Shows like It’s Jess, and characters like SNL’s Shy Ronnie always originate from somewhere. And more than likely, that somewhere is actually someone. Everyone has that one amazing, but shy friend that could use a little help meeting new people. Even some of the most extroverted and confident people can be socially awkward given the right circumstances. Depending on the degree, people even get anxiety because of it. But for those that just need a little push in the right direction, here are some easy tips you can use to get out from that social rock you’re under, and into the world!
Go to places of interest. Surround yourself with things that you enjoy, and are familiar with. That way you’ll feel comfortable, and end up meeting people with the same interests as you making it easier to find something in common to talk about. If you like art for instance, visiting your favorite art exhibit would be a good idea. If you’re feeling extraadventurous, attending the grand opening of an exhibit would be even better!
Socialize. Finding places to meet people is easy, now comes the hard part - actually talking to the people you meet. However, it’s only as hard as you make it, and a little goes a long way. Considering the person isn’t in a rush, asking questions is a good way to keep a conversation flowing. Pay attention to the things around you and talk about something relevant that may start up a conversation. When all else fails, a simple “Hello,” usually does the trick just fine.
Assimilate & Communicate. You’re not off the hook just yet! Once a conversation has started, there is still the task of keeping it going. Pay attention to the other person’s facial expressions, responses, and body language during your conversation, so that you can gauge what interests them and what doesn’t. Don’t change who you are, but do be considerate of the other person’s beliefs. And if there’s something that could be misunderstood, whether it be something you said that came out the wrong way or a weird tick you have, let the other person know! The both of you will feel more comfortable afterwards.
Smile. This is probably the easiest thing you can do, as well as something you should be doing lots of regardless. A smile is the best way to start a conversation without even having to open your mouth! It lets people know you aren’t closed off, are pleasant, and have a positive attitude. Even if the intention isn’t to meet someone, a smile can make someone else’s day without you even realizing it.
Last, but definitely not least - Skout! We aren’t a part of the fastest growing social scene for nothing! The fact is, some people need a little help breaking the ice and feel more comfortable doing so behind a screen. It gives you the ability to get to know someone before really getting to know someone. And if you’re too shy to wink at someone as they walk by you on the street, you can always send them a wink on Skout instead!
Meeting new people doesn’t have to be so daunting. It’s a “must” in a world where who you know is just as important (if not more) than what you know. They say that closed mouths don’t get fed, so make sure you don’t starve! Meeting new people, and more importantly - making new friends - makes life more fruitful, and full of happiness.