Are you the kind of person that will turn down a couple of drinks or an opportunity to socialize with friends, but still experience FOMO and end up wishing you’d have shown up? Does your anxiety or introverted nature prevent you from connecting with the people you care about? If this hits a little too close to home, continue reading.
You could always tell your friends how you feel and this is probably the best place to start. However, you can’t expect everyone to understand you and your reasons for being so introverted. In fact, it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll find yourself in a situation where all of your friends are trying to drag you out and coerce you to join in the festivities. While this may seem harmless to them, and they might honestly believe that they’re helping the situation, this can actually make you feel a lot worse in the long run.
What is an introvert?
An introvert is a person who exhibits traits of the introverted personality type, which implies they prefer to focus on their inner thoughts and ideas rather than what is going on around them. They prefer to spend their time with one or two people rather than large friendship groups and many introverts avoid crowds of people at all costs.
They usually don’t seek out extra attention or social engagements because these activities might deplete and drain the “social battery” of most introverts. Extroverts are the polar opposite of introverts. Extroverts are frequently referred to as the life of the party. They are looking for interaction and communication. They aren’t one to miss a social gathering, and they thrive in the midst of a bustle.
First and foremost, let us state unequivocally that there is nothing wrong with your natural wiring. In fact, you might not even know where you fall on the introvert vs. extrovert spectrum these days, in which case this breakdown might help. To be honest, the majority of people define themselves as being somewhere in the middle.
So whether you consider yourself an introvert or simply want to be more social in general— there are numerous ways to do it. Let’s take a look.
Remember that you don’t have to say anything
Even if you’ve got as far as making it to a party or a social event, remember that you’re under absolutely no obligation to talk or provide entertainment for other people.
No one expects you to talk all of the time, but try your best to follow the context of the conversation, so that when something crops up that you’d like to contribute to or talk about, you can slide in and make a comment naturally, without panicking about it and worrying what you’re going to say.
There’s no point talking unless you actually want to, keep an ear out for topics of conversation that you enjoy, and start by adding your views to these kinds of conversations.
Only go out when you really want to
To ask an introvert to go out only for the purpose of socializing is akin to asking a fish to ride a bicycle. Why would we do such a thing? However, if you have a strong motive to socialize, it might be more enjoyable. Consider the activities you enjoy. Try activities like board games, billiards, yoga, or handicraft that have gatherings.
Or sports that you enjoy playing that have weekly games. You may also help an environmental organization or a food bank by volunteering. Do something you enjoy that will provide you with easy conversation starters and an entirely new circle of possible pals. When you have a reason to be there, it takes some of the sting out of socializing.
Try to plan some conversations ahead of time
Consider what you might want to talk about before your next wedding or networking event, and reframe your perspective on your role there. Introverts typically take on the task of making the other person feel at ease, despite the fact that nearly no one feels confident in a room full of strangers. Most introverts avoid speaking out as they usually have a fear of judgment, so they prefer to remain quiet.
However, it can be useful to speak your mind when you feel confident enough to. More often than not, someone else in the audience will be feeling the same way and glad that you spoke out about it.
Try to make friends with an extrovert
As you may be aware, opposites attract. As a result, introverts and extroverts are frequently drawn to one other as companions, friends, and even coworkers. Use this to your advantage by ensuring that you have at least one coworker who is up to date on office gossip and can keep you informed of after-hours happenings.
Make a decision about which ones to befriend since if you go to all of them, you will become exhausted. Choose the ones you believe you’ll love or that will help you professionally.
Go to events, but always be the first to leave
If you’re invited to an office party or a birthday bash, walk in there with confidence knowing that it’s OK to leave early. In fact, you can leave whenever you want. A lot of the “social brownie points” come with just showing up, and after they’ve had a few drinks, many people will be too distracted to notice that you’ve slipped away anyway.
People are usually grateful that you showed up, so don’t worry if you’re ready to leave after just one drink. This is an extremely useful social coping skill for people who are shy. Don’t forget to celebrate your progress by noting the tiny victories along the way.