Do you avoid being the center of attention? Would you rather spend time alone or with a couple of friends than go anywhere with a lot of people? You might be an introvert, but there are some common misconceptions about what the difference between introverts and extroverts actually is. Some people think that introverts are less social or don’t have the social skills extroverts do. The truth is, it depends on the person. I’ve always been more of an introvert, not because I’m shy or don’t have confidence, but because I prefer to spend time by myself and do things my way rather than be the center of attention. At the same time, I’ve always been very social. I’ve had a lot of friends and been in control of my social life. Today, I want to share some tips on being more social, even as an introvert. Content like this is a passion project for me; I genuinely like talking about this stuff.
Before I get into the tips, there’s something I want to explain. People tend to think in terms of extremes – that they’re either introverted or extroverted. It’s actually a spectrum. Many people think that if they’re introverted, they can’t have any of the qualities of extroverted people. Most people are somewhere in the middle, and they can change over time or depending on their social environment. Extreme life events can completely reshape our reality and way of thinking. It’s not stagnant; it flows like water. Perhaps you’re more open in some social situations than others. Many people are more outgoing with people they know well and are comfortable with, but they’re more comfortable because they allow themselves to be.
Most “extroverted” people aren’t outgoing enough to randomly chat up a stranger. Most “introverted” people are outgoing in social situations where they’re comfortable, although not always. It depends on the situation, so don’t think of yourself as strictly one or the other. Having more introverted qualities doesn’t mean you can’t have some extroverted ones. For example, during lockdowns in 2020, even the most extroverted people learned to spend time alone, even if it was very hard. It created a social shift for many.
1. Be Confident
Many people who identify as a shy person actually just lack social skills. If you struggle to know what to do in social environments or lack experience talking to other people, you may be more shy than introverted. They can go hand in hand – introverts tend to be shy and shy people tend to be introverted, but either way, it’s important to understand that you need to be confident in who you are. People who identify as introverts often don’t want to admit it because they think people will see them as a loser or not fun, but it’s okay to tell people that you need to spend time on your own to recharge. It’s a balance. I’ve said this to people before, and most of them took it perfectly fine. No one will judge you; it’s usually just in your mind.
2. Shut Up
It sounds harsh, but what I mean is it’s okay to be quiet sometimes. Often introverted people start out quite shy, but learning to talk to others opens up a whole new world. They’re excited and want to impress people. They constantly want to be the center of attention, but it comes off as needy and isn’t attractive at all. Even if you’re not trying to impress anyone, it’s still annoying for everyone around you, so it’s important to calm down and be quiet. Sometimes it’s okay to let others talk and simply listen so you can get to know them better. Introverted individuals are more likely to have higher EQ – emotional intelligence – than extroverted individuals. If you want to improve your social skills, try using the assets like listening and empathy that you’ve already got.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone & Refuel
It’s okay to tell people that you need some downtime. Being extroverted and outgoing will constantly push you out of your comfort zone if you’re very introverted. Eventually, if you don’t refuel, you’ll burn out or do something stupid. It’s best to establish your comfort zone, push yourself out of it slightly, and then refuel. This way, you can push yourself more often and become the social person you want to be in the long run.
Preparation prevents disaster. When it comes to social situations, there are a lot of external factors you can’t control, so it’s important to control what you can. There will always be things that will go wrong; it’s just a part of the game, but preparation will give you the best chance for whatever social situation you’re facing. For example, you can control things about the way you look. You can prepare certain sentences or jokes. Of course, you want to be natural and not forced, but the best speakers often do prepare to some degree.
When meeting new people, you can expect certain questions like “How old are you? Where are you from? What do you do?” These may be boring, but you can also prepare your answers. Be funny and playful. For example, if someone asks what your job is, instead of saying what you actually do, say you clean the toilets in the building. Ask them whether they were the last person in the toilet because it stinks. You can prepare casual jokes like this if you’re not naturally funny. I like the quote, “A winner is a loser that simply tried one more time.” Even if the joke doesn’t land, it doesn’t matter. Practice makes perfect.
I used to be quite introverted and on the shy side. Over time, if you practice and put in the work, you will become better. I was extremely nervous when I first started making YouTube videos, but eventually, I gained more confidence. My speech has improved quite a lot. Planning can help you maximize your social results, and eventually, you won’t even have to plan. It will come naturally. People will ask how you’re so social and so good at conversation. For my YouTube videos, I used to write everything I planned to say on paper in advance. Now, I tend to freestyle a little bit more. I write down the main points I want to talk about, but that’s pretty much it. Then, I casually talk about the topic. I used to sound more robotic.
Push through, and over time your social skills will become better. Even if you plan, you’ll still get better results. Eventually, you won’t have to plan because you’ll have the confidence to rely on the social skills you’ve developed.
5. Find an Extrovert
If you find it hard to be outgoing, sometimes it can help to find an extroverted person and try to become friends with them. Join them when they go to events or go out. You’ll start to pick up on their extroverted traits, and at the same time, they can help push you out of your comfort zone to get the results you want.
If you’re an introvert who’s serious about getting more out of life, improving your social skills, and developing the ability to communicate whatever you want, whenever you want, these tips are for you. If you want the power to capture others’ attention, whether a big crowd or a particular person, it all starts with your social skills. I hope you found this useful. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below. If you’d like to see more content like this, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel and connect with me on Instagram. Thank you so much. I genuinely appreciate your time and hope to see you next time.