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7 Epic Strategies for Introverts (by Introverts) to Ignite Your Social Skills

7 Epic Strategies for Introverts (by Introverts) to Ignite Your Social Skills

    Life, to me, is all about human connections.

    No, it’s not so much about the “professional networking” aspect or building a social media network full of fans and promoters. Even in our increasingly tech-laden world, it’s those pure, totally uninhibited, simply “human” face-to-face connections that mean the absolute most in life.

    There’s something so unique and special about the bonds we forge over laughter and smiles, as well as those shared over tears and during moments of adversity when communities unite to overcome sorrow.

    However, if you’re more of an “introvert” like me and not a Type-A, extroverted personality, those human connections feel a bit tougher to come by. I’d rather listen that talk, ask questions than rattle off answers. It takes some real courage for me to enter a social setting that I’m unfamiliar with, or especially (gasp!) a social scene where I don’t know anybody else beforehand.

    Are you the same way?

    No matter the extent of your social skills, introverted personality, or even if you deal with social anxiety in certain situations, I’ve assembled some of the easiest and most effective tips for introverts — provided by introverts, themselves! — from across the web and Twittersphere for you to try out at your next networking event or at the local watering hole this weekend!

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    1. JUST DO IT!!

    “I have to force myself to get out there. It’s hard to do. But I join organizations, talk to business people… Engaging people first through social media has helped make the transition to real life interactions easier: It sets up a wonderful comfort level.” calkundra, on Twitter

    Honestly, what would we do without the wisdom of Nike’s infamous catch-phrase? Simply force yourself to step outside of your comfort zones. You can even use social media like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to facilitate face-to-face connections in a way that provide an initial level of familiarity and comfort with new people.

    Did you know that modern scientific and psychological studies prove that when you interpret difficult, uncomfortable situations as “challenges” and “adventures,” we are better able to cope with stress and anxiety?

    Get creative and push yourself to extend your boundaries. View each interaction, and each new social setting as a unique challenge, opportunity and adventure to meet new and wonderful people — who knows who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn, and what good could come to a stranger’s life thanks to your friendly smile.

    2. RELAX, GET COMFORTABLE

    “Warmth. Getting relaxed as possible prior.” playwithamy, on Twitter

    Outside of using social media to get yourself more familiar with people who will be in attendance at upcoming networking and social events, you can even visit the venue itself to get familiar with the “lay of the land.” I don’t know about you, but I get all sorts of flustered when I get lost heading to a new venue or struggle to find parking for my car (or, in Boston where I’m currently living, figuring there’s a good chance of getting ticketed and/or towed!).

    Watch a funny movie or TV show ahead of time, too.

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    Your happy, smiling, fun-loving state will carry over into the event and help you radiate with attractive, positive energy and invite new people to approach you for conversation.

    3. SET SIMPLE GOALS

    “Speak to one stranger per day! Trust and embrace the unknown!” outwardnick, on Twitter

    Focus on setting simple goals. Meeting one new person every day — or even just one person in any social setting — helps to build your confidence, gather forward momentum and create a sensation of steady growth within you.

    You can meet just one stranger per day, can’t you? :)

    4. GET HELP FROM YOUR (OUTGOING) FRIENDS

    “I think having at least one very extroverted friend helps. When I’m with mine, you’d never know how shy and introverted I am.” aprilsmithma, on Twitter

    This is an awesome bit of advice. Who are your most outgoing, social friends? You can “ride their coat-tails” and tag along with them to events you might not otherwise feel comfortable attending, and begin meeting new people through their naturally extroverted personality.

    Don’t feel intimidated by your friend if he or she woos the room and you feel like you’ve taken a back seat or are hiding in the shadows. Remain confident and smiling. You can even ask your friend outright for help meeting people — they will happily oblige.

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    I use this strategy myself!

    5. EMBRACE THE NERVES

    “Be scared, uncomfortable, and do it anyway. Stretch boundaries slowly, desensitize one awkward situation at a time! :)” jwitcraft, on Twitter

    You’re nervous? Good. You’re alive.

    Like any skill, socializing takes practice. I’ve gotten better and better at it over time, and in spite of your nerves, stretching your boundaries step-by-step will help you grow to become pretty good at witty banter and that typical back-and-forth of conversations when meeting new people.

    6. MAKE IT ABOUT THEM, NOT YOU

    “Focus on the other person. Asking ppl about themselves & being interested makes them think you’re a great conversationalist. :D” cordeliacallsit, on Twitter

    I personally LOVE this tip. In any uncomfortable situation, an introvert’s best strategy is to simply take the attention off yourself by asking questions, becoming invested in the words the other person is saying, and deeply listening to their stories.

    Take the attention off of yourself by making your interaction with someone about them and not you, and you won’t feel like you’re buckling under the pressure of “putting on a show.”

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    This technique will also make you feel more comfortable to open up yourself and get familiarized with the group of people with whom you’re spending time.

    7. DROP THE ‘INTROVERT’ LABEL ALTOGETHER!

    This tip is my own!

    Personally, I’m really not sure when I “finally” realized I was an introverted personality. But if the decision was an “either/or” between introvert and extrovert, it’s not like I had much of a choice, anyway!

    I’m not sure that it makes any sense to completely reduce our deeply complex personalities to such a black-or-white, introvert or extrovert, one-or-the-other label: one that ingrains an idea within our own minds of our personal skills, talents, abilities, and — equally as powerful — our perceived limitations.

    Truly, each of our individual personalities (combined with our unique living experiences) should remind us that each of our personalities represent one of “one million-shades of gray.”

    Just drop the “introvert” label and remind yourself that every person is really in the same boat as a human being looking to share those same unique and special human connections with others.

    After all, that’s what life is really about.

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    7 Epic Strategies for Introverts (by Introverts) to Ignite Your Social Skills

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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