It’s always difficult for introverts to interact more comfortably with others. Isn’t it?
I’m an introvert and a very private person. Although, first impressions of me would say otherwise because I present as a friendly and engaging person- which I also am. In truth though, meeting new people can initially be very awkward and uncomfortable for me. The mere thought of socializing with strangers, networking, and taking part in small talk makes me cringe; twisting my stomach into knots and elevating my anxiety levels. My default defense is to often rely quite heavily on my very inquisitive nature (which at times can be both a blessing and a curse). But, once I get into the flow of openly engaging and being friendly, I begin to relax, enjoy myself, and the natural course of the exchange.
So how do I go from awkward anxiety to social butterfly? How to interact more comfortably with others as an introvert?
Well, this is what I’ve learned about becoming comfortable with interacting with others as a professional and on a personal level:
Being open with others opens doors and makes you relatable. Tell people about yourself; your likes, adventures, and misadventures, too! Everyone likes a good story. You are much, much more than your name, job title, and place of birth! Practice in the mirror (try to see what others see), with family, friends, and coworkers. What do you find truly interesting about someone you’ve just met?
2. Take the initiative:
You’ve heard it before: Be a self-starter! Don’t wait for the other person to engage you. If someone makes eye contact with you, smile back. Oftentimes that’s all it takes to start up a conversation and interact with others comfortably. Extending kindnesses and being friendly first creates a warm, safe atmosphere instantly putting people at ease. True kindness and friendliness is a way better, safer, sustainable, and more authentic social lubricant than alcohol any day!
3. Celebrate your weirdness:
You’re unique and one of a kind! There is no one else out there like you- celebrate it! Embracing your different-ness puts you at ease from the concerns of being judged or disliked by others. (When you’re relaxed and comfortable, others are relaxed and comfortable around you. Making you that much more approachable). Added benefit? Your light will naturally shine through making you even more appealing and engaging to interact with- that magnetic attraction quotient. Phew! Takes some of the pressure off of you, right?
4. Start working on cultivating Tiny Habits that are easy to embed into your daily routine, and that will support this new shift in your behavior.
Begin smiling at strangers; ask the receptionist at your gym how they’re doing; make eye contact and say “hi” to the bus driver when you get on the bus for work; share a joke or observation with other shoppers while in the check-out line up instead of texting on your iPhone; host games nights with friends and friends-of-friends where self-revealing games are played. Be sure to check in with yourself through your journal, too; reflect on the responses you receive and how good these interactions made you feel. A smile, hello or shared joke can change an entire day, for you and for someone else. This is how to interact with others being an introvert.
Practicing these useful hacks will make truly connecting with others, and yourself less painful, more effortless and meaningful.
Watch out this interesting video to know about the power of an introvert:
The more we take steps to connect with one another, the share of ourselves without fear of shame, the more warmth emanates outward and inward. Leaving less loneliness, isolation, and social awkwardness in our interactions with one another.