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How can introverts easily make new friends in person?

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 05, 2021
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Kids make new friends fairly easily. Usually all it takes is to put them in the same playground for a few minutes and they start to play together. How do we recreate this for introverted adults?

During late childhood, we tend to develop all sorts of personal walls that prevent us from interacting with each other. It takes a set of circumstances that put us in the same place at the same time for long enough before we start opening up and interacting with each other. I'm guessing extroverted people don't have a problem with making new friends. They simply walk up to people and strike up a conversation.

Sure, there are "friend finder" type of apps that outright try to match people for friendship. I'm guessing that others (like myself) would feel awkward putting themselves "on the market" for friendship. It should be spontaneous.

I've seen a few ideas that recreate a good set of circumstances for spontaneous friendships to be made:
  • An app that provides table-sharing services
  • A platform where local people help each other out when someone is in need
  • Sharing food ingredients among neighbors
  • An app where people invite other locals to their house parties
  • A social media platform that connects people who are passing the same routes
Can we come up with more ways for adult introverts to make new friends in person?






Creative contributions

A proximity-based restraining and rewarding social network

Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Sep 30, 2021
I thought of a social network (or an extension possibly?) that has a limit to how much you get to use it until you get in close proximity with one of your friends. Administred by the GPS location on one's phone. For instance, you get to be a part of your social media group for your hobby or interest for 30 only minutes per day until you restart the count by meeting with people in the group.

Another feature could be that the more you are with people in person - the more time online you get. Or higher the number and novelty of people in your close proximity you get more time online and possible access to some features of the social network. Basically to create a not a paywall, but a socialwall.

Introverts consider social situations draining and they could be less so if the tasks of thinking about the questions to ask got outsourced, for starters at least. The app or social network could have The 36 Questions That Lead to Love. Which was a study by a psychologist that wanted to check whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. That part of the app could also be open when the friends are in proximity and could be constrained up to three questions per session not to become too stale fast.

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jnikola2 years ago
The idea is very cool, as Darko mentioned. However, I want to figure out one important factor.
How would you determine if the two people talked in person? I understand you would track the person's GPS signal, but you mention in the first paragraph that you "restart the count by meeting with people in the group". If you used only GPS, all the kids going to the same school would have their counts reset every day, even if they did not talk. I think we need a better solution that proves the face-to-face communication between two people. That's where my "tag-the-phone" idea could help.
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
J. Nikola You could detect voices with phones, although not many people would be keen on that even though the phones are doing that already.
I think for school children, the face to face meeting is already incentivized (or forced) by being in school. I don't think it's an issue for them. It probably starts the closer you get to 30. For those cases, a GPS tracker would be enough. For office workers, the app could deny lowering the social wall for "contact" with people with whom you are constantly in proximity, eight hours per day on the job.
But yes, the touch the phones feature could be more precise. It's possibly the best to have two options.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago

In time, people might consider it "lame" to use the questions that someone else prepared for them even if they are good. Especially if the questions become well known and often repeating. This could be solved by somehow making it a mandatory conversation-opening process. With written/app communication, this is easy to achieve but not so much in person.
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Join local cleanup events or volunteer for similar good causes

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 07, 2021
I've seen garbage collection events in various cities. If done right, they could be sponsored by local companies that chip in some money for the after-party barbecue or something.

A charitable community action could be initiated via a Facebook event. I imagine people meeting at a designated location. Someone divides everyone into groups of 5-10 people. Each group gets a few trash bags and a route, then off they go to comb the area. At a designated time everyone meets at the finish location with a mountain of trash and a few new friends.
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi3 years ago
First, I'll like to note that the success of an effort like this depends on whether the introvert actually wants to interact. Many introverts I know are simply not interested having any interaction with others.

For those who have an interest, I think this is a great idea, especially since it is a productive activity. I think introverts prefer high-quality friendships. I believe meeting other people in an environment that isn't superficial in the least, like this one, bodes well for developing new friendships, where introverts are concerned.

I will also suggest holding other meaningful activities like literary activities, political activities/discussions, and gardening activities. For example, events like you suggested but where they plant trees instead.
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Education as an overlooked component of socializing

Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković Sep 30, 2021
Being social and making friends and acquaintances is one of the most important aspects of life yet no school or formal education provides the blueprint for it. It's supposed to be learned intuitively, like the first language that gets a lot of focus from parents and teachers. Yet some people need professional help for that too and go to a speech therapist for years.
A company Charisma on Command provides a video course on becoming a more charismatic, likeable, confident person. They market mostly on YouTube where their channel has 4.84 million subscribers and 464 million video views in seven years. Proving that there is a massive interest in improving that area of self.

While the founders do believe in introversion/extroversion exist as character traits, they also state that being introverted is not purely based on personal traits but also on the lack of a communication skill-set and a fear of social situations. Their instructional course provides the framework and exercises with which navigating conversations and social situations are better understood and hence less straining and scary.
Basically, everyone has a different base level of natural charisma and talent in handling social situations and that their course can improve everyone. Not to the same outcome, of course.

I could see a government in a country that has a problem of alienation and has social development programmes, like Singapore, subsidizing this or similar courses.
As it is an online course, not a brick and mortar job or direct coaching, the social stigma of working on your charisma wouldn't be there.
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