A common misconception about introverts is that they are cold or not interested in forming close relationships with other people. In fact, whether someone prefers to spend most of their time going out and meeting people or staying in by themselves has little to do with how they connect with others. However, if you are particularly introverted, or even suffer from social anxiety, in can be more difficult to establish rapports with new people. Getting yourself out there can be a daunting task for introverts, but the rewards are also definitely worth it. Fortunately, today there is also plenty of advice out there for socialising, as well. Here are a few useful pieces of advice to reduce your stress while socialising.
Get Help from Your Friends
Socialising can be made a whole lot easier if you recruit some outgoing friends to go out or attend events with. They can not only be a valuable tool in breaking the ice with new people, but are also helpful if you can feel a little self-conscious while engaging in small talk. Once your extroverted friends have made introductions, it can then be a lot easier to talk to someone on an individual, one-to-one basis, where you feel more comfortable. If you are feeling especially shy, you can even directly ask your friend for help as you try to meet new people. As an extrovert, it is unlikely they will say no!
Look for Events Attended by Like-Minded People
According to the Myer Briggs personality test, introverts are mainly characterised by what they pay attention to. As opposed to extroverts, who are most excited by the outside world, introverts tend to focus more on ideas, images, and other media. As such, introverts tend to be deeply passionate about the things they are interested in. INFPs (thoughtful, idealistic people), for example, are often characterised by their intense emotional responses, to art, music, and nature. INFP in relationships can then be a little puzzling to partners with less of a creative or imaginative streak. If this sounds like you, you may feel more comfortable in environments with people of a similar calibre to you.
If your interests are a little niche, this may mean you need to try a little harder to seek out people with similar sensibilities. Try using social media, the internet, and local information outlets to find out about potential meet-ups and mixers you could attend.
Incorporate Socialising into Your Routine
Another common stereotype about introverts is that they like to stick to regular routines. And while this is naturally not true for all of us, making socialising a regular part of your week can be a great way of reducing anxiety for any introvert. Organising a weekly meet-up at a similar time and place with your friends will naturally make you feel more comfortable socialising as a result. This also means that you will expend less energy, be less stressed, and likely then more confident when encountering new people. If you’re not feeling it up to it one week, you can encourage your friends to have a night in instead.