Over time many people become cautious and stuck in their own ways, they get used to being on the outside, close to the action but never in the thick of things. Often, shyness takes over and leaves them driven by fear and doubt. This is a lingering problem we need to address head on.
Rarely attend group events
A timid lifestyle often starts in an innocent way, you say no to an invitation to a party, you’re too busy to attend a gathering and before long you rarely get invited anywhere but not because people don’t like you but because they see that you’re reluctant to meet people and you prefer to avoid crowds.
What happens next can be a much bigger problem, you’re out of the loop so you no longer hear about what events are happening and you gradually become isolated. When this happens it can seem like a difficult and very stressful ordeal to get involved again in your social circles.
Sometimes it’s good to go to social events to stay in touch in people even when you have some reservations based on social fears. Stay socially active so that you don’t lose your connections with your current friends or lose the opportunity to meet more likeminded people. Remember, the social activity is not the primary function of the event, the main reason to attend is to be part of the social scene, to see other people and to be seen by them, to be in the right place at the right time to hear about other events that may suit you better.
Of course I still believe it’s good to be selective and choose events you’ll enjoy just be sure you don’t go to an extreme and say no to most opportunities to meet people. That can be a case of fear making the decision with DzI’m too busy!dz given as the excuse for not going.
Do you often say no to social events? Do you avoid large group gatherings? Could you decide to be more socially active to stay in the loop?
Habitual patterns of socializing
Although most people do it, spending your free time with the same people and only going to the same places can be a dead end. If you enjoy variety and new experiences make sure to take control and suggest new venues, new activities and new places to visit. That excitement alone can be enough to ignite great conversations with everyone enthusiastic about the new sights and sounds. This is a great basis for suggesting further excursions and for planning ahead for friends and family to join you.
The same applies to the people you spend your time with. Instead of waiting and hoping to meet new and likeminded people why not get your friends to invite their friends along to join your activities? This is another simple way to break out of the rut of always doing the same things with the same people.
Do you get bored of the routine of only seeing the same people? Do you crave more e variety in where you go and what you do in your free time? Could you take charge of going to new places and meeting new people by leading your friends?
Avoiding the new and unknown
In an earlier section I talked about the importance of seeing new places and doing new things as a way of developing flexibility and the ability to adapt to new situations and people. Now, I want to address the fear that underlies avoiding the new and unknown.
Quiet people very often avoid the new and unknown because they feel safe in their day to day routine. There are less people challenges to deal with and they can avoid dealing with people they don’t know if they stay safe in their own world.
This seems like the comfortable choice but again it’s fear of people that is making the decision and your world gets smaller and quieter the more you listen to the fear. Plus, the more you stick to your established routine, the harder it becomes to try new things and to meet new people. What was once a little uncomfortable at times can over time seem like a huge and insurmountable challenge that you can’t deal with. For this reason it’s good to realize that the long term consequences of avoiding change, new experiences and new people can be far more serious than dealing with the trial and error that is needed when interacting in the real world.
Feelings of isolation and not being understood will become common place if you fail to embrace opportunities to enjoy the new and the possibility of meeting people you can connect with.
In contrast, popular people actively seek out new experiences, new venues and new people. Those socially confident people you see also have fears of rejection and embarrassment to deal with but it doesn’t stop them getting out there to meet people. The only difference is their determination to focus on the positives that out weight any awkwardness they may feel from time to time.
Do you avoid new experiences because you don’t know what to expect? Do you let conversation fear override the possibility of meeting great people? Could you decide to take small risks in opening up to new experiences and new people?
Never lead the group
Quiet people rarely if ever lead the social group. They prefer to stay in the background, agree with the consensus opinion and do anything to avoid rocking the boat. This is not a bad course of action most of the time but if you never express your own opinions and never, ever lead the group then you may become taken for granted. You become someone who everyone can count on to go along with the group, which is good, but at the same time your objections or voice is rarely heard or acknowledged by the other members of your social circle.
This is not a situation that allows you to express yourself or feel valued and appreciated for your unique input. However you can make small changes over time to become a more involved and respected member of the group. Start by expressing your opinion more often, speak up more than you have in the past on minor issues of discussion and especially regarding matters you have knowledge and experience of. Once your friends have adjusted to your newly expressive and more involved persona you can occasionally lead the group, again, on minor matters.
At this point you might be comfortable with the progress you have made now that you are a more active and leading member of your social circle. If that is the case it’s perfectly acceptable to settle into that new role, relax and enjoy time with your friends. Whatever you do, don’t push to be more of a leader and driver of the group than you want to be, find a balance between being involved and suiting your quiet personality.
Do you tend to take the back seat and let friends take charge? Do you feel ignored and unappreciated? Could you gradually get more involved, speak up more and contribute more?