Introvert in College

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hobknob
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Introvert in College

Postby hobknob » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:02 am

Not sure if this is the right place or anything, but I don't have anyone or anywhere else that I can comfortably ask this, so here it goes...

I have a problem with my college relationships...

I am a lifelong introvert (ISTJ). I am 21, very smart (3.9 in a top 10 engineering program), pretty athletic (can dunk a basketball), would say I'm pretty good looking physically, and very nice. I'm the guy who everybody likes, and I have a large number of friends/acquaintances that I hang out with regularly. The problem is that I am "friends" with all these people, but at the same time I can tell I'm not super tight with any of them. We get along great in certain areas, but it never clicks in all areas. I feel like I have to have a bunch of subgroups of friends that combine to make one great friend. Even in high school my only friends that completely got me were my two older brothers (who didn't have this problem btw).

Additionally, I feel like part of my problem is that I might be accidentally pushing people away due to my introversion. For example, when I go to parties I always become the focus (despite being quiet and deliberately trying to avoid the attention), with everybody trying to get me to be more involved and outgoing. I'm told everybody cues in on me because I'm likeable and quiet, but I really don't know. Anyways, I usually leave early, resulting in a bunch of people trying to stop me and asking why I don't want to spend time with them. I tell them I'm introverted and tired, but it never placates them (also, half the time it's also because I realize i'm not super close to them, so why spend more time with them?). In a similar vein, I have these problems in dating (or a lack thereof) as well. I find it virtually impossible to tell if a girl is into me, and on numerous occasions I have later found out that girls I liked and who were flirting with me didn't think I was interested at all (due to my introverted-ness) and therefore turned their attentions elsewhere.

Sorry if this post is all over the place, but if you have any thoughts or comments or suggestions or similar experiences I would appreciate it.

llw14
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Re: Introvert in College

Postby llw14 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:35 pm

Well since there wasn't a specific question, I can give my experiences. I was also in engineering but I guess I got lucky in that I did find people that I connected with and were genuinely friends with.

I can tell you that what you're experiencing now is commonplace beyond college. As you get older, you'll basically have mostly acquaintances. I'd say just stop obsessing over it; just keep hanging out with your acquaintances and you might extract a close friend or two from the bunch.

Jolene
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Re: Introvert in College

Postby Jolene » Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:37 pm

Hi,

I have also asked myself why I don't have any 'best' friends. I think that's because being really good friends with someone takes a lot of effort. Believe me I've tried... It means saying yes almost every time they ask you to go out or do something and they call you just to say hi and talk about nothing that matters. It's exhausting. So I've excepted the fact that I have a lot of 'friends' and occasionnaly we hang out, that means that they don't consider me being one of their best friends but I don't have the constant feeling that I'm being pushed to do stuff I don't want to.

I'm also the one leaving early and I have a lot of experience with people trying to stop me. I don't have a solution for that. I do have the feeling that it happens less often. Maybe I don't go out as much as I used to, but my 'friends' also know that about me since it's always been like that.
Maybe you can tell everyone you are training for a marathon and need your sleep to be fit? ;-)

Finding friends who like exactly the same things as you is impossible... Most of my friends are nothing like me, they like to go out and won't come back until they're drunk and the sun comes up. So usually I go with them at the restaurant, I have one drink after that and I go home and they go out... I have 1 friend who's an introvert. We meet every week and we make jigsaw puzzles togheter or we paint or we watch some tv. Nothing my other friends would understand :-).

About the dating... I don't know you at all. But if you're in doubt about whether a girl likes you or not, did you try just asking her out(not always easy for introverts I know)? You'll be able to tell a lot more based on her answer... Or if it's someone you know a little better, you can just tell her you like spending time with her of something? If it's easier for you, you can maybe try chatting with them online? Facebook, or even texts...? Just some ideas...

Good luck!
Belgian Girl

tongue35
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Re: Introvert in College

Postby tongue35 » Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:15 pm

wel when you mention going to parties and leaving early because you are not super close to thee people, how exactly do yu expect to become close to people if you dont spend a lot of quality time with them?i have had the same problem throughout my life..i will go to parties to placate my friends but they feel bad that i leave early even though if it were up to me, i wouldnt have went in the first place..its impossible to win in situations like this..

what confused me about your post is you said everyone usually cues in on you because of your introversion and quit nature..that has never happened to me at parties when im in my quiet, laid back mode..in fact, i usually get ignored when i am the quiet guy..this is what led me to start acting more extroverted..

uggh when it comes to women and finding out if they are into you or not, its hard for me to tell you in a post what to look for..ill say this though, most women are used to being chased by more extroverted type guys so thats why they may think you arent that interested in them as all of your energy isnt focused on getting to know them..ive lost plenty of women this way..i have no advice here as i also find it extremely difficult to devote that much energy to dating or specific women..

yep, the older u get, the less strong friendships u wil have..

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SandWshooter
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Re: Introvert in College

Postby SandWshooter » Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:43 pm

University/college ain't that great if you're an introvert, don't see how anyone makes any friends
Hi, mac!

tongue35
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Re: Introvert in College

Postby tongue35 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:57 pm

school in general was a pain for me being an introvert but it also allowed me to constantly be in close quarters with others often enough to make friends..i dont have that now in the work world..well, im now only around afew select people, not different groups every every hour..

Limonata
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Re: Introvert in College

Postby Limonata » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:25 pm

I feel this one. Any time you move to a new place (college, new city for a job, etc.) where you don't know anyone, making really SUBSTANTIAL friendship is hard. I relate to you on feeling like you have a number of connections, but none of them are intimate enough to fulfill your social needs. Part of the problem for me, starting in a new place, is that BEFORE these friendships are close and snug spending time with people is a drain. It isn't until you have established those relationships with them that hanging out with them feels refreshing instead of stressful. If you are lucky, there may be people you just 'click' with and it is easy and comfortable from the beginning. I moved into the city I live in 3 years ago, and I met a lot of awesome people through my work, but it still wasn't until a year later that I really felt like I had real friendships with these people. I was frustrated with myself, and really lonely, because I thought 'here I am surrounded by people I like and respect, and yet I am still unfulfilled, socially.'

So, I think,

1. Be patient with yourself. Friendships take time to deepen. And even once they do, you will still need multiple close friends, because each of those friends will fulfill different needs. It is very rare to have one or two close friends that can be everything for you.

2. Maybe parties aren't the way to deepen those friendships? Tongue mentioned that leaving parties early is not going to allow you do become closer to these people, but how about forgetting parties altogether and identifying a few people you feel there is more potential for closeness with and getting coffee with them? If someone invited you to hang out in a non-party environment, one-on-one or with a couple other people, try to say YES to those invitations whenever you can.

I feel you, dude. I hope some of this helps. Good luck!


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