If you're an introvert (like me!), it can be a challenge to be more outgoing.
Put me in a quiet space with a good book (or two or three) and tell me I'll not see people for days, and you'll get no complaint from me.
But it’s no secret that socially confident people are generally more successful both professionally and personally as compared to their counterparts, even when they have less skills, education or social standing.
Society rewards those individuals who are outgoing, comfortable socially and even gregarious.
Because of their exuberant personalities, outgoing individuals tend to meet new people, meet more people and have more opportunities presented to them.
It can be extremely daunting and overwhelming for introverts to consider becoming more outgoing.
However, just because you're an introvert doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your skills to be more outgoing.
You can be an introverted person and also practice skills that will help you become more comfortable, confident, open and communicative around others.
What’s the Difference Between an Extrovert and an Introvert?
Extroverts gain energy from being around others. These are the kinds of people who love big parties and social gatherings and find it hard (or simply undesirable) to be alone for long periods of time.
Introverts, on the other hand, gain energy from being alone (yessss).
These are the kinds of people who need alone time after a busy day, or who tend to feel overwhelmed or anxious in large social situations.
While it is true that most extroverts are also very outgoing, it is also very possible to be an outgoing introvert.
Maybe you gain energy from being alone and prefer quiet spaces, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be shy in social situations.
How to be More Outgoing as an Introvert
The most important thing to understand is that you don’t have to be an extrovert to be outgoing.
Being outgoing is about being friendly, open and socially confident. Here are some simple tips to start your journey towards being more outgoing:
5 Very Simple Tips To be More Outgoing
1. Use your body language
Making eye contact instead of avoiding it or staring at the ground is one easy way to instantly make yourself appear more outgoing.
If you stand up straight, employ good body posture and project a confident attitude, then you will be more likely to act confidently in conversations and people will see and respond to your confidence.
2. Go to places where there are people like you
If you’re not the kind of person who enjoys drinking and partying, going to a bar to meet people and expecting that to be a good experience is kind of a silly idea.
There are all kinds of personalities in this world, but not every experience is for everybody. And there will be some people around whom you'll not feel especially comfortable or get along with well.
I'm all for exploring new and different experiences, places and meeting new people, however, if you're working toward becoming a more outgoing person, it may be better at least in the beginning to find a place where you feel you will fit in.
That way, you're starting out from a place of comfort where you're more apt to feel confident and secure.
Whether it’s a bookstore, a coffee shop, or an event created around something you're interested in (such as a wine tasting, chef's dinner or an art event), it will be a lot easier to be outgoing around like-minded people than to be outgoing around people with completely different interests and personalities.
3. Make goals
Formulate progressive goals toward the eventual goal of becoming more outgoing.
Is there someone at work that you’ve enjoyed talking with and with whom you'd like to socialize in a personal setting outside your job?
Then work to make it happen.
First, challenge yourself to make a special effort to talk to them.
Striking up a simple conversation about their day, their interests, or asking about their family is a good way to initiate discussion.
Once you’ve done this over a few occasions, you can then move on to invite them to lunch or to hang out outside of work, attend an event and so on.
4. Seek help from outgoing friends
If you have friends who are outgoing, ask them to help you with meeting new people.
More likely than not, they will be thrilled to be of help.
Spending time with outgoing people can help jettison you into new social circles, as well as give you opportunity to observe their outgoing behaviors and model them.
5. Ask questions
People love talking about themselves.
If you are unsure what to say among strangers or how to ease yourself into conversation, simply ask a question.
Asking questions gives you the chance to learn more about others while also giving you the opportunity to take the lead and direct a conversation to a subject with which you're comfortable.
7 Additional Tips for Being More Outgoing
6. How to Get Over Shyness and Be Less Self-conscious
Being shy is usually a product of fearing judgement.
Oftentimes, introverts tend to exaggerate in their minds how much other people judge them.
As you move through your daily life, likely, no one is judging you nearly as much as you suspect or as harshly as you may judge yourself.
It can help you to relieve the pressure you may feel, and to feel less awkward just to have this basic understanding.
One other way to get over shyness is to simply acknowledge it in your conversations.
It comes across as charming and self-aware to mention your shyness if you can feel it hindering your conversation, and once it is out in the open, you will likely settle into the exchange and discussion.
7. How Can I Be More Fun to Be Around?
Chances are, you are already great fun to be around in the right setting where you feel secure and comfortable.
The most important thing to remember is to acknowledge that as an introverted person, you have limits to how much socialization you feel comfortable with in a set amount of time.
You will be more fun to be around if you truly want to be in a particular situation and feel up for it.
Avoid agreeing to too many social events (or events with which you are especially uncomfortable) in the name of being more outgoing. If you set yourself up for a few high-quality interactions, this will help you grow your confidence and keep you from feeling averse to social gatherings and interaction.
8. How Can I Become More Social?
If you're working toward being more social, the easiest place to begin is to practice talking to people you meet throughout your day.
It’s simple to speak with cashiers and baristas, coworkers and clients or teachers and other people within your community.
Simply be friendly and open whether it's talking about the day, or commenting on the weather. Something small like this can help spark conversation and give you practice striking up conversations on your own.
Greeting people and adding a simple “how are you?” or “how has your day been?” can help extend your conversation and provide an opportunity to get to know one another.
9. How Can I Become Well-spoken?
The best way to become more well-spoken is simply to practice.
Being well spoken mostly comes down to being confident.
And confidence is built upon practice.
One way to appear more confident and to feel readier to speak and express yourself is to make eye contact.
Remember that the majority of our communication is not in our words, but is made through non-verbal, body queues, and eye contact is a very important one of those.
When you make eye contact during conversation, it signals to others that you are paying attention, you're focused and listening to what they have to say.
And when you're the one speaking, your eye contact draws people into your conversation, and conveys assertiveness and confidence in your demeanor.
One easy way to practice speaking to new people is simply to introduce yourself when you come in contact with a new person.
Over time, you will develop a comfortable and casual introduction pattern that will make you ocmfortable when meeting virtually anyone.
As an example, one very simple and effective method of introducing yourself is to simply say, “Hello. I don’t think we’ve met. I’m _____.”
This gives the other person a chance to introduce themselves and gives you an opening into conversation.
Especially in this day in age, you’d be surprised at how many people forego this step. Just the simple act of introducing yourself can really make you appear sociable and outgoing.
10. How to Be More Outgoing and Talkative
If you find yourself having a hard time striking up conversations, it can really help to try out being more talkative around people with whom you know you have something in common.
Is there a coworker that likes the same music as do you?
Or another parent at your child’s school who is interested in art?
Try striking up a conversation about something in which you are genuinely interested.
In this way, you will naturally be more engaged, have more to say, and appear more confident.
11. How to Be More Outgoing in a Relationship
If you find you’re having trouble being outgoing (warm, open, communicative) in a new relationship, try talking with your partner about it.
And instead of following their queues, try taking the lead every once in a while.
This can help open the door for you to be more spontaneous and outgoing.
It’s important to express your own needs and desires, and simply taking this first step can make you feel more comfortable in the situation and with your partner, further opening the lines of communication with them.
Another way to become more outgoing in a relationship is to ask questions.
As we've discussed previously and as with any new person, asking questions is a great way to get to know someone.
In the case of a new relationship, try asking some deeper questions. These kinds of questions will help you take more ownership in the situation of getting to know each other.
12. How to Be Outgoing and Funny
Not everyone is a genius at telling jokes, nor should they be.
Let funny moments happen organically.
It’s a lot easier to show your humorous side once you get to know someone a bit better, and you feel more cmfortable around them.
Don't worry too much about coming across as funny right away.
If you aren't naturally gifted with humor, you'll find humor in your relationships as you get to know people.
As you gain confidence in speaking to new people, the confidence in humor will also come.
Final Thoughts - How to Be More Outgoing
It's important to understand that your worth is not based on what others think of you.
Your worth is based on who you are as a person, what you give to others and to yourself.
It is based on your attributes and your truest self.
Gaining self-confidence and getting to a point where you're comfortable with who you are is immensely helpful in growing your level of comfort in new and unfamiliar situations or around new people.
When you are comfortable with yourself and project a confident positive attitude, it's obvious to others, making both you and them more comfortable with one another in a given situation, and at the same time making the need for the approval of others not a priority (or source of angst and anxiety) for you.
All of this helps you to be more outgoing.
Though there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert by nature, learning to be more outgoing is a useful skill in social interactions, in business and even in job advancement.
You can be yourself and still learn to grow your social skills to be more open, more receptive to and more interactive with others. Try some of the tips we've outlined today to help you to be more outgoing.
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Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.