An Introvert's Guide To Mingling, Small Talk, And Making New Friends
How do you break out of your shell?
Introverts have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, but every now and then, it’s important to know how to overcome introversion.
There are few things more anxiety-inducing to introverts than going to a social function where they know hardly anyone (if any, at all). Small talk for introverts can be so nerve-wracking that it often sends perfectly articulate and interesting people to the sidelines, watching others do the mingling as they awkwardly pick at the hors-d’oeuvres.
Many introverts simply throw in the towel, saying that small talk and mingling just isn’t for them. But small talk for introverts is an important skill to learn, not just for career advancement, but also to build more fulfilling social networks.
After all, who knows how many relationships you might miss out on if you don’t step out of your comfort zone?
How to overcome introversion: 6 useful tips to conquer small talk for introverts
1. Gather your energy
By definition, social interaction — especially with people who aren’t in their inner circle — can easily drain introverts’ energy. That’s why you should make sure that you’ve adequately prepared yourself for any big social function.
Get enough sleep, have some quiet time with yourself, put on a sheet mask, and come to the function fully energised. Game face on.
2. Look for fellow loners
If you’re intimidated by the idea of approaching a group of strangers who all seem to know each other, don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal.
Just look for people who, like you, are by themselves. Then approach them and start a conversation. Chances are, they’ll be more than happy to finally have someone to talk to.
3. Have some talking points ready
Nervous about running out of things to say? Prepare some talking points in advance to keep the conversation going. It could range from anything from your roles at work to Game of Thrones predictions to, yes, the weather.
As much as people like to poke fun at talking about the weather, it’s a great way to break the ice (if the weather has been particularly interesting).
4. Keep asking questions
People love to talk about themselves. That’s one thing you can fall back on if you’re feeling unsure about your social skills. Instead of focusing on yourself and how you’re doing, ask questions about the other person and be attentive.
When you divert your attention to others instead of worrying about how you’re doing, pretty soon, you’ll probably find yourself actually enjoying the conversation.
Apart from approaching people, make sure that you look approachable yourself. The secret of how to overcome introversion lies in attitude. Stay positive and smile — people will be more drawn to you, and you’ll feel better as well.
6. Remember: you’re awesome
Don’t be too hard on yourself, even if your interactions didn’t go as well as you would’ve liked. Everybody has their off-days, and you can’t expect everyone to like you.
You are awesome, you have something of value to offer, and if anyone fails to recognize that, it’s their loss. That’s life — you can’t win them all.
Just put in your best effort and pretty soon, small talk won’t seem as painful as it used to be!
This article was republished with permission from Asian Money Guide.