The following is a guest post by Taylor Fowanda. You can find out more about Taylor in the author bio at the end of the post.
As an introvert, you may not feel like opening up to the world. In fact, after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is go socialize. However, in this modern day and age, it does not pay to be too isolated when you’re an adult. It is OK for teenagers or stay at home parents, but not for professionals who need to network and make connections. Here are some tried and true suggestions that can help you overcome your reluctance of social situations. They’ve worked for me and my friends, and we wouldn’t lead you astray!
1) Social Clubs
You can find social clubs in your area online. Many target a specific group of people. Find one that looks like fun and go! If you do not know anyone, then promise yourself to meet five new people in just as many meetings. The best thing about meeting strangers is that you can be whoever you want!
2) A New Sport
If you have always wanted to try a new sport, then now is a perfect time to do it. You will meet new people who share your passion. It will be a great way to talk and relate with others in this new situation. At the end of the day, you will feel more confident too!
3) Join Religious Groups
A religious group is a great way to connect with people through common faith. You can really open up in a trusted circle here. Just make sure you don’t visit a cult (j/k – but not really).
4) Join the Gym
Join a gym! Take a spin class! Talk to the people next to you! It does not have to be big, but try to converse with others. Plus, use your nerves to fuel your workout! Even if you just get to know the teacher, you can really find a meaningful relationship as you and your classmates help each other get through a workout. Health + Friendship = a good time!
5) Join Book Clubs
The best thing about joining a book club is that it’s interesting! Win or lose, you’ve read a good book or two, and perhaps found something meaningful in the story or characters. If you ask me, nothing draws me to new people like a mutual love for TV show or book, so I can’t think of a better idea.
6) Online Dating
This can be tricky. However, meeting someone online can be fun! It might sound weird to the uninitiated, but online dating is becoming more and more common now. If it gets weird or you’re not into it, just sign off. Problem solved. If things are working well, then an online forum or IM session is a great environment to open up in a safe setting, at your own pace.
7) Facebook Social Hour
Talk to people on Facebook for practice, from old friends to family. Just sign onto the chat feature and see who’s available! Even 5 minutes could lead to meeting up for coffee sometime.
8) See a Movie
This is more of a next step, but if you do happen to meet a new friend, going to a movie is a great thing to do with them, because you do not have to talk during a movie, which is nice. However, go for coffee after and discuss the film. You already have a topic picked out and coffee can be brief!
9) Write a Blog
Write a blog documenting your fears and troubles. You may find yourself opening up more online than in the real world. Furthermore, with Tumblr and other social networks out there today, you can easily find a great community that supports you.
10) Make Understanding Friends
Be sure that the friends that you keep in your life are understanding of your troubles. Never be friends with people who force you do things or make you feel uncomfortable. Naturally, you want to keep the same high standards with any new friends you make from the above suggestions!
In conclusion, changing habits will not be easy. However, if you try hard and have a real desire, then anything is possible. Just do not give up. Once you find yourself with a good group of friends, then you will find that it is quite easy to keep a fairly active social life. Good luck!
Taylor Fowanda writes about self help and personal finance.