Social tips from an introvert: How to become instantly endearing.
We’ve all found ourselves in social situations where we’re a little unsure of what to do. Maybe, like me, you’re an introvert. Or maybe the situation is awkward due to the group composition. Maybe you’re meeting people for the first time, or maybe you’re meeting people who may or may not like you.
This weekend I was in an interesting situation where I was a little unsure of what to do socially. All in one party, I had to meet new people, reconnect with people who I hadn’t seen in years, interact with children, all on 4 hours of sleep and somehow come out unscathed.
I played a game of endearment; specifically, how many people could I endear myself to in the 3 hour time frame?
Here are the tips:
Open the conversation
- “How are you” will absolutely suffice, but might prompt a one word response. Instead, try “how is your summer going?” Or “what have you been up to this summer? Did you take any vacations?”
Find the story
- Search around for the thing they want to talk about–A trip they went on, or what they’ve been bingewatching on Netflix. Maybe its their kids, or pets, or new spouse. Then ask them about it.
Learn something new
- Give them the opportunity to educate you. Listening is hard, but if you approach it with a learning mentality, you’ll find it much easier. Tim is on the travel soccer team this summer. Is he enjoying himself? Does he want to play in high school? What position does he play?
Ask at least two “learning” questions before you say anything about yourself.
- Conversation should flow, story to story. In order for the flow to be smooth, each party needs room to tell their story. Give the other person space. People love when you ask them questions, and it genuinely is easy. You don’t have to think of how to respond– just ask another question and learn more!
- When you are ready to talk about yourself, keep it brief and on topic. Add another spotlight to their story instead of stealing from it.
- Laughter is endearing! You don’t have to laugh hysterically or smile constantly; rather, genuinely enjoy the moment with the person you are speaking with. It’s only one moment in a million; it is brief. You can do it.
Thank the host(s) individually.
- This one is genuinely super easy but it’s often overlooked. When you’re saying your goodbyes, add a “thank you so much for having me over! I really appreciate it!” Adding a handshake or a hug where appropriate will bring a level of sincerity to your words.
Offer to help clean up.
- Humble yourself, and just offer to help. More often than not they will refuse help anyway.
Talk to a variety of ages.
- Talk to the adults, talk to the youngsters. It shows you’re a well rounded person. The conversations don’t have to be long; the effort was still made.
If you need a little help…
9. Compliments. Everyone loves to be complimented. I like your hair! I love your backyard! Your children are so sweet! It’s one of the easiest things to do– just make sure you come across as genuine.
10. Take a shot. Of alcohol. Sometimes you can put on your best face but you really just do need something to take the edge off the nerves. No shame, just drink responsibly.
At the end of the day, you may still be worn out and tired–you are an introvert after all–but if the other people left the conversation with better energy than they started with, you’ve done your job.
Parties are never going to be easy for the introvert–think of it as a time to endear yourself to others. Perhaps the next party will be easier.