It’s all about taking baby steps.
As an introvert who also suffers from social anxiety, life is an uphill battle every day. Having to face people on a daily basis and make conversation with them can be quite exhausting. I’d prefer to hide within the safety of my room but we all know that’s not a solution. Instead, I silently observed the behaviour of outgoing personalities hoping to pick up tips. I realized that by staying in my own little bubble, I wasn’t enjoying life as much I could. I was missing several opportunities to do the things l loved, as well as making friends with interesting folk.
If you’ve been trying to break out of your shell, here are some points that are guaranteed to help you along your way and make meeting new people an enjoyable experience.
Smile, Smile, Smile
In any situation, a bright smile is your best weapon. It immediately lightens any mood and most people wouldn’t hesitate to smile back. You’ll be perceived as a friendly person and more strangers will be motivated to approach you. So, the next time you see someone heading your way, don’t shy away. Even if you’re faking it, just give them a bright grin. You’ll be amazed at how many people will compliment you or warm up to you at once.
Make Eye Contact
Imagine someone walks up to you and strikes up a conversation. If you’re feeling awkward, it’s tempting to lower your eyes or look elsewhere. But resist this urge. Instead, try making eye contact with the one talking to you. This shows that you’re interested in what she (or he) has to say. This’ll also enable the other person to gauge your comfort level and adjust accordingly.
Grab A Friend
If you can’t face a group of strangers by yourself, you can always ask a trusted pal to tag along. Ask her (or him) to introduce you and ease you into their discussions. Your bestie will also know when to help you out should things get uncomfortable or when you want to whbe left alone to deal with things. Having someone looking out for you is a great confidence-booster.
Seek Common Interests
It’s easy to assume that you’re the only girl who loves graphic novels and grisly movies. But there are several people out there who share the same likes as you. A little research about the strangers you’re going to meet works a great deal. You can also always ask them straight out what they’re interested in and take the convo from there. Having common ground on any topic, no matter how weird it may be, is one of the best ways to come out of your comfort zone.
Challenge Your Limits
Make a list of things that you’d like to try out, but are afraid of or too shy to attempt. Break them up into smaller, achievable goals and then push yourself to complete the list. For example, if you want to go on a hike, then you can first ask people who’ve hiked before. Get as much as information as possible from them, and then plan out where you want to go. You can go by yourself or ask a friend to come along.
As with everything, make sure that you take your own time to step out of your comfort zone. No one should force you into doing anything you’d hate to do. Don’t hesitate to ask for support because there are plenty of people willing to lend a hand. Forge on, ladies!
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