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Qualities such as confidence and good communication skills are not something one is born with. Like many other qualities and habits, these need to be worked upon. Some people have the confidence that can light up any room; they are effective communicators, fun to talk to, engaging in their interaction with others that makes them memorable. They also seem to attract great work opportunities based on their ability to hold their own in a large group or social gathering. Then there are those who are not too comfortable starting conversations, are shy to interact with people, and tend to avoid large gatherings because they simply don’t know what to say or tend to say very little. If you fall into the latter category, you are probably an introvert.
At the outset, we would like to tell you that there’s nothing stigmatizing or bad about being an introvert. Being an introvert does not imply there is anything wrong with you. However, sometimes, being an introvert can work against you, for example, people might perceive you to be less confident and not give you the opportunities that you actually deserve.
Introverts are generally shy and quiet people; they don’t necessarily have many friends but a few close ones with whom they are most comfortable. Introverts are generally not comfortable in large gatherings, or public speaking. This may inhibit effective interaction and communication and create misperceptions about you. For example, people may think you are standoffish or stuck up. Worry not! Every individual is a work in progress and so are you. Don’t be upset or push yourself too hard if you are an introvert. Instead, a few simple strategies can help you communicate effectively without feeling too overwhelmed or uncomfortable.
So, let’s explore some simple ways to help you interact more effectively with people:
1. Know Your Strengths And Exercise Them
Just because others think you are an introvert and even if you really are one, this does not mean that you are not smart or intelligent. Each one of us is a mix of strengths and weaknesses but that does not mean we don’t go after what we want. So, work on your strengths. For example, if you feel comfortable having a one-on-one talk with someone, do it! If you feel more comfortable when someone introduces you to a person you want to speak with and then take it from there, request an acquaintance to do so.
2. Work On Your Communication Skills
People are increasingly imbibing the habit of constantly learning and improving which is a good and positive thing. This includes not just ordinary people but also people who are very successful. For example, many successful people work on improving their presentation skills while others work on their public speaking skills to deliver lectures at large gatherings. Likewise, working on our communication skills is a lifelong investment with good returns. There are several communication experts who can coach you to be an effective communicator. So, take note of workshops happening in your neighborhood on effective speaking or webinars if being physically present is not convenient.
3. Have Genuine Conversations
Whether it’s social gatherings or professional networking events, it’s always nice to be yourself and have meaningful conversations. People also remember you this way and won’t hesitate to interact with you when they meet you next. If you are meeting someone new ask them open-ended questions that prove you are interested in having a conversation with them. For example, ask them where they studied or what subjects interest them rather than “are you having fun?”. Remember, it is quality that counts and not quantity. Having an engaging conversation with 2-3 people is better in comparison to making small talk with no impact with 10 people. Meaningful conversations can lead to longer and more fruitful conversations; they are great ice breakers and will give you the confidence to communicate effectively.
4. Utilize Conversation Starters
Conversation starters imply topics or things that can begin interesting and fluid conversations. For example, people who love to socialize and entertain have something known as conversation pieces such as an interesting work of art, or a uniquely designed piece of furniture, even a book in their homes. These are useful to begin engaging and interesting conversations. If you are inviting a new group of people home or vice versa, keep an eye out for such conversation pieces and conversation starters such as a new movie or trending news. You will come across as a well-informed person that people will love to talk to.
5. Don’t Try Too Hard
When we try too hard for something, chances are we end up being disappointed. The same goes for working on communication skills. Don’t beat up yourself about being an introvert. Like we mentioned before, it is nothing to be ashamed of but it may hamper certain opportunities from reaching you. So, be gentle with yourself; don’t go out of your way to attend parties and other social gatherings and force conversations. Chances are it may just backfire because you may come across as trying too hard and this can be annoying to some people. For all you know, they may just start avoiding you, and then the whole purpose is lost. So, be genuine when you meet people, recognize your limitations, and do what you can.
6. Bring Company
Having a friend, family member or partner with you can ensure things proceed smoothly. For example, if you are not comfortable going alone to a networking event, bring along a colleague from work to participate. Having a company can act as a good support system especially if you’re an introvert.
It is difficult to change the personality one is born with and changes to it cannot happen overnight. Being an introvert is not the end of the world. Like everything else, introverts also need certain skills, tips, and tricks that they must practice in order to gain confidence and achieve what they set out to. Pushing yourself too hard will only leave you more stressed. It is wise to take baby steps toward achieving your goal. With some practical tips and strategies, effective interaction with others will never be a problem for introverts, and anyone else for that matter.Being an introvert is not the end of the world. Like everything else, introverts also need certain skills, tips, and tricks that they must practice in order to gain confidence and achieve what they set out to. Click To Tweet