How can I make new friends that are extroverts?
December 30, 2018 7:17 PM   Subscribe

All of my friends are introverts, and so are the vast majority of people I know. There is a lot of good advice out there on how to meet people, but I would like suggestions that will make it easier to meet extroverts, specifically.

I used to be friends with more extroverts, but over time they've either moved away or become more introverted, to the point where now all of my friends are introverts (at least, the ones who live near me). My introverted friends are great, but I've realized that my more extroverted friends helped fulfill needs that are no longer being met, so I would like to meet more extroverts. Despite that most people's lives are dominated by extroverts, this is not the case for me.

In case you are curious how this is possible, I am in grad school, in a PhD program, so most of my friends are from there. I have friends in other departments too, but my experience has been that PhD students as a whole tend to be quite introverted. I also am friends with a few people from undergrad who are now in my city, but my undergrad was also mostly introverts - I know because our school newspaper did a survey. Otherwise, I've also made a few friends that were originally friends of friends, but it seems as my friends are mostly friends with other introverts.

There is a lot of good advice out there on how to meet new people, and I've tried the usual suggestions, like volunteering, board game meetups, and book clubs, and so on. These have been great for meeting new people, but not so much for meeting extroverts. There are more things on my list to try, but I would like to maybe have a more targeted approach.
posted by chernoffhoeffding to Human Relations (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Volunteer for political causes- lots of extroverts are working or volunteer to knock doors and make phone calls.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:23 PM on December 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

You can't.

They make friends with you, when you go out and do things. Any things.

They adopt you.
posted by sanka at 7:34 PM on December 30, 2018 [16 favorites]

By extrovert, do you mean loud, out-going people, or people who recharge off other people rather than by being alone?

Even loud, outgoing people can actually require alone charging time.

Being friends with an extrovert can be hard for introverts- our good friend is one, and he has something scheduled nearly every night of the week, and always dropping things to go and hang out with people. We just keep on being available, and he'll drift (as in the car kind, not the peaceful leaf in a stream kind) in when he can.

Keep being open, keep making friends- you'll find extroverts eventually. Pick the kind of activities that people interact a lot with each other, not mediated through something (such as boardgames) to find extroverts.
posted by freethefeet at 9:50 PM on December 30, 2018

If by extrovert you mean someone who likes to go out and be social (not actually the definition of extrovert tho), i would do more social activities: partner dancing, meet ups, meet ups, etc. Meeting a textbook extrovert (someone who actually recharges by being social) is more complicated, but those types tend to approach introverts when in group activities. Many extroverts like to have introverted friends too.
posted by bearette at 10:39 PM on December 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Improv events- spectating and acting, sports events -rock climbing, cycling, intramural kickball for example, if you're not into the usual team sports. Volunteering, trivia, breweries, bars.

I'm an extrovert and have actually made a lot of friends through where I work (breweries and bars), but like dating, friendship is kind of a numbers game- trial and error. Most of my relationships are shallow, but I'm happy casting a wide net because the more the merrier!

Some of my deepest, best friends complain that i don't hang out often enough- its true, I have a handful of interests and different friend groups to flit to and from, and work weird hours. But it's a good balance, I think, because I prefer not being sucked into too much drama and overextending myself emotionally or changing myself to be around some one.
posted by Giggilituffin at 10:54 PM on December 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

It sounds like you want to meet people who primarily get their pleasure from interaction with other people (or at least I think that's what people usually mean by "extrovert" when it's employed in this general, nontechnical way, although I recognise it also carries a lot of baggage).

Other people have already given the answer to this problem. You need to do things that the people you identify as "extroverts" are likely to enjoy. Dancing is a good one. Team sports seem promising too. Volunteering to do fundraising might work. Improv (although of course a lot of people there will be shy people trying to overcome this!) looks like a good bet.

But I'd also suggest it would be useful for you to narrow down, in your own mind, what it is that you miss about the people in your life who you identified as "extroverted". Social dynamics are notoriously malleable, and people can adopt vastly different roles and expressions of their personality in different contexts. It might be worth thinking about what has changed about how you interact with the world more generally, and whether that is shaping the sorts of relationships you sustain. While I do see the appeal of the introvert/extravert distinction as a shorthand for certain ways of interacting with the world, I feel like there's a danger of that binary opposition obscuring the more subtle and substantive components of satisfying friendships, unless it is subject to some interrogation from time to time.
posted by howfar at 5:45 AM on December 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

Take an acting class
Join a league for an exuberant social sport- baseball, dodgeball, maybe crossfit?
Join a party planning committee?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:06 AM on December 31, 2018

I think you need to ask yourself: What do you actually mean by needing extrovert friends? Are you looking for the person who tends to organize all your group social shenanigans? Someone boisterous and cheerful to pep you up? Someone who will drag you out when you're turning into a hermit? What are the actual, specific needs that you aren't getting met that you think this theoretical friend will fill? Extroverts are just people and they're all different, too -- what's your actual social desire? Like, if you want a friend you can go out to bars and get drunk with, that person will be found somewhere different (maybe) than the friend you depend on to drag you out to brunch when you haven't left the house for three weeks. Are you realizing it's New Year's Eve and you don't have any enticing party invites and that's a bummer, so you want to make friends with the kind of people who throw rad NYE parties? (This is a legit desire!) I think you can't answer the question "how do I make extroverted friends" without knowing "what am I looking for out of this relationship?" (And I know you don't mean it transactionally! But just from a practical standpoint, someone who wishes she had a peppy friend who throws a fun ladies brunch every couple of months should not be looking to make friends with a dude who is always making you go to his improv. And vice versa!)
posted by Countess Sandwich at 9:50 AM on December 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

+1 that outgoing != extravert - I recently learned that a couple of my intensely outgoing, chatty, friendly friends see themselves as introverts and need recharging time, too. Heck, I probably present as extraverted sometimes, and I am really, really not.

Go to social events that are less structured. Bars. Groups that have a facebook and an insta and maybe other social media, too. Networking events. Some larger craft groups. Meetup groups that do things like go to concerts together (often age-based and/or for singles). Conventions. Agreed that the outgoing folks will likely find you - my outgoing friends almost all came up to me at a less-structured event.
posted by momus_window at 2:24 PM on December 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

To expand on why I want to meet more extroverts, my introverted friends are great, but I find that I am often doing the initiating and reaching out, whereas with my more extroverted friends this was not the case. And at least for me, it's nice to not have to always make decisions about how to hang out, and it's also nice to try completely new things that I would have never done if I was the one making plans most of the time. It's probably helpful to say that I consider myself to be extroverted (though I am very quiet and shy), and when I do end up dragging or adopting people or whatever, to be honest, I feel like I'm being slightly manipulative, so I've tried to stop.

Of course, I see that if I were to become friends with extroverts with overloaded social schedules, I'd probably run into the same issues. But mostly, I would like to meet people with a more diverse set of personality types, even if it turns out we won't be friends in the end.
posted by chernoffhoeffding at 4:20 PM on December 31, 2018

It sounds like what you're really interested in is not having to be the tour director at all times. Sure, extroverted people tend to fit that role more easily, but it's not written in stone. You might try finding a group that has a tour director already and just joining it, whether that's a formal group (wherein tour director = leader) or an informal group (some social clique with a person or persons who tend to organize). A third option is to sidestep having a schedule altogether, find a place that is its own reason for being (bowling alley, bar, etc.) and doesn't require a coordinated effort.
posted by axiom at 5:32 PM on December 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

It sounds like you want to be around people who are outgoing and energized by being social. That's really okay. Go where they go. Join a meetup or 2. Participatory dancing and/ or singing. Go to the same coffee shop every Saturday morning. Get a museum membership, go to openings and lectures. Act like an extroverted person - say hello to people, ask anyone their day. Right now, there's a lot of focus on differences between extroverts and introverts. I find it wildly over-emphasized, but your wish to meet a diverse group of people seems like a good idea, and it's nice when others make plans.
posted by theora55 at 8:37 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]

Become active in political causes, as mentioned above. Politics is full of energetic extroverts. In general, smile, speak to people, look them in the eye. Extroverts are very responsive to friendly people. Volunteer for a worthy cause. Get out into the world more. Extroverts are everywhere and they will reach out to you.
posted by ragtimepiano at 9:14 PM on January 5

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