Introverts, unite! We all love spending time with ourselves (and Netflix) but as much as being an introvert can have it's benefits, it should never come between you, the wide world, and new friendships. Armed with these 8 tips, you'll feel confident enough to let your inner introvert loose on the world...
Being in an unfamiliar environment can often trigger introverted behaviours. You’ll feel more relaxed about being somewhere new if you arrive armed with a few of your fave creature comforts – such as your favourite book, pillow, iPad or fluffy socks (no shame!). You’ll be able to wander out of your comfort zone knowing that a slice of home is easily accessible at any point.
Find common ground between you and others
If you struggle with social situations or you’re just used to your own company, making new friends on a trip can feel overwhelming. A great way of breaking the ice with a stranger is to pick up on common interests you may have. Notice someone who’s reading a book that you’ve read, or who’s listening to a band that you like? There’s your in. You’ll be so busy chatting about your new shared interest that you won’t realise how relaxed you are.
Travel with a friend
Strength and solidarity in numbers – especially when it comes to new experiences. You’ll feel more confident and more powerful with a familiar face by your side – especially if it’s someone who you’ve known for a long time, and trust. You can encourage and motivate each other to venture out of your collective comfort zone without feeling so exposed.
Talk to your tour guide
Consult your Trip Manager about your introverted nature. If you flag them up about any social anxieties or preferences you may have, you’ll likely feel less pressured in social situations – which may mean you feel more relaxed about your trip overall. It’s always good to have an ally!
Fake it til you make it
Becoming hyper-aware of your behaviour will only perpetuate a cycle of negativity. Instead, try repeating positive affirmations and statements, even if they’re completely untrue: e.g. “I can do this” or “I love being social”. Sometimes it’s easier to feign confidence, as it can trick your brain into actually feeling capable of these things. After a while, you might just start to believe it…
Consider your body language
If you struggle with making the first move in social situations, instead ensure that you come off as approachable. Think about how you present yourself non-verbally, including your body language – crossed arms may make it seem like you’re retreating into an anti-social stance, whereas a simple smile will exude enthusiasm to meet new people.
Set realistic goals for yourself
Rather than putting pressure on yourself, try setting realistic goals each day. It could be as small as getting through one afternoon without looking at your phone, or aiming to say at least ‘hello’ to every person that you meet. You can feel proud of your achievements and know that you’re totally capable of pushing your boundaries – but you also won’t feel guilty if you need to take a step back and opt out of some activities.
Be in the moment
You’re not going to be able to enjoy yourself if you continually consider the “what if’s” and worry that other people are watching you or noticing you. Relax and be in the moment, learn to take each day as it comes. That way you’ll have so much more fun!