When we started our agency, we had no idea how many women were actually introverts. After speaking with them during an initial consultation, we’ve observed that a good deal of the women who walk through our doors are voluntary actors by day wheeling and dealing, moving and shaking but surprisingly socially awkward by night. What they tell us is that, dealing with people while at work is actually a performance motivated by status, accolades, money, or simply wanting to be the best. But in their social life, they would rather not have to be forced to speak or talk to anyone new. It’s quite daunting and takes more energy and a conscious effort than they care to be bothered with. This was eye-opening to us so much that we have designed an entire workshop around it and discuss it in our new book Relationship DUOvers. Here are nine tips for all of the introverts to help you come out of your shell in social settings and meet someone awesome.
1. Tell yourself over and over, “These people have no idea who I am.”
When in a foreign environment, don’t be alarmed and talk yourself out of walking up to the restaurant bar or looking up and smiling and saying hello to a complete stranger. The chances of them remembering you are at best, a million to one. If you think about a time when you were at a restaurant alone or an event with hundreds of people there, as soon as the next day you probably couldn’t recall anyone who was there or what they were doing. So relax, grab a seat, mingle, and enjoy the eye candy and great conversation.
2. They are mere mortals just like you.
These people are humans you fear are just like you, which simply means, they are not any different from you. Don’t be intimidated by them, they don’t have supernatural powers and they don’t wear capes. Some of them are just as afraid of approaching you as you are of them. Just think that if neither one of you take a chance to smile or look approachable, you are both guaranteed to go home without contact information. After all, you ARE hoping to meet new people right?
3. Meeting new people will only expand your network.
You say you already have enough friends and you don’t have the room in your life for any new ones. We feel there is always room to expand your network. You never know who you may meet. Your new female friend may have guy friends that may be a great match for you. Additionally, it’s nice to have a variety of single friends to travel or attend events with.
4. Practice walking up to someone and giving him or her a compliment.
There is nothing better than a random compliment to brighten someone’s day. It boosts their confidence, somehow broaden their shoulders, and over time you can change the whole trajectory of your interaction with someone. Giving compliments are also a safe conversation starter that gives just enough of an open door to someone else to continue a conversation they may have been hoping to have with you.
5. Join a meet-up group or an organization outside of your comfort zone.
Forget about your job title or expertise at work and think of 1 or 2 things you would love to do as a person. Maybe it’s a hiking group, art lovers class, skydiving, or travel club. Don’t wait for a friend to attend with you. Most of these organizations expect prospective members to visit alone and offer a warm welcome. Look at the upcoming schedule, close your eyes, and rsvp to the next meeting date allowing no excuses not to go…show up and have fun.
6. Brighten up your wardrobe.
If you’re an introvert, black, brown, navy and gray colors are not helping you to get noticed. Help yourself by wearing warm and inviting colors that say, “Hello, I’m here, I’m open to meeting new people, and it’s ok to approach me” before you even say a word.
7. Commit to getting out at least once a week.
Yes we know, as introverts you find it much easier to stay inside and wrap up with your favorite throw and a pint of ice cream on your sofa watching a great movie rather than going out to meet people that may or may not add anything to your life. But if you want change, this thought process is no longer an option. Every weekend decide which day during the next week you plan to go out and socialize in some way with others. Whether a great concert, book store, coffee shop, or road trip. Get out and spend time with others at least once a week and you’ll find what was once very awkward will begin to be second nature.
8. Every action in life does not have to have a purpose.
We’ve realized that many introverts have to plan every aspect of their lives and each move they make has to have a purpose. The challenge here is that mingling in a social environment will most likely never make clear sense because you don’t know who you’ll meet and what they can add to your life if anything. So throw all of these purposeful thoughts out of the window. The only purpose to meeting new people is just that, to meet new people. As long as you have strategically planned to socialize at places where there are folks with similar interests, hobbies, education level if applicable, etc, just mingle and keep an open mind. See where the conversation takes you and just be along for the ride. You’ll most often be pleasantly surprised with friends or experiences you have in common.
9. Don’t hide in a corner or the back of the room.
Although it may be easier once you’ve arrived at a social event to high tail it to the back of the room seemingly out of sight, that location is doing absolutely nothing for you besides affirming the fact that you will not be noticed. So why did you take the time to get dressed, travel there, and go inside if you’re going to try your best to disappear when you go inside. This is a new day. Go inside and sit somewhere in or near the crowd. Again start with a compliment or a pre-planned conversation starter like, what type of wine are you’re drinking? Are you a red or white? Then sit back and enjoy the company in the midst of the crowd!
We hope these tips will pique your interest so much that you are willing to try a few of them. It will only expand your network which will increase your options for meeting Mr. Right. Be sure to share your comments to let us know how you were able to incorporate these tips and the type of response you received.