How to be less introverted and be more outgoing?
How do I stop being shy and introverted?
Maybe you’re struggling to be social, hold conversations and make friends, or even wishing you could experience new things and leave your comfort zone more. If you feel this way, you’re likely introverted!
There’s never been a better time than now to step into your bliss. If you’ve been hiding in the shadows and allowing either a closed mindset or a fear of failure or the unknown holding you back, then it’s time to start accepting that you deserve to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. I’m talking about how to be less introverted.
Introverts have been there. We understand the cringe-worthy feeling that comes with packed workplace meetings or getting paired with classmates for group projects in school.
We’re often much too content to sit in the quiet of our home and skip another girls’ night out because the thought of socializing feels absolutely draining.
What Does it Mean to be Introverted?
Wanting to know how to be less introverted, or wondering how to overcome introvert shyness? A quick introvert test might help you determine if you’re truly an introvert and if you’re ready to experience new things:
- Have you ever found yourself silencing an incoming call from your best friend because you feel you don’t have the energy to hold a phone conversation?
- Do you require a quiet environment to focus, think, or study?
- Do you cringe or get nervous at the thought of group work?
- Does being in a crowd leave you feeling mentally or physically exhausted?
- Do you find comfort in solitude?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions you can rest assured. This doesn’t mean you’re anti-social, or that there’s anything wrong with you. It just means you’re showing introverted characteristics.
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What Causes a Person to be Introverted?
While introversion and extroversion are still two characteristics researchers are constantly studying, it has been found that the brains of each personality type tend to work a little bit differently, which shows that our level of outgoingness may be genetic.
Introverts tend to have a higher blood flow to their frontal lobe, as opposed to those who are extroverted. For those of you who haven’t been in an anatomy or biology class for a while, our frontal lobe is the part of our brain that is responsible for memory, problem-solving, and functions like planning.
It was also found that extroverts tend to have higher dopamine levels, which is related to our pleasure center and how we perceive excitement or joy.
How to Be Less Introverted
While there can be comfort and self-love in solitude, there’s also a lot of missed opportunities that come with allowing our introversion to take control of one too many situations.
If you’ve made it a goal to step out of your shell and take a stab at being more social, here are five of the best tips and tricks for how to be less introverted, and how to be more outgoing as an introvert.
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#1. Embrace Who You Are
There’s a beauty in being uniquely you; shy, introverted, quirks and all. As we get older there also comes this freeing feeling of knowing it’s okay to be ourselves; quite different from how we may have felt as adolescents or during our awkward high school years.
If a social situation has you feeling nervous, embrace that feeling. Recognize that nervous energy as a sign that you care about the person you’re talking to or the situation you’re in. Use those nerves to get comfortable with knowing which boundaries you can push, and which methods you can use to stay in a safe space.
Action Step: Write down three things you absolutely love about yourself.
Tape that piece of paper to your mirror and start your day off with a positive affirmation about why you rock and what makes you uniquely special.
#2. Stop Focusing On Yourself
Small talk can be difficult, especially if you’re an introvert. But a great tip on how to be less introverted or how to be more social as an introvert is to just get out there and do the thing that’s holding you back, right? This includes participating in conversations, especially with people you may not know.
When in doubt, if you’re feeling awkward or unsure what to say, turn the focus onto the other person. People love to talk about themselves (unless they’re also an introvert), so ask them questions that get them talking. It’ll make you seem invested in the conversation, allows them to do the majority of the talking, and ultimately can help you relax.
Action Step: Start one conversation with a stranger
This can be the person behind you in line at the store, the cashier, someone at work, or the lady at the nail salon. Compliment them, or ask them a question.
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#3. Stay Longer in Uncomfortable Situations
If social situations tend to be your downfall, make a pact to yourself that the next time you’re in a socially awkward situation, instead of bailing, you’ll stick around. For at least a couple more minutes. This practice is a great step for helping you gain confidence and learning how to be less introverted.
It all goes back to embracing who you are and getting comfortable with your feelings. David Morin, Entrepreneur of the Year, founder of a multi-million dollar company, and self-proclaimed introvert says that “every time you feel nervous, try and stay where you are. The longer you allow yourself to feel nervous, the emptier your nervosity bucket becomes, and the more comfortable you feel.”
Action Step: Try something new
Sign up for a Bootcamp class at the gym and talk to someone else taking the class. Embrace your nerves and practice the tips from above: find comfort in how you’re feeling, ask the other person something about themself or compliment him or her, and stay an extra minute or two when the old you would want to flee.
#4. Avoid Being a Lone Ranger
Too often, introverts are overlooked at school or on the job because of their quiet nature. Beth Buelow from the Introvert Entrepreneur says that when introverts are always looking for ways to tackle a project solo, they can often unintentionally isolate other members of their team, or come across as arrogant (hello, ever heard of Resting B**** Face, aka RBF? It’s common among us introverts).
She advises that in your career and personal life you should aim for a healthy balance of solo work and team activities. Learn to find the balance between the two and allow people to get to know the real you, along with setting healthy boundaries.
Action Step: Reach Out To Someone
Reach out to a coworker or acquaintance and ask for his or her opinion on a topic or common situation. This can be as easy as asking if they’ve tried any new lunch spots, or how they’re staying productive with a project. Even if you don’t really need their advice, act as you do. Engage in the situation, and apply the tips you learned from above.
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#5. Take a Chance
Another tip on how to be less introverted is to take a chance. This can range from ANYTHING you feel comfortable with trying; from wearing a bold lipstick or a bright outfit, to moving confidently in the direction of your dreams and finally taking the first step to achieving the big goal you’ve had your heart set on.
Do something that might call just a little bit of attention to yourself, and then stop worrying about what others might think. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and before you know it, you’ll be finding yourself in situations the old introverted you would have quickly declined.
Action Step: Do Something You’Re Nervous About
Do something you’ve been wanting to do but have been too nervous to try. This can be a new hairstyle or enrolling back in school to go after the degree you’ve been wanting. Whatever it is, take that first step and commit to seeing it through.
Top Questions About How to Be Less Introverted
Can You Change From an Introvert to an Extrovert?
While you can definitely practice getting outside of your comfort zone and becoming more outgoing in certain situations, you can’t change your genetic makeup. Some of us are just wired to think and feel differently and that’s okay. Focus on what your goals are, and any behaviors you might want to change.
Give yourself action items and smart goals like I mentioned above, and start trying them out one at a time. You’ll quickly find which areas you feel comfortable in pushing boundaries, and which ones you don’t.
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Do Introverts Need Social Interaction?
Every single living, breathing, life force on the planet needs some kind of social interaction, and I think 2020 was the perfect example of that. The important thing to remember is that in any social situation, for introverts and extroverts, it’s imperative to set boundaries.
There’s also nothing wrong with prioritizing your alone time. A lot of us need that quiet solitude as a time to rest, recharge, and reset for the next day and the next chance to be less introverted.
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How Can an Introvert be Approachable?
Practice softening that RBF. Kidding! Although it doesn’t hurt. This goes back to embracing yourself, social anxieties and all. Always be kind and polite, and don’t be afraid to just be yourself. Get good at asking questions about other people, and embrace the fact that you’re probably a really stellar listener.
This strength will help you pick up on things about other people that you can later use to show how amazing you are. For example; remembering someone’s birthday, or their favorite coffee order. Little things like this can go a long way when it comes to getting out of your shell and making new friends.
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Common Misconceptions About Introverts
Introverts are Shy
While I may have mentioned being shy a time or two (because I totally am a shy introvert), it’s not the case for all introverts. Some introverted people aren’t socially awkward or uncomfortable around other people, they just tend to value quiet and alone time.
It’s important to distinguish that introversion is a personality trait, and shyness is a type of emotion. Similar, perhaps. But the same thing? Definitely not.
Introverts Don’t Make Good Leaders
While extroverts are known for being more outgoing and comfortable in any situation, being a good leader boils down to who is better equipped to stay focused, motivating, and hold others accountable. Plus, introverts are typically better listeners, which means they’re also usually more detail-oriented which is a huge strength when it comes to leading.
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Introverts Are Standoffish
It’s not that introverts don’t want to make friends, it’s just that most introverts value close, deeper friendships. Which may mean they keep their social circles a little smaller.
It’s important to note that being an introvert isn’t a bad thing, and truthfully, introversion may look different from one introvert to the next. That’s the beautiful thing about being human, is that we’re all uniquely different from one another, even when we’re similar.
There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to step out of your comfort zone and learning how to be less introverted, especially in situations that you’ve often been holding yourself back from.
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Learning how to ease into an extroverted side of you is something that takes practice, but being able to set boundaries and respect your feelings and emotions will be vital as you navigate becoming more social, embracing your confidence, and learning how to be less introverted.
Do you know how to be less introverted?
More About Guest Contributor
Natasha Funderburk is a wife, #boymom, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition + Wellness Consultant, and ACE-Behavior Change Specialist. When she’s not watching her son play baseball, she can be found on various writing platforms, coaching her clients to live their best lives, drinking all the coffee, and conducting living-room dance parties. Connect with her at Truly Simply Healthy.
Last Updated on June 11, 2021