Cringing at the sound of a phone call, coming across as unapproachable or self-absorbed, feeling lonely when surrounded by people and being passed over for a promotion and any leadership roles because they are quiet…are only some of the problems introverts face in our extroverted world. It goes without saying that they need to improve their social skills to a certain extent in order to succeed, but it often seems like only a lobotomy could make them sociable. That, of course, is not true because there are many ways introverts can help themselves to become more sociable and most of them come down to being brave and pushing oneself. While introverts are known for being the ones who search only for meaningful and deep conversations and relationships, discarding everything else, it’s still possible for them to get used to small talk.
Here are some tips for how to start coming out of shell:
Writing Down the Fears
Introverts are known for over analyzing things and being more likely to talk to their diary than to other people. This characteristic, along with their gift of introspection, can be used to their advantage. By writing down our fears, we begin to acknowledge them and it’s the first step towards overcoming them. Most of the fears introverts have are suitable for being hacked this way, because, rather than being paralyzing, they come down to feeling uncomfortable with something and being unable to get out of their heads. This process of overcoming the fear begins with writing it down and then analyzing what caused it and possible ways of solving it.
Writing Step-by-Step Guide
While introverts always feel awkward in social situations, this feeling can be reduced when they are prepared, know what to expect and how to deal with it. For example, if the fear of talking to a stranger is dominant, a step-by-step guide should describe a hypothetical situation. It helps to imagine the conversation and write down possible questions and answers, even practicing in front of the mirror in order to better control one’s facial expressions and become more relaxed.
Getting Help From Friends
Luckily for them, most introverts have a couple of more extroverted friends who they can use to break the ice when they are attending social events. They can be turned to as a sort of shield, introducing their introverted friends to other people and helping them to strike up the initial conversation. In fact, there is nothing shameful about asking friends directly to provide some help and advice on how to deal with people at social gatherings. Those introverts who are in the company of their extroverted friends, often seem like a completely different person, to the point that no one would ever say that they are shy and introverted: they laugh, tell jokes and, in general, come across as being more relaxed. On top of that, being surrounded by friends who can take initiative when needed, helps the introvert avoid being in the spotlight.
Learning How to Overcome the Nerves
When faced with a difficult situation, it’s important to step outside our comfort zone and test our limits. For most people, these limits are far more flexible than they ever thought them to be all it takes is to push themselves instead of giving up. Practice makes perfect and the same is the case with socializing. It does not happen overnight. Instead, one needs to be exposed to a number of stressful situations before being able to deal with them. Each new chit-chat goes a long way in making these walls come down.
Getting Rid of the “Introvert“ Label
Many character traits are attached to being an introvert. Some of them are true, while others are just stereotypical myths. For example, a lot of people believe that introverts are antisocial, do not like people and would never make a great leader. None of these beliefs are true. Introverts are not some psychopaths who hate people or are against the rules of society, they simply feel awkward around them. In the similar vein, a number of top executives tested out to be introverts. Accepting this kind of labels can be limiting. People should not allow to be reduced to one-dimension only because we are all complex and inside every introvert, there is one little extrovert waiting to get out there and shine.
People who are introverted often find it difficult to fit in. They can be brilliant, but that brilliance is often not recognized because they do not know how to communicate they are just not sociable. But the good news is that these social skills can be activated with some practice and courage. A number of introverts have been able to come out of their shells and doing that did not require them to stop being themselves only to tap into their hidden, extroverted side and get out there.