For me – being happy in life and a fast tracker to business success is a regular intention. I’m not sure when either started but I think about, meditate on and am blessed to have both happiness and success in my life.
I’ve never sought to be popular. That kind of recognition isn’t important for me. And, I’m not much of a joiner. In my local business I’ve been a member of one women’s networking group for over 20 years. Other groups, if I do join, are short lived.
Can you relate to any of this as an introvert? If you can, then here is why I believe that we can go from introvert to extrovert in certain ways.
If you want to go from introvert to extrovert, here are some starters:
Social skills are learned. Just like in exercise, using your glutes for example, a muscle becomes stronger, so do your social skills. Many of my introvert readers tell me they often just don’t know what to do in more of an extroverted environment. I didn’t always know either. As an introvert we already have some of the social skills down pat – listening, asking questions, concentrating, and more. We often want to gloss right over these natural abilities. But don’t; instead decide which social skill you want to improve the most – being approachable, introducing yourself, having conversations, building friendships – just pick one to start with. Give your best to it for 30 days. If you like the changes, keep on with that new part of you, but add a new skill and keep going. You can strengthen any social skill muscle you want.
Use questions. Most people, not us introverts usually, love to talk about themselves – their interests, opinions and ideas are what they like to converse about. And it’s often right off the top of their head. The best way to keep a conversation like that moving and still not being so self-revealing, is to do something that comes naturally for us: ask questions. This helps you keep the conversation going until you are ready to pivot things to contributing something you believe relevant about yourself. Just in that respect, you’re moving from introvert to extrovert.
It’s possible to start on a small social scale. Decide and then plan what social group you would be most motivated to be part of in your area. NOTE: I’m not talking about an online group which already plays to our strengths. Consciously think about what kind of people who want to connect with – yes, in-person. Then start visiting a few groups in your local area that meet those criteria. From there you only need to choose one to join and get involved with to start furthering those social skills you are strengthening.
Don’t confuse introvert with shy. Not every introvert is shy. You can also be a shy extrovert. Bernardo Carducci, psychology professor and director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany uses a party scenario to illustrate the difference between an introvert and a shy person. The introvert isn’t afraid to talk to people but might stand in the corner to take a break from the crowd. The shy person stands in the corner because he feels he has no choice. Carducci’s research shows there are far more shy people than introverts. Actually, more than 40 percent of Americans are shy! It may well be the same in other cultures.
Even with Carducci’s illustration, you may still not be clear. So don’t let the feeling like you need a break hold you back from being social. Take your break, heck take several, then come back to the conversation.
Watch what you eat. In part this factor is the seed of this post. I’ve had to change what I eat or else fall under the demise of a prescription medication. In the past 2 months I’ve lost 8 pounds, find myself with more energy and even procrastinating less. While I’m not certain about the procrastination, for certain the healthier eating – almost a vegan diet like the Engine Two Diet – has caused me to feel livelier all around.
Most introverts are willing to spend time on self-improvement. Be prepared to use conscious effort, and energy. But if you want to move up in business success, if you want to get invited to parties, if you want to become more confident and comfortable in any situation, you can! It is possible.
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Are you one of the introverts who is into self-improvement? In what way would you want to change any part of your introversion to more extroversion?