Like yin and yang, the world of social interaction produces two very different types of people: the introvert and the extrovert. The extrovert is outgoing, talkative, and social. Extroverts are energized by socializing, and enjoy meeting and learning about new people.
Introverts are the opposite. It’s not that they dislike other people, far from it. It’s just that they value down-time alone or with a small group of close friends. They recharge their battery the best by taking frequent “them” time.
But, even though we can be divided into these two different groups, us humans are social animals. We need closeness, strong bonds, and great conversations like we need water and food.
We know. Being an introvert at a party can be tricky. But breathe easy because today on Healthversed, we’re set to arm all of you introverts with proven tricks to help you break out of that shell. Let’s go!
Prepare Talking Points
This one may seem a little silly at first, but showing up to a party with a secret list of prewritten talking points can act as a fantastic safety net. Read the news, listen to music, watch movie; come up with 5 topics that you can speak about with authority and that other people might find interesting as well. You might not even end up using them. But knowing that you’re prepared in case you can’t think of anything to say can help alleviate your nerves from the very beginning!
Lean on Extroverted Friends
We’ve all got them. A charming guy or a bubbly girl that relishes in the very setting that haunts your dreams. Study them, learn their techniques, and lean on them when you’re just not up to talking. Good friends offer support and guidance. That’s what they are there for! So don’t be afraid to lean on your extroverted friends for advice. Trust us, they’ll jump at the chance.
You’re Allowed to Say No
I repeat, you’re allowed to say no. Your journey of self-development is allowed to take a night off every once in a while. Never feel obligated to do anything that you just flat-out don’t want to do. You’re allowed to stay home on a Friday night and binge watch your favorite TV show. It’s all about balance.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Nobody said that rewiring your approach to social interaction was going to be easy. You will be uncomfortable, you will be nervous, and you will want to put your shoes back on and go home. That’s entirely normal! Embrace your nerves and enjoy that butterfly tingle in your stomach. Go out and explore the world. It’s really not as scary as you think it is.
Goal setting is a great way to break up real life-changing progress in to small, manageable chunks. Gearing up for a night on the town? Make a concerted effort to speak to at least one new person over the course of the night. It might not go well, and it doesn’t have to. The goal is to talk to someone, not find a new best friend. Remember, progress happens an inch at a time.
If you’re like some of us, large social settings require a bit of a warm up. Before a night out, some introverts like to listen to music, clean up around the house, or do yoga. You can do relaxing activities to get your nerves back down to baseline, so that you don’t show up to the party nervous or on edge. Maybe you like to play video games, garden, or paint. Create a little pre-game ritual to calm your nerves. It will make a difference.
Paraphrase the Last Comment Said
Here’s a little conversation trick that is good to lean on every once in a while. If you ever find yourself searching for something, anything to contribute to a conversation, repeat what was just said! Paraphrasing the last comment in a conversation is a great way to show that you’re listening and it’s next to impossible to mess up. Try it next time. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
In any self-improvement journey, it’s important to be reasonable. You can’t expect to wake up tomorrow and be an extrovert. It’s not going to happen. So, if you find yourself overwhelmed, sneak off for a little break. Go make a drink, go to the bathroom and splash cold water on your face, step outside for some fresh air. Do what you need to do to center yourself. And, most importantly, know that you’re doing a great job.
Bring a Friend to the Party
We really can’t recommend this one enough. For an introvert, showing up to a party is hard enough. Flying solo can be downright impossible. If you do get invited to a party full of strangers, ask the host if you’re allowed to bring a friend. Even better, double down and bring your most extroverted friend. Let them drive the social bus, enjoy the ride, and the new friends you’ll surely meet!
Make it About Them
Don’t have anything meaningful to contribute to the conversation? Use it as an opportunity to learn about other people! People love talking about themselves. So, provide an ear for their stories. Ask questions and watch as the conversation magically unfolds right before your eyes with little effort on your end.
We’ve all heard the popular credo, “fake it until you make it.” The thing is, it actually works. Pretend that you’re completely comfortable in large social settings. Talk like a confident socializer talks. Act like you’re already in complete control and you’ll be surprised at how liberated you feel. This may not always work, and it may never work for you, but it’s worth a try. The most important part of meaningful self-improvement is experimenting to see what works best for you.
Be Open Minded
Common interests can be a great way to spark up a conversation with someone new. But, equally as interesting is discovering things that you’ve never even heard of before. If you’re on the hunt for more friends, being open minded can take you a very long way. It doesn’t matter if they don’t dress like you, listen to the same kind of music or share the same hobbies. Who knows, you might discover a new favorite band, a new favorite hobby, and a new favorite friend.
The more people that you talk to, the more comfortable you’ll be. It’s really as simple as that. Go out in to the world, interact with as many people as you can, and get comfortable talking to new people. You can read self-help books and watch instructional videos, but there really is no substitute for exploring the world and taking chances. Be adventurous, take risks, and make mistakes. It might be difficult, but it’ll definitely be worth it!