I’ve written before about the fact that I’m an introvert. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – I just have a different style of communicating. But, there are moments where I need to forget about that and be – well – more outgoing.
I’m a big fan of the fake it til you make it mentality. I believe that you have power in your thoughts, and when your actions follow, your mind and heart are next. So – here are a few tips I have to take that inner ham and put it in the spotlight.
- Ask lots of questions. I love this one. It’s especially easy because I’m genuinely interested in hearing about other peoples’ lives. And, the focus isn’t completely on me, but I’m keeping the conversation flowing and I’m not coming off as a wallflower. My first instinct is to go to shared interests. If you’re passionate about writing, and the other person is passionate about writing, start there. Your excitement will come through naturally and everyone will be happier.
- Follow up with your response. It’s not enough to have a one sided conversation. Even if the other person doesn’t ask you back, there’s no problem to share both your thoughts about what the other person is saying and your own answer. Your thoughts will demonstrate that you’re listening and your own response will make sure you come across as open. Because unfortunately for us introverts, coming off as open is not always natural.
- Don’t be afraid to be silly! Humor always helps a situation. Say what everyone else is thinking but isn’t saying. Be witty. If no one laughs, who cares? They’ll forget about it in one minute (or less) anyway. Keep putting yourself out there with these comments and the more you do it, the easier it will be to be outspoken in general.
I know, I know, easier said than done. And to be honest with you, part of the reason I wrote this post is because I will be in a situation this weekend where I’ll need to channel my inner extrovert. But like I said, thoughts can guide actions which will then guide your mind and heart. And really, I can’t remember the last time I regretted something I said, but I regret something I didn’t say all the time. That needs to change.