How can I be more outgoing?

A foreign girl learns how to be more outgoing with fellow students

What factors can be hindering you from being a more outgoing person? There most common problem is shyness."

Usually a shy person is more reserved and withdrawn, therefore has little trouble keeping quiet.

As time has passed on, you may now be feeling more and more comfortable when around yourself rather than being surrounded by people.

Another factor could be fear of failure or disapproval. The thought of being looked down by your peers can have paralyzing effect on your desire to attending social events with them.

So how can you overcome these challenges and be more outgoing? Here are a few pointers:

1. Cultivate self-confidence


You will have to like yourself first before others can take an interest in you.

Therefore, avoid telling yourself that others won't like you or it could turn to be a self-fulfilling prophecy when others respond accordingly when you portray an image of unlikable person.

Remember the more self-confident you are about yourself; the more people will feel comfortable to be around you.

Indeed you may feel that you were not cut out to be social person, especially after experiencing a nasty incident, but you don't have to be like others to be loved.

Jodi Picoult in her famous book Change of Heart wrote that:

When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't."

Hence, maintain a positive outlook even when a few do not warm up to your friendship, and you will soon find some friends who you can hang out with.

2. Develop that art of conversation


Indeed if you are a shy person it might a be challenge to start a conversation.

However, you can start first by practicing with individuals who are not in a group setting by asking them simple questions or compliment them for something good they did to you and you will be amazed to see them giving you their feedback.

To compliment you speeches learn to express your emotions freely by wearing a happy face when talking to others, as enthusiasm can be very contagious.

Take an example, the propensity to smile will cause others to smile back and be friendly. In time you will eventually gain the confidence needed to start conversations in a group setting.

3. Show interest in helping others


Taking initiative to be involved in helping others when they are in need can open a door to much greater and fulfilling social interactions.

The book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie makes this observation:

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

For example, Barrack Obama, after graduating from university he moved to Chicago in 1985 to work for a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment. Why?

In his own word he says:

The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope."

No doubt this exposure enabled him to develop his social skills which enabled him to become the 44th president of United States.

Hence, when opportunities present themselves to help others, do not hold back.

4. Do not expect Perfection


Do not expect perfection from yourself and others as we all have our limitations. Albert Einstein is considered to have been afflicted by a troubling speech impediment which plagued him from his childhood to his youth.

Initially, this caused him to talk less but he finally overcame this problem to eventually become a highly-functioning member of the general public.

What helped him to overcome this problem? No doubt he cultivated the right frame of mind. To quote this scientific genius he acknowledges:

 There is nothing known as "Perfect". It’s only those imperfections which we choose not to see."

Therefore, do not let any of your imperfections or others hold you back from attempting to be more outgoing.

They will fizzle out to the background when you focus on your objectives and finally seemly disappear when your objectives are met.

5. Find activities that can be done outdoors


Modern entertainment can easily lead one to live a solitary life. Usually one is glued to a screen which offers a sense of companionship but only in virtual space.

No wonder now many of us are now social phobic and addicted to games, TV, internet etc. I once lived with a roommate who was brought up in rural scenery where this electronic gadgets where unheard off.

In fact to him the room was a prison, he always had to find something to do outdoors and be around people. So the environment can really shape our perception and affect our attitudes.

Therefore, if you want to be more outgoing, find activities that you can do outdoors and gradually you will learn to love it.

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