IIf we are growing we are always going to be outside our comfort zone. —John Maxwell
If you’re not a fan of attending events because people are going to be there, I’m with you.
Whether it’s meeting a celebrity you love, a friend inviting you to another friend’s party/dinner engagement, a wedding or an after-work event, you get a bit nervous, am I right?
Oh and aside from figuring out what to wear, you’re rehearsing what you’re going to ask/say to make a great first impression.
So before said event occurs, your thought process may go something like this:
“I hope they like me. Will they like me?”
“How do I make a good impression?”
“What questions am I going to ask him/her?”
“What was I going to say again?”
“God, I hope I don’t make it worse or awkward. Crap, I forgot to ask/tell them ::insert what you forgot to say::!”
Sound familiar? I feel you.
I grew up SO scared of people that I’d literally hide.
Whenever my parents’ friends came over, I didn’t hide behind their legs like most kids do. Let me tell you, I leveled up. Instead, I’d run to my parent’s bedroom, jump over the bed to the other side and laid on the floor. If my shyness was really bad, I’d hide under the bed. And I wouldn’t come out until a few minutes after I heard my parents’ guests leave. The coast had to be 100% clear in case the guest(s) forgot something and came back.
Yep, I was that shy growing up. Heck, I wouldn’t even call it being shy because looking back, I’m pretty sure I had some form of social anxiety.
And that brings me to today’s article.
One of the many reasons why I’m writing this article is that as much as I’ve changed from being the shy little girl I once was, I still have moments where I have a hard time meeting people because I don’t know what to say. However, I’ve learned that being comfortable with myself and who I am has really helped increase my confidence and improve my self-esteem.
If you’re shy and want to meet new people without the awkwardness, keep reading!
So, how do you meet people with confidence?
By learning to become an interesting person.
Okay, Huong. How do I become a more interesting person?
Fret no more my friends because here are some of my tips from personal experience:
READ MORE BOOKS
Yep. I said to read more books. I can’t tell you how many great conversations with people I’ve just met over books we’ve read! Seriously, those small moments of silence are nonexistent when you’re geeking out over reading material.
By learning something new, you have something you can teach or talk about. Trust me, those who love to learn are always intrigued even if you’ve “done your research” unintentionally.
Personally, I’m reading more epic fantasy novels and going back to re-read some of my favorite comic books to even out the personal development books I’ve read over the last five years.
If you hate reading, try Audible. When you’re stuck in traffic, cleaning your home or going for a run, be productive and listen to audio books to learn something new. No excuses.
LEARN INTERESTING, NEW-TO-YOU SKILLS
Speaking of learning, commit and learn a new-to-you skill or pick up an old skill you’ve stopped practicing. If you want to be an interesting person, have unique skills and/or interests!
For me, it wasn’t until I got into drill/dance team in high school that my self-esteem grew. I had never danced before in my life and yet it helped build my confidence as I performed in front of large crowds of people. And a decade and a half later, it’s a topic that surfaces in conversations that’s a commonality with people I’ve just met.
Personally, I’m coming up with a list of fun activities and unique skillsets I’ve always wanted to learn. And at the top of my list? Running and archery.
If there’s a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, do it! Don’t even go there with this “I don’t have time” nonsense. Make it a priority and you’ll be surprised at how much fun you have too!
LEARN HOW TO LISTEN AND ASK QUESTIONS
Next time you’re in a one-on-one conversation with someone, tune out everything and everyone, but that one person you’re conversing with.
To truly listen to what s/he is saying, ask engaging questions. By asking questions, this forces you to talk less and become a better listener to show that you care and are genuinely interested in what the other person has to say.
Remember, no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. In turn, you become an interesting person to those around you.
Let me tell you, the best and most memorable conversations I’ve had with people are ones who never broke eye contact with me, used my name multiple times and asked questions.
If you’re an introvert, the best way to keep the spotlight off of you is to listen and ask the other person questions. It totally takes the edge off and you become more relaxed too.
Traveling is fun and what’s even more fun? Making friends while you’re traveling and when you’re home, finding new people who’ve been to the same places as you!
Visiting places around the globe and experiencing other cultures adds to your understanding of how people live as well as give you something to share with others in a conversation.
I’ve met so many friends through leisure travel and business travel and it’s so fun to stay in touch with them until our paths cross again. And if I’m being honest, I had no idea that my travels would make me an interesting person to someone else.
Take a tip from me. One of the biggest things I connect with people on is by asking their favorite place they’ve ever visited and what was so unique about it. Try this yourself because you’ll find the other person gushing and start to give you recommendations you didn’t initially ask for.
Why? Nothing connects people more than travel (and food). So, get out there and see the world even if it’s a small weekend roadtrip to a nearby city!
LEARN HOW TO CARE BY MAKING CONNECTIONS EVERYWHERE
If you’re really shy in meeting new people, here’s something I’ve done for YEARS: Make friends online like you normally do, but stay in contact for a long time.
This goes for huge leaders too. Show that you care by liking their posts, engaging through their content, sending a private message to see how they’re doing or giving them a shout out for a business they’re running, product they’re launching or a milestone they’ve hit. I promise you. You will be remembered.
Why do I say that? Because when you do meet your online friends in person someday, it’s easy to engage them after you’ve been interacting with them for awhile. I’ve done this time and again and it’s worked really well for me!
BECOME A STORYTELLER
If you’ve ever met an interesting person, I’m sure you’d know that they are great storytellers. Most of the lessons and topics I’ve remembered from conversations with people are the stories they tell. Whether it be an actor, public speaker, your pastor or your grandparents, take note on how people in those positions tell stories.
Whether it’s a success story, a failed venture or a funny one like the worst date you’ve ever been on, tell your story and the lesson you’ve learned!
Most of the time, I find a lesson in the stories that people tell is what makes that person unique and memorable. If you want to be a more interesting person, tell one of your stories!
BE A LOVER OF LEARNING
I’m super serious about this topic. Whether it’s through reading books or having hands-on experiences, become a lover of learning. You never know what you might glean from others that will make you become an interesting person.
Currently, I love learning by watching others. Whether it be watching someone build and grow their brand, launch a product, reading articles or simply watching a YouTube video, I love to learn something new.
My favorite, new-to-me YouTube channel is Charisma on Command. Charlie and Ben create YouTube videos on personal development and I’m EATING. IT. UP! I’m a huge “Why?” person and love learning the “mechanics” of how things work and how people act so if you’re like me, subscribe to their channel. You won’t regret it!
To me, one of the most attractive traits in someone is their confidence. The world is already full of insecure people so to find people who are comfortable in their skin is really refreshing to me. They’re fun to be around, you learn so much and you’ll find that you want to be a better person because of them.
One way to be confident in your skin is to learn how to become someone who is genuinely interested in other people.
In turn, you become a charismatic, caring and an interesting person. That’s a pretty good ROI if you ask me.
Tell me, in what ways are you learning how to become a more interesting person?
If you’ve been feeling insecure or want to make new friends, but are having a hard time, I hope this article helps you. It’s my hope that with these tips, you can hold conversations with others while leaving a lasting impression of who you are as a person.
Let me know if you’ve used any of these tips and how your interactions went! I’ll be taking my own advice to heart!
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Clotheshorse Anonymous for partnering with me on this post! All thoughts and opinions are my own. As always, thank you for supporting my sponsors!