Social distancing allowed for one thing to reign true during trying times, introverts could avoid one of their worst nightmares, eerily called socializing. Only introverts will know the pain of awkwardly meeting a new person or going to a party and dreading every second of human interaction. Even though it sounds harrowing, those of us who have been shy all our lives have unwillingly accepted our fate as the hermits of society. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with being a private person, and people who are reserved are content with their lifestyle most of the time. Unfortunately, introverts can’t avoid socializing all the time, which is why we have to learn to adapt to this social world just a little bit.
First and foremost, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Most introverted people live in their safe space where they aren’t forced to go out or meet anyone face to face unless they really want to. However, this bubble of isolation isn’t real and if you have to socialize, you have to get out of it. The easiest way to do this is to force yourself to do things that you wouldn’t normally be comfortable with, like randomly going out with a friend. In life, comfort zones are meant to be broken. No one is supposed to be protected all the time, and we shouldn’t expect to be protected all the time. I know that it doesn’t feel good to get out of a space where you feel safe and at ease, but at some point, it’s going to happen. You get to decide whether it’s going to catch you by surprise, or whether you’re going to be prepared for it. So please, get out of your comfort zone once in a while, for your own sake.
Next, fake it till you make it. Now, I know this sounds dishonest and hypocritical to pretend to be someone you’re not, but it truly helps. Once you are out of your comfort zone, you have to keep yourself out of it until the social event ends. Unfortunately, the personality of an introvert won’t withstand long without their safety net, which is why creating an alter ego, where you are social, might help a lot. Pretend like you want to be there and people might just believe you. I’m not one to encourage deceit, but I will say that this technique helps me get through otherwise painful social events. Be bubbly and light-hearted for just a few hours, even if it kills you on the inside a little. It’s necessary to have a good time socializing if you want it to happen again.
Finally, give yourself time to recharge. I always feel exhausted after a social event, even if it’s big or small, and I recognize that as a bit of an issue if I ever want to be social. For introverts, there is nothing more draining than socializing. So, after forcing yourself through an event where you pretend to be the opposite of who you are, take a break. If you don’t do this, chances are you will collapse and be discouraged from ever going outside again. Give yourself some downtime after going out because it’s needed even for people who love to socialize. Rest can also give you the strength to go out again willingly because it’s exhausting to be thrust into an unfamiliar situation. Maybe, you also have time to forgive yourself for going against everything you are just to conform to societal norms for a couple of hours. Perhaps it’s just me that needs that time, but it helps nonetheless.
Introverts are everywhere. You can see them in any event, whether they are in the corner of a room on their phones, or in the middle of a conversation trying to be likable. Like many others in life, we tend to face our problems with people, even when it’s hard to do so. It’s difficult to recognize that life wasn’t made for you to enjoy and that your likings aren’t commonly accepted in society. We need to socialize because it’s a vital part of life, and if I know something about life it’s that it doesn’t care about the things you prefer. So, the ways to learn how to socialize as an introvert are to get out of your comfort zone, pretend to be an extrovert, and have time to recharge because of exhaustion. Ultimately, no one can force you to be someone you are not just because the world wasn’t built for you. Life thrusts you into positions that feel impossible, but they don’t have to be. Believe that you can have many dimensions past what your limits demand because it is possible.