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7 Steps on How to Be More Extroverted

Let’s get something straight right out of the gate. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert.

You simply can’t change who you are or your personality just because someone doesn’t approve of it. 

But if introversion negatively impacts your daily activities, perhaps it is time to do something about it.

I believe you’re reading this because your somewhat timid nature is getting in the way of how you truly want to live. 

Perhaps you want to make more friends, build stronger relationships, strike up conversations, or show up more and truly enjoy yourself at social gatherings. 

Of course, these are not the easiest things to do if you’re an introvert. If anything, these activities can drain the life out of you, especially when you are in social situations.

The good news is that you’re reading this.

In this article, I’ll share with you seven simple but effective steps on how to be more extroverted.

The tips and tricks you’re about to learn here are not aimed at getting you to change who you are. Instead, they will help you improve yourself and enjoy the best relationships and opportunities you’ve always wanted. 

Let’s get on with it already.

1. Let Go of the “Introvert” Label

Learning how to be more extroverted won’t do much good if you continue to define yourself as an introvert.

Don’t take this the wrong way, though.

I’m not suggesting that you can suddenly wake up one day and decide to stop being an introvert.

But here’s the deal.

Sometimes, it is possible to act like an extrovert, even if you are an introvert. And the reverse is also true.

This type of personality trait is known as ambivert.

New personality theories suggest that extroversion and introversion are not two opposing traits. Instead, they are traits on one scale.

This means that some people (like you) are on the introverted end of the scale, others (the ambivert) are in the middle of the scale, and a third group is on the extroverted end of the scale.

Besides, some personality traits can change over time.

Now, here’s how this knowledge can help you.

When you understand that nothing is set in stone – not even your personality – it becomes easier to let go of labels and take on a preferred role.

Taking on the role of an extrovert doesn’t necessarily mean living a fake life. Instead, think of it as sliding a little bit across the scale from the introvert end toward the ambivert end.

Of course, this won’t happen overnight, but with continuous practice, you will find yourself adapting to situations that once made you feel uncomfortable.

Suggested Exercise

  • Stand in front of a mirror in a room where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Maintain eye contact with your reflection in the mirror.
  • Say these words to yourself and mean them: “I am outgoing, confident, and bold.”
  • Repeat the words for about three to five minutes.

Go ahead and write your own phrase if you prefer.

2. Set Clear-Cut Goals

Goal setting as memo on notebook with many light bulbs
Image Credit: Shutterstock

A common mistake many people make is setting vague goals.

For example, if you are like most introverts, you may have told yourself countless times that you will be more outgoing.

Unfortunately, that is not a proper goal. It is merely a general intention.

One of the most powerful tips on being more extroverted is making your goals more specific and practical.

It will be difficult to determine how far you’ve accomplished your goals if they are not specific and practical.

Setting clear-cut, meaningful goals and following through to make them happen is an incredible way to improve your self-esteem. That’s because you see yourself as an achiever.

Here are examples of specific, practical, and measurable goals regarding being more extroverted:

  1. I will eat lunch with a colleague at work this week.
  2. I am going to smile at three people daily throughout this week.
  3. This week, I will ask open-ended questions and respond with more than one-word answers each time I engage in a conversation.
  4. I will start a conversation with one person and keep it going for at least five minutes every day this week.
  5. I will talk with one complete stranger every day this week.

Suggested Exercise

  • Grab your journal and write down at least five concrete goals to help you act more like an extrovert.
  • Go ahead and start taking action as soon as you finish writing down your goals.

3. Practice Smiling

You may have gotten a hint from the previous tip, but just in case you didn’t, smiling is a powerful non-verbal cue that can break the ice, even without uttering a word.

I recommend this step to anyone who is extremely wary of starting a conversation but is willing and open to being more extroverted.

Here’s what smiling can do.

It is an open invitation to others, telling them to approach and strike up a conversation with you.

Indeed, you are not the one starting the conversation, at least not with words. But you initiate it by encouraging others.

Smiling is associated with happiness and pleasant situations, which explains why others will likely be attracted to you if you smile at them.

Suggested Exercise

  • Make eye contact with one or two persons at school, in your workplace, at the store, or when you walk down the street.
  • Smile as you make eye contact for a few seconds (and politely nod if the situation calls for it).

You don’t want to stare because that will make the situation awkward.

4. Slowly Increase Your Social Exposure

One of the classic pieces of advice for introverts who want to be more extroverted is to increase their social exposure.

This usually means being open to social invitations. This makes sense because if you want to act more like an extrovert, you will have to actively seek out more stimulating environments instead of holing up in seclusion.

There’s a catch, though.

You should take things slowly when saying “yes” to social invites. Accepting too many social invites too soon can lead to social fatigue.

It is almost impossible to move from one end of the personality trait scale to the other overnight. You are less likely to sustain that type of quantum leap, even if you can pull it off.

Keep in mind that the goal is learning how to be more extroverted and not how to abruptly change from an introvert to an extrovert.

For this reason, you must take baby steps when increasing your social exposure. It is usually a good idea to approach social settings the same way you would try to build a muscle.

You will space out your exercise routines and have enough rest days instead of overdoing strenuous workouts in a bid to build impressive muscles in a short period.

It is okay to attend as many social events as possible, but you want to make sure to get enough breaks in between.

Suggested Exercise

  • Accept as many social invitations as possible for the next month (or whatever timeframe works for you).
  • Make it a policy to attend the events, even if you don’t stay until the end.
  • Ensure you have enough rest between events.
  • At the end of your timeframe, you are free to cut yourself some slack and only accept a few invites.

As you force yourself to attend what may initially feel like uncomfortable social situations, you will have more opportunities to practice and hone in on any dormant extroverted tendencies you may have.

5. Have Social Events in Familiar Surroundings

people dancing in party
Image Credit: Pixabay

Increasing social exposure can be quite daunting, especially for an introvert. That’s because socializing can be very draining for introverted individuals.

And to make things worse, introverts are particularly uncomfortable when they are outside their turf.

However, there is a trick to stepping out of your comfort zone while remaining in your comfort zone. I know it sounds contradictory, but this method is very effective if you can pull it off.

The trick here is to have social events in familiar surroundings, preferably on your home ground.

Here’s why this works so well.

You are most at ease in your surroundings, making it easier to chat comfortably with others and relax more.

The more times you can have these types of social events in your surroundings, the easier it is to mentally associate social interactions with familiar settings.

Suggested Exercise

  • Plan a social event for the weekend at your place. It can be as simple as making a home-cooked meal for a small group or as elaborate as a birthday party.
  • Actively seek out opportunities to have these events as often as possible.

6. Allow Yourself to Leave Social Events Before They End

Earlier, I mentioned that you should practice attending events as a matter of personal policy, but it is okay not to stay until the end.

The reason for this is simple.

The thought of attending social events can quickly put you in panic mode. This is normal for introverts and is nothing to beat yourself up for.

However, you shouldn’t put your social life on hold because of irrational fear. Here’s how you can overcome this debilitating thought.

Give yourself an out.

Tell yourself you will only stay at the event for 30 minutes or whatever time works for you.

Now, you can go to the event knowing that you will only have to stay for your set time, after which you are free to leave.

Interestingly, you may discover that you are more comfortable at the event than you had hoped. If that’s the case, it is okay to stay as long as you want.

Suggested Exercise

  • Accept invitations to meetings, events, or gatherings for the next month (or whatever timeframe works for you).
  • Make sure to show up for all the events, but only after you have decided how long you want to stay.

7. Hone in on Your Active Listening Skills

This last tip is a big plus for you as an introvert because it allows you to practice something you are already naturally good at – listening.

Introverts tend to be better listeners than extroverts and are great at considering other people’s suggestions.

By actively listening to others, whether in a one-on-one conversation or group discussion – people will see you as more fascinating to be with.

Contrary to what many people think, you don’t have to say anything to be active, even in a group conversation. The most important thing is to let the other person or group know that you are actively listening.

This means looking engaged by nodding, shaking your head, tilting your head, smiling, or maintaining brief eye contact with the speaker.

It is also good to ask questions at intervals to keep the conversation interesting.

Suggested Exercise

  • Listen more when someone engages you in a conversation or when you participate in a group conversation.
  • Do not interrupt when someone is speaking, but show that you are genuinely interested. Use non-verbal cues (nodding, smiling, etc.) and ask follow-up questions.
  • Make sure to ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation from being one-sided.

Being Outgoing Is Beneficial

friends at party on sunny day
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Can you be more extroverted if you are an introvert? Yes, you can!

No one is completely extroverted or introverted. We all have a mix of these personality types, and we tend to shift from one end of the scale to the other throughout our lifetimes.

Being an introvert has many benefits, but it is best to be more extroverted in certain situations. Being outgoing can improve your current relationships and open you up to a world of opportunities as you engage more with new people, including total strangers.

Now that you’ve seen how to be more extroverted, do the suggested exercises. Be consistent, and you’ll see improvements over time.

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