Culture

5 ways to become a social introvert

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Image: Jens Johnsson / Unsplash.com

Introverts are notorious for being anti-social. More than that, we’re known to be shy, quiet, and basically terrible at small talk. It shouldn’t be that surprising. Introverts get more energy from being alone, and extroverts get more energy from being with people. Thus, extroverts have more experience with social situations than introverts. Or, at the very least, they’re more excited about social situations than introverts. As a result, the extroverts will usually talk over the introverts who are just trying to stay in the conversation circle.

It’s hard to be an introvert because the whole world seems to revolve around an extroverted way of life. We struggle with things like parties and gatherings because, while we want to enjoy ourselves and spend time with people occasionally, we tend to stay in our shell far too much. (We’re basically turtles.) So, in order to help you become a more social introvert, here are a few tips on breaking out of your shell!

Have a go-to small talk topic

Whenever I go to a party or some kind of hang out with people I don’t know, I try to have small talk topic that I can bring up whenever I feel awkward. Maybe you comment on the weather or some kind of universal topic like how scared you are for America’s future. Whatever that topic is, just whip it out and see where it takes you. Some extroverted people can run with a small-talk topic and turn it into something super interesting!

Answer questions whenever you can

I’ve found that I am most talkative when people ask me questions and give me an easy in to talk. If you’re in a group and someone asks a question, jump on it. Don’t wait to answer and don’t butt into a conversation yourself. Use questions to make yourself heard.

Find other introverts

Ah yes, this can be extremely helpful in social situations. Birds of a feather flock together, so find the people like you who need someone to talk to. If it’s hard for you to talk to extroverts, or to get a word into their conversations, then look at the outskirts of the party and find the introverts. Introverts may not talk a lot at first, but if you find the right conversation topic, you might find your next best friend! Plus, at the very least, you’ll have someone who understands your struggle who can make you feel better.

Don’t be a conversation ender

A huge problem of mine as an introvert is that I tend to be the end of conversations. Someone will ask me a question and I’ll give a simple “yes” or “no” and that’s that. Because I hate small talk, I tend to shut down small talk whenever I can, and it just leads to a lot of unnecessary silence and potentially hurt feelings. Even if you have to force yourself to keep talking or carry on with conversations, it’s helpful if you at least try to contribute to conversations.

Be conscious of how often you talk

The biggest thing you can do to help yourself in social situations is facing your fears and talking. A great way to do this is to monitor how much you speak at any given event. If you keep reminding yourself to say something, whether that’s a whole story or a quick comment, it can be super helpful. If you treat it like participation points in school, you can force yourself to talk more often than if you just sit back in silence for eternity. You may not have fun at first, but the talking could lead to new friends or fun opportunities! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, even if it’s painful.

Jenna is a contributor for 301 Digital Media in Nashville, TN. When she isn't reading or taking photos, she makes YouTube videos about her life. Follow her online @jennaclarek