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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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    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

    4. Feed Your Brain

    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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    6. Write it Down

    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

    7. Listen to Music

    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

    8. Visual Concepts

    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

    9. Teach Someone Else

    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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