How To Socialize When You're an Introvert
In an attempt to broaden my horizons and push myself out of my comfort zone, I have set myself the task of socializing more. Getting out of the house, going to events by myself, etc. If you are an introvert then you know how hard this can be. Home is my safe space and my socializing comfort level is 1-5 people. Tops. I love a nice dinner party or a girl’s night out. Or a one on one lunch date with a friend. But a large event filled with people I don’t know? Carol nightmare.
In the spirit of breaking out of my Introvert shell I have compiled a list of tips that I have been following or attempting to follow that are helping me and that may help you as well.
Start with Something You Know You’ll Enjoy
Last week I went to two events by myself. Which is a lot for me. Two events in one week, And with just me, myself and I? I would be lying if I say I didn’t think about bailing as soon as I RSVP’ed. But- they were events that I actually wanted to attend and were for things that I have a natural enthusiasm for. Don’t make your first outing be something that feels forced or not something you would actually be interested in. You want to breed natural excitement and enthusiasm or it won’t work.
Keep it to 1-2 events a month
I did two in a week. It was too much. I knew it before I agreed and I know it now. Introverts are drained by constant socializing (however much fun we may be having in the moment) and we need time to recharge our batteries. So pick 1-2 events a month. And space them out. This will allow you time to crawl back into your shell and regroup.
Join a club
I’ve always wanted to join a club of some kind. Not a sorority-style club, but something like a book club. I run a book club here on the blog but am looking for one to join in real life where I can have good conversation. Because that’s my jam - deep conversations with a small group of people.
Take a class
I’ve been pumping myself up to take a barre or dance class. Gyms and dancing in front of other people are the stuff of nightmares for me but I still want to try it. Plus, literally everyone I know who takes barre is obsessed with it and it seems like the kind of workout I can get down with.
Go out to lunch with a friend
This one is easy as long as you can coordinate your schedules. And next to a dinner party, this is my favorite way to reconnect with friends. It’s easier one on one and the conversation can be as light or as deep as you like.
Give yourself a time limit
I started doing this a few years back and it’s been wonderful. My cut off time for all social events (unless it’s a concert or a film) is 9pm. 10pm if I’m feeling feisty. After that, I am no good, everything is a bit much, and I simply want to go home and go to bed like the old woman I am. Your time limit can be whatever you’d like. But set a time when you know you will leave. You can even tell the people you are with ahead of time, and that way there won’t have to be any endless goodbyes and good nights. It helps to know you have a cut off point where you can go back to being your normal anti-social self.
Bring a friend
I have been endeavoring to do more on my own lately which sounds like the opposite of socializing, I know, but is a personal challenge for me as I feel I have become too dependent on having someone with me when I go to events. If you do not have that issue then I highly suggest bringing a friend. There is nothing worse than standing in a room full of people you don’t know. So bring that really extroverted friend who can talk to anyone. It takes the pressure off of you and you will find yourself engrossed in some really interesting and random conversations!
I hope this gave you a few ideas and didn’t have you clicking out of this post in horror. I don’t want to give the impression that I think being an introvert is a flaw in any way. Quite the opposite. I love being an introvert. Introverts rock. We love great conversation, we love our friends and we love connection - just with a handpicked few. I for one, love my own company and the fact that I don’t really get lonely that often. But- I also recognize the importance of challenging one’s self and letting go of crutches that sometimes hold us back. Be bold and be fearless my fellow introverts. And then quietly call it a night!