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This is a skill I’ve been working on for years. As it’s helpful when you’re applying for jobs or trying to meet new people. Now that’s not to say that all introverts are shy and private, while all extroverts are outgoing and talkative. But that’s the stereotype of each. I am an introvert so I recharge when I’m alone, prefer one-on-one conversations, have few relationships but they are really in depth, don’t like attention, and share ideas when prompted. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes you need to fake being an extrovert in different circumstances.
So how do you make people think you’re an extrovert (outgoing) when really you’re an introvert?
Pretend to be Someone You Know Who’s Extroverted
When I was in a sorority house back in college, we had to socialize for hours for recruitment. You need to be outgoing, happy-go-lucky, and talkative. The exact opposite of myself. So in order to get through those hours, I would pretend I was one of my sisters to begin with so I felt more comfortable being open and outgoing. Then over enough practice and attempts doing it, you’re no longer thinking about pretending to be someone else that’s just you socializing and being comfortable. It doesn’t change that fact that you will be drained of social energy after a while but you at least get through the event or meeting without anyone noticing you are exhausted from the interaction.
Plan Time Between Interactions to Recharge
Continuing on, just make sure when it’s all done to go find somewhere to be alone to recharge. For instance, at work I’m basically a manager of a call center. I have to lead a lot of meetings or interact with a lot of people. So when I’m scheduling those meetings, I make sure there is time in between those meetings where I can have a second to recharge before going to the next one. I also started to take longer lunches where I’m not at my desk so I can have thirty minutes to an hour alone. This really helps me get mentally prepared to get through the next segment of the day.
Make Sure You’re Prepared
Whether for a meeting with co-workers or clients to social events, the best way to get through them is making sure you are prepared. For meetings that means having everything structured and organized prior to walking in so that way you aren’t thrown for a loop. I keep a notepad or OneNote open while in meetings that have my notes and a section for take-a-ways that I need to address afterwards. This helps me reduce my anxiety and stress about going into the event. Same goes with social events like parties or gatherings, make sure you plan out what you’re going to do. Like do you have a fail-safe to get you out of the event if you just can’t be bubbly any longer to who you’re going to interact with so you are more comfortable.
How do you make yourself seem more outgoing when you’re shy/introverted?
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