Which introvert doesn’t dream about being comfortable around people and not to feel completely exhausted after communication? How many times you observed that funny guy mingling with everyone around, feeling so high and comfortable while you were hiding behind a bar pillar looking at your phone avoiding any eye contact, thinking, “What if someone will start talking to me?!!! I don’t want it! What shall I talk about? What a person will think about me? What if I say something stupid? I better stay with my phone.” Do you recognise yourself in any of this?
I have been that kind of introvert and I knew it not only with my heart, all the tests I was taking were shouting out loud about it. It took me around 5 years to turn into an extrovert. Yes, long, but it was worth it. Not that I was striving to it, it is just the steps that I took fighting to be a better version of myself that eventually made me an extrovert. So, from a timid girl running away from people, not being able to talk to people, I turned to a person who is able to talk to nearly anyone. If you put Obama in front of me, I will talk to Obama, no problem.
Just to bring you an example: recently I was attending an event organised by a very big and prestigious Lawyer group. The CEO of this group was giving a speech for the opening to 100+ people and in 1 hour I was already speaking to him. Moreover, he voluntarily gave me his business card and told me to contact him for investments for a project I was telling him about. Sounds cool, ha? You can do it as well, I am sure of it. And here is how:
1. Dig into your past: It could be your parents who didn’t allow you to speak out or who judged/suppressed your opinion. It can be a country with values where you are not supposed to question authority or older people’s opinion. You gotta dig into it and find your own answers. One of the authors that open me a first door towards confidence and extrorevtism was Ayn Rand. Her book “The Fountainhead“ has really pushed me to be an individual who stands for her own ideas. It is truly a MUST read book.
2. Switch your focus on a person you speak with: Most of introverts think about themselves when they talk to people, “Oh my God, he is not talking, I should say something about myself”, “Crap, have I said this correctly? What will they think about me?”, etc. I stopped thinking and acting this way when one Italian extrovert shared these AMAZINGLY IMPACTFUL thoughts with me, “I love talking to people because every person is a window into an unknown world full of new knowledge, stories, experience. Every person is a treasure box which can bring you riches you never dreamt about. You just need to ask questions and listen to answers.”
Recommended to read: How to Ignore Critisism
3. Start mastering your eye contact: As an introvert, you probably have a problem of making an eye-contact with people. I had it too. Back then I have bought a book called “The Power of Eye Contact: Your Secret For Success in Business, Love, and Life” by Michael Ellsberg and it really pushed me to exercise eye-contact first in my head, and then with people, but the book is much deeper than only this exercise. Do read it if you have struggles with eye contact.
4. Don’t take yourself too seriously: When we are out to talk to people, we get too worried about how they will react on what we say. Try to do this exercise: bump into random human beings at work, in a queue, in public transport and do small talks like “Beautiful weather today, ha?” or “Look at this cute dog you have! What’s his name?” You will be surprised how well people react, and even if they don’t, learn to ignore sad and arrogant species!
5. Try public speaking: Now you probably think, “Is she serious?!” Yes, I am. By pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, you can reach unimaginable heights. The thing is: when you go into uncomfortable zone for 10 times, the 11th one will not be so uncomfortable anymore. I dreaded public speaking myself, now I actively seek for it. Start from small groups and small presentations and you will slowly see that you are more eager to go out there and share your knowledge with people.
Recommended to read: 15 Killer Tactics for Powerful Speech or Presentation
6. Become egoistic: Introverts often sacrifice themselves to a talker, i.e. if a talker is not interesting, or boring, or invasive, introverts will stay there and patiently listen. Don’t sacrifice yourself to such people! Respect your time & intellect. Say politely, “Will you excuse me, I need to go to a bathroom”, and leave. This will also give you calmness of mind that the next time you go out, you don’t need to talk to eejits, so you will be more eager to mingle with people you enjoy talking to.
Of course, if you follow the aforementioned steps, you will not turn into a confident extrovert over night. But if you follow them consistently, eventually you will. When you take a conscious choice of moving towards this direction, think on your WHYs. Most of introverts want this change, because they know that networking opens many doors, and networking is communication with people. When you become an extrovert, communication becomes pleasurable and therefore more doors open for you.
Books recommended for introverts:
The Game: Undercover in the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss (especially if you are a guy)
The Power of Eye Contact: Your Secret For Success in Business, Love, and Life by Michael Ellsberg
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Other See You by Ann Demarais and Valerie White
<< Also watch TV Show “Suits” and learn learn learn from main protagonist Harvey Specter
Blogger, Author, Speaker, Digital Marketing Jedi, Growth Hacker, strong believer in Women Leadership, and a passionate traveller.