Any fellow introverts out there? Wish you could turn that side of you off? Here’s how you can do it!
First of all, don’t feel bad about being an introvert. By definition, socializing a ton isn’t your thing, at least not with new people, and that’s okay! There are times when it’s important, though, like making new friends, or interviewing for a job.
There are all sorts of websites that offer tips on being less introverted and tapping into the extroverted world, but as someone terrible at being outgoing in most situations, here are a few personal suggestions on how I managed to turn that part of my brain on when I needed it.
Suggestion No. 1: Introductions. Especially with a job interview, introductions are important. If you’re doing an interview, start with something friendly, like, “Hi, [Name of interviewer]. Nice to meet you. I’m…” And then say your name. That’s always a natural conversation starter. Once someone feels comfortable, it’s easier to break the ice.
Suggestion No. 2: Small-talk. This might be an obvious thing to have to do, but it can be tough all the same. Even if it goes against all of your instincts, just open your mouth and start talking. Try and notice something the both of you might have in common or compliment them on their outfit. If worst comes to worst, talk about the weather or the setting you’re in. That can lead to finding out more about each other and having other things to talk about.
Suggestion No. 3: Keep the flow going. Don’t stop there! You’ve gotten a conversation going. Once you’re in the zone, it’s actually kind of difficult to fall out of it. Sure, there might be brief awkward pauses here and there, but it’s okay to gather your thoughts. The person probably gets it, and once they feel comfortable with you, they’ll help keep the conversation flowing.
Here’s a challenge for you. Find someone you’ve been wanting to talk to. Maybe a classmate who you know shares a similar interest with you. Go up and talk to them! Maybe you’ll make a new friend. You’re probably better at socializing than you think.
Do you have any suggestions to share? Let me know!
By Inti Navia, Freshman, Columbia College Chicago
All Platforms: @intinavia
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