You have so many relationships in your life – your family, your significant others, and your friends. In my life, I have little motivation to maintain friendships these days. I haven't had great experiences with friends as a child or a teenager, and that history prevents me from making new friends in my adult life. I suffer from social anxiety, and I am an introvert. However, I genuinely enjoy being alone – as sad as that may sound. Even so, I do get lonely moments, wishing I had a friend that was just a call away.
Throughout my school years, I had many friends, but none of them seemed to stick. They either had to move away, or we just stopped talking and never got to see each other. As I look back on my friendships, I realized that the good friends I had moved away due to unforeseen circumstances. All of it started to make me think that I wasn't meant to have friends because I kept losing them to distance.
I started noticing that I was better alone when my sixth grade best friend, Munujai, moved thirty minutes away from my school district. My first school year without a best friend was seventh grade. I would finish my homework in class, and then I would go home and be on the computer until I had to go to bed. That became my daily routine. Although I made some online friends in the process, my mom did not approve.
I never truly understood being an introvert until I finished high school. Looking back, I believe I became one because I couldn't stop losing friends. I started to become depressed, adjusted to being alone, and accepted this new reality.
However, my vulnerability allowed me to discover comfort in solitude. After high school, I felt liberated after departing from my toxic friend group. My family tried to warn me time and time again that I did not have good friends. I wouldn't listen because I just wanted to be accepted. I didn't want to be alone.
That being said, being an introvert is not a bad thing.
There are so many more amazing qualities associated with introverts, so do not let anyone make you think that being an introvert is a bad thing. People have tried to convince me in years past that it's unhealthy to be that way in your life. The truth is everyone’s version of healthy is different. I have gladly accepted that I am an introvert, and that good friends will come and go. I do not plan on rushing into a friendship with anyone soon. If I am meant to have a close friend, I believe they will eventually come my way.
It sometimes hurts not having that person to call, but I am secure knowing I can rely on myself when I’m not with my boyfriend or family members. If you are an introvert like me, take this time to enjoy being alone. People always view being alone as a bad thing. It's not a bad thing if you are happy and have good mental health while being alone. It's just like being single – the single life can be as fun as being in a relationship; it just depends on how you want to view it. You can make the most out of being by yourself. When you're alone, you appreciate yourself more and realize your worth. Alone time allows you to understand what you would want in a friend if you had one. Do not rush yourself into a friendship that doesn't seem like it's right for you and your life.
Written by: Audre Arnett