You can improve your social skills as an introvert without having to go against your nature. This is what we’ll tackle in this article.
Introverts are generalized and stereotyped as the kinds who repulse socializing. This isn’t the case in reality. If you’re an introvert, you should know this already. It’s not exactly repulsion that you feel when considering the idea of socializing. It’s just you gather your energy from something else entirely.
As an introvert, you feel more energy and stimuli in more reserved spaces. You’re more proactive and creative when you’re left to work by yourself. You’re more comfortable in your comfort zone. Extroverts, on the other hand, are more alive in groups.
This doesn’t mean you hate socializing, does it? It just means you feel more active and comfortable when you’re in solidarity. Your dopamines are triggered more when you’re at home watching your favorite series or reading a book or when you’re working by yourself at your office rather than when you’re surrounded by tens of people.
You still need to socialize every once in a while. You may, in fact, crave it every so often. Maybe you don’t feel the urge to go out as much as an extroverted person, but you still like the idea of going out with your friends every once in a while. You may even feel the drive to make new friends.
Why You Should Socialize As An Introvert
Socializing is a part of our lives, no matter how old you are. Socializing doesn’t conform to age nor gender. Making friends is an action that’s for everyone, introverts, and extroverts alike. Socializing isn’t something you “just do”, it’s something you need.
We are social animals. That is how we were able to advance as a species and the need to socialize with other people is embedded in your psychology. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, as a human, it is in your nature to socialize with other people.
Aside from biological and psychological facts, there are also practical factors that come into play when it comes to socializing. Socialize as an introvert and you’ll have the following benefits:
- Connections. This is helpful for both personal and professional aspects. Personally, your connections will help you with advice and be there for you for celebrations. You’ll also have people to support you in whichever and give you tips on life, travel, basic needs, etc. It is also helpful professionally. The more friends you have, the more connections to better opportunities and networks you’ll have.
- Leisure. You will always have the option to unwind with people you care about and care about you. Travel will be more fun because you’ll share the moment and memories with friends.
- Problems. You’ll never have to go through them alone. When the going gets tough, it’s always better to have a helpful soul around.
- Favors. You’ll scratch your back and they’ll scratch yours. Friendships run on two-way streets. It feels good and satisfying to help other people and it’s always great to have people to turn to in your times of need.
These are just some of the many things friendships will bring you. To have access to those things, you need to improve your social skills as an introvert.
How To Improve Your Social Skills As An Introvert
First of all, you can improve your social skills as an introvert without having to let go of that nature of yours. Second, there is nothing wrong with being an introvert in the world of socializing.
You don’t need to shy away from the idea of being introverted. You don’t need to try to be someone else you’re not either. Being an extrovert is not the only way to make friends. It might even be helpful as an introvert to make friends because introverts tend to be more attentive and creative, thus allowing more focus and thoughtfulness when it comes to friendships.
So before we proceed with the tips on how you can improve your social skills as an introvert, you must first embrace your introverted side. Accept that. Know that your nature is amazing and that you definitely can be as outgoing as you like without letting go of your introverted side.
With that said, let’s learn how you can improve your social skills as an introvert so you can make friends wherever you go.
1. Learn when to say yes and when to say no
Whenever the opportunity to go out and socialize comes up, you don’t have to say yes all the time just to improve your social skills. But, you shouldn’t say no all the time either.
Learn to balance your time. Know when the right time to socialize is. Follow your guts and instincts and make sure when you do go out to socialize, you’re comfortable to do so. Do not force yourself to go out just for the sake of going out. You might end up having an awful time and that will make you socialize less.
If you’re comfortable when you’re out, you’re able to socialize better. You can carry conversations properly and you’re more likely to welcome people going up to you.
2. You can cherry-pick the places to socialize in
It’s okay to be picky with the places you’ll go to. When you’re not comfortable with a specific place because the atmosphere or the reason why people go there doesn’t agree with you, then that’s fine. Don’t go there.
Make sure the places you’ll socialize in are places you’re comfortable with. The atmosphere of the place is more important than you thought. If you’re comfortable with the place, then you’re more relaxed. That’s what you need if you want to socialize better. The more relaxed you are, the more you’ll be able to use your social skills as an introvert.
3. Practice conversation starters
Before you go out to socialize with others, you can practice things to say if that makes you feel better. List down a couple of conversation starters to help you going.
List down the things you’re comfortable talking about or topics you enjoy talking about. Things you’re more knowledgable with. Then, create a spiel relating to those topics as conversation starters.
You can also just write down basic introductions for yourself as things to say when you go up to others or when others go up to you. It always pays to be prepared. Preparedness is an amazing social skill you can learn as an introvert.
4. Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself
Make sure you’re realistic with your goals whenever you do go out to socialize. But before all that, though, know why you’re doing this in the first place.
You’re making the effort to go out and improve your social skills as an introvert for what, exactly? Because you want to make more friends, right? Then good. Put that in your mind every time you go out. You’re going out because you want to make friends.
Now, when you do go out to socialize, just make sure you don’t lose track of your goal. Make sure you aren’t overstepping or anything. If your goal is to make friends, then you don’t have to do anything drastic or be the center of attention everywhere you go. You just have to do your own thing, be low-key, and make friends here and there.
5. Know that you don’t have to socialize with everybody
To follow suit with the previous point, as an introvert, you don’t have to befriend every single person you meet.
It’s completely fine only having a handful of friends, so long as they’re genuine and good people. Two good friends are better than 20 fake ones.
With that in mind, don’t over-exert yourself by attempting to befriend every single person in a room. You can simply pop your head out and look out for potential “candidates”, so to speak. Look for people you feel like you can connect with, then go up to those people.
Let’s say you find 10 people you can connect with a room of 50 people. Let’s say you go up to six of them. That’s already a good statistic. Keep your socializing to a minimum but make every single one of them count. As an introvert, quality is your game. Not quantity.
6. Don’t be afraid of being ashamed
You might experience social anxiety at times when going out. This is completely normal. Do not see your shyness as your enemy. Do not be afraid of it. It’s not a thing you need to have disappeared completely. It’s a thing you need to control.
View your feelings of shyness as something that acts as a defense mechanism. Shyness takes over you the same way hunger does when your body needs food. This only happens because you’re faced in a situation that’s unfamiliar or you’re afraid that it might lead to humiliation.
Shyness happens because your body reads (or misreads) something as a threat and is only trying to protect itself. This can happen way too much and go way too deep, though. It can become irrational. That’s what you should try to avoid.
Learn to acknowledge your shyness and control it if it becomes too irrational. You can improve your social skills greatly as an introvert if you learn to manage that.
7. Go out with friends you trust
When the going gets tough, if you want to go out but are hindered by certain emotions that come with being an introvert, ask help from the friends you already have.
Going out with people you’re comfortable with might help make socializing so much easier for you. They can simply be present to give you support and they can even help in introducing you to other people.
It’s sometimes easier to be in crowds if you’re in a group as well. Especially if it’s with people you care about. If socializing doesn’t go so well for the night, then you can just take it easy and just relax with your friends instead. Either way, whether it’s a good night or a bad night in terms of socializing, having friends with you will always make it more fun.
8. Focus outwards, not inwards
One of the best things that you can do whenever you’re out is to always focus outwards instead of inwards. Stop lingering in your head and pay attention to everything around you.
Take a look at the place you’re in. Do you like it? Do you find the place comfortable? Are the people there happy? How many people are there? Who of them can you make a connection with?
Once you’re in conversation with someone, listen to them. Give them your full and undivided attention. Listen to their stories, empathize with them, be interested in them. If you keep your attention towards other people, you’ll be able to react better. You’ll ask the right questions, you’ll say the right things, and you’ll never have the time to dwell on being self-conscious.
9. Take a break every once in a while
If you want to improve your social skills as an introvert, then you need to behave like an introvert.
As I’ve mentioned, introverts feel more relaxed and energized when they’re in a secluded and comfortable place. You need to allow yourself to have moments like those. Shut off socializing every once in a while and remain in your comfort zone for a day or two.
Find peace in your safe spaces. Don’t feel the need to neglect that just because you’re attempting to be more social. You need to find that right balance between going out to meet new people and staying in to feel more comfortable.
Once you’re ready to go out, then go out. You’ll feel even more motivated to socialize once you give yourself time to relax by yourself.
10. Have fun
Most importantly, you should have fun with this process. If you can bring yourself to have fun with it, then all of this will have been for nothing.
Acknowledge the reason why you’re doing this and know the benefits of having friends. Once you internalize all of that, the idea of socializing will become so much more exciting for you. You’ll be happier to go out and you’ll be more excited to meet other people.
Have fun with the outside world. There are so many things the world can offer and it’s up for your pleasurable viewing. Once you’re able to do that, you’ll be able to have fun outside and inside your home. That’s the dream, isn’t it?
Socialize as an Introvert and Get The Friends You Want
Once your social skills are ready, go out there and get the friends you want. Remember the tips you’ve read here and apply them well in person.
You’ll be able to make the friends you want as an introvert by improving your social skills as an introvert. Just follow your nature and don’t try to be anyone else you’re not. You’ll find that a lot of people are very appreciative of those who remain true to themselves. Be that person.
If you want more tips on how to improve your social skills, read the other articles I have made for that sole purpose. It can help you be even more prepared for your next socializing event. Good luck!