Am I an introvert or an extrovert? More than buzz words floating around social media, these two personality types have received quite the attention in the last decade. But whether you believe introverts are shy and extroverts are outgoing, the key difference is how they process the world around them. Yet, if you are an introvert and dread the thought of socializing, this article is for you. You’ll learn several social tips for introverts that will help you protect your energy, jump out of your shell, and feel better attending social events.
Introvert Versus Extrovert: What’s The Difference?
Carl Jung, a well-known psychologist in the 1920s, began using these terms to describe different personality types. He believed these two labels describe how someone spends their energy, the main difference being an introvert versus an extrovert. For example, when introverts become overwhelmed by life, they retreat inwards to recharge, whereas extroverts seek out relationships to receive an energy boost. They essentially feel a gravitational pull towards the company of others, whereas introverts tend to feel more relaxed with themselves or one or two close friends. Thus, contrary to popular belief, introversion does not mean shyness. Shyness relates to fear or anxiety within social situations, and while introverts find small talk tedious, they prefer to have meaningful conversations with others, even strangers.
14 signs you’re an introvert
When you think of an introvert, you probably think of someone quiet, shy, and who needs their alone time. While some introverts are shy, not all possess the same traits. Here are a few common signs below
- You feel drained being around large groups
- You prefer a small circle of friends
- You take time to make decisions
- You are self-aware and attuned to how you feel
- Networking feels like an exhausting chore
- You prefer to learn by observing the world around you
- Too much stimulation makes it challenging to concentrate
- Professionally, you feel better working alone rather than in groups
- You value independence
- You feel comfortable and relaxed being alone
- People may find it challenging to discover who you are
- You tend to retreat inwards after socializing for too long
- You prefer to write out your feelings rather than verbally communicating them
- You need considerable down-time to recharge your battery
12 Social Tips for Introverts
1. Rest before going out
It’s easier to socialize when you feel better, physically and emotionally. Therefore, spend as much time as you need to rest, recharge, and eat well before venturing to any work or social events. You’ll be in a better state of mind when you address your self-care before trying to tend to others.
2. Accept who you are
Many introverts may hold shame and guilt over their personality type. But when you no longer see your introversion as a flaw and instead see it as a gift of empowerment (you’re more observant, reflective, and make better decisions), you will begin to accept who you are. Learning to love yourself is one of the most important social tips for introverts.
3. Know your temperament
Not everyone has the same temperament style. Some of us are slow to warm, meaning we need more time to observe and get to know someone before making friendships, whereas others can jump right in. If you’re slow to warm, that’s completely okay, and knowing your temperament will make it easier for others to understand you when you better understand yourself.
4. Make friends with an extrovert
When you make friends with an extrovert, you’ll have a stronger understanding of how they process their world. But when choosing your friendships, be mindful of their personality type. You’re more sensitive to overstimulation, so spending your time with someone who empowers and uplifts you are better than those who may burn you out with overcommitment.
5. Discover what overstimulates you
Learn your triggers and sources of overstimulation before you try to become more extroverted. Common examples include someone interrupting you before you finish speaking, noisy environments, replying to people on social media, and group socializing. Knowing what overstimulates you will make it easier to navigate social situations.
6. Take baby steps
You’re not expected to change overnight. You may desire to improve your social skills but take baby steps. For example, begin waving at a stranger while running or saying hello to a cashier at check-out. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel.
7. Speak about topics you enjoy
When you talk to someone new, it will be easier to avoid awkward silences and small talk if you pitch first. It’s okay to start with topics you enjoy first and go from there. But when someone answers, be open to their exchange. You might spend a lot of time internalizing the world around you but try to receive external ideas different from yours.
8. Manage fears of rejection
Unfortunately, when you begin putting yourself out there, you can’t predict how people will respond to you. Therefore, it’s important to build resilience by managing your fears of rejection. You can’t please everyone, and when you learn to shake off others’ opinions, you will feel better about yourself and socializing overall.
9. Understand your introversion
Not all introverts are alike. Knowing what your personality type is will help you navigate how to respond and process the external world;
- Anxious introverts are vulnerable to social anxiety and feel stressed and overwhelmed in social situations.
- Thinking introverts are introspective and spend a great deal of time processing their thoughts, ideas, and the world around them.
- Social introverts are drawn to smaller groups and prefer a quiet night over a party.
- Inhibited introverts overthink, analyze, and contemplate a decision considerably before acting.
10. Growth mindset vs. Fixed mindset
A growth mindset is a belief you can grow and become better at things with time. Therefore, adopting a growth mindset as an introvert means you’re open to change and believe you can improve with practice. For example, “I believe I will feel better communicating with strangers”. But when you begin practicing, remember perfectionism is not required to succeed, and failure is inevitable – it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.
11. Remain present in conversation
If you’re an anxious introvert, you probably get lost in your mind when talking to others, which makes you feel more awkward. Instead, try to focus on the conversation with all of your attention. The more you focus on the person in front of you, what they’re saying, and not how you feel, the less anxious you’ll feel.
12. Define and maintain boundaries
Above all, it’s okay to say no. Knowing your boundaries and limits will help prevent you from reaching burnout and overstimulation. Go at your own pace, take care of yourself, and prioritize what you need to feel good. Also, keep in mind that no two introverts are alike. Everyone is unique and has different needs. Therefore, choose the social tips for introverts that resonate with you, and accept and love yourself along the way.
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