Not everyone is a social butterfly, but you can learn how to be more social and confident even if you’re the most extreme of introverts. Here are some tips to follow.
In this article:
- Baby Steps Count
- Look Likeable and Approachable
- Relax and Turn the Self-Censorship Off
- Try Meditation
- Join Hobby Groups
- Silence Isn’t a Bad Thing
- Ask Open-Ended Questions
- Be Vulnerable
- Embrace Your Social Strengths
- Non-Verbal Communication Matters
- Barking Dogs Seldom Bite
- Take Risks and Get the Ball Rolling
- Take Time to Recharge
How to Be More Social: Tips to Improve Your Social Skills as an Introvert
How Being an Introvert Can Work Against You and How to Overcome It
More often than not, the world you live in is made and tailored with extroverts in mind. Oftentimes, social connections spell the difference with what happens between a skilled, but quiet person and an outgoing, confident person with the same skill levels.
Here are some steps you can do so you can learn how to be more social in both your personal and professional life:
1. Baby Steps Count
If you want to be more social and confident in social settings, don’t jump into the fray right away. Slowly expand your comfort zone and learn what works for you.
Try taking one small step forward every day. If you usually fly solo or with a couple of friends, the chances of you talking to people outside your circle are minimal.
Use events or parties as an opportunity to meet new people. Once you master easily approaching and striking conversations with strangers, it’s going to be much easier for you to talk to people.
2. Look Likeable and Approachable
There are characteristics common to approachable people. Take a cue from them and improve your social interactions with these easy tips:
- Smile and make eye contact when talking to a person. A smile eases the tension and allows you to become more confident.
- Greet people when you walk past them. Even a simple “Hi” to your friendly barista can help you feel improve your social skills.
- Speak in a clear tone of voice so people understand what you say. How you say things is equally as important as what you say.
3. Relax and Turn the Self-Censorship Off
Introverts don’t really like talking, and especially dislike small talk. Some even resort to alcohol and drugs to loosen up before socializing.
The good news is that people judge less than you think they do. Just relax, enjoy your time with them, and turn the filter off for a while.
When you do have something to say, just say it without worrying what other people will think.
4. Try Meditation
A solitary activity like meditation may seem counter-intuitive when it comes to building social skills, but it helps you clear your head. Take around 15 minutes to sit down in a quiet place and take slow, deep breaths.
You may notice negative thoughts popping into your head as you do this. Just be aware of them and allow them to pass through.
Meditation improves how well you stay in the moment. You can then enjoy things as they come instead of passing your thoughts through your mind filter.
5. Join Hobby Groups
A great way to improve your social skills is to look for people with similar interests. This makes it easier to expand your circle as you’ll all have something in common to talk about.
Strike a conversation with these people. Maybe they’re just like you.
6. Silence Isn’t a Bad Thing
Silence is an introvert’s favorite thing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Accept that conversations can have the occasional moment of silence, and it’ll no longer be awkward for you.
7. Ask Open-Ended Questions
After introducing yourselves to each other, try asking open-ended questions to keep the conversation flowing. Ask anything that’ll make them think about before answering.
Once you get the hang of it, try new ways to start talking until you get the response you’re looking for.
8. Be Vulnerable
Vulnerability builds intimacy, and intimacy is the key to a successful social interaction. Allow yourself to open to others so you can establish trust and rapport.
Conversations aren’t competitions on who can impress other people the most. Just be yourself and try to keep that engagement going.
9. Embrace Your Social Strengths
Extroverts are outspoken and generally say what comes to mind. Introverted people are great listeners who typically need to think before they speak.
Don’t try to be someone you’re not when striking up a conversation. Let your gifts shine instead of hiding them behind a mask.
10. Non-Verbal Communication Matters
For those who find it especially hard to talk to other people (if you have social anxiety, for example), there are other ways to make a statement without saying a word. Choose the right outfit and shoes to give the impression you want other people to have of you.
If you feel good in your own skin, it’ll show in your body language. You become more open and receptive to other people, which makes them more open to you.
11. Barking Dogs Seldom Bite
People who speak a lot aren’t the only people who have something interesting to say. In fact, most of the time, it’s the opposite.
Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed with people who talk a lot. You also have a lot to tell others even if it doesn’t happen as effortlessly.
You just need to know the right way and mindset to do it.
12. Take Risks and Get the Ball Rolling
Once you become more comfortable with your social skills, you’re now prepared to take bigger social risks and lead your own social circle.
You can start with initiating group conversations. Ask questions and keep practicing until you’re comfortable.
Once you’ve built rapport, you can then start inviting people to get together. Keep doing this until you have people consistently accepting and showing up.
13. Take Time to Recharge
Introverts (even the ones on the spectrum who are more outgoing), by their very nature, get drained after spending time in social settings. Always make time to spend some alone time to recharge your batteries.
Spending time doing the things you love make you more interesting and fill your mind with new things. From there, you can use these experiences and insights as conversation starters.
These tips are just the fundamentals on how to be more social. From this point on, the world is your oyster, and maybe one day you can teach others how to be more outgoing themselves.
Learning how to be more social and outgoing has lots of benefits to your life as a whole. As human beings, we are social animals that have evolved and cooperated to gather food and protect each other from harm. Nature has made us this way. In this modern-day, being social has provided numerous advantages not only for survival but also for our mental and physical health.
People in our lives may give us enjoyment and different experiences that we might not be able to experience by ourselves. Several studies have shown that a healthy relationship with family, friends, and partner may improve your happiness and life satisfaction and may even help you live a longer life. Social participation and emotional support are linked to happiness. We can feel happier when we expose ourselves to social situations.
Being more social is also beneficial to our thinking ability as social interactions train our brain to be more active. Through exchanges and contacts, we develop our communication skills, learn from others, and share our knowledge in return.
We know that each person is unique and has varied and interesting experiences. Mingling with people from different walks of life helps us become more open to other diverse ideas and opinions. It helps us to be more compassionate, empathic, and understanding of others.
There is nothing wrong with being an introvert or choosing to spend your time with yourself. The truth is, it is very comfortable to stick to where we are and what we know. However, getting out of your comfort zone is the sweet spot where you can grow as a person, develop yourself, and live life to the fullest.
Have you talked to someone new today? What are some of the challenges you face in social settings? Let us know in the comments below.
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