To be an introvert is not the same as lacking social skills and wanting to develop good communication skills is not the same as wanting to be an extrovert. Being an introvert has nothing to do with not having good social skills. Communication skills are a very basic and mandatory trait of a good personality. You can be an introvert and still open up your mind about things.
In a culture that only identifies someone as Introverts and Extroverts, both have their problems. Have you ever felt you have no idea what is so exciting about social gatherings anyway? Congratulations! You have crossed over to the so-called danger zone of being an introvert. The most common social situations are not that easy for you and you find yourself ALWAYS trying to get the right words, say that right amount, talk to the right people- that is if you somehow get yourself to talk to people in the first place. The truth is introversion is a highly misunderstood problem. TO BE AN INTROVERT IS NOT THE SAME AS LACKING SOCIAL SKILLS. So here is a guidebook for introverts to speak more confidently:
1- You can be an introvert and still have excellent social skills
We get it. you are rarely the first one to start talking. That in no way has to mean that you are meant to do a bad job at it. in fact, people who are capable of having the most meaningful conversations are often not the ones who are the first to jump at their time to speak. So get this fact straight- being an introvert doesn’t naturally make you bad at anything. The difference between an introvert and an extrovert is what they PREFER. Not what they are capable of. Introversion is not a disability.
2- Do not try to fit in
It is in the common nature of complex introverts to suddenly try and be an extroverted person. Have you ever just decided one fine day that you are going to start talking more? The problem is that fitting in is only going to backfire. You do not have to do anything that is completely unlike you. Suddenly starting to talk to strangers when you are completely new to the habit can be traumatizing and might even convince you that it is a bad idea. So the first tip is to not try and be a new person one fine day and ease yourself into the process.
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3- Know what you can talk about
If you identify as an introvert, it goes without saying that small-talk isn’t exactly your favorite thing to do. SO DO NOT! There must be something that you are passionate about or know a lot about. Try and find people with similar interests and talk about the things that excite you. When you have enough substance to talk about, you do not have to worry about finding a new thing to say every half hour. Knowing that you know enough about what you’re saying is going to give you a lot of confidence and finding people with similar interests is going to give you dedicated listeners so you can speak out confidently.
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4- Try to validate your fears
Social anxiety is real. People who do not have it might tell you “it’s just talking” but we know that it’s far bigger than that. So not to take away from the intensity of your fear, but do try to reason why this fear exists in the first place. Maybe it is some childhood events that convinced you that you’re different from most other people. Maybe someone refused to give you the attention you once tried to get. Or maybe you just feel unlikable. Whatever the cause of fear is, analyzing it enough might set you free. Just as valid as your fears are, you do not have to live it.
5- Try the “worst-case scenario method”
Whenever you are afraid or inhibit initiating a conversation, think about the worst-case scenario. This might seem counterproductive to think about but it works. Think about the worst thing that can happen. maybe write it down. It can be that you might get ignored, you might make a fool of yourself, you might get some crazy stares, you might pee your pants. Whatever it is, write it down. Now in your mind prepare yourself for this. Pretend to not be afraid of this. And now to turn it around with the “best-case scenario” method. You take the same situations, the same inhibitions, the same actions, and then reverse the outcome and write that down. People like you, you make someone laugh, you feel good. Now believe in the possibility of this happening. Every time you are in a situation where you have to interact and the fear starts to take over, do this method, and speak up.
Finally, understand that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert. And wanting to develop good communication skills is not the same as wanting to be an extrovert, and being an introvert has nothing to do with not having good social skills. Communication skills are a very basic and mandatory trait of a good personality. You can be an introvert and still open up your mind about things.