I used to be very shy and very quiet in high school. I was terrified of public speaking, I was scared to talk to girls or in general, people who look better or stronger than me.
It wasn’t until after my freshman year in college I decided to act more social. I don’t know the exact trigger for making me more extroverted, I think I just found it easier for people to like me if I talked to people. You know, a new leaf.
As I’ve progressed more and more in leadership roles in college, I had to force myself to be more outgoing. I don’t know if it’s the best way to do things, but I found this to be the best way to get people interested and gives me more energy to convince people to like me. It felt like I was building a system that converted being social to energy.
So a constant bombardment of leadership roles, convincing people to join the stuff I do and having the energy to do it essentially forced me to perceive myself as an extroverted person.
Though there are many arguments on Extroversion and Introversion (I’ve had plenty of salespeople tell me they’re introverted), I do need to recharge but I like to think of myself as a hybrid car. I have an alternative source or energy.
I call it passion.
Anyways, here are some of the tips I use to act more outgoing and confident. Some might work for you, and some might not. Read at your own risk.
Become An Advocate: Fight For Your Right
A good tip I learned from Adam Grant’s book Give or Take, is the power of self-advocacy.
He gives a story of a doormat scientist who always had been taken advantage of him. Everyone told him that he couldn’t stand for himself. He never negotiated a raise, or even bargained and he’s also Indian, which culturally, is a country that loves bargaining so he got a lot of flack from his wife.
However, after a series of bad events that left him unable to support his family, he had to step up and get double his worth, and have his tuition paid for.
He did this with a neat psychological trick called self-advocating. The fear of not supporting his family exceeded his doormat personality. By fighting for something you believe in, you get a boost of energy. For him, his family was this source of power.
Overall, if you are having trouble being vocal, think of the people you’re letting down by not standing up and saying something. You might be the only one who can do something about it.
Act like an actor every time you meet someone. Show them the best of you.
Sometimes when I meet someone I don’t know very well, I act like a fictionalized version of myself. In college, this was a somewhat playfully egotistical loud mouth. Now, I try to act like an expert in food science.
By dramatizing yourself, you’re putting up a sort of façade in which you can afford to make mistakes. Sometimes if you believe to be the person you want to be, you can really adopt those skills.
This is one piece of advice I always try and convince introverts to do. It’s against their nature to show so much excitement to a stranger but if that stranger is either going to be the love of your life or someone giving you $10,000 dollars, you only have one shot to impress.
Always smile. Always act like the person you meet is going to change their life and act like you will change theirs.
Ask questions that make a glint show in their eyes and then keep the conversation by talking just on that. Maybe those two passions will connect.
You can practice being an “Actor” by practicing improv, going to toastmasters, or even doing plays and musicals. You satisfy your artist craving and you can practice how to talk to people!
Improve Your Self-Awareness
Being Self-Aware helps you to become vulnerable, which seems to be a sign of good marketing now a days.
Self-Awareness is the opposite of having a big ego, or it’s having a big ego and admitting it.
In any case, self-awareness takes a lot of time and humility. You build self-awareness from failing, having emotional breakdowns, and then truly evaluating why you had an emotional breakdown. At least it worked for me.
What self-awareness’s true power is that you realize you can do anything and nothing can really harm you. I think a lot of people don’t do things because of the fear people will look down on them or they can’t really recover if they fail.
Here are some questions and theories I go through that help me be more self-aware:
- What’s the worst that can happen?
- Conversely, what’s the best that can happen?
- How many people will actually see this or care if I post/ publicize this?
- If I made this financial mistake, how worse well-off would I truly be?
- Pain+Self-Reflection=Self Awareness (a tip from Ray Dalio’s Principles)
- I made a mistake in the past, how can I write a story that will inspire others not to make this mistake?
- Out of all my friends, who’s doing worse off than me? (This works only if you don’t have a big ego. Surprisingly, the opposite doesn’t work very well)
- If I do this, how much would it affect my life?
Overall, the cliche “you have to know yourself before knowing anything else” is a big deal when it comes to being outgoing and confident, at least to the point where you dispel your arrogance.
Being Charismatic makes things a lot easier
According to google, charisma is a compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. I learned this word while playing DnD back in middle school (something I have mixed feelings about)
It takes me little energy talking to people, or to lead them. If I didn’t have this trained charisma, it would be a lot harder to do what I can do.
Charisma is a skill that has to be practiced if you want to be heard.
If you really want to be heard, you’ll do anything to make it happen. But you can’t just do it, you have to study it, fail at it, analyze it. Maybe you have to try socializing every day or interviewing every week to figure it out.
Once you realize that no one cares what you do until you have something to show, then you realize that this might be the only way to show everyone what you got and the best way to do it, is to become more outgoing and confident.
Do you have any advice, comments, tips to add?
Please leave your comments below 🙂