Written by a Certified Introvert

People! Conversations! AWKWARD SMALL TALK! Sound the alarms and batten down the hatches because it’s time to face every introvert’s worst fear; social situations.
Throughout elementary school, middle school, and my freshman year of high school I was always pegged as “shy “or “quiet” girl. Looking back, those labels were very well deserved. While I had a lot of friends, I found it very difficult to talk to new people without freezing up. But, with a lot of work, “how-to” videos, and failed conversations, I’ve managed to make the thought of talking to someone seem a lot less daunting. Don’t get me wrong, I still kick myself when the waiter says “enjoy your meal” and I reply with “you too”, but with every awkward experience I earn a little confidence that allows me to be filled with significantly less fear every time an unexpected conversation strikes.
The most common reason introverts tend to have problems speaking is the fault of an over-active imagination. We spend the entirety of a conversation trying to figure out all the things that can go wrong and our brains overload. This causes most people (including me) to freeze in a panic. For example, I just recently learned how to answer the question “How are you?” without having a mini essential crisis. The next time you have to talk to a stranger, try to think of all the things that can go right instead. You might walk away from this conversation with a new friend or a resolved conflict, but you’ll never know if you only pay attention to what could go wrong.
If the thought of initiating a conversation makes you want to crawl into a hole and cry, don’t fret, because you can still learn to be friendly. Even if you don’t want to talk, let others know that you appreciate them. When in doubt, smile! A nice smile and a friendly demeanor can save you in almost any situation.
Introverts tend to have a certain set of skills that make us excellent socializers. For example, most introverts are great listeners. Use this to your advantage. Ask thought-provoking questions in order to avoid awkward silence. Also, don’t be intimidated by extroverts! When it comes to communication, opposites attract, so put your listening skills to the test and let your new extroverted friend do all the talking.
If you really want to alleviate your fears, think about the real reason that you don’t want to talk to strangers. Are you worried about what they think of you? Don’t let that be a reason, because it will only hold you from your true potential. When speaking to new people it doesn’t matter if your socks don’t match or if your voice is shaky; as long as you’re confident, your personality will shine though.

Even though it is important to be able to communicate with people, never be ashamed of being an introvert. Believe it or not, it is possible to be a sociable introvert. Be true to yourself, and the words will come easily. With time, you might even find that you enjoy speaking to people and conversations will start to seem less like an obstacle and more like a fun hobby.

No comments:

Post a Comment