Introverts find it difficult to socialize. You may find yourself ruminating over past encounters wishing things went differently.
If you often space out in conversations thinking about what to say or do, or if you find it hard to connect with other people and wonder about how to be less socially awkward, keep reading.
7 Tips on how not to be Socially Awkward
1. Make small talk, but don’t get stuck in it
Small talk has its uses as it helps strangers to warm up. This is how you first get to know someone. The topic is not that important and it may not be very interesting, but just talk about mundane and everyday things to take away the pressure to say something “smart.” Show that you are approachable and friendly to make others comfortable. Later you can switch to interesting conversations and start bonding.
2. Practice some conversation starters
Before going to a party, you can work on some conversation starters to have handy. This can be anything, like a book you are reading currently or topical news. Just make sure that you are comfortable discussing these things and can do them with ease. It will make the interaction more pleasant and enjoyable.
3. Ask open-ended questions
You can ask questions that start with who, where, what, when, how, or why to let others talk and break the ice. Journalists adhere to this tactic because people often love to talk about personal things. This is a great way to start a conversation.
4. Be a good listener
If you want to take part in a conversation, one way to connect with others is to listen to them. To show interest in the things people want to talk about, practice listening actively and being curious about them. You do not want to interrupt them in the middle of the story or talk over them as they answer questions. The aim is to show genuine interest and undivided attention. You can ask some follow-up questions so that others know that you are listening carefully to what they say. Ask about things that are important to them.
5. Fake it till you make it
Act like an extrovert even when you are an introvert to the core-you may be surprised by how people respond. To start, walk into a room and smile. Shake hands with people, complement their style of dress if you admire it, and move on. Every positive interaction builds confidence. Try moving into the center of the room. This may work to your advantage.
6. Figure out what people are passionate about
When people find your conversation enlivening, they think you are interesting too. When conversing, the aim should be to make it enjoyable for the participants by gravitating towards interests and passions. Ask people about their job and the things they like and even if you get only short replies continue with the process to identify the things that matter to them.
7. Share about Yourself
Just asking questions is not a good idea because this makes you come off like an interrogator. It is a good idea is to share things about yourself as well and show that you are real. Strangers may find it awkward to open up when they do not know anything about you.
Learning to be social takes time, but it is something you can master if you put in the effort. If you are socially awkward, insecure, shy, or have long-standing difficulty in making friends, there is hope for you. You don’t have to become someone else, you just need the right skills and a positive outlook. Even when you are nervous, learn to push past self-critical thoughts. Through this, you will become more confident when interacting with others and will boost your self-esteem. More frequent interactions will aid in banishing loneliness, opening the door to more fulfilling and strong friendships.
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