On the surface it may appear that we live in an extrovert’s world, and that the most vocal, visible, and socially-connected people employ a more natural confidence and presence. Society tends to view more outgoing people as having a desired “it-factor,” propelling them to higher levels of success than those who are more introverted.
However, introverted people possess a great deal of positive attributes that are becoming more valued in both personal and professional realms. These include strengths like good listening skills, being more thoughtful and strategic in their decision-making, and the ability to pay attention and provide intuitive insight—all demonstrating a high level of confidence to the outside world.
Confidence is cultivated by using these strengths to make connections with others, whether you identify as an extrovert or introvert. It is defined as a sense of trust, certainty, and self-assurance in one’s own abilities and qualities – regardless of how they might be expressed!
Here are some simple introvert-friendly ways to channel your inner confidence and become more social:
1. Express yourself in your own unique way.
Whether it be through blog writing, painting, a dance class, or creating music, find a way to unleash your talents and share your interests with others through healthy creative expression. Introverts are often creative and introspective individuals, and they can use these attributes to create content that expresses their inner thoughts and viewpoints. Creative expression is also a great outlet to connect and resonate with others, sharpening your social skills without having to get too far out of your comfort zone.
2. Accept who you are – all of it.
Do you find yourself expending a great deal of energy trying to fit in? Are you holding yourself back to prevent criticism from others? IIN believes in the concept of “fitting out” rather than changing yourself to fit in. Each of us possesses our own unique qualities and gifts that we can share with the world. These unique qualities will resonate with fellow introverts, encouraging more quiet people to contribute their individuality to any conversation and meet new people in the process.
3. Connect with your strengths.
Take a moment and make a list of the things that make you strong as an individual. It could be anything from your hard skills like web design or kitchen repair, to soft skills like empathy and generosity. Chances are you will remind yourself of a handful of things that you bring to the table. Reminding yourself of these strengths when you’re in a social setting may help you feel more at ease and relieve some social anxiety.
4. Let go of any preconceived notions about yourself.
We are all unique beings with limitless potential for creating the health and happiness you want for yourself and others. Introverted people can often convince themselves that they “cannot hold a conversation” or “cannot manage going to a party.” These are all stories your mind tells you about how you should be, what you can’t do, or why you’re not cut out for a certain situation.
Remember that you are in the driver’s seat, and you can stop to pivot your mind’s racing thoughts. You can learn how to reign in those thoughts, such as embracing the practice of meditation, as well as practicing compassion for yourself.
5. Find support with a close circle of friends.
Introverts tend to find solace in small settings. By finding your place within a smaller social circle, you can practice having deeper conversation. These conversations can provide a comfortable social setting where you can let your guard down and connect with others on the things that interest you.
Reach out to old friends or make an effort to connect with existing ones on a more consistent basis. By spending time practicing socialization with those that are close to you, you can enhance your ability to engage in small talk or find yourself naturally chatting up a stranger in the elevator.
6. Balance alone time and social time
Introverts derive energy from time spent alone; however, there is a fine balance of alone time and social time as it relates to your whole-body health. Time spent alone can energize you and give you a chance to focus on your self-care. A study by the Human Connection Research journal discusses the idea of the social biome—or the idea that humans reach social wellbeing through a regular, varied mix of interactions. Professor Jeffrey Hall found that there are 5 key components to a healthy social biome, one of which is solitude. Solitude can help you replenish your energy so that you can better interact with others.
Be sure to prioritize social events that energize and affect you in a positive way. This could mean spending time at an outdoor outing with friends, or small picnic or get-together with extended family. Be cognizant of how you are feeling and know that you do not need to feel guilty when your intuition suggests that you need a night to yourself.
7. Observe other people – especially extroverts – to learn key social skills
Introverts tend to be quite observant and introspective—skills that can be advantageous! When you find yourself in a new or uncomfortable setting, you can take note of the conversation starters and topics that keep interesting conversation flowing. This is a great way to adopt key social skills and hone in on your emotional intelligence.
8. Empathy can go a long way.
When you’re not sure what to say or how to navigate a situation, empathy goes a long way. Often times introverts can find confrontation or overstimulation uncomfortable, and the best way to show your support is to empathize and show understanding towards other people. You can read the crowd and the energy around you and figure out how to proceed from the given social cues. This means understanding and responding to a friend who’s sad, or making an effort to put yourself in another person’s shoes.
9. Practice conversation starters that you have an interest in.
Talk about the things that interest and inspire you! This will automatically put you more at ease at the start of a conversation, and help you enjoy and relate to the person with whom you are speaking. You’ll find that when you speak about things that spark your passion, you are more elaborative and more likely to enjoy socializing. This is also an opportunity to connect with others on a deeper level, and to ingrain socialization as a positive experience in your mind.
10. How to (slowly) practice getting out of your comfort zone.
Every new experience provides an opportunity to learn, connect, and expand your heart and mind. If your intuition is pulling you towards something a little scary or out of your comfort zone, let this be the opportunity to take a risk and give it a try. Instead of asking yourself, “What will go wrong?” reframe the question and ask, “What will go right?”
When you approach life with a more open and positive attitude, you can better explore your interests and create the kind of social life that not only works for you, but makes you feel great!
Do you have to overcome being an introvert?
Don’t knock the secret power of being an introvert! There is no reason to “overcome” a quality that is central to your personality and the way you interact with the world around you. Your introvert qualities make you unique, and we encourage you to embrace your bio-individuality, the idea that each of us respond uniquely to different foods, lifestyle habits, and situational factors.
Introverted confidence is evident among Health Coaches and others in the wellness field who work to inspire positive change on an individual level, as Health Coaches can help a person celebrate their progress without feeling the need to broadcast it to others. Health Coaches who are introverted themselves make great Health Coaches because they thrive on cultivating those one-on-one relationships in which they can apply their fantastic listening skills and intuition to help clients feel safe and supported.
Access a free Sample Class today to get a glimpse into the holistic health habits that Health Coaches can refine and provide for their clients!