Introverts

Attention Introverts: How to Become More Extroverted

Already, by writing this title, I’m sure I’ve annoyed a few people. Extroversion is supposed to be a personality trait, not something you pick, but something you were born with. That might be true. But even if you are fairly introverted, I think you can still capture some of the best parts of being an extrovert:

  1. Being comfortable with groups of people.
  2. Meeting people easily.
  3. Having conversations without wondering what to say.

I used to be incredibly introverted. My social life was lagging behind and I used to blame it on my personality. While I can’t claim to be an expert in charisma, I have made big improvements towards the three skills I mentioned earlier. Best of all, I still get to keep the best parts of being an introvert, like being able to focus during time alone.

How to Boost Your Extroversion

I found there were a couple of key steps I took that helped me learn the best parts of being an extrovert, without changing my personality. Everyone needs to take their own path, but hopefully by sharing the steps that worked for me, you boost your extroversion as well.

The most obvious first step is simply to spend more time with people. If you feel uncomfortable in social situations, that’s probably because you aren’t in them frequently. This advice is so obvious it hardly deserves mention, but it’s a step few decided introverts take on. If you aren’t extroverted, you won’t feel motivated to meet people, and if you don’t feel motivated to meet people, you can’t become extroverted. It’s an unfortunate Catch-22 that can stall self improvement.

If you feel stuck in this cycle of isolation, I think there are two main places you can break it. Both strategies work, and doing both at the same time might be your best option.

Find Social Activities You Enjoy

One barrier that forces many people to be introverted is if they don’t see any enjoyable social activities around them. If you don’t like going to bars, and all the people you know are party animals, you might feel happier staying in.

Realizing this was a big step in helping me become more extroverted. I realized that there were certain events and groups of people I could be a lot more outgoing with. There were other people who I didn’t connect with. You won’t connect with everyone, so finding different groups of people is a good starting point.

The best way to find new groups of people are through clubs, volunteering or small classes. Activities with a sign-up sheet. Although you can meet people anywhere, it’s way easier to connect with people if you already have a shared interest and you’re in an environment designed to help you meet new people.

Push Your Comfort Zone Limits

The second strategy to become outgoing is to crush any social fears you have. Everyone has limits at what they consider too gutsy. For extreme extroverts, these limits are pushed far back. For introverts, they might be a lot closer. Pushing your comfort zone backwards makes it easier to socialize.

Once you’ve gone past your comfort zone, it’s easier to do it again. Last year, when I moved to a new building, I took the initiative to go around and say hello to everyone. This is something that would have terrified me four years ago, but was only a mild fear at that time. A month ago, when I moved again, I did the same thing. This time the introductions were even easier to do.

My philosophy is to do the smallest step possible. Don’t beat yourself up if introducing yourself to hundreds of strangers in one day seems terrifying. Build up to it by slowly picking bigger challenges. The key to this tactic is to find the intermediate step between what terrifies you and what you do every day.

Learn the Art of Talking

Listening is an important skill. It is probably even more important than talking. However, if you’re in a conversation and you’re fighting an awkward silence, listening only magnifies that fact. Another skill to become extroverted is to be able to talk non-stop.

In practice, you won’t want to talk non-stop. In fact, the best conversations I’ve had are when I do little of the talking. But, as a reformed introvert, I can say that the worst feeling is standing in a group of people and having nothing to say. Even if you don’t speak all the time, having the ability to do so gives you a lot more confidence in social situations.

You can get the gift of gab by learning to continue conversations even when you aren’t sure what to say. Just say anything. Although you may feel awkward, usually any conversation attempts will be good enough. If you can practice this, then you’ll always have a backup in case the conversation hits a road block.

The Joy of Introversion

I’ve been promoting the side of being an extrovert, but there are benefits to introversion. As an introvert, you can get the benefits of peak productivity while working by yourself. Solitude is also useful for thinking and creative work, so being introverted can enhance your other skills.

The ideal way to live is to capture the best of both. To have the social skills of an extrovert with the quiet discipline and peace of mind of an introvert. If you can do that, who cares what a personality test says you are?

 

Image by B D Solis.

  • http://bloggingbits.com Mohsin

    In fact the first step you mentioned as the simplest is the most difficult of all for introverts: spending time with other people.

    However, once you start spending time with like-minded people, the conversations come naturally and the fear of social interaction slowly peters out.

    Still, being an introvert myself, I’ve noticed that I find it easy to interact with other people as long as I’m involved in some sort of activity with them, and hence having frequent social meet-ups. But the desire to remain alone comes back when I’ve been with them less often, and the prospect of social interaction makes me nervous again.

    Good post all in all. You are right, take the smaller, less intimidating steps first, and you’ll move on to conquer your biggest fear with grace.

  • http://experimentsinliving.wordpress.com Kate Saltfleet

    Fake it till you make it :) and your social confidence comfort zone will grow.

    All of the above is great advice, find a group of people with similar interests and show up. And keep showing up until it becomes second nature.

    The confidence you will gain in these “safe” situations will spill over into areas of your life where you aren’t so confident.

    You don’t have to become an extrovert to take on some of the personality traits that will help you gain more social confidence.

    • Munim Sattar

      It’s not a lady orgasm, which can be faked Kate…Nevertheless, will give it a try

  • http://shanelyang.com/blogs/articles/ Shanel Yang

    Excellent post! Coincidentally, I spent the last few days agonizing over writing about my own challenge to overcome extreme introversion to become an extreme extrovert — and it literally saved my life. Here is the link: http://shanelyang.com/2008/06/20/how-to-be-an-extrovert/

  • Trish

    You do know that there’s a difference between introversion and shyness, right? Introversion is not synonomous with shyness, lack of social confidence or downright social ineptitude. Articles like this just propagate this myth.

    I have no problem speaking in public, being in groups, meeting people, or starting a conversation. I have social confidence. AND, I’m very introverted. This doesn’t mean I CAN’T function around people. It means that being around people, especially in large, loud groups, doesn’t energize me the way it does for natural extroverts. Daily alone time is a priority to staying healthy and well rested for me. Sometimes, it means that I turn down invitations to have time alone. I do it politely and with complete confidence that I’m doing what’s best for me.

    One thing your article didn’t tell me is WHY I’d want to be more of an extrovert. Really, what’s the big deal? Just because 3/4 of the population are extroverts doesn’t mean we all have to conform to that standard.

    Or is it just the shy, social un-confident and /or socially inept that you were hoping to reach? If so, please don’t bring the introverts into it.

    • Kristy

      Thank you! I was thinking of how to phrase this sentiment, exactly. Being an introvert doesn’t mean that you’re shy, that you don’t know how to interact with people, or what to do in social situations. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert – maybe extroverts should focus on how to better understand introverts!

      • Tastic

        True, he should ideally explain that introversion is different to shyness so people understand that – a lot of people don’t understand this. But he has taken the time to write the article which I found very useful.

        Cheers!

    • Andriodd516

      Hey i totally see where you’re coming from and i respect your opinion but being an intorvert aswell i do sortof crave extraversion. Although i think i will always be a little more introvertd than extroverted, i believe, in the end, extroversion and introversion are more of what id cal mindsets rather than personalities. Sure they may be the base of your personality but my point is being able to conjure these two mindsets at will (to an extent of course) would be, as he said, the ideal way to enjoy life (best of both worlds). I understand you may have no desire to become more extroverted but i think thats because of the way your mind is set. Im just saying over all that some introverts do want extroversion. I know in my case (having had severe social anxiety) and having expeienced extroversion to what i think might be its fullest at times i can

      • Andriodd516

        …i can say extroversion is a very pleasing experience especially when your not used to it. Think of it like having a nice stretch, stretching muscles your may rarely use daily.

        • http://www.charmbomb.me/ P.J. Sparkle

          How so? I’m an introvert, and I feel like being more social, and having people enjoy my company, just doesn’t have an effect on me.

    • Andriodd516

      Hey i totally see where you’re coming from and i respect your opinion but being an intorvert aswell i do sortof crave extraversion. Although i think i will always be a little more introvertd than extroverted, i believe, in the end, extroversion and introversion are more of what id cal mindsets rather than personalities. Sure they may be the base of your personality but my point is being able to conjure these two mindsets at will (to an extent of course) would be, as he said, the ideal way to enjoy life (best of both worlds). I understand you may have no desire to become more extroverted but i think thats because of the way your mind is set. Im just saying over all that some introverts do want extroversion. I know in my case (having had severe social anxiety) and having expeienced extroversion to what i think might be its fullest at times i can

    • Pjs41

      hmm I understand there has been a lot of study on this so I’m weary in saying the following:

      Is there really a difference?

      Speaking for myself I am shy.  Introverted.  Its not that I ENJOY being on my own (though I do function -best- that way) Its just I PREFER to be on my own because I find socialising a chore.  I HATE IT!!!  I desperately want to join the 75%.

      Have you always been like this? were you not shy-er as a kid and have acclimatised through experience?

      I would like to put that human beings are naturally extroverted we want a social life.  No two ways about it.  I think introversion IS shyness and comes from your experiences (painful ones perhaps) and how that affects your risk taking ETC.

      I think there is a lot out there to be grabbed by the balls.  And the only way to do it is to conquer your fears.  Man I’ve got a lot of work to do.

       

      • Pjs41

        Also, I’m not ‘energised’ like an exrovert would be..  But thats because I dont feel any enjoyment in that situation (even if anxiety is present) through years of experience of not having fun in social places.

        And also, the cleverest girl in my school wasn’t an introvert..  How did she manage to cope sitting in silence in her own head for 5 hours or so during GCSE exams??? eh?

        Introversion/ Shyness is definately to an extent an affliction as far as I am concerned.

        • liv

          I disagree. I think Introversion and shyness are very different (but I agree introverts are more likely to be shy). I’m introverted but i’m not shy at all.
          Introverted people can still be very social- it just means I have a smaller group of close friends and I spend more time one-on-one than in big groups. That’s introversion.
          Secretly wanting to be around people more but not comfortable with it sounds more like shyness. I have a few friends who are extroverted but shy. You sound similar.
          Everyone has both introverted and extroverted tendencies, we just have different proportions of each. We want both. Extroversion is wonderful for its sociable gifts; introversion helps you focus, learn and improve.

        • Bales33

          Maybe for you it’s a negative thing, but I find serenity in my introversion… Hell, I might just say i’m enlightened or at least zen has one of those guys up in the mountains. (and I didn’t even have to leave my room)

          Maybe you should try looking at thing’s in another light, this INTP can show you the way… you just need to bring the weed.

    • Liv

      I agree. I’m an introvert but also a performer; I love dancing, singing, acting on stage in front of big crowds. Public speaking for me is FUN.
      Most of my extroverted friends get terrified by the above activities.BUT, I love all those AND I’m a introvert – off stage I want to read by myself, or have one-on-one conversations with my close friends; i don’t enjoy interacting in crowds or big parties. I don’t know why this is the case but i know I’m not alone - I’ve met many performers (especially actors) who are introverts.

      • http://www.charmbomb.me/ P.J. Sparkle

        Haha, kind of like me: I want the attentio and admirationn, just not the interaction part.

    • http://www.blog.virgovault.com Abella Jucy Arthur

      I’m an introvert AND an extrovert — about 50/50.

      To me, introverts often don’t like to deal with the mundane ‘worldy’ things like paying bills, getting stuff done (ie tasks), being active, etc. We seem to be more ‘spiritual’. However, extroverts are more connected to the earth, external resources, recognizing the wider environment, and we seem more “material”.

      Why is it important to bring more extroversion into your world if you’re an extreme introvert?  Humans are both spiritual (internal) and material (external) creatures. To ignore one side, in an extreme way, would feel like an imbalance to me.

      And too function very well, a balance (in my opinion) is ideal to get the most out of life. What I like about being a half and half is that I can turn on or off being introverted or extroverted as it suits the environment and task.

      And it’s true what the author says in that if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.  It can be easy to become an extreme introvert or extrovert by repeatedly doing what becomes most comfortable.

      Extroverts would do well too by stepping outside of their comfort zone and getting into quiet, alone space — reconnecting and feeding their soul.

  • http://www.inventingelephants.com Beth Robinson

    Good starting points for becoming more comfortable approaching people. In my own journey I also found that when I got overwhelmed in the “group event” the best thing to do was to step outside for a few minutes, savor the silence, and set in my mind that I was going to go back in and talk to one person, just one, and go from there. The worst thing I could do was to withdraw mentally while still in the room, then I started feeling like a wallflower and my confidence would lag. I also had to learn not to overcompensate by coming on too strong.

  • Trish

    Beth made some excellent points. Actually, being with people actually is a lot easier for me since I learned more about what it means to be an introvert. Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney and Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine N. Aron are must reads.

    Again, I don’t think it’s about introverts learning to be extroverts. The two books I cited were a lot more effective for me because they were about honoring one’s introvert nature and learning how to get your introvert needs met in situations that are more suited to extroverts.

  • http://www.OfficeArrow.com Lauren – OfficeArrow.com

    I guess I’m what you’d call an “introvert” because it takes me a while to warm up to strangers and start being my true self. What I find helpful is remembering that most people love to talk about themselves. That way, if I can think of a lot of good questions for them, it will be sure to lead to a rich conversation. Usually, they will want to learn more about you too. This can be particularly helpful when I meet a person higher than me in the company and want business advice or something like that.

  • Julia

    Thanks for another great post. I thought I was shy, but perhaps I’m introverted. Whatever I’m called, I appreciate the post and will continue to strive to enjoy the benefits of extroversion. I would love to be comfortable with points 1, 2 and 3. I have two parties this weekend so I’ll put your suggestions to use.

  • http://comingalive.wordpress.com asrai

    For all intorverts read the Introvert Advantage by Marti Laney. http://www.theintrovertadvantage.com/

    Introversion is not a bad thing. Why do people think that extroversion is needed to be successful in the world?
    Give us an article on how to be introverted and successful, instead of telling us how we should act like something we are not.

    • mike

      great post my friend dead right. where is this new article i want to read it. i think im an introvert. i used to be shy & un confident im dislexic & i have always felt inadiquit from my school days. im much better now though. i think people are always encoraged to be extrovert but its like trying to force a square peg into a round whole for introverts. we shoud build on our foundations not try to change them we will be stronger people if we do that happy & content happy days people lol

  • http://www.varsityblah.com/about Eugene (Editor, Varsity Blah)

    “You’ve got to understand you deserve good things in life. Take pride in what you wear and how you look. Walk tall like you deserve to be noticed. Speak with confidence like you deserve to be listened to. And smile like you have a reason to, probably because you do!” (From You’re Worth It)

  • http://sil4u.com Miami

    Why do all (or most) of the commenters feel like they are introverts when they are out here in the social internet environment submitting their opinions?

    I find that interesting!

    Good post though!

    I think this has much to do with self -esteem as well – which leads to personal growth and self improvement…

    Miami

    • Chopstix

      Strangely enough, social websites teems with introverts. No idea why, we just do.

      • liv

        It’s a quiet way to have your say, and be listened to.

  • Maurice

    Active listening and the ability to express oneself extemporaneously are does not come easy to introverts.

    Joining and becoming active in Toastmasters International helped me tremendously in acquiring and honing those and other social skills that I lacked from being an acute introvert.

  • http://AskTheTrainer.com personal trainer

    Very good article, many of us don’t realize how introverted we are, and I say this sitting in front of my laptop in my apartment, when I could be at a coffee shop or somewhere where I have a chance of being social :(

  • Krisjohn

    Attention Extroverts: How to STFU and cope with the fact that not everyone likes you or the way you behave: http://bite.me

  • http://www.productivity501.com/feed Mark – Productivity501

    I would recommend the book How to Win Friends and Influence people. It gives a lot of great advice on how to talk to people and just being friendly in general.

  • http://obruo.com/ Shadus

    If you feel like you’re missing out on something by not being extroverted you’re not an introvert. You’re just a mild extrovert.

  • http://www.coloryourlifehappy.com Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D.

    You made good points in your article, but I don’t believe it’s a matter of introversion v.s. extroversion.

    All of the skills you mention–listening,talking, finding social activities you enjoy, and getting outside your comfort zone–are vital for everyone’s success. As Trish points out, so-called introverts can have all these skills too.

    I also believe that introversion and shyness are not synonymous. As for enjoying being alone–all successful people need to master this skill too. Solitude is a worthwhile place.

  • http://blogversary.blogspot.com blogversary

    I have also called myself a social introvert. I enjoy talking, listening, and socializing with friends, family, and strangers. But, I know my limit and when I need a little alone time. I don’t fear meeting new people and I believe there is a difference between shyness and introverted.

    I find the hardest thing to get across is that socializing can be quite tiring for me and that my choice to spend a little time along is not about rejecting another person, but about recharging my battery, so to speak.

  • Pingback: Links for Super-Charged Living - June 21, 2008 | My Super-Charged Life

  • Georjina

    As an introvert, this is offensive. Introverts do not lack social skills, friends nor lead ‘dull’ lives. This is the kind of ‘pop psychology’ spread over the internet as if it’s the gospel. It isn’t.

    Introverts are more self motivated than most people because they use their own point of reference in handling situations, they are not of the ‘herd’ mentality.

    Introverts throughout history (Albert Einstein comes to mind) find time spent alone makes them more successful, focused and creative. It isn’t a fear of people, they simply find all the ‘noise’ people tend to call socializing not relevant to their lives.

    • Julian

      I agree 100% with you Georjina, I couldn’t have said it better.

      I tried spending more time with people lots of times, and the more I did this, the less ‘relevant’ the whole thing seemed to me. I just had better things to do than sitting (or standing) around a few hours talking about dull things and being superficial most of the time. Am I the only one that finds ‘normal’ social behavior so extremely superficial? The only ‘real’ conversations I’ve had, which had a lot of depth and intimacy, were with other introverts…

      One of the valid points of this article it that I wish to be a little more talkative. I tend to talk only about serious stuff and am quiet most of the remaining time (about 98%). Unfortunately, no real advice is given here. “Just say what comes into mind”. Yes, very helpful, if that is the exact problem: Nothing comes into mind at that moment. Rated this 2 out of 5.

      For anyone who is interested, I recommend “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and also “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz, which also addresses this point and gives instructions to remember a time when you *did* feel comfortable and talkative and let that feeling take over you in your ‘social’ situation. Sounds technical, but slowly I’m getting better at it.

      • Diva

        Julian- Absolutely not- Are you the only one who finds extroverts and social behavior very superficial.

        Now, I take no joy in ripping on others, but through my knowledge of Intros/Extros, not just on paper, but in reality, this is what I know to be true. Forgive me for sounding harsh below, and know that I would be more tolerant of extros if we weren’t so unfairly looked down on, for what should at very least be considered acceptable qualities.

        I think the word “shallow,” describes extro’s to a “T,” as I don’t think they intend to be superifical. By nature, they are very shallow, lacking any depth at all, depending on their level of extroversion. There is very little, if any, substance to the conversations they hold, or should I call it meaningless chatter, since I think of a conversation as intentive interacting. Of course, some conversation is not meant to be super, or even the least bit weighty, and short remarks are great, but what’s wrong with keeping the heart in it?, which extro’s majorly lack. So, yah, they are pathetically superficial and shallow, and definitely any indepth or meaningful conversation will come from another introvert. Also, we are known as the ones to sit home, away from social settings. Well, I don’t know about you, but this is only true of what is considered social in society. You couldn’t pay me enough for the flighty/shallow interaction of extros, but I relate great to intros, and if that is what society was made up of, we’d be kicking up our heels just like the extros are, but it would not be shallow. Remember, extro’s don’t relate to us any better than we relate to them, but they are the vast majority. I believe if the tables were turned and intro’s were the majority, extro’s would be hit much harder than what we are as the minority, as they are soooo annoying with nothing there. They remind me of a bug;; there and making noise, but annoying.

        I can say, I have run across extros that actually did have some depth, but thats not even right because they were a 50/50 ratio of extro/intro.

        An interesting mission would be finding an extro with some depth. HaHaHa… Mission impossible! I think I’ll try something a little easier, like maybe finding a pig that flies.

  • gwinne

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and lately I’ve wondered if I should stop. This post made the decision for me. Too many of your articles seem to be about fighting one’s natural tendencies, rather than working with them. Just wanted you to know you’ve lost a regular reader.

  • http://ooyes.net web design company

    The thing is just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you’re socially inept. This only happens when introverts focus too much on what they’re going to say and feel anxious about it. I’ve found that speaking your mind/asking questions is soooo so so easy to do and 99% extroverts don’t know the difference and are glad to continue the conversation. In fact, if introverts refocus the amount of attention they usually spend on books or whatever it is, and instead become interested in people in the same way, that social fluency will follow. Sometimes introverts are the most charming and socially adept people I know, they’ve just learn how to cater to an extroverted world!

  • Stochastic

    Ignore this post introverts, just be yourselves.

  • Pakkidis

    What is wrong with being introverted. Why isn’t there more blogs (if any) on how to become more introverted.

  • http://www.productivity501.com/feed Mark – Productivity501

    What is wrong with being introverted. Why isn’t there more blogs (if any) on how to become more introverted.

    Do you know of anyone who says, “I want to better stifle conversations with people around me?” People don’t say that. Instead they look for ways to be motivated, stay focused, being self-aware etc. This is because being socially fluent isn’t usually considered something to avoid.

    Having the self-confidence and skill set to interact with other is a good thing–even if you choose to be alone most of the time. It is a matter of having options available to yourself.

    • Liv

      Being an Introvert doesn’t mean you are socially awkward. Extroverts can be socially awkward as well. I know one guy who is an extreme extrovert and cannot make friends easily because he cannot listen. At all. Even when he asks you why the 40th girl has broken up with him, and as your friend you tell him it’s because he doesn’t listen, he doesn’t get it. He stifles conversations (to use your words) because he just.doesn’t.stop.talking.
      I think the difficulty is when people are on the extreme of EITHER side- Extreme Extroverts AND Introverts.
      I’m always told I have excellent people skills. Why? Because of my very introverted tendency of being able to listen and finding what makes other people tick fascinating.

  • http://patriciaweber.blogspot.com/ Patricia Weber

    I don’t like this title because implied is that there is something wrong with being introverted – AND there is not!

    Your points I do agree with:
    1- Find Social Activities you enjoy – more specifically, How to Make Social Activities More Enjoyable. I’m an INTJ. I don’t avoid social activities; I find strategies to maintain my energy, have helpful extrovert friends to make introductions for me and find people who want to engage in more meaningful conversations.

    2- Learn The Art of Talking- Caveat: Maintain Your Natural Skill to Listen! A few perfectly crafted questions, a few thought out answers to the same (since some people will likely ask you the same thing you ask them) and more listening than talking and I have found that people connect marvelously. By the way, as an INTJ, I have earned my income since 1990 as a corporate trainer and public speaker. I know how to talk; and I know how to charge up before and after this highly extroverted career.

    I do not agree that as introverts we need to BECOME extroverted. Rather learn and practice just a couple to a few skills to manage the social situations your life puts you in; don’t leave any of your introversion behind.

    In a world that is so fast paced, not always focused, and gives less thought than may be needed before pouncing into conversations, we have some naturally, hard wired into our brains traits, that adds often overlooked dimensions to relationships.

    Praises to your comment, “who cares what a personality test says you are?”

    Thank you for the meaningful post.

    Patricia Weber,
    Sales Coach for Introverts, Shy and Reluctant
    http://patriciaweber.blogspot.com

  • Waldo Hitcher

    Banal and obvious. If this worked, it would have worked.

    What is needed is social engineering that changes the way you think to add a skill, without losing one. A change of perception by concrete, credible, rational explanation of events in different terms that are appealing and accessable to non extroverts.

    Simply “A change of story.”
    For example “The art of the listening man”, “The time cost of silence”, “Reflecting back what others have said”, “Mirror life”, “Facilitate the discussion”, “Mediate between factions”, “Alter your Ego”, “Take the Helicopter View”, “Help the disenfranchised”,”Be the goto person” etc

    The crime is the way that even the term “introversion” is criticism that goes right to the core of who you are and says “you are not good enough”. This is plainly rediculous or evolution would have eradicated this trait millenia ago. Even to defend this trait is to play to this “party line”. As the recession takes hold we will see a return to valuing a more considered, reflective line and the extrovert tendencies will not seem such a panacea.

    Wind the barrel organ, dont jump up and down on top (like a journalist.)

  • DublD

    I used to be awfully shy. I guess I still consider myself an introvert, depending on the situation. The thing that helped me overcome my shyness, though, was Toastmasters International. It’s a non-profit, worldwide organization that helps people get over their fear of speaking in public (even when “public” consists of only a few people.) This in turn builds confidence in other areas of their lives.

    I’d still rather read a book than attend a large party where I’d have to make small talk, but at least when I’m at one of those parties, I no longer cower in a corner, but am at ease walking up to a stranger and striking up a conversation. And I feel comfortable teaching seminars and workshops, something I couldn’t have done previously.

    If you think of Toastmasters as a group of stuffy businesspeople giving professional speeches,think again. Most clubs are casual, relaxed, filled with a wide range of ages, careers, cultures, etc, and are usually lots of fun. There’s never any pressure, and you progress at your own pace. Check it out at http://www.toastmasters.org

  • Tony

    Introversion simply means you become tired from prolonged social interaction, it doesn’t mean your social skills are inadequate which this article is confusing introversion with. For some introverts, social interaction becomes very tiring, for example I can only do it for a few hours before I need a 1-3 hr break where I don’t feel like doing anything. What people should note is that the main difference between an introvert and extrovert is in some way their brain is structured. All in all, I do believe it’s possible for an introvert to become an extrovert, but it takes alot of effort and you risk the possibility of burnout.

  • John Grahm

    Introverts will eventually die out through natural selection. Since the most introverted are least likely to reproduce. It will take awhile, but eventually we won’t have discussions like this–except for in a historical context.

    • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

      This guy has no idea what he is talking about. Kind of funny though.

      • John Grahm

        I think you’ll find it has already happened. The extreme introvert from the 1800s would move where they didn’t interact with anyone else and eventually die without passing on their genes.

        Consider this. Lets say we put people into two categories. Those who have gone 5 years without contact with another human and those who haven’t. Do you think the percentage of people without human contact was higher in the year 1100, 1600, 1800, or 2000?

        If you think there is a higher percentage now than in the past, then I’m wrong. If not, then you should consider the possibility that natural selection will get rid of introverts.

        Of course it is all relative and we will always have people who are slightly more introverted than others, but on a non-relative scale introversion is going away.

    • Mark Zulchezck

      Well then, you’d better hope and pray for all of humanity, because without us, there will be absolutely zero technological advancement to come.  Have fun back in the stone ages.  Wait, that’s not going to happen, because the notion you’ve proposed is flat out wrong and stupid.

    • Sas

      Most extroverted are also least likely to reproduce because they don’t shut up, and in a world full of extroverts, there’s nothing more annoying than someone who doesn’t let you get a word in.

  • Trish

    “Introverts will eventually die out through natural selection…”

    What do you base this theory on, John Graham? It sounds like nonsense and shows a complete misunderstanding for what introversion is to me.

    • John Grahm

      As DubID said, they would rather stay at home than attend a large party. If introverts are even slightly less happy to attend events where they are likely to see more people, then their chance of reproducing goes down as well because that follows from social interaction (well in most cases).

      If you are less likely to reproduce even if you are only 1% less likely than the average of humanity as a whole, then over time your genes will disappear relative to the genes of people who thrive on meeting others.

      • http://www.pickthebrain.com John Wesley

        You only need to meet one person to go home and make babies. No large parties required. Plus you forget about the brilliant and wealthy introverts who have their choice of making numerous sexual partners.

        • John Grahm

          But who makes more babies introverts or extroverts. Consider people who have more than 20 offspring, do you really think they are a 50/50 split between introverts and extroverts?

          • Simi

            Who would I want 20 children?… more children=poverty. I think it’s better if people just stick to one partner :)) No more divorces, no more starving children. Women always say they want to look good so all the “men” can like them when they only intend on marrying one…I wonder what happens to the rest?

        • John Grahm

          Clarification: 50/50 split in the people doing the reproducing.

  • Monday

    “It’s an unfortunate Catch-22 that can stall self improvement.”

    How exactly is becoming more extroverted an “improvement?” I feel no need to “improve” myself by talking to more people. Introverts don’t need to “improve” themselves. Maybe extroverts should improve themselves by sitting down and zipping their lips for a bit! That would be an improvement as far as I’m concerned.

    • John Grahm

      Someone who is totally introverted is going to accomplish very little because they will only be able to do what a single person can do. Someone who is extroverted will be able to better make use of other’s accomplishments to improve their own results.

      Now someone who is a complete social butterfly is likely to accomplish very little as well, but I’m sure you can see that overall someone who interacts well with others is going to have potential that goes well beyond someone who can’t interact with other people.

      Look at geniuses in history and try to find someone who was a complete introvert–someone who didn’t interact with anyone else. I think you will have a hard time finding such a person who accomplished anything worthwhile. Even people who were considered to be introverts (Kurt Godel, etc.) had social networks of people that interacted with.

      I believe the Nazi’s experimented with raising children without human interaction–which is what would be considered complete introversion. The babies died even though their physical needs were met.

      I would be very interested in seeing a study that compares how long introverts live as compared with others. I think they probably have a shorter life span.

  • elle

    Trish is correct. Introversion is not shyness, they are not synonymous terms. Introversion cannot be changed, it is a temperament. Extroverts can also lack social confidence and skills.

    I am an introvert, but I am also shy, so I find this article helpful. It’s true, that if you’re introverted you are not that motivated to meet people. Shy and introverted is very difficult to deal with. I’d love to see more articles addressing this dilemma.

    Actually, I would love to learn how to be a more confident introvert.

    • Oscar Apronti

      Hey elle, I really liked your post and I have spent a good amount of time doing the same so just a little advice that seems to work really well for me is always keep your head up as much as possible (look to the right also idky exactly but it works) Instantly you’ll notice much more and it also improves my attitude rather than looking down all the time. Don’t be surprised if your more inclined to say speak to people

  • Ron

    my problem is my wife is an extrovert and I’m an introvert. So when we are in a social setting she smothers me with her confidence. All the focus of conversation is towards her. She is involved with everything, because its so easy for her, so everyone knows her and I feel like a loser tagging along. Is any other man in a situation like this? At this time of year its even worse(Christmas) because there are so many parties, etc.

  • Tastic

    I’ve just noticed something that people could be missing…maybe he called it ‘Attention Introverts: How to Become More Extroverted’ so this blog post comes up in Google when you search for ‘become extroverted’? This is how I found the blog.

    Also, I’d love to see what Elle is after too – how to become a confident introvert. I find it takes a lot of energy to talk for the sake of it – I find I need to take a lot of energy to deal with people I’m not really comfortable with. I can get by if I’m really psyched up about something I’ve just got better at (e.g. guitar, taekwondo – something personal). Maybe that’s the key – get motivated about something you want to be good at? But then again, I do find that I’m not quiet at all around people who are quieter than me – I would probably be seen as very extroverted – even if I don’t know them! As long as they are more quiet than me.

    I spoke to my friend about this the other day and she’s similar – very quiet unless people are quieter than her.

    I’d be interested in seeing what motivates you Trish as it’s really good to know that you are a confident introvert. What keeps you ticking?

    Cheers

  • Pingback: Patricia Weber, Sales Accelerator Coach : Sales Tip - Introverts Do Not Try to Sell Like an Extrovert!

  • Momo

    omg!!! I luv this information. Im a real perky girl and luv to meet new people. but im also an introvert. this info helped mev alot. thanks. ^_^

  • Chad

    There is something that you, and many comments, said that seems odd to me. This is my attempt to pan it out:

    I am largely introverted, but I recognize the difference between being social anxiety and introversion. It seems the nervousness most people refer to would be due to social anxiety, and not introversion… at least, from my own perspective. For myself, introversion means I like my solitude, but also that when in groups I’m more of a “watcher.” I don’t feel uncomfortable in this role, and I think it’s quite natural for some people. Being a “watcher” (an introvert) allows me to analyze what is going on in the dynamics of the group setting, and be more critical when there is something worth saying.

    My question is this: am I justified in believing that there is a legitimate difference between introversion and social anxiety (even if one typically includes the other)?

    • elle

      Absolutely, Chad.

      Introversion and social anxiety are distinguishable primarily by the anxiety part. Shy people are generally afraid to speak up, while the introvert is not afraid, but simply may not want to speak up.

      The difference between introversion and extroversion has less to do with being an outgoing party animal or a retiring wallflower, and more to do with how a person gets their – for lack of a better word – psychic energy. What helps a person thrive and feel alive? Is it socializing with other people or is it solitude?

      A good example is my boyfriend and I. I am the innie. After a long day at work, I come home to my computer, turn on the TV, or dive into some reading material curled up on the couch content not to talk to anyone. I have missed my bf, BUT chances are he has called me several times during the day to chat, whatever. It’s sweet and I love him for that. But when he gets home and starts in on the chatter, I’m cool with that up until a point. Past that point I feel irritated and put upon. That’s because to relax, I need the talking to stop and to retreat into my own inner world. I will be a bitchy, evil, stressed out person who is unpleasant to be around otherwise. After all, I have expended a lot of energy at the job working beyond my social comfort zone. My default is to live inside my own head.

      I also happen to be a little shy – primarily around authority figures and in front large groups. However, this has nothing to do with how I derive my psychic energy.

      My beloved, on the other hand, is an extrovert. He comes home and immediately starts talking to me, and then gets on his cell phone and starts calling his friends. He probably talks to about 3 – 4 friends every day, and he may have had lunch or drinks with a few other friends earlier in his day. That he gets his energy from socializing is very clear. He enjoys chatting to random strangers, and likes inviting a group of friends along on events. He often seems to get bored quickly unless he has several people around. Like many extroverts, he is not confident in each and every social situation. He also feels somewhat shy at parties where he knows NO ONE and speaking in front of large groups. But this has nothing to do with his extroversion.

    • Liv

      ABSOLUTELY!
      I’m an introvert but love it. My friendships are very deep and meaningful. I’m also a performer (dance sing act). So clearly, i’m not shy at all.
      I’ve found my introvertedness makes me a better performer (most actors I know are introverts)- introversion helps me focus in class and pick up choreography more quickly (my extroverted classmates are busy chatting while i’m doing this)
      Introverts are also better observers, and you need to be a good observer to be an actor!

  • chris

    thanks for this article!

  • http://Att..Introverts Greg

    ATTENTION the Author
    IAM a INTROVERT and woudn,t have it any other way. I feel sorry for Extroverts for the reason that they have to have social attention to have meanining in their lives ,Where Introverts dont have to jump through hoops to have that same meaning,We are a full unit to ourselves and this is one Introvert who YES you have annoyed…Fancy that.. me wanting to be Extroverted .Give me a book. anyone but your,s and I would be happy

  • Alex

    im shy i admit that and introverted Im not totally inept socially i could be better though. the thing is I dont care to socialize. I like to be alone in my spare time. I also get bored easily with my friends and other people. Unless its a big event I wont bother

  • http://www.seizethesteen.com Joyce

    I have to say that this article really helped me find a starting point to try to get more comfortable in social settings but the comments helped even more. I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels a lot of conversation is for the sake of filling space (ie meaningless soundtrash) and that human interaction with strangers zaps energy. I’ve found that I have made quite a few friendships with extroverted people to kind of drag me into social situations and get energy moving. But I much prefer the caliber of discussion with other introverts like many of you.

  • http://www.patricia-weber.com Patricia Weber

    Let’s start debunking some introvert myths: we ARE NOT anti-social, aloof, shy or unaccomplished. When we know and use our strengths then we only need a few extrovert skills for balance.

  • John Grahm

    @Joyce – But the “human interaction with strangers” that you feel “zaps energy” has the potential to lead to huge opportunities. If someone is truly an introvert, they aren’t going to be looking for other introverts to interact with. Saying you prefer people with similar personalities is one thing, but saying you prefer to spend time with people who (like you) prefer not to be around other people is contradictory.

    People who truly avoid “human interaction with strangers” are going to slowly eliminate themselves from the gene pool–not all at once, but slowly. You can see it now in the fact that the percentage of extreme introverts is lower now than it has been at any other point in history.

    So a lot of this discussion will be meaningless in the future — kind of like discussing how to overcome a disease that has been eradicated.

  • http://www.laptop-computer-comparison.com Laptop Guy

    Wow I never really gave too much thought to the fact that I may be more introverted than extroverted these days. I spend long hours sitting in front of the computer working on my website and it seems this has turned me more introverted over the years. But I guess it could simply be me making a sacrifice for work over play. Nevertheless, great article!

  • http://www.straightdopedad.com/ The Straight Dope Dad

    You kind of missed the mark on this one. You totally confused shyness with introversion. They are not the same thing. I’m supremely confident socially. I have no fear what so ever. But I am an introvert. An introvert gets their energy from being alone. They process the world internally. I can dazzle a crown like no one’s business, but afterwords I want to be alone.It drains me. I wrote about parenting and introvert here on my fatherhood blog:
    http://www.straightdopedad.com/introverts-are-not-retarded-or-anti-social/

  • http://grant4now@GMAIL.COM Jay

    It’s been great reading all these comments. Thanks everyone for posting. I’m in the interesting position of being an introvert who also suffers from shyness and social anxiety. While I’m absolutely fine with being an “inny”, I hate being shy and feel defeated every time I stay home instead of accepting an invitation, or even worse, sneak away from a social event after just five minutes of self conscious awkwardness. I’ve recently learned through books such as “Goodbye to Shy” and “The Fine Art of Small Talk” that social skills can be learned and that with practice, become second nature. I’ve finally started the hard work of teaching myself how to be comfortable in social situations and although I still sometimes leave after 5 minutes, I will spend that time seeking people to talk to and keeping a conversation going as long as I can. Yes, it’s still very awkward, but it does get easier and the benefits are there. Small talk can lead to new friends, contacts, business opportunities and lovers. Why should the non shys have all the fun!?

    • Sas

      Hey that’s awesome that you’re getting there!
      Have you thought of trying classes or joining groups about your interests as well? Firstly because you’ll probably find fellow introverts in your hobbies (and they’ll know exactly how to interact with you) And second, because it gives you something to talk to people about.

  • http://grant4now@GMAIL.COM Jay

    .. oh, and to the guy that figures that introverts will die out due to natural selection, I just wanted to add that although extroverts may seem to be getting all the sex, the introvert’s perceived aloofness coupled with intelligence and an ability to connect on a deep level is often much more attractive than brash displays of confidence. I’ve never had any trouble in that department thanks!

  • Gretch

    This is a great article but why the need to change introverts. Why is there such a neccesity to make people fit this cookie cutter person. I personally am an extrovert but I don’t get why people don’t like who they are just the way they are. Some of the greatest people where introverts, Einstein, Abraham Lincoln. What I’m saying is that leadership shouldn’t be just for extroverts, its time to break away from our stupid cultural boundaries. Some of the smartest and funniest people I know are introverts. I mean the guy Im in love with is an introvert, you just got to apprciate people for who they are stop trying to make the perfect world, you dictator.

  • elle

    Gretch, you are wonderful! Why all the need to change introverts indeed! For one, we cannot be changed and as I said before being introverted/extroverted is different from the ability to socialize. I socialize just fine, but I don’t feel the need to socialize every single minute of the day. Unlike my finace, I don’t want or need to go out every Friday to feel alive and connected. He loves a cocktail party where he can schmooze and be on his feet for hours. I prefer a party where the focus is on a fun activity like games or dancing. But even if I’m having fun, I’m ready to call it a night after a few hours. Most of the time, too, I prefer to eat lunch alone at work – sometimes in front of my computer where I can peruse sites like this, read the news, or research topics of interest. Much more fun than the exchange of “so what are you doing this weekend” that I might have with a colleague.

    Socializing with relative strangers sometimes is just painful unless one or both of you is a social whiz anyway as you both fumble for things to say. It’s so hit and miss sometimes that as an introvert I don’t want to expend the energy to even try. Extroverts I know have admitted the same, but the difference is they are energized not necessarily by the content of the conversation but just by the fact that they are with another human being saying stuff.

  • Kiki

    I have to totally agree with this article! I used to be really really introverted. Everyone would tell me how quiet I was and be really annoying asking me why etc. I was super shy and not friendly. Then I realized when you are really shy it is also hard to get a job. I am reformed and more extroverted, I like being around people once I’ve learned how to. A few more tips:
    1. Say whatever you’re thinking. This can be embarassing at first. But if you’re like I was, when you’re with a group you will THINK of something to say but feel too scared to say it for whatever reason. Just say it. At first it will be awkward and feel you’re saying the “wrong” thing but that gets better.

    2. Read the book how to win friends and influence people, but I’ll also summarize some of the things in the book.

    3. Ask people questions about themselves. People like to talk about themselves. Ask people interesting questions. I didn’t like being around people because I thought they were boring, as well. Everyone can be interesting I learned, you just have to ask the right questions. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done or the most interesting place you have been to or ask their opinion about politics etc. whatever is a question you would actually like to know the answer to. and would be interested in!

    4. Just be friendly and say hello to people, good morning, how are you. Acknowledge people’s presence and that makes everything a lot easier.

    4. Get a job that FORCES you to interact with people. I worked in a library for a long time where I barely ever talked to people. It contributed to my introversion. Now I have a job catering and I am around people all the time and a lot more comfortable with people even though the job pays less… good luck!!!

    I’ve come to believe the extrovert/introvert thing as being part of “personality” is a myth. You can work to change personality, just as you can work to become smarter, more studious, etc. People can change, no doubt. I talked to one girl who used to be extremely introverted, but became extroverted, and also extremely good at manipulating people and just being that sweet girl everyone wants to hire. I realized I also needed to be more extroverted, because I just couldn’t get a job. Okay. Just some more ideas :)

  • Jimbob

    I love the denial going on in these comments!

    “I’m in an introvert and I love it! I love being lonely, and knowing I’m so shy that I’ll never find a partner or have kids! But they’re not connected – shyness and being an introvert are two different things! Why would I want to be a shallow idiot with loads of friends, loads of money and a beautiful, intelligent, funny partner anyway? I’d much rather die alone!”

    • Leave Introverts Alone

      how do you know that we are lonely? I am an introvert and when I am alone I am NOT LONELY. Whenever I’m around actual friends (not people I have talked to only once or twice) I can get pretty wild. But afterwards, I need a break. Once I am all refreshed, I do whatever.

      I am NOT SHY or SHALLOW. Get your facts straight, dude. Stop calling us introverts idiots and worry about your own problems, cause we don’t have any.

    • Leave Introverts Alone

      Oh, and I don’t want to die alone. I want to be with my family and not in a god forsaken hospital.
      Also, who are you to say that all extroverts are rich and have beautiful partners?

    • Ajbean

      I am an introvert and I have an amazing relationship with my sexy, incredibly funny, and like minded husband of 9 years. I have a beautiful extroverted son and I have never been afraid that I was going to “die alone” or experience “loneliness”! Your comment is sad and I feel sympathy for you! If you are a sarcastic introvert who is experiencing these feelings than you may suffer from social anxiety. If you are an extrovert than your opinion is an uneducated one. You obviously do not understand what it means to be an introvert. I am very outgoing and people often seek me out for friendship. I was a cheerleader in highschool and was liked by many …. I just chose my friends more carefully and prefer a night at home with those closest to me than a night at a loud stuffy bar/club. My reason for reading this article is not to change the way I am but hoping to improve energy levels after socializing with to many people. I do not feel awkward in social settings, nor do I lack conversational skills, I just find it exhausting and was hoping to find a way to remain energetic throughout a night out with friends. Everything else about myself I love!!

  • M.

    I agree 100% with Gretch and elle. Introversion is not a problem. It’s just how people are. If I have nothing to add to the conversation, them I won’t say a thing. I will just listen, stay quiet, or wait until I have something to say. People like John grahm and Jimbob need to get real. Introverts are perfectly capable of having relationships. Several posters have already proven that. They just don’t feel the need to chat everyone up all the time for the sake of having others pay attention to them.

  • Introvert

    People: introversion is on a continuum, it’s not like you’re either a party animal or a hermit. Most of us are not loners and have small, tight-knit groups of friends.

    This article makes a lot of false assumptions. Those of us who are not shy know our social skills, but need to limit our contact with too many people in a short period to prevent burnout. The key is finding a good fit in career and location. Introverts are overrepresented in the gifted population, and lots of professions require the detail-oriented, observant traits common in introverts.

    Oh, and Jimbob–who are YOU to know what introverts really want? I know some people who would rather work on scientific research than party or meet new friends, even when others invite them out. Not everyone is a social climber who cares about being rich, collecting friends and impressing the majority (who happen to be morons, as you have well demonstrated).

  • greg

    I really think that John Graham, is out of his depth on this….obviously he is NOT a introvert, and has no idea what it is to be a introvert.Maybe instead of blogging on this site he should be out trying to make up the short fall for us Introvert,if he is so convinced of his opinion.Which, when I read it, I thought is he serious…?Oh John you havent thought this one through have you, before jumping on this site and blogging your opinion

  • greg

    The title of this website reminds me of the christians and the heathens.The CHRISTIANS/EXTROVERTS are so hell bent that there religion is right, that if they dont convert us. We the HEATHENS/INTROVERTS… will end up in eternal hellfire.So we are set upon with a fundermentalist zeal, led by John Graham and company.Which comes down to the fact, that they see people that dont live the same way that they do, so they think that there is something wrong with us.WAKE UP and smell the coffee.We are not broken so stop tryng to fix us….

  • Introvert

    Actually if you think about it, some of the most outgoing, extroverted people who have tons of friends can also be some of the loniest people out there. Just because they have tons of social connections and always have something to keep their mind occupied doesn’t mean that they’re 100% happy with themselves. I definitely don’t think society should try to change anyone unless that person wants to do it for his/her own benefit. I’ve been torn for many years trying to figure out a balance that makes me feel happy accepting the person I am. Do I conform to the way society wants me to be? Or do I stick to my guns and say screw it, why should it matter what anyone thinks of me if I’m happy the way I am already? Overall, I think that society in general feels threatened when there are people who do not fit into their “generic mold”. You know how boring this world would be if everyone was the same????

  • sshizzle

    I’m something of an introvert myself,i have a gf i fool around with every other day,and i have a job and i used to have many friends but most times nowadays i feel like being alone with my thoughts,sort of like a small vaca in my mind.I know that alot of people have ways that they “get away”, smoking weed everyday for a few months was mine sometimes,i feel like it changed me though.I like my gf but it seems like our conversations all end up in fights and she angers me so bad some times even though the next day i cant remember why,on a subconscious level i think that the weed is changing my personality,what do you guys think?

  • Erick

    Marijuana doesn’t ‘change you’ sshizzle. You change yourself. It’s not addicting and tons of people smoke it and don’t fight with their partners. BUT a lot of people get violent with alcohol.

  • miti

    If introverts are happy the way they are, then why are they reading an article entitled “Attention Introverts: How to Become More Extroverted”?

    • Trevor

      You are under the assumption that ALL introverts are in fact dissatisfied with their introvertedness and are reading this article.

    • Peter

      Mainly because of the search engines.If you type how to be comfortable in social settings you will get the link to this article so the person reading this article can be introvert or extrovert

    • sas

      car crash phenomenon. You don’t want to look, but you just have to.

  • Logantheagnostic

    I came here to try and change my social awkwardness, but what really annoys me is how some people can say “why do introverts have to change?” when this is obviosly trying to help people who are sick and tired of feeling helpless with their personality, or someone who just wants more friends. ALSO-saying that people shouldnt all be exactly the same (cookie cutter people is a good analogy)actually puts you in a suprisingly large group of peoply, and you are inadvertinley fitting yourself into a sterotype

    • Ethanova

      Thank god, a ray of light in this dark useless pool of comments.

  • RoTimi Waddy

    I found this article to be quite interesting and the comments as well :) Having a close friend who is an introvert, I’m trying to find ways to understand him better and encourage him to possibly change (if he wants to change), otherwise, I have to deal the best I can with him, even the times at which he gives me total frustration for being relatively difficult to understand and wrapped up in his own mind and insecurities.

  • Tsar Bomba

    Nice article! I consider myself an “introverted extrovert”, which has been a complicated road in life, to say the least. I enjoy the company of others, even in groups, but then again…I don’t. I’ve found that, just like you’ve pointed out, it’s how far outside of your comfort-zone you consciously decide to go, that improves your ability to be more extroverted.

    This is something that requires maintenance, too. Simply going out once or a twice a month won’t be good enough for the introverted-leaning type. Spending too much time alone or with people very close to you, allows you to fall back into a more isolated state, making the next social outing that much more awkward and uncomfortable.

    Of course, if you’re happy with your introversion, this effort isn’t required. Be happy with who you are and those around you that appreciate and respect you. Being more extroverted isn’t required for a happier life and forcing might actually achieve the opposite desired effect. Introverts are typically highly intelligent, insightful, and sensitive people and should not be ashamed or disappointed in who they are.

  • Me

    I came here because I feel lonely many times and I have the need to socialize more and meet new people.

  • Chetan

    Hi Scott ! thanks for very useful tips.
    I was introwert 10 years back but slowly I try to move out from that situation. Still I am learning but I am in better situation.
    Like you said – now I am part of big running group ( same interest ) and on weekends we do group run with 40-50 people and it helps me alot.

    Chetan

  • Stop Being Critical

    HEY! great article!!! Although some have taken this article the wrong way and caused a riot out of nothing, I think these are great tips that can help if you long to be a lil more outgoing but…are too shy or just don’t know how?:( GREAT WORK!!!!!!! BALANCE IS KEY in lIFE! SMILE! God bless.

    • liv

      I think that’s the thing though- shyness, which you are talking about, is not the same as being introverted.
      As an outgoing introvert, i should know. i have no issues with people skills or making friends. I love being around people. But i prefer being around smaller groups of close friends than big parties.
      I think the reason people are getting upset is because introverts are always being told there’s something wrong with us, and there’s really not.
      I agree though- balance is the key to life! We need extraversion (talking) AND introversion (listening) to be able to connect with people!!!!!!!
      x

  • JT

    I’m a dating coach, and deal with this issue on a daily basis.  It seems like guys seem they have to be outgoing or extroverted in order to be successful with women.  Being outgoing may play a part in it, but it’s much more deeper than that.  I really like what you’ve written about the subject, and would love it if you could take a minute and read what I’ve written on my latest blog at http://www.online-dating-mastery.com/?p=1687. –JT

  • Trishna_25

    i think shyness comes with the package of introversion . being introvert is very very important, for me , because i want to enjoy the social life . i want to have a good professional and healthy social life . and because of my shyness and introversion i want  wrap up myself inwards in front of others , which i dont know why because that particular reflex happens so fast and mind runs so fast that i want to get rid of that facade.so having extrovertness as a part of my personality is really really important to me. people who can deal with this besides being introvert or shy ,is good for them , but everyone has an opinion.   

  • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

    Introversion doesn’t mean that you’re shy. Everyone is at times insecure and at times confident. I would define introversion as a preference to spend more time alone than with other people. Anyway, this is a very helpful article for anyone struggling with shyness. I think that expanding one’s comfort zone is the most important thing here – you won’t become confident if you’re going to avoid things that make you feel uncomfortable. You HAVE TO push your limits to grow. Face your fears!

  • Govs07

    I get whatyou are sayiing you made some good points. People need  to stop tripping.What makes extroversion the way of life(no one is better than another). You should write an article about how etroversions should become more introverted. God made us all different it would be so boring if this world was just full of extroverted or just introverted people. I dont get why society has it this way anyways doesnt make much sense be yourself. Stop trying to act extroverted when youre not stop trying to act introverted when youre not. Always remember to love people, respect them, and treat them right, and work hard at what you do. Thats what I believe brings sucess not extroversion vs introversion.

    • http://flawlessconfidence.com Martin

      “Always remember to love people, respect them, and treat them right, and work hard at what you do” – I agree with that, but I can’t agree with your opinion that people should stop trying to act extroverted when they aren’t. Introversion or extroversion aren’t life sentences, it’s not that you’re born an introvert and you can’t do anything with it. If you want to become more extroverted, you can do it. It’s only a matter of practice, anyone can change.

  • Schmee

    Thank you for this article. All though it has some critics I have definitely found it helpful. Im not sure if I am an introvert or extrovert. I am shy for sure though and would like to be able to have more wit and confidence. 

    I used to be extremely extroverted when I was a teenager. I think your article may explain why this was – being at school I was constantly around people so had no problem talking to people I met and generally loved to socialise.

    Then when I went to University I decided I wanted my own flat. One of the problems with my teenage years was that although I was extremely social, my school work suffered because of it. This time I wanted to do well academically. Well having my own flat did mean I got stuck in to the work but it did at times get very lonely. At the same time socialising started to become extremely tiering and thus less appealing  - The catch 22 you speak of. I also realised that I was a morning person which further alienated me from the standard evening party. I started to read self help books but in some ways this made socialising even more awkward because I kept feeling I could not say things for fear of them being “negative”.

    I don’t really feel I have been able to get back to how I was before uni. I can’t seem to muster up that same enthusiasm for socialising that I used to have. Perhaps I was always an introvert and my not being able to balance a lot of socialising with work was a symptom of this. I do however feel I have more direction, more focus and am making more of my life than I did before uni.

    I guess what bothers me is that although, as many comments on these articles have pointed out, there is nothing wrong with being introverted per se, it is true that the ability to socialise well and make lots of friends is a highly useful skill to have in business – It is not what you know but who you know…

    Anyway thought I would share my story. Thanks for the post :)

  • Partypooper

    While I enjoyed the article, most of my difficulty is when I go out with friends, I’m having fun for and hour or two, but then desperately want to leave to be by myself. I am known as the first one to leave the party, or the “party pooper.”. It’s nothing personal with the folks I’m with, it’s just that I feel exhausted. Trying to keep up the conversation after several hours is exhausting. I don’t know if I should explain to others that I’m introverted, or make lame excuses to leave? That’s my problem and it makes me frustrated!

  • Kanwarkhem

    this is all ok but i am having god speakin skills but because of m introversion m nt abl 2 bring out m talnt cz m mouth shuts infront f many people gazin m

  • Introvert

    Just because we PREFER to stay away from social interaction, does not mean we need to change ourselves. We introverts are just fine the way we are, thank you, and please title this   Attention SHY people. There are no ideal personality trait! There is only what Western culture SAYS is the ideal personality trait!

  • Tard

    I was going to finish reading this until I realized your english writing skills are horrible.

    • Anonymous

      How so?

  • GS

    This article gives great, albeit misguided, advice. I don’t think we introverts have to become more extroverted. If that’s the case, should extroverts learn to become more introverted as well?
     

  • Brian

    I’ve come to the realization that, while allowing for the fact that there are extreme extroverts who are not self-reflective at all and while there are extreme introverts, the rest of us exhibit a combination of extrovert and introvert traits and, depending on the situation, we can be either an extrovert or an introvert. 

  • http://twitter.com/Mirytie Joana

    Hi,
    I play violin and it’ll be the fourth time I go to stage on front of a LOT of people!
    Everytime I do that, I start shaking like hell, almost droping my bow. Do you have some advices to that?

  • http://twitter.com/Mirytie Joana

    Hi,
    I play violin and it’ll be the fourth time I go to stage on front of a LOT of people!
    Everytime I do that, I start shaking like hell, almost droping my bow. Do you have some advices to that?

  • MyDailyComment

    Oh WOW. Words!

  • MyDailyComment

    What happens after you introduce yourself to all those people?  Did you have to keep taking to them all the time?  Were they mostly friendly and wanting to talk to you?  Did some just walk away like you didn’t matter?

  • MyDailyComment

    What happens after you introduce yourself to all those people?  Did you have to keep taking to them all the time?  Were they mostly friendly and wanting to talk to you?  Did some just walk away like you didn’t matter?

  • MyDailyComment

    What happens after you introduce yourself to all those people?  Did you have to keep taking to them all the time?  Were they mostly friendly and wanting to talk to you?  Did some just walk away like you didn’t matter?

  • Pingback: Top 3 Benefits of Extroversion {Bonus Post!}

  • Jemsscar

    self-improvement is masturbation, i love being an introvert. I see the world from more of an omniscient angle. making one on one conversations 100x better. not talking in a group is not me being shy or scared, i study people and notice everything around me, my brain is on more than my mouth is.

    here’s a list, we’re not cave people who hate or are scared of others, we like people.

    1. “Are you okay?” Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean
    I’m sad or brooding. I just don’t have anything to say at the moment, so
    a simple “how’s it going?” will do if you feel like talking to me.

    2. “I’m so glad I’m not an introvert.” I’ve
    actually heard people say this after taking a personality test. What’s
    wrong with being an introvert? We’re independent, thoughtful, observant,
    sensitive and often artistic. We can spend a whole day strolling
    through the farmer’s market, reading a book in the park, or trying out
    new cafes without getting bored or lonely. We’re great
    conversationalists. If you catch us one-on-one during a party, skip the
    small talk and bring up a fun or substantial topic, like the latest
    steampunk novels or a cool new band. Trust me, we’ll talk your ear off.

    3. “Oh, I never pegged you as the social type.” Someone
    actually said this after I told her that I missed my old friends after
    moving halfway around the world. WTF? Extroverts aren’t the only people
    who can make friends.

    4. “Introverts are boring/lame.” Why,
    because we’re not the life of the party or the center of attention? Try
    talking to us (not AT us — there’s a difference), and you’ll become
    privy to our rich inner worlds and observations about our surroundings.

    5. “You should be more confident around people.” Not
    all introverts are shy. Many aren’t even quiet, they just need a lot of
    downtime afterward to recover from socializing. Sometimes we can feel
    overwhelmed at parties, but that has less to do with confidence than it
    does with energy levels. We can talk and get along with people just
    fine, but it’s going to be a chore until the activity dies down a
    little.
    6. “Why am I the only one talking right now?” Plenty
    of clueless extroverts don’t realize that a conversation is a two-way
    street, so they take advantage of the fact that we’re good listeners.
    While most of my outgoing friends are great at helping me open up and
    meet new people, I do know a couple of loudmouths who completely
    monopolize a conversation by butting in every two sentences. Eventually,
    they realize that they’re rambling on, but blame me for being quiet
    when they’re the ones who can’t give someone else the spotlight.

    7. “You need to get out there.” People
    always picture introverts as basement-dwellers who spend more time
    Facebooking than talking to actual people. In reality, we go out a lot.
    You just don’t notice because we’re so good at doing it alone. We can
    watch movies alone, eat alone, run errands alone, attend concerts alone
    and even travel alone without feeling depressed. Company’s welcome, but
    we don’t need it to go out and do something fun.

    8. “Extroverts are more passionate and opinionated.” Wait,
    so just because we don’t talk as much or express ourselves outwardly
    means we’re less alive inside? Tell that to a deaf person and prepare
    yourself to get slapped in the face.

  • Liv

    I think it’s important to recognise the other side as well: extreme extroverts could benefit from learning some introverted traits (listening, spending time alone to mull things over, etc.)
    It’s also important not to confuse shyness which introversion – you can have outgoing introverts and shy extroverts! The author sounds like a shy introvert.I’m an introvert but I’m not shy; I love being around people. But I also crave a lot of time alone. One of my favourite activities is reading a good book in a cafe- I can be around people but I don’t have to be interacting.I really enjoy my introverted tendencies, although I admire you extroverts for your energy and ability to just socialise!. I feel like I see a bit more thanks to my introversion; while the extroverts talk, i listen and learn. My closest friend is an extrovert and I love it; he introduces me to interesting people and will always be my plus one at parties, which makes me go out more.I dance (funny a lot of performers can be introverts! I love being on stage in front of a big audience but hate socialising at big parties!) Introversion helps me in dance rehearsal; i am better at focusing than most in class, and so I pick up the choreography a lot quicker.So basically, both traits are great!!!!

  • jen

    Stupid title…You imply that there is something wrong with introversion. Must we all have the same type of personality??????

  • Matt

    I don’t need a social life. It seems the more I’m around other people the dumber I feel. I don’t understand why people feel the need to “break me out of my shell”. Just because I’m not interacting about the latest reality show or passing around mindless conversations people think there’s something wrong with me. I’m starting to think its the extroverts that have issues. It must be so terrible that not every single person around you is paying you attention.

  • Larshgejl

    It’s not possible to BECOME an Extrovert if you alreaddy are an Introvert, it’s in the brain and can not be changed.

  • Maximum103

    Honestly I didn’t read all of the comments, so if this has already been said, sorry for the repetition. With that being said, it is obvious to me that this person knows very little about their subject. Introverts do not need to become more extroverted. This implies that there is something wrong with being an introvert, and that everyone should be extroverted. This is preposterous. Introverts are those who are comfortable around people, but need less interaction than others. Introverts need a reason to interact. It is not because they lack social skills or are shy, they simply make the choice to interact or not based on how they feel at the time and about the people there are to interact with. There is nothing wrong with this, and absolutely no need to change. What the article describes is being outgoing, not extroverted. Believe it or not, introverts are perfectly capable of being outgoing. In fact, many are. Introverts just choose when to be and when not to be.  Do some research and make an effort to understand what it is you’re talking about before writing an article next time. I suggest this webpage as a start: 
    http://www.carlkingdom.com/10-myths-about-introverts

  • Mia

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. God bless you.

  • shank

    ABSOLUTELY TRUE! I just came across this blog the thing mentioned above ”standing in a group and having nothing to say”  I have experienced. today I myself took an initiative went and sat in a group. general conversation was going on i could not even interfere the conversation.After that I started putting myself down feeling dissatisfied.here with your words ”whatever you say is considerable”  is like little push  to me even bolstering my self confidence the way you explained roadblocks for becoming extrovert and importance of being introvert worth to me.As far as my experience of being introvert are only in new group of people reason I found is I  think extensively what other people would like to listen or what will they think over my words  what I get as solution is to remain silent in short I panic over being REJECTED.but what I get after remaining silent is nothing.i hope this steps will help me a lot thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1489300565 Bjorn Arnesen

     Do not mistake being social for being extroverted.

  • Randall Mckay

    yeah, i have been quiet and introverted my entire life. played guitar, had a band, wrote a book, you name it, and have always hated being with other people. but i’ve been Forcing my self beyond my comfort zones. talking when i don’t want to. speaking up. laughing out loud, trying new things.j just doing stuff out of the blue without thinking about it. it is working for me. i think being who you are is discovering the right balance of who you think you should be.

  • gabby
  • N

    Perhaps Introverts require a bit more insight into something they ignored: http://nrecursions.blogspot.in/2013/06/introvert-to-extrovert.html

  • Anonymous

    Great. Now why don’t you make a ‘Attention Extroverts: How to become more introverted’ post? Only then will you come across as less of an asshole than you do right now.

    Introverts don’t have to force themselves to be more open or to change who they are if they don’t feel the need to. They don’t have to impress people like you. It’s a personal choice.

  • http://www.blog.virgovault.com Abella Jucy Arthur

    Introverts focus on what’s going on Around them, and then take it inside. Then they may or may not share what they’ve analyzed and absorbed. This can often be overwhelming for Introverts.

    Extroverts focus on what’s going on Inside of them, and extrovert that to the outside world. They share what’s going on inside of them, and they don’t pay as much attention to how they’re affecting the world around them — ie Introverts!

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  • http://www.charmbomb.me/ P.J. Sparkle

    No no no.we don’t have social problems! We are well liked, we come up with the most clever jokes, because we take the time to reflect on things.people love us, and lovebeing around us, we just don’t get energy from it. It becomes unfullfilling, so we don’t do it. Extroverts could learn a bit about sucking all the life from us until we don’t want to be around them. People want us, we just don’t always want them. The extrovert wants to have people over, because they are lonely, the extrovert has guests sparingly, because home is where they recharge.

    Tldr, there’s nothing wrong with us socially, and being an extrovert doesn’t make you a more likable person. Your avg douche is a good example.

  • Jane

    Good read but I don’t feel the need to be an extrovert, why would I? This article is offensive and I agree with most of the comments. I find peace in my introversion, I enjoy meeting with close friends and talk about something substantial, and I find social gatherings, small talk superficial. In my workplace there are tons of extroverts, noise, random conversations, maybe every 30 mins of my work day. I always wonder when do they actually work. Suddenly, a lot of mistakes are made, they have to clean up their mess. I always wonder if a great invention or idea happened in a social gathering or meeting, with many people competing on who speaks louder? People don’t listen, they just think about what they’re going to say next. No hate on extroverts, they’re great people and though I have no extroverted close friends ( cut them off because they’re exhausting) , I know people who are nice. I am just giving my opinion as an INFJ. Introversion and shyness are not the same. We are not broken, we don’t need to be fixed or come out of our shell. We can interact with others, we just can’t do it all the time, and at least myself, I don’t want to change that. I was foolish believing I had to change, I ended up stressed out, sick, anxious. Personality is part of mental and physical health, you just can’t turn it on and off like a switch. I adapt to situations, if I have to attend an event or meet many people I do it, I am polite and speak but it’s not something I choose to do. I only do this if I have no other option.

  • OldCroc

    I don’t know much about your theory but i must warn all introverts, you must be extremely careful when you decide to take this conversion into an extrovert. This is a highly risky transformation which i personally almost took a knife and tore my heart out when i lost control and balance between my original introvert self and the new adopting extroverted one.

    The first thing i want to say is never try to “fix” yourself, that attention is not something that will benefit you. In my case, i want to learn to be an extrovert when i need so it’s quite different.

    Now i will tell you what i faced on my self-experiment.

    I easily being overtake by my extroverted one to the point that it went out of control and drained all my energy. Introvert and extrovert main difference is in the way we recharge our energy, a little bit of extroverted may be good but it’s costly for introverts. Lost control of this new self, you will lock yourself in your room for days to recharge your battery. Being overtaken by excitement and doing extrovert the first day gave me a 20 hours of sleeping in the next day.

    I almost faced an emotional breakdown in the middle of the process and what do you know. I hate myself. I hate what i had done to me. Being more extroverted eventually makes my original self feel alienated. I must tell you the idea of suicide did cross my mind.

    Therefore, i would recommend you all to keep balance and control.

    I do not say that becoming an extrovert is bad, i want you all to be careful, you are walking on a very thin path and without carefulness you just put a blindfold on you.

    For those who complete the transformation, i would like to cheer as you had completed what i might say the first stage. You are now able to store a large about of energy and drained very little compare to other introverts when you are in a crowd for long period of time.

    The last stage is when you can take energy by the extrovert way and the introvert way without problem and still keep the original self. If any of you successfully be able to overcome this last stage, i can pronounce you, you are no longer an extrovert or introvert but instead an adaptor (pretty much a rare individual).

    For those who will want to speak a word or two about my comment, i would like to speak about it before you.

    Some of you may say that i am weak because i am losing control, because i almost commit suicide. If by the standard that is weak then i really don’t have anything to say but don’t think others are as strong as you. I try to warn not the strong like you, i just want to prevent something that MIGHT happen.

    And to those who tend to just be yourself. I would want to tell you this. That’s okay, just be myself is something i beg to be too. However, i don’t think you can always be yourself for a lifetime when time come being prepared is much better.

    Now if you excuse me, i must continue my process, there will be a lnog time before i finish stage one.

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