No worries! Introverts can socialize too!
Are you the type of person who feels relief when plans are suddenly cancelled? Or, are you that person who shies away from conversations as much as you can? Do you enjoy being in the comfort of your bed and pillows rather than out partying with friends? Do you make up conversations in your head so you won't say something ridiculous when you meet with people? If you are any of these, then you are probably an introvert. Introverts are people who are often more shy and don't interact too much with others. As natural as it is to connect with the outside world, this is something that introverts find difficult to do if not totally incapable. More often, introverts experience anxiety that prevents them from feeling confident in themselves. This may sound serious because it means they will have more difficulty functioning well at home, school, or at work, considering the inevitable fact that you will interact with people. But good news! Just because you are an introvert doesn't mean you have to hate social life and be alone at all times. Know that you can be outgoing too. You can attend parties and you can engage yourself with conversations as well as any other person. You are also a human being, and you have to admit that you feel the need to connect somehow. Though it might take some time to make progress, the point is, socializing is not entirely impossible! Are you ready to go out there? Keep reading these tips.
Work on your self-image
Self-image is one of the most important keys to having a good and positive social life. Whether we like it or not, we will be dealing with people who are going to judge us by our looks and our personality. So, it's best if we can work on ourselves first before we try to work with others.
Outer appearance gives more confidence
Believe it or not, the way you look is a huge plus to get people interested in you. Although it's not the main ticket to get that social life, it will help you to feel more confident when you present yourself to other people. Maintain proper hygiene. Wash regularly, comb your hair or tie it in a bun if it covers your face too much. Use hair gel if you're a guy. Brush your teeth at least two times a day, and wear that radiant smile all the way. Put on some clean-smelling perfume or deodorant. Dress well too — make sure to wear clean and ironed clothes, and keep in mind that bright colors attract positive vibes.
Personality matters too
Your outer appearance may be important, but focus more on the inside — your personality. People will remember you by how you treat them or how you converse with them. And, to be able to show an apple-of-the-eye personality, you have to get rid of that pessimistic instinct. Train yourself to be positive. Be optimistic and your personality will deliver happy energy to the people around you. Even when things are not going well, deal with it with a smile on your face. Do not let the little things ruin your day. When you talk to people, show them you are enthusiastic. Even when the topic you're talking about doesn't interest you, learn to listen. As much as possible, do not cut the conversation yourself and try to wait for the other person to do it. As long as there is something to say, go ahead and share it. Always be the one who initiates. But, do not overdo it. Avoid talking about things that are too personal and try to keep the conversation casual. Watch your body language. Tapping your foot impatiently, constantly rolling your eyes, crossing your arms against your chest, and a look of disappointment on your face will not bring a good impression on other people. These gestures might show them that you are unapproachable. It might be difficult at first, but if you make it a habit to think positive, the rest will be a lot easier.
Know the social groups you prefer
One mistake introverts do when they attempt to socialize is they often try too hard. They don't think very carefully about their preferences in people that they just tend to connect randomly without knowing the common interests, likes, and dislikes. Although it's OK to socialize with different varieties of social groups, it's best to know your own preference first to make the progress flow smoothly. Think about what you're interested in. Do you love music, dancing, painting, or anything that has to do with art? Then find people who are into the same hobbies or the "right-brainers." Do you love to talk about politics, current events, general knowledge, or science? Then, it's the left-brainers you are looking for. Why do you have to do this? When you converse with people who don't have the same thinking as you, it will be difficult to keep the conversation going. You won't have any idea as to what the other person is talking about resulting to awkward moments. It will usually end up both parties not having a good impression on each other.
Motivate yourself to be more social
If you are an introvert, of course, it's a natural instinct to avoid people as much as you can. You will always find an excuse to get away from hang outs or parties. Basically, you are a loner. But just like I said, you are still a human being. You still feel the desire to connect with other people. I am an introvert myself, so I know the difficulty of having outgoing friends who constantly invite me to parties and who, in return, always get a "NO" from me. You have to believe me when I say that I don't mean it every time. It has just become a routine for me to reject invitations even when I really want to try to socialize sometimes. The key here is how you cater to your desire. If you don't really like to hang out, it's OK to say no. But, if you suddenly feel outgoing and social, you have to motivate yourself and try. Fight off pessimistic thoughts, get up and follow that urge to connect with your friends. Never lose the opportunity that positivity brings you.
Create a "how to be more social" routine
As an introvert, it's understandable that it's never really easy to go out and socialize. It's not something where you just suddenly wake up and already feeling confident. No, we all know it doesn't happen that way. For an introvert person, greetings of "hi" and "hello" is already a challenge. Socializing for people who have anxiety takes progress, and this is why we have to make a routine we can follow.
Weekly routine: keeping in touch
The reason why people with anxiety never take too much effort in maintaining relationships with others is because they fear being left alone. They tend to think that people might misinterpret their keeping-in-touch as clingy. While, yes, some people might think that way because it's unavoidable, do not sweat it too much. Do not be afraid to call or talk to your friends when you feel the urge to do it. As much as possible, talk to different set of friends or just different person every week. Do not fear keeping in touch with them even if you don't have something special to say. It will help you overcome your anxiety.
Monthly routine: Meet new people
Once you get used to the idea of keeping in touch with your long-time friends every week, it's time to up your game. Little by little, you are overcoming your anxiety when you talk to people, and you get the desire to socialize more. At this moment, you are probably more bold and want to try to present yourself in a social group entirely different from your preferences so do not lose that opportunity. At least every month, go out in different places and try to meet new people. Or meet your friends' friends. Make your circle big, add sets of people for your weekly routine.
Learn from things around you
For you to be more confident in socializing, you also have to learn from everything around you. Yes, you might sometimes think that the problem is you because you are just asocial. But you have to remember that people are really different from each other. What makes you laugh will not make all people laugh, what interests you doesn't necessarily interests other people too. You have to make some adjustments in your own way of socializing. Find out how people behave in social interactions. Take note the body languages that makes people happy and not. Listen to the words that people use to maintain a healthy casual conversation. Sometimes, you have to familiarize yourself as well to the trends so you won't be behind too much. Take note that you don't have to necessarily like what you learn, but these things will be a big help to you if you want to connect with the rest of the world.
Do you think you can do it? Go out there and try!
As an introvert myself, reading tips and advice about socializing is not new. But, following them and taking action is what's difficult to start. There are times where I even hated myself because as much as I ask people for help about my anxiety issue, I never listen to them. I bet you already experience the feeling of being inspired for a few moments after a friend's hearty advice but then losing the optimistic instinct before the day even ends. Keep in mind that it's not your fault to be introverted and to have anxiety. It just happens, so hating yourself will not resolve your issue. But, like I said, it's not impossible for you to change. It's not impossible for you to experience social life just like normal people do. It's all about the motivation you give yourself. Concern people will always be there to help you overcome your anxiety, but if there is someone who can really help you, it's yourself because the action will come from you. Be optimistic and avoid making up "what if" situations in your mind. Go with the flow, and do not sweat the small stuff. Yes, it may take some progress. But, it's the possibility you have to focus on. So, with these tips and advice, go out there now and try! Have motivation, be confident in yourself, and connect with other people.