INTROVERTS: WE DON’T HIDE. WE THRIVE!
If you’re an introvert, you know how awkward social situations can be. Introverts in social situations is like a piece of steak in a lions den. Sitting there just absolutely anxious about what to say when all you want to do is run away. However, you don’t want to look like a complete idiot so you tough it out saying little if anything at all. You’re questioning why did I ever agree to come to this event. You’re thinking that this meeting could have been an email so you could have avoided all this meaningless banter. Unfortunately, social interaction is just one of those things in life that is unavoidable. At some point you have to interact with people. Otherwise, you will be considered just weird.
Social interactions don’t have to be all that bad if you’re prepared for them, and yes you can prepare for them. I have to constantly prep myself for such interactions. There are a few key tips and tricks that I use on a regular basis to ensure that I’m as comfortable and confident as I can be in social situations. As a self-proclaimed introvert, I made up in my mind that I refuse to place myself in situations unprepared. Although you can’t fully prepare for what may happen in any situation, you can have some tricks up your sleeve to at the very least lessen the anxiety and fear of being around people in social situations. The only way we can be more confident in social situations is to actually engage in social interactions. Let me walk you through my process.
TIP #1: FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT
We’re all good at something. This can be a topic of conversation that you can talk about and talk about a lot. Introverts aren’t known for talking about themselves, but we are some of the most talented and intellectual people. We just choose not to broadcast it. However, if you don’t know what to say to people, the easiest topic to mention is all about you. What do you do for a living? What do you like to do for fun? What’s something interesting you’ve done that you can talk about for hours about? You’d be surprised at what some people find interesting about you that you take for granted as just something you do on a regular basis.
Write down all the things you’re good at or passionate about. I say write it down because you’d be surprised at the amount of things you’re good at. Some of us don’t know what we’re good at or passionate about until we actually see it written down on paper.
TIP #2: ASK QUESTIONS
This gets the focus off you and on them. People love to talk about themselves. This is especially the case for most extroverts. If you don’t want the focus on you, all you need to do is focus the attention on the person you’re having a conversation with. This can also break the ice if you find yourself feeling a little awkward. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about you, talk about them. Ask them about their family or career because most people have a family and career that they can talk about for hours.
Asking questions can lead to so many other topics of conversation. You may find that you and that person you’re talking to have many things in common, and the whole interaction will become less awkward and uncomfortable. The key is figuring out what you both have in common so that you don’t feel like the whole interaction is a waste of your time and effort. One thing that introverts value is time. We don’t like to feel like we’re wasting our time on meaningless interaction when we could be at home doing something more productive! So ask those questions and ask them a lot!!
TIP #3: DRESS UP WHEN YOU GO OUT
The saying is so true that when you look good, you feel good. You’re also more confident when you look good. We all have that one outfit in our closets that we feel the absolute best in when we wear it. You know the outfit!! That one that makes you look and feel like a million bucks. Put that on when you go out. Being well groomed is just one of those things that we tend to overlook but can make a world of difference when we go out.
This can spark up a conversation in itself. We are visual creatures. We look with our eyes first then feel with our heart. This is probably one of the steps that I do frequently because I love fashion and I love to dress up. I tend to get compliments on my clothing pieces or someone will ask me where I got a particular clothing item. Then the rest is history! My outfits spark up my conversations 90% of the time without me even saying a word. This is especially the case when it comes to women. We tend to like fashion, hair, shoes, and beauty related things, so it’s much easier for us to spark up a conversation around those topics. This is actually one of my passions, so it’s a subject that I could talk about for hours. The key to this step is that you feel more confident when you look your best. That confidence can speak for you and spark up conversations for you. Let your outfit and overall look work for you!!!!
TIP #4: DON’T OBSESS OVER YOUR FLAWS
You’re not perfect, and no one you come in contact with is perfect either. We all have insecurities and flaws. Some are just better at hiding them than others. As an introvert, social interaction and just being social in general is not our strong suit. We sometimes avoid social interaction because we know we suck at it. However, avoidance won’t help you to be any better at those interactions. Obsessing over how bad we are at it won’t help us to be better at it either.
You have to get out of your head with the negativity. Even if you’re in a room full of people, chances are there are many in there who are thinking the same thing you’re thinking. That room is full of insecure people who don’t have it all together, and don’t have it all figured out. You are not alone in those insecurities. Like I said earlier, you’d be surprised at the amount of people who are like you in those social situations. Find your tribe and vibe with those people!!!
TIP #5: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
In order to be good at something, you have to practice it over and over again. You have to prepare mentally and physically. In order to be more confident in social situations, you have to actually put yourself in social situations. I know you’d rather stay home and watch netflix and chill alone, but at some point you have to go out there in the world and interact. I used to absolutely hate social interaction when I was younger unless it was with my close family and friends. Fast forward to today, and I don’t hate it, but it’s not my most favorite activity to do!! At least now, I can put myself out there more and not feel totally uncomfortable.
The more you do it, the better at it you will become. You won’t dread it as much, and in some ways look forward to it on occasion. It’s all about taking yourself out of your comfort zone. We introverts love our comfort zone. However, putting yourself in uncomfortable situations will make you more comfortable in uncomfortable situations. We unfortunately live in an extroverted society, so we have to adapt to our environment. It doesn’t have to be a daunting task if you’re prepared. Just keep putting yourself out there and practice, practice, practice!! Practice won’t make you perfect, but it will make you better!
Don’t frown or look like you don’t want to be there.
Smile and look like you’re having a good time even though you probably aren’t!!
Spark up a conversation!
Refer to your list of things you’re good at or passionate about.
As introverts, we can thrive in this society in social situations. It just takes practice and being overly prepared for whatever you may encounter. Just follow my tried and true tips, and you’ll be well on your way from being that shy, quiet, and timid cocoon to being that social butterfly commanding every room you enter!