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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 September 10, 2019

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

    Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

    Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

    This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

    One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

    Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

    Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

    1. Gratitude

    Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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    The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

    Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

    So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

    Gratitude-Quotes

      2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

      This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

      For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

      What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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      Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

      3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

      This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

      Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

      An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

      Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

      write down goals

        4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

        According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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        There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

        5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

        Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

        Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

        6. Rise Earlier

        The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

        For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

        So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

        Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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        7. Listen to Uplifting Music

        Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

        Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

        It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

        Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

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        Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
        [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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