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10 Best Activities To Do With Introverts

10 Best Activities To Do With Introverts

Recently, a cultural awareness regarding the nature of introversion has come about. People are becoming more aware that people who were previously thought of as socially awkward, shy, or nerdy are simply introverts, which is a very specific personality characteristic. Being an introvert connotes a lot, but, first and foremost, it means not drawing energy or value from the opinions or thoughts of others. Introverts tend to desire solitude and similar situations, so the activities they tend to engage in are different. For that reason, here is a list of 10 activities introverts would enjoy:

1. Engage in small, controlled and thorough discussion of…nearly anything.

Introverts, while generally avoiding being the center of attention, completely enjoy intimate conversation. Because they desire to engage in solitary activities, they tend to be proficient in many areas. The difference is that introverts do not feel comfortable showing off that knowledge or talent. If you can create a comfortable situation in which introverts will feel safe expressing their views or opinions, they will very likely have a lot to say, and, better yet, be correct in saying it.

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2. Develop small talents and skills.

Introverts all have their muse–mine, obviously, is writing. Introverts tend to enjoy practicing and honing abilities at various activities, such as painting, website coding, woodworking, or a million other tasks. They enjoy relying on hobbies in which it is just them and the medium they are working with, unlike extroverts, for whom the medium is other people. Try to find out what drives them, and learn about it so you can relate to them. You will be surprised at how quickly an introvert’s eyes light up once you talk about his passion.

3. Go to a museum or a library.

Museums tend to be quiet places full of people thinking about history and the history of art. Introverts tend to thrive in this type of environment. It is the same with libraries. Both are places where a respect of knowledge comes into full play, and introverts will open up at the thought of being a part of such a wide body of knowledge.

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4. Stay in and watch a movie.

Some introverts may be legitimately scared of going to a crowded theater and watching a 50-foot screen of people screaming at each other. However, a cozy, intimate atmosphere with a surprising and complicated plot line will do a lot to soothe an introvert.

5.  Lose yourself in music.

Because introverts tend to be more sensitive, they absorb and gather the mood of pretty much everything around them. As such, the right music truly digs deep down into their core. Turn on some tunes at home and just listen, or, better yet, go to a concert and get lost in a wall of sound. Some introverts (like me) only feel entirely free when united by music.

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6. Engage in single-player athletic activities.

Introverts are not necessarily all nerds. They do enjoy physical activity, but tend towards sports in which their own performances are judged individually. Golf, tennis, rowing, boxing, ice skating and many other sports are populated by introverts who could not stand the idea of coordinating a team of five or 10 or 50, as it sometimes is with other sports.

7. Volunteer and generally try to save the world.

Introverts do deeply care about others and about the causes that help others. They might spend time tending to community gardens or teaching computer skills to the elderly or working with animals, because, if they have to work with others, they want to see intrinsic value in the situations in which they are meeting others.

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8. Explore places you’ve never been before.

Introverts like to travel to new places. The destination does not necessarily even have to be a new city; introverts love the freedom that comes with going into a new part of the same town, because it does not remind them of anything. The time spent traveling to new places is one of the few times the mind of an introvert is actually quiet.

9. Go shopping…on the internet.

Introverts love the idea of internet shopping, because it provides a safe and structured environment in which to make data-driven and informed purchase decisions. Stores overwhelm introverts, because everything in the store is made to stimulate their sense and coax them in to buying more. For this reason, the likes of Amazon is a godsend to introverts.

10. Make plans and then fail to follow through on them.

Introverts think of themselves of very strong people simply because they tried to meet new people. For that reason, there is literally no better feeling for an introvert than making plans to do something, and then simply not doing it. This gives the introvert the biggest sense of relief one can imagine. For extroverts, the only equivalent amount of relief would be, if, in planning a college course, the professor scheduled a half dozen exams and cancelled five of them just before they were to occur. Oh, what relief!

Featured photo credit: Back view of a young man with headphones listening to music in the city streets via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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