Everyone is on a different point of the introvert/extrovert continuum. Highly extroverted people can seemingly barely survive without social interaction, while very introverted folks can happily go for a week without uttering a word to another soul.
However, many introverts would like to have more social interactions, but don’t know how to make that happen. Creating a social network can be a struggle for many introverts.
Introverts can create and enjoy a more active social life with these strategies:
- Start with being an excellent listener. Half of any conversation is listening, but it’s the most important half. If you show that you’re an excellent listener, the other person in your conversation will gladly do most of the talking.
– One of the easiest ways to motivate people to want to interact with you is to convince them they are the most fascinating person in the room. All you have to do is be a fantastic listener. Give the other person your full and undivided attention and you won’t have to say much at all.
- Ask questions. Asking open-ended questions is another way to keep someone engaged in conversation without having to do a lot of work. Asking meaningful questions is one way to show that you’re a good listener and that you’re interested.
– Asking someone, “What do you like about the beach?” is open ended and encourages conversation. Asking someone, “Do you like the beach?” encourages a simple yes or no type of answer and is not open-ended.
- Put your focus on the other person and not on yourself. When you think about yourself, it’s easy to become anxious. However, if you put all of your focus on the other person, you’ll find that your social discomfort is greatly lowered.
- Practice your small talk skills. Small talk can be intimidating for those with more introverted personalities, but small talk is harmless chitchat. It’s not about exposing personal secrets or sharing your soul with the world.
– There are thousands of books on small talk and interpersonal communication. Pick one up and get started. Everyone you see was put on Earth to be your practice dummy.
- Find the right environment. A loud and busy environment might be too overwhelming. Choose environments that minimize your discomfort. Only you know how you feel. Do you prefer one on one? Small groups? Do what works for you.
- Leverage your friends. Spend time with your friends and get to know their friends. Going out with a few friends can make the evening more comfortable and increase the likelihood of meeting new people.
– All it takes is one very social friend to keep your social life active. Just tag along and you’ll have all the social opportunities you can stand.
- Find hobbies that provide social opportunities. While you might prefer to sit at home and trim bonsai trees for fun, it would be better for your social life if you took a bonsai class with other people.
– Use your passions to provide more social opportunities. What do you like to do and how can you do those activities with others?
Just because you consider yourself to be an introvert doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to have an active social life. Anyone that wants to be more social can certainly do so. Become an excellent listener, ask questions, and leverage your current social network.
The world is full of people that would like someone to talk to. You can be that someone.