I see myself as a relatively reserved, shy, and introverted individual. I'm comfortable in small group settings but no one would EVER describe me as the life of the party. Well, maybe back in the day. With that being said, if this personality description sounds a lot like you, then maybe this post will mean something to you.
When you're trying to hustle and make a name for yourself or your business; being shy or introverted can really suck. I've been there. See, as my blog grew and I began to attend more conferences and networking events, I began to see the need to develop a tad bit more social skills than my typical awkward smiles, hand waves, and wall-flowering. I desperately wanted to feel more self-assured when interacting with others.
But how? Check out these sure-fire ways to bring out your inner social diva.
- Try to find common interests when meeting new acquaintances.
- Remember to be yourself and not some version of you that may be better accepted. If they don't like you, who cares?
- Make an effort to engage in a group conversation, but don't worry if people like what you have to say. You're entitled to an opinion too.
- Try to make honest connections, maybe even friendships, with people OUTSIDE of your usual circle.
Want more specifics? Let's talk about how you can become more of an outgoing introvert.
Don't Need No New Friends? Think Again
Many people ask if social settings are so tough, why even bother going into them?
I'll tell you why. Because relationships are important. When you are trying to pursue a successful career, blog, business, or most any other endeavor, you MUST have good relationships. Period.
Once you learn to be more social, you will likely find close friendships and connections that trust and like you simply based upon your friendly reputation. Furthermore, if you're anything like me and have a small personal support system, you’ll have just the right squad around to help keep loneliness at bay and provide a listening ear when needed.
Trust me, it's worth it.
Going From Shy to Social Takes Hard Work and Practice
Becoming social when you're a natural introvert takes time and practice.
But what if you simply do not have that kind of backbone yet? How do you begin practicing a self-assured social lifestyle when you just don't feel very confident?
Start safe! Practice small, then move on to less cozy settings.
This might progress something like this:
- Only friends and/or family members and co-workers
- One unknown person and a few folks you do know
- One friend or family member and a few strangers
- One stranger in a setting that is familiar to you
- A couple of strangers in an unfamiliar place
- Finally a big crowd in an unfamiliar place. (I'm not there yet)
Yes, you will be uncomfortable at each step; breathe and work through these feelings. Once again, it's worth it.
Some of the Best Tips on Having More Confidence
- Everyone has uncertainty about something. I don't care if they seem like the most confident and assertive person you've ever seen, the doubts are there.
- Don't try to be "normal" or whatever that is. Be you. Funny how hard this can be sometimes, What's even funnier is people can tell when you're not being yourself anyway. Now, this doesn't mean not knowing when to keep certain offensive behaviors and words to yourself. We all have various personality traits. This just means be the best YOU for the situation.
- Be vulnerable. People really want to know that you make mistakes and have faults just like they do. Being real creates trust.
- I have struggled with this one, but stop assuming that everyone has a motive. If you've been betrayed in the past, this may feel hard to do. Keep trying. There are good people in this world.
- Fake it till you make it. Even when you don't feel confident, act like it. Sooner or later, confidence will become your reality.
- Listen well and ask thought provoking questions. People love to feel interesting and to be heard.
- Be honest! Tell them you're not that great at meeting people and learn to laugh at yourself. This technique has broken the ice for me on many occasions.
- Smile and try to make fairly consistent eye contact.
- Remind yourself that the worst thing that can result from a bad interaction is that the other person won't like you. Remember what we said before? Who cares? Life will go on. Or as a friend of mine says, "One monkey won't stop a show". The potential of meeting a new friend, associate, fan, or client is still worth the effort.
Try what works best for you. You just might find your inner social butterfly.
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