As we all know, introversion apart from having many upsides has its downsides as well, and the most noticeable is probably the lack of social skills. Introverts are not very fond of shallow socializing and perhaps that’s the biggest reason why these people avoid large crowds of people, clubbing, and late nights.
Although social anxiety plays a big part in this misfortunate behavior of our beloved introverts, there are actually many helpful tricks that can lift the introverted spirit on a much bigger social scale.
So, if you are struggling with this problem, here are some ideas that can help you easily break the invisible boundary between you and the new people you meet. (1)
1. Restore old friendships
This might come as the most obvious advice, given the circumstances. But we often forget about those meaningful friendships that we had back in high school or college. Try to find these people who were once a big part of your life and plan a coffee talk or reunion with them. You’ll feel the immediate pleasure after hanging out with them because chances are, much of your once forgotten memories will pop up again.
2. Try to find people with similar interests
Every person has a hobby or particular interest which fascinates and excites them so much, that every moment of their spare time is spent on that activity. It can be any kind of sport, hiking, dancing, singing, yoga classes, whatever makes you feel that in that group or class you can actually find people with similar interests as you. And you will find them, as long as you are willing to get out of your comfort zone. (2)
3. Think about the option of volunteering
It may come as no surprise that in this particular situation, conversations can become smoother and effortless. Enrolling in this kind of activity can help you avoid the small talk, which is the worst nightmare for every introvert and chat on topics that are more meaningful and appropriate to the type of work you’ll be doing there.
As a volunteer, you have endless options. Involving in an NGO that is dealing with community problems, or even as a volunteer that can help in preserving nature and wildlife. Whatever you decide, you’ll have some fun along the way and that is guaranteed.
4. Prepare for this transition
Make yourself more comfortable during this transitioning period. Yesterday, you were an introvert with a high level of anxiety, but today you decided to break the ice and start a conversation with a stranger. You will find yourself enjoying these small things that once were so hard to deal with.
Remember, don’t rush! As a much as you are taking delight in these activities, try to manage time well. It’s better to start with 1-2 hours arrangements and then proceed further. If you don’t manage time well, by the time you come home, you’ll feel exhausted. And that can be a triggering point, to start the old cycle once again. (3)
5. Keep the balance
Because you are an introvert with a high dose of empathy, you need to plan these activities very carefully. You hate gossiping, shallow socializing and superficial talks. Try to pick the right people for these types of gatherings. You know better than anyone else, that negative people are time-consuming and are draining the positive energy out of you.
So, don’t force yourself. You can hang out once a week or if you prefer it once a month. However you decide, make sure to listen to your internal instincts. Usually, introverts are hanging out with a smaller group of friends because it makes them feel more comfortable.
6. Pre-plan everything
That high dose of empathy can be exhausting, right? This is why you need to plan meetings, in order to protect yourself from feeling confused and disoriented. If you meet an interesting person and want to stay in touch, just exchange some personal info like cell phone number, email, Facebook or Instagram account.
7. Learn how to handle getting “curved”
I really like this slang, it’s just the perfect word that describes rejection. At the same time, it’s funny. And that is the reason why you should not take it personally when someone cancels plans or is simply ignoring your invitation. Literally, it happens all the time to every living soul on this planet! Don’t get offended if this happens to you as well. Chances are, they might be in some sort of trouble or dealing with some issues on their own.
Try to remember this: “Sooner or later you will find the perfect friends, and you will connect with them on a deeper level. You will have so many people to hang out with, that you will struggle to find the time to catch up with all of them. Until then, keep trying! With the right kind of effort, everything will come in its perfect place.”(4)