I am now an introvert who has friends. I know this is not the case for everyone. Just my experience.

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