Whether you’re in middle school, high school, college, or the working world you know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Growing up you might have had a “dimmed” light when it comes to your siblings and or friend groups. Meaning you’re not the first to say to everyone “Hey! Here’s my personality!”
As an introvert people might not even notice you first time around and if they do know you, it’s because you’re “so and so’s” friend or “so and so’s” sibling. We introverts may even seem “standoffish” or “self-centred” when really we’re just shy and still trying to figure out our surroundings. The “figuring out our surroundings” can be the tricky part, so here are some tips on staying true to yourself while being surrounded by extroverted people.
Embrace Your Nerves
Everyone has them, you’re only human. If you’re over thinking conversation starters, getting tongue tied, or even find yourself not wanting to participate, you should know that you’re not the only one experiencing this. There are hundreds of thousands, probably millions in the world going through the same experiences as you! So take a deep breath, and relax.
Set Easy Goals!
When it comes to day to day interactions this tip is the go-to! Make sure you reassure yourself that while being closed off is normal to you it’s also important to try to meet others. It doesn’t matter if you’re a young professional or if you’re in school, this can work for you. Set a small goal to talk to a new classmate or co-worker everyday. Interact in class or in a meeting twice. Compliment a stranger while on your commute. Simple tasks like these are achievable and easy enough that you won’t feel too overwhelmed!
Get Help From Your Extroverted Friends!
Your outgoing friends probably want to help you anyways. As they talk to a large group of people or just an unfamiliar face, introduce yourself! Keep a smile on your face! Building confidence is key! Don’t play into the label and stay quiet as your friends flourish by meeting and socializing with others, put yourself out there too. Ask your extroverted friends how they might attract people or their tactics on sparking up conversation with new people. Also, ask them to help introduce you to others to help break the nerves.
Nurture Your Needs
Realize that everyone is different and you shouldn’t transform yourself into something that you’re not. While setting simple goals and getting help from extroverts are helpful, don’t get lost in the sauce! This is especially for all the college students researching internships/jobs and high school students looking for colleges to attend. Take note of the new climate. This means do your research. What’s the student body like? What is the environment like in the office? Are people typically conversational? Dig around and see if that new position or school really fits who you are.
Drop The Label
Your personality is not black or white, it is one of the many shades of gray. You are a complex being and just the idea of labeling yourself as an introvert might bring a negative connotation to your life. You have to think things into existence. By thinking of yourself as more than an introvert, more than the quiet friend, or more than the anxious friend you will surely thrive. Believing in yourself is the major key *DJ Khaled voice*
While you grow out of this label, take note that your extroverted friends are in fact your friends. There’s nothing wrong with taking the back seat but grabbing the wheel every once in a while is beneficial too. You live and you learn from the mistakes, the growth, and everyone you might meet in between.
By following these tips I’m sure that both you and me will thrive throughout our introverted lives. Remember that confidence is key and to ease yourself into all of these steps. It takes time for all of us to try new things, don’t get discouraged!