How to Grow Your Social Life as an Introvert

Leroy OxleyAugust 13, 2021,

Being an introvert means you probably find socializing draining your energy and prefer smaller, close-knit groups or solitude. While there is nothing wrong with being an introvert, you might benefit from forming social connections, whether for your personal life or your professional life. So, we are here to break down socializing for you, with some useful hacks and tips from those more knowledgeable in this area;

Let it Happen Naturally Through Shared Interests

“First up, I don't think introverts should feel obliged to 'Be Social' - instead let it happen naturally through a hobby or interest that you love so that you don't have to fake it or force yourself. It is better to be alone than in a group you hate. Why? It sucks your energy being with them and it's exhausting having to pretend to be someone else. If you hate nightclubs and prefer coffee shops, then stick with coffee shops. 

“Because I'm now in the second phase of my life, I feel more confident to be different. And when I am with like-minded friends, the experience is positive, energizing. That's a signal that the interaction was a good one for me. I still need to pace my interactions though.”

Wendy Gardner, Founder and Alchemist Glow-Skincare

Join a Hiking Group

“I find joining a hiking group to be a great way for introverts to socialize a little more. The group size is likely to be small and being out in nature makes interacting with others generally more relaxing. There is less pressure to talk and what might otherwise be construed as awkward silence in most interactions while hiking is perfectly normal as we are freer to let our minds wander and enjoy our surroundings while out in nature.”

Anna Křížová is a Therapist and Co-Founder of Camino Adventures

Follow up on People Weekly or Monthly

“If an introverted person is ready to embark by opening themselves, they need to find a friendship preference and act accordingly. Slowly follow up with people who are closer on a monthly or weekly basis based on preference and then make it a routine. If the main aim is to socialize, find a hobby that is more social and shift focus from engaging an individual to a group of people. Socialization doesn't mean to be a good talker, it also means to be a good listener and those who give compliments freely.”

Sarah Rocha, an independent beauty, health, and nutrition reporter at a newspaper, CEO of AgelessBloom

Find Those With a Shared Hobby

“Like many introverts, I really hate going into situations where I either don't know people or don't know what to expect. I worry about starting conversations with random people or not knowing what to do or what is expected. The first thing that helps is to find something I'm really interested in. This could be a hobby like a tennis or something I know a lot about like photography. It makes me want to be there and talk with people.” (Bryan Striegler)

Get to Know People Before Meeting Them

“The second thing is to get to know people before meeting in person. This could be through a Facebook group or email or any other form of communication. If I've already talked to several people it is easier to interact with them in person that first time.”

Bryan Striegler, Striegler Photography

Embrace Who You Are

“Not a day goes by that I don't get a call from an introvert, wanting to be more extraverted. I encourage them to embrace who and what they are vs. judging themselves. We live in a society that tends to praise and reward the stars, .i.e., extraverts, yet the introverts (the quiet worker bees) are the ones who make a difference in the world.” (Nancy B. Irwin)

Find and Join Groups and Activities For Introverts

“There are plenty of places where introverts can be among many other introverts: a lecture series, a museum society, a book club, MENSA, a writers' workshop, Toastmasters, etc. Easing into social situations such as these allows an introvert to be in public in a safe situation where the emphasis is on learning or art vs the self-being on the spot.”

Nancy B. Irwin, Clinical Psychologist Dr.NancyIrwin.com

Join Groups of Interest

“It is recommended that introverts join groups of interest. Start online and then move on to in-person meetings. Shared interests bring people of similar values together.

It is important for introverts to know to be a good friend and be more attractive to others, one needs to be a good listener. You can always break the ice in a social setting with an open-ended question, i.e., what brings you here?”  (Lynn Berger)

Professional Associations

“Anyone, especially introverts, wants to network with those who share their business and professional interests as well. The best way to do this is to become active in a professional association. Professional associations offer the best opportunities for making face-to-face contact with people who can connect you not only with potential opportunities but also with key decision-makers in your field.” (Lynn Berger)

Practice Talking to Someone New

“When an introvert challenges themselves by attending an event or reaching out to someone they do not know well they can set up a plan/strategy/game with themselves to spend 10 minutes talking to someone new and then take a break and reward themselves. Strength builds upon strength and when this becomes a daily or bi-weekly practice it becomes easier.”

Lynn Berger is a Career Counselor and Coach specializing in helping people make the most of their lives and feel fulfilled.

Burst the Bubble

“It is all inside your head. It will take a second to pop up the bubble of comfort that introverts live in. There is a beautiful world outside your zone.” (Amelia Alvin)

Dust off the Shyness

“Shyness is a natural trait of introverts. They don’t initiate conversations and cherish the way you are.” (Amelia Alvin)

Baby Steps

“Take it slowly. You need not be at huge concerts or crowded clubs on the first go. Befriend a new person. Go to a cafe and pay a visit to the human library. Human libraries are all about bringing comfort to people by listening to them.” (Amelia Alvin)

Like-Minded People

“We feel comfortable with people with whom we share mental capability. Try interacting with other introverts because you will be sharing the same personality types. It will be easy to connect and understand the wavelength of each other.” (Amelia Alvin)

Deep Conversations

“Little talk is not meant for introverts. Discuss broad ideas and dig deeper into the conversation. Explore and question. It is okay to take a little at a time and, you will catch the pace slowly.”

Amelia Alvin is a practicing psychiatrist at Mango Clinic· Health & Wellness Clinic

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