If enjoying your own company rather than meeting your friends or participating in social events that you simply do not stand has always been a habit of yours, you already know that you are an introvert. If the term comes as a surprise for you, find out that being an introvert is not that bad. While you might not excel at handling some situations, you might be extraordinary at coping with others.
This personality trait called introversion is characterized by a poor social life, but a very rich amount of internal feelings which are usually not expressed. Not only do you tend to overthink and fear every interaction very much in advance, but you might also feel drained of energy when surrounded by other people. You’re not cold-hearted, you do not possess a poker face unable to express feelings, you’re just an introvert. Here are more signs for you to check if introversion is really your personality trait:
Signs you’re an introvert
• You enjoy your own company. You feel relaxed, confident and pleased in your own space, doing the things you enjoy most rather than being surrounded by other people in social circumstances that seem horrifying to you, such as nightclubs, weddings, group walks, team-meetings and networking events.
• Your mind is clearer when you are by yourself. Social interaction might put you under a lot of stress which you really try to avoid. The only circumstances in which you can concentrate on the things you really enjoy is when no one bothers you;
• Engaging with people is not your thing. You prefer to do things by yourself, listen to your music rather than discussing small talk and what is more, the company of others does not seem to bring you any benefits. You’re just fine by yourself;
• You receive more attention than you give. People text and e-mail you, they invite you over, but you simply do not feel the willing to initiate a discussion or a meeting with them;
• You’re almost invisible in a group. It’s not that people do not know you exist, it’s just that you don’t feel the need to volunteer or initiate discussions when you’re with them.
• Headphones are your all-time comrade. Music takes you away from anybody who wants to bother you. As long as you can’t listen to the others, you feel better and enjoy every moment of it.
If you have ever experienced some of these feelings, you might have realized that there are many challenges of being an introvert and you would, for sure, like to overcome the unpleasant situations that everyday life brings. Even if you enjoy spending time with yourself, there might be situations in which you would like to be able to enjoy the company of others, as well, without feeling tension or discomfort.
As we mentioned above, being an introvert is not that bad. Even if some situations might overwhelm you, you should know that there are others which you can handle amazingly well. Your personality is not only interesting, but also unique. The others might not understand you all the time, but you should be able to point out some facts about you that they will find amazing:
• Even if you do not talk when sitting with the others, that does not mean that you are not engaged in the conversation. You just do not want to interfere, you might not be confident enough to share your thoughts or you’re simply not comfortable talking, but you’re still willing to listen.
• You often do not engage in small talks because you prefer deeper conversations. You’re an introvert, you often avoid speaking with the others, but when a good topic comes in- you’re ready to share your thoughts and experiences in ways that will amaze everyone
• Groups might not be your thing, but intimate social gatherings are very enjoyable for you. Introverts prefer small gatherings, in which they feel comfortable enough to enjoy every conversation and activity. They are usually more talkative than ever when they’re surrounded by their dear ones.
• Being quiet does not mean that you do not have things to share. Introverts prefer to speak rarely, but significantly. Quiet means more thinking for them and usually, new, unique ideas sparkle.
• Talking is their thing sometimes. Even if they despise small talk, introverts might have great presentation skills. You might be surprised by the public speaking skills your quiet, shy colleague from work might have.
• Introverts might not like being distracted, but they’re great at noticing details. You might be rejected by an introvert if you try to make small talk while he/she is working, but he/she will never forget what you have said. They have edge in our eyes for details and exhibit great brain activity when processing visual information.
As an introvert, you might sometimes feel that you lack advantages that extroverts have, but in fact, introverts have a large set of skills, like everyone else. The misconceptions circulating around do not have to scare you.
If you want the transition from introvert to extrovert to go smoothly, you should keep in mind some important tips that could help you get out of your shell.
This process should help you interact better with the others, get rid of the shyness that brings discomfort and stress every time you are surrounded by other people and stop you from feeling drained of energy at parties or at work. Check out our tips for introverts that will make your life easier.
How to stop being introverted and get out of your shell?
There are many ways you can interact with people, little by little, that are the answers to the question “How to stop being an introvert?”. Baby steps are needed in order for you to get used to the social interactions that used to scare you before. The next tips will teach you how to stop being introverted and become confident enough to enjoy spending time with other people.
1. Just say “Hi”
One of the best ways to overcome shyness is to try initiating short discussions with people you meet, by simply saying “Hi” to them. This is the safest manner in which you can show people that you are present, that you also noticed their presence and are willing to speak with them. Every beginning started once with a “Hi”, so you might be amazed by the people you might meet only by saying a simple “hi”. Also you could play a little game and challenge yourself to say hi to random people on the street and see what happens. You’ll be surprised to notice that a lot of people will actually replay to your greeting.
2. Make eye contact
The process of becoming an extrovert implies changes in your attitude as well. Even if we are speaking about very small gestures that seem unnoticeable, you will be surprised to see that the others will observe them. One of the ways to overcome shyness is by looking at the others and making eye contact. Try to look for a few seconds into the eyes of the person you are conversing with. There is a trick you can do if you don’t feel quite comfortable at first. Try to look at their eyebrows for a few second then look away. Repeat this and you will give your talking partner the idea that you are a master when it comes to conversation.
3. Start conversations with a good question
As an introvert, you’re used to overthinking and you will be surprised to see that that other people would like to hear your thoughts as well. Find the proper occasions and initiate a discussion with someone you might already know, by asking a question. It does not have to be a philosophical one, it does not even have to be one whose answer you do not know: asking your colleague at work a question about something you already know how to do can be an opportunity to bond with that person and make her/him feel useful and appreciated.
4. Volunteer to help
Everybody feels good when helping someone. One very good way of trying to get out of your shell is by volunteering in campaigns that force you to interact with different people you do not know. If you want to feel safer try looking for campaigns that are looking to help stray dogs find a home, this way you will feel protected by the animals and they will most certainly be a link between you and the person you are trying to communicate.
5. Do something spontaneous
Do not shy away from that idea you get in the back of your head when you’re sitting alone on the couch. That one idea you have of taking a walk, giving someone you never know a compliment or simply going into a bookstore and making small talk about your favorite books with the stranger next to you. That idea is your inner self trying to tell you that it is time for you to show the world that you are more than what you appear to be and that you are a genuine and interesting person.
6. Practice talking with people you already feel comfortable with
Even introverts have people they always like to talk to and people they can open up to. Try starting a talk about a subject you would discuss with someone you have never met before. You could try a role play where you would pretend you’ve just met at a cinema after you saw the latest movie of a franchise. Practice is the key of getting good at something, so do not hesitate to get yourself involved in discussions with the close ones.
7. Find the right social situations for you
The right social setting will make a tremendous impact on the way you will engage in conversations with people you do not know. If you’re not a fan of parties and you are invited to one, it won’t be that easy for you to find common interests with the people there. On the other hand, if you are an animal lover, a trip to the local kennel could rend you some interesting topics to discuss with the people you meet there.
Try to find the right activities and get engaged with people who understand your interests and are able to make you feel comfortable. It might be the key to overcoming shyness and enjoy being surrounded by people more.
8. Join a class or a club
Speaking about things that you are passionate about will make you open up more to the others. It might be a book you love, a movie you’ve watched or sport you are really good at- sharing your interests with people who really enjoy and appreciate them as you do will make you confident enough to raise your voice and find joy in spending time with the others.
Join the football team in your area, join a yoga class or go to the weekly meeting of the local book club and many chances to speak about the things you are good at will be offered to you. You might be surprised to find out that you want to speak more and more. It’s good practice, it’s enjoyable and it’s one of the best ways to overcome shyness.
9. Check in with others
Even if you do not feel comfortable about talking with random people do not ignore the ones that are already a part of your life. Call you friends, your family, talk with them, this will help you get better at dialogue and will help you when you are confronted with a situation where you are forced to make small talk with a stranger.
It is one of the best ways to keep in touch with people and it does not even involve face-to-face interaction, therefore it should be pleasurable and comfortable for you.
10. Listen to the others
So you are an introvert and you don’t like talking with random people. Well there is a trick where you won’t have to do any talking at all aside from asking some questions to keep the conversation going. The trick is to be the listener in the conversation. Listen to what your interlocutor has to say, be interested in the subject, ask him or her questions to keep it going and they will love to chat with you because you give them your full attention. If they ask questions about you, just answer them as honestly as you can. In no time you will see that you have started a nice long conversation with someone you would have never thought you would.
Tips for introverts: Small actions to boost your self-confidence and overcome shyness
Being an introvert is not necessarily related to poor self-confidence and excessive shyness, but they often come as a package. Even if you are an introvert who is simply not a fan of social gatherings and talking to people, you might still find the next tips useful, as they offer you the chance to become more confident in your strengths, looks and even ideas. At the end of the day, you’ll feel better about yourself and dare to get involved more in each meeting.
• Stand tall. Looks tell a lot about a person. Standing in a corner, with your head down and your arms crossed might not be the best posture to invite people to speak with you. Remind yourself to stand tall and straight and look people in the eyes. Not only will you look attractive and confident, but you will start to feel like this, as well.
• Set goals and achieve them. The tips above have shown you that you do not need to change everything in one day if you want the transition from introvert to extrovert to go smoothly. Baby steps will help you improve your social skills and dare to step into the spotlight. Those small goals will make give you a rewarding feeling as well and make you step out of your comfort zone.
• Smile. A smile can change everything. Not only will you look friendlier and people will feel better in your presence, but you will also make other people smile back. It can have a chain reaction that will for sure brighten your day. Make sure that the setting is appropriate and try to keep your smiles rare, in a sort of earn it if you deserve it.
• Kill negative thoughts. The what if-s might be the main reason you tend to hesitate when trying to interact with the others. All the fears and the overthinking makes you stand in a corner, afraid that you will embarrass yourself. Try to ignore all the negative thoughts that overwhelm you and you’ll feel confident and happier. Try seeing these negative thoughts as a challenge, a quest in your own fantasy story and try to picture the great treasure that awaits you after you overcome these challenges.
• Speak slowly. Social interactions might scare you and make you overthink while speaking. By speaking slowly, you give yourself time to think about what you are saying rather than letting quick negative thoughts run through your mind. What is more, speaking slowly is a characteristic of people in authority who is really confident about the things that he/she is saying and gives the others the impression that he/ she is worth listening to.
You might have never thought that such small changes can bring such a positive impact on your confidence and on the others’ way of perceiving you. As E.E. Cummings said, “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit. “.
By feeling good about yourself, you attract the right people and you find the courage to get out of your comfort zone and dare to speak more, get involved more and listen more. There is a non-official concept in psychology that states that people start to see themselves in a better light and be more confident if they act as if they are like that from the beginning. You can induce confidence and happiness into your brain by acting like you already have these two and consequently people will start seeing you like that. Who does not want a happy and confident person in their lives?
As you can see, there are many ways in which introverts can become happier- not only with themselves, but with others as well. Finding the balance between introversion and extroversion might improve your moods and, consequently, your life in ways that you haven’t even dreamed of. By having more friends or people you can talk to and share your feeling and thoughts with, your life will be significantly improved and you will reach a high level of happiness.
You’ve found out how to overcome shyness, you’ve seen how important talking with the others is and now the only thing you need to do is put in practice our tips for introverts.
Do not forget to start enjoying the company of others, little by little:
• Smile more
• Say “Hi”
• Listen to the others
• Get involved in more activities
• Find the right social gatherings for you
• Volunteer to help the others
• Make eye contact
• Stop overthinking and get rid of negative thoughts
• Check in with the others
• Accept help and opinions
With a little courage and the willing to add social interaction to your life, the process from introvert to extrovert can go smoothly and be a pleasurable way in which you can get out of your comfort zone. And before you start questing if it’s worth it or not try to remember that how you feel now isn’t the way you want to always feel. It’s fine to try to keep everything for yourself and enjoy the quiet moment that solitude has to offer but there’s more to life than that. So what are you waiting for?