Despite what the books say, you don’t have to be an extrovert to be outgoing.
In the same way, not all extroverts are naturally outgoing.
It’s a myth.
And believe it or not, both introverts and extroverts can be socially awkward. Sorry.
So what hope is there for those of us who struggle in a crowd? Well, here are 7 behaviors to ditch if you want to be more outgoing.
1) Constantly looking at your phone
It’s the night of the big party.
You’ve put on your finest threads, styled your hair, and doused yourself in enough eau de parfum to make yourself a fire hazard.
But what’s the use if you’re just going to stand alone in the corner and stare at your phone?
Sure, it seems innocent enough.
After all, you’re a little nervous right now. There’s plenty of time to talk to people later, right? Wrong!
When you’re glued to your screen all night, it sends a clear message to the people around you – DO NOT DISTURB.
And while studies show that the presence of a smartphone, even when not in use, can relieve social stresses, ask yourself this.
If all you did at the party was sit by yourself and play Candy Crush, were you even there?
2) Using alcohol as a crutch
We’ve all needed some social lubrication at one time or another – a little liquid courage to loosen you up before a social gathering.
In moderation, it’s fine. And I’m not about to get all preachy on you.
But if you find that you can only talk to people after a drink (or three), it might be time to step back and think about the why.
And perhaps there’s something more serious to consider here. Especially if it’s forcing you to drink past your limits.
Of course, it’s common knowledge that overconsumption of alcohol isn’t good for you. But what you may not know, is that it can long lasting effects on your personality.
And by using alcohol as a band-aid, you’ll never get to the route of your confidence problems – you’re only masking them.
So at your next social gathering, consider going teetotal.
You’ll not only save a bunch of money but also actually remember the party in the morning!
3) Waiting for someone else to make the first move
Are you fed up with being a bystander in your own life?
Then you need to stop acting like an NPC and start taking the initiative with some proactive behavior.
By always waiting to be approached first, you’re opening yourself up to FOMO and regret.
Perhaps you’re afraid of rejection. Or you simply don’t know what to say. But if you never try, how will you ever find out? And who knows, maybe the outcome will be positive.
According to Tommy Lasorda, “There are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happened”.
And at the end of the day, only you can decide which one you are.
4) Overthinking to the point of analysis paralysis
Perhaps you’re eager to get involved in the conversation. You have an excellent point to contribute, after all.
But by the time there’s an opportunity to say your piece, you’re quiet, shtum – practically paralyzed. It turns out you were waiting so long that you’ve already had an intense inner dialogue with yourself.
And ultimately, you’ve decided that what you had to say “was dumb” or “not worth it”.
TL;DR you started overthinking again!
If you want to be truly outgoing, you need to shed yourself from the pressure to be perfect.
It’s hard. Trust me, I know.
But if you’re always censoring yourself. How can you expect others to engage with you? Particularly if you seem distant or disinterested.
So drop the filter and let your personality shine, what’s the worse that can happen?
5) Pretending to be someone you’re not
Building genuine connections with people is a large part of being outgoing.
So why are you pretending to be someone you’re not?
By being inauthentic and hiding the true you, you’re only hurting yourself in the long run.
And being ‘fake’ or a ‘pick-me’ can be seriously damaging to your self-esteem.
Not to mention, it’s exhausting.
And while it may help attract attention initially, it won’t help sustain lasting relationships.
Because deep down you know, it’s only a matter of time before you slip up, drop the facade, and lose the trust of the people around you.
6) Making the same social faux pas
Do you often find yourself interrupting people?
Perhaps you struggle to keep eye contact. Or, maybe you simply can’t stop talking about you, yourself, and I.
If so, you could be guilty of some serious social faux pas.
In French, faux pas literally means ‘false step’.
And it’s these subtle (and not-so-subtle) social blunders that could be preventing you from coming out of your shell and fully letting loose.
So if you want to break yourself free from this vicious cycle, you need to stop making the same mistakes.
7) Never saying ‘yes’ to social events
Ever heard of the saying, practice makes perfect?
Well, that doesn’t just apply to your painting skills. The same goes for social interactions too.
If you always say no to that party, dinner, or event, then how are you going to change your other behaviors?
Simple answer. You’re not.
Your communication and social skills are a lot like a muscle – they require exercise. It’s the only way you’ll learn to be more outgoing.
And by teaching yourself to say yes (instead of no), it’s the perfect way to improve your confidence and hone those traits – even if you’re naturally “quiet” or not “the social type”.