Interacting With Others Online When You're Introverted or Shy

I am very introverted and though I've spent a large majority of my life online, I never really interacted with anyone. Same goes with in real life. I generally like to keep to myself, which I know some people perceive as being rude. But to be honest, I struggle sometimes just to step outside of my head and say my thoughts out loud as I never know how anyone will take my words. Or when people try to get my input, the words simply don't come to my mind until after the situation has already passed. Sometimes it feels like pressure and other times it's an obstacle.  But it's something I've been really pushing myself to actually do in both areas. As how are you going to make friends in either area, if you don't try?

Start Small

Being shy or worried about striking up a conversation, or reaching out to someone new is always been a challenge. Anyone that meets me will notice that straight away, I'm super quiet but once I feel like we're friends I'm talkative as all hell. But getting to that point takes a while and happens in small increments. And online, I feel like there is a lot of pressure to always been active on social media or blogging. But if you are too active or post too much, then you're the annoyance. So when you're shy it is a battle to figure out where that middle ground is.

People are Always Scarier in Your Mind Than IRL

When I finally think about reaching out to someone online, I always picture the worse in my head and that they'll think I'm stupid or annoying for reaching out to them. But that's generally not true. They're just a person and I've made them up to be something way scarier in my head than they probably actually are. Most people are generally very kind and friendly, and appreciate that you reached out to them. I love when I get emails, messages, or comments as they let me know how I'm doing. When I don't get anything but I see people have read something, but never interacted with it I don't know what they think. So if I want that on what I post, who's to say they don't too.  

Have a Topic of Conversation

As I said paying someone a compliment is so lovely and everyone loves hearing those things. But starting up a conversation can seem very off or you're unsure of how to go about it. Trying to connect with someone on a deeper level than just a compliment isn't easy. So having a conversation starter can lead to something amazing. And blogs/YouTube is perfect as they always give you food for thought with conversation starters built in, you only need to act on them. So remembering that helps me so much and has actually gotten me to start writing comments on videos/posts that I read instead of just reading/watching it and moving onto the next thing. Another thing on this topic of conversation is to join in groups or chats on Facebook or Twitter. You can meet people through there and they generally start out conversations by asking questions. For me, this makes it so much easier and more inviting to comment something without feeling awkward about it.

Do you have tips for interacting with others when you're an introvert or shy?