Experiencing shyness as an introvert, if you want to socialize more than you already are, can be a tough endeavor. That’s what we’ll tackle here.
As an introvert, you probably understand how it feels like to be left out even at an early age. At school, when you were young, students were always encouraged to work in groups. Even as an adult professional, workplaces still encourage teamwork.
While there is nothing wrong with camaraderie and team spirit, you always seem to be more productive and mentally stronger whenever you’re alone. It is those moments of isolation where you feel creative, active, and that’s where your most brilliant ideas spurt forth. However, you rarely have moments like that in a school or workplace setting, unless you manage to find time for those at home.
Because of this, you were probably made to feel like being more outgoing was the only way for you to succeed in this world. You start to feel like you should just stop being so introverted and just move along with everyone else’s paces. This should most definitely not be your virtue.
There is nothing wrong with being introverted. On top of that, you’re most definitely not alone in this. Over 50% of people in the United States are introverts. That’s a lot of people that are in the quiet revolution. So, you may not be as alone in this as you think you are.
There is no correlation between failure and introversion either. Many of the most powerful people in history were introverts, but we’ll touch more on that later. The point is, you can very much have success in this world while still embracing your introverted nature.
The Difference Between Being Shy and Being Introverted
A lot of people associate introversion with shyness and anxiety, but those aspects aren’t exactly synonymous.
Introversion means your body reacts differently to peaceful scenarios. You are more stimulated when you’re in a relaxed and quieter environment. The opposite, of course, is extroversion. Extroverts feel more energy and stimulation when they’re in an active environment.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that just because you’re an introvert, you’re immediately shy. You just most likely prefer to be at home than to be at a club surrounded by tens of people. That is why you seem distant, or even weak when you’re at a party; because you feel more rejuvenated when you’re alone.
Shyness is simply the fear of social judgment. You act more reserved because you’re afraid to make a mistake that will make others judge you. In turn, this makes you more aloof and clumsy instead.
Not all introverts are shy, and not all shy people are introverts. If you are an introvert and you feel shy in social interactions, then the situation might be much worse for you. You might even think that you should just accept the fact that you have to be more extroverted now so you can beat shyness.
Well, think again.
How To Beat Shyness As An Introvert
You can beat shyness while maintaining your introverted nature. As I’ve mentioned, both are not the same. You don’t have to be an extrovert just to be socially active.
If you’re an introvert now, that means you were born that way. This is a nature of yourself you can’t and shouldn’t go up against. So instead, find a way around it. Beat your shyness without having to go against your nature. That’s what the following tips will be teaching you.
1. Go out at your own pace
Whenever you decide to go out to overcome your shyness, you have to consider your introverted nature. You can’t act like an extrovert and expect the process to work for you. Extroverts will act like complete naturals in social events. You need to take a different, more scenic route.
Don’t force yourself to jump when everyone else is at parties. You can just sit your corner and smile and enjoy while looking at everybody else doing their thing. So long as you make an effort to be present as you try to combat your shyness, you’re already doing a major step forward.
Move at your own pace. You don’t have to go up to everybody when you’re at a party. You can just sit there and observe. In time, you’ll find people you can build connections with. This isn’t about how many friends you can make in a small amount of time, it’s about how you can slowly diminish your shyness in your efforts to socialize.
2. Don’t be afraid to be around extroverts
One thing you must remember throughout all of this is that as an introvert, extroverts aren’t your natural enemy.
Just because your natures are different, it doesn’t mean you can’t get along.
The only difference between you, as an introvert, and an extrovert is your reaction towards social settings. Nothing more.
If you do happen to meet an extrovert, and although you’re both different in how you act at parties and such if you feel a definite connection between you two, don’t be afraid to pursue that friendship. Believe me, some of the most interesting friendships I’ve ever seen are between introverts and extroverts.
Just keep in mind, you don’t befriend an extrovert so you can become one yourself, and neither do they become introverts. It’s just the dynamics of how you both act in social settings that make the friendship interesting. They can teach you how to be less shy and you can teach them how to treasure moments of peace.
3. Get to know other introverts
One other thing that can help you in combating shyness is to surround yourself with other introverts who are also striving to fight their battles.
This is a good way to create a good support system within a community. You can learn from each other and support one another. You can even teach each other a thing or two on ways to succeed in your goal.
It also helps to be around people who are like-minded with you. You get to share your experiences, history and be able to completely understand one another. You’ll even feel less shy when you know you’re interacting with a fellow introvert. Use that feeling and channel it with everything else.
4. It’s okay to rehearse conversation starters
You may think that rehearsing what to say or when starting conversations is an absurd notion, but it’s not. It’s very helpful, even.
You’ll have a lesser chance of stuttering or mumbling your words when you know exactly what to say around other people. You don’t necessarily have to follow a script word for word, but you can create guidelines that can help you navigate in conversations.
For this, it may also help if you read interesting articles on anything whenever you can. Whether they’re about current events, history, art, science, anything at all that you feel like a lot of people can talk about, take the time to learn about it. It can be helpful if ever it comes up in conversation, or if you want to start a topic about it.
5. Know what your strengths are
Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses. This applies to social situations as well. It pays to know what yours are as it will help you lessen your feelings of shyness. When you know what your strengths are, you’ll know what to do whenever you’re out.
For example, let’s say you’re good at talking about current issues. You’re very keen and interested when it comes to current events and it comes up in conversation. Use that opportunity to speak up and make others informed. It can also initiate a conversation.
If you’re good at making people laugh, then use that. If you’re good at paying attention to detail, then use that. Whatever you’re strengths are, see them as tools you can use to communicate with others effectively to avoid feeling shy.
6. Get to know the places you’ll go to
Every time you go out to socialize, it could be helpful to get to know the place you’re about to go to. Be familiar and be comfortable with it. This way, you won’t feel so uptight as soon as you step in the place. It’s also fine if you only choose to go to places you’re comfortable with. It’s better, even.
As an introvert, you need to make sure you’re still somewhat comfortable despite being outside your comfort zone. A place’s atmosphere and ambiance is a very good way to maintain a level of comfortability for yourself. You’ll be less nervous and less anxious.
7. Ask help from a friend
When it comes to feeling more confident when it comes to socializing, you should always seek out the help of peers. Turn to them for advice and guidance. Better yet, ask them to go out with you. Not only can they help you beat shyness as an introvert but they’ll also watch out for mistakes you can make.
This is one aspect of why it’s also helpful to have an extroverted friend. Extroverts are naturally comfortable in situations like socializing. You may not be able to adapt their nature but you can learn from their way of thinking. Ask them to teach you what to think, how to react, and how to avoid being shy altogether when dealing with strangers. Watch them do their thing and learn.
8. Just be yourself
There is no need for you to try to be someone you’re not in your aim to combat shyness as an introvert. You can and should remain true to yourself. If you fake who you are, you’ll only end up hating this process. The result may become insincere and the idea of being confident in social settings will just be a turn off for you.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to be okay with who you are. If you have negative traits, then okay, that’s something you can work with. But if there’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing, then nothing is wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with your being an introvert. There is, however, something wrong with being irrationally shy.
That’s the thing you need to work on. You don’t need a complete overhaul. When a cog in a machine becomes irreparable, do you replace the entire machine? No. You replace the cog. You replace your feeling of shyness with feelings of contentment and confidence, not change your overall personality.
9. Be selectively social
As I’ve mentioned earlier, you need to consider your introverted nature if you want to successfully be confident when socializing. With that, you don’t need to actively seek out everybody’s friendship. You can just be selective about it.
At a party where there are about 20 to 30 people, you can most probably find at least 5 people there that you want to connect with. It’s completely okay to settle for that. Like I’ve said, it’s not about how many friends you make.
You’re more comfortable in social settings if you don’t force yourself to interact with everybody. Besides, this goes against your nature as an introvert. If you allow yourself to agree with your nature and only interact with a few people at a time, then your feelings of anxiety and shyness will lessen.
10. Shut off socializing every once in a while
Finally, if you want to beat shyness as an introvert, then you have to follow your nature. Shut off socializing every once in a while. You don’t have to party every night as extroverts do. Just take it easy, move at your own pace, and allow yourself to relax.
Your home is your ultimate comfort zone as an introvert. If you just want to stay home for that night but some people are inviting you out, just say no and make them understand. As long as you do go out with them every once in a while, they’ll understand when you do say no.
Remember, as an introvert, your stimulation and energy come from moments of quiet. Give yourself doses of those. That’s how you can beat shyness as an introvert when you go out to socialize later on.
Embrace and Accept Your Introverted Nature
You probably don’t hear this a lot, but it’s something you should hear more. Introverts are awesome. Introverted people are more likely to be creative minded. A lot of the best ideas in the world were borne out of an introvert’s mind in their moments of isolation.
The theory of relativity and theory of evolution were both birthed because an introvert decided to stay at home with their thoughts to themselves. A lot of influential people in the past and present were and are introverts. Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, Mark Zuckerberg, J.K. Rowling, Frederic Chopin, and many more!
Give yourself the freedom to embrace your alone time. Be happy with being an introvert and don’t want for anything else. You’re awesome for who you are. Embrace that nature in you and you can deal with shyness as an introvert easily. You’ll be able to deal with anything.
Get The Friends You Want and Overcome Shyness As An Introvert
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