Sometimes it’s not easy being an introvert, right? In the past, I’ve struggled with attending social events, parties, and even small friend groups.
I couldn’t start or hold conversations, and on top of it all, I’d blush quickly, making me even more self-aware.
But there are some things that helped me turn my life around. I started landing better-paying jobs, talking to the opposite sex more easily, and even stopped dreading small talk.
So without further delay, here are the best tips for introverts that are still struggling.
1) Accept yourself
I simply have to start with this. There’s no way around the fact that you’re introverted and that it’s sometimes making your life difficult.
Understand that introversion is a normal and valuable personality trait. It’s not a deficiency that needs fixing. You just need to adjust a few things, and you’ll be fine.
By embracing your introversion, you honor your authentic self and feel more at peace with who you are.
Recognize that introverts often possess qualities like thoughtfulness, empathy, and the ability to focus intensely on tasks, among other things.
Those are highly valuable and desirable traits that separate us from other people. Even with all the practice in the world, you won’t turn one day into an extrovert.
2) Set boundaries
“Boundaries” is a word that’s been thrown a lot lately. Yet, learning to set healthy boundaries is crucial for introverts.
If you’re anything like me, your energy gets drained quickly in social settings. Assess your energy levels and be honest with yourself about how much social interaction you can handle.
Politely declining invitations or expressing your need for alone time isn’t selfish. It’s a way to protect your well-being and mental clarity.
No one who cares for you should have problems with that. They might not quite understand it, especially if they’re social and extroverts, but they’ll be okay and forget about it soon anyway.
3) Quality over quantity
Introverts tend to form deep, meaningful relationships. We don’t have many friends, but the ones we do have are often friendships for life, for better or worse.
That’s why it’s important to focus on nurturing those connections that genuinely resonate with you. These relationships provide a source of emotional support and understanding, which is more valuable than having a large social circle.
For example, instead of trying to meet as many people as possible at networking events, aim to make a genuine connection with a couple of individuals.
Engage in meaningful discussions and exchange contact information for follow-up conversations.
And when reaching out to others, prioritize personalized and thoughtful messages. Sending a heartfelt email or handwritten note can make a more lasting impact.
By focusing on depth and substance, you create a more fulfilling and satisfying life that complements your unique personality traits.
4) Ensure plenty of recharge time
Many introverts require regular downtime to regain their energy after social interactions. We’re like the Borg that goes recharging every once in a while.
For that reason, designate specific periods for yourself to unwind and recharge. This could involve activities like taking leisurely walks in nature, reading, light exercise, or simply enjoying a quiet cup of tea.
But you can also use your alone time to engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. It’s a perfect opportunity to dive into your passions, reflect, and rejuvenate your mental and emotional energy.
Prioritize self-care as a way to maintain a healthy balance.
5) Practice small talk skills
Small talk might not be comfortable for you, but practicing this skill can lead to more significant connections.
I’ve always hated it as it made me feel awkward and even made me blush and sweat excessively.
But I went on a deep dive into this topic and learned how to be better at it.
It’s good to remember that small talk is often a gateway to deeper conversations. That’s why I recommend starting with open-ended questions that encourage others to share their thoughts and experiences.
There’s also the “Yes, and” technique from improv theater that involves accepting whatever is presented to you and adding to it.
This can be a great way for introverts to engage in conversations without feeling pressured to initiate topics.
When someone shares something with you, acknowledge it (“Yes”) and then build upon it by adding your thoughts or perspective (“And”). This approach can lead to more fluid and dynamic discussions.
Here’s an example:
At a networking event, someone mentions their involvement in a local charity. You’d respond with, “Yes, contributing to the community is important. And I’m curious to hear more about the impact your charity is making.”
6) Plan ahead
For many, starting a conversation with someone is the most difficult part of social interactions. Countless times, I wanted to strike up a conversation with someone but chickened out at the last moment.
But there was a way to stop this from happening – I started planning ahead.
You see, preparing for social situations can calm your anxiety. Think about topics you’re comfortable discussing or questions you can ask others while you’re in the comfort of your own home.
Having a mental “toolbox” or a so-called swipe file of conversation starters will help you navigate interactions more smoothly.
Knowing that you’re equipped with conversation starters can and will make you feel more secure about engaging with others.
7) Embrace mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation help manage stress and anxiety. They encourage you to stay present and cultivate a sense of composure, which is particularly beneficial for introverts.
But let me ask you this, are you exhausted from always trying to be the best version of yourself, of always trying to be positive?
If so, there’s a reason why:
You’ve been sold toxic spirituality.
Don’t feel bad about it, though. So many of us have fallen into this trap, including methe shaman Rudá Iandé.
However, it wasn’t until I discovered spirituality, or shaman Rudá Iandê, to be more exact, that I stopped pursuing being the best version of myself at all costs and at all times.
In this incredible free video, Rudá explains how his initial approach to spirituality did more harm than good. Now, with over 30 years in the field of spirituality, he hopes his experience can help others avoid the same mistakes.
So what makes Rudá trustworthy? How do you know you won’t get more of the same toxic crap?
Well, Rudá isn’t going to tell you how to practice your spirituality. Instead, he’ will give you the tools to find empowerment from within.
Every exercise in the video will put you back in touch with your core self, step by step.
So if you’re ready to take that step, click here to watch the free video.
8) Network online
Networking has never been my strength. In fact, I’d say it’s the opposite. It’s my Achilles heel.
That’s why I take every advantage of the digital age to build connections. Online platforms provide a controlled environment where introverts like us can engage in conversations without the pressure of quick responses.
This is particularly helpful for introverts who thrive in written communication, such as yours truly.
Nevertheless, I still make an effort to attend live conferences that I find important, which can further my career or where I can learn new and exciting things.
9) Practice assertiveness
Introverts frequently avoid conflict and hesitate to assert themselves. For example, you might hesitate to voice your disagreement during a heated meeting, even if you have valid concerns.
You might avoid conflict by staying silent, even if you strongly believe an alternative approach would be more effective.
That’s perhaps an extreme example, but I’ve seen some people do exactly that. They then opted to go to the manager or team lead in private. This tactic can, however, backfire and get you in trouble with your co-workers.
Again, practice speaking up in less intimidating situations, gradually building your confidence to express your opinions and needs, even in larger groups.
And here’s, in short, how to be more assertive:
- Express your thoughts and needs directly and confidently
- Clearly define your limits and communicate them with respect
- Express your feelings and opinions using statements that begin with “I” which assert your perspective without sounding confrontational
- Maintain good posture and make eye contact to convey confidence
- Start with small challenges and gradually step outside your comfort zone to build assertiveness over time
10) Practice public speaking
Did you know that 75% of people fear more public speaking more than death? That clearly shows you’re not alone in this. Luckily, there are ways to fix this fear or at least subdue it.
If public speaking terrifies you, start with baby steps.
Practice speaking in front of a mirror, then move on to a small group of friends or family. With time, you can challenge yourself to talk to larger audiences, leveraging your natural ability for thoughtful communication.
And if you have to hold public talks or meetings regularly, why not join public speaking clubs like Toastmasters to receive constructive feedback and practice in a supportive environment?
11) Choose your battles
Not every social event demands your full participation or even attention. Learn to recognize when you need a break. It’s also perfectly acceptable to take a step back, observe, and recharge if a situation feels overwhelming.
If things get really bad, simply leave the event and message the host tomorrow morning if you feel like you have to.
Instead of attending every social event, choose a few that align with your interests and values. For instance, if you’re passionate about art, attend art gallery openings or workshops where you can engage in meaningful discussions with like-minded individuals.
Plus, why not opt for smaller gatherings where you can have more noteworthy exchanges?
Seek out events that cater to your interests and provide a more relaxed environment. These allow you to connect with others who share your passions, making it easier to strike up conversations and build relationships.
I love hosting game nights or BBQs with a few close friends where we can drink sangria and talk about lighter topics.
Let’s be honest; we’re not ending world poverty with these discussions, but they’re essential for our well-being. And fun.
12) Celebrate and use your strengths
Being an introvert is hard, but I celebrate and use my strength of intuitive problem-solving. I trust my instincts and often find solutions that others don’t see.
I’m no Columbo, but knowing what I’m good at helps me overcome challenges effectively.
All introverts possess a range of strengths that are valuable in different contexts. Your ability to think deeply, analyze situations thoroughly, and generate creative solutions can set you apart.
Embrace these qualities and use them to your advantage in both personal and professional environments.
For example, when verbal communication feels overwhelming, leverage your strength in written communication. Express your thoughts and ideas through emails, messages, or even journaling.
13) Explore solo travel
Solo travel can be an empowering experience for introverts. It allows you to explore new places on your own terms, engage in meaningful self-reflection, and interact with others as you choose.
I loved staying at hostels with little space to escape from fellow travelers. You’re basically forced to spend time and talk to others.
In fact, some of my most meaningful friendships started in a hostel.
The best thing about it is you don’t have to take a sabbatical and spend a year backpacking through Europe or Asia.
Go somewhere for a weekend and ease your way into solo travel. Once you build up more confidence, go for longer stints abroad and see what other countries have to offer.
You might just return as a different person.
14) Start a podcast or vlog
Now, more than ever is the time to start a YouTube channel or a podcast. Yes, everyone and their mom are doing it, but there’s a reason why everyone’s into it.
For starters, the YouTube algorithm has started favoring small and starter channels and recommending them to a wider audience, even if you have just one or a couple of videos.
Besides, having a podcast or vlog allows you to communicate your thoughts on your turf and helps you build better communication, confidence, and even reputation.
Being an introvert is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Use some of these tips to improve your communication skills and start enjoying life to the fullest.
You only have one life!