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Do you have that one friend or family member who is always outspoken? Sociable? Confident? The person other people just seem to flock towards? The one who typically gets what they want?
Do you ever wish you could be more like them?
There is no shame in secretly wishing you could be like somebody else… even just some of the time.
But there is also no shame in being reserved, even-tempered or shy. Nor is there any shame in being content with the quiet at times.
There is a time and a place for every behavior and emotion.
While outgoing people may appear to have it all figured out on paper… they sometimes run the risk of coming across as overbearing, rude or simply trying too hard.
Whereas the more conservative, introvert-types are sometimes perceived as being pushovers or complacent.
And while neither may be true, perception is often everything.
So if you want to make the most of your life, be it personally or professionally, you’re likely going to have to be a little more assertive at times.
In this article, I will provide 7 steps to help you learn how to be more outgoing… when the time calls for it.
What You Will Learn
- 1. Reassure Yourself That Everybody Suffers From Insecurities
- 2. Don’t Fear Rejection
- 3. Seek Out Mutual Friends
- 4. Kill Others With Kindness Before They Have A Chance To Judge You
- 5. Take Baby Steps
- 6. Push Your Comfort Zone And Remain In Uncomfortable Situations For Longer
- 7. Talk Yourself Up: Stop Criticizing and Acknowledge Your Best Qualities
- Final Thoughts on Being More Outgoing
1. Reassure Yourself That Everybody Suffers From Insecurities
Nobody is perfect. Everybody has doubts and fears.
Train your mind to believe this and you will eventually learn to stop comparing yourself to others… which is a huge step in how to be more outgoing.
Think about it.
If you make an effort to look more closely at an outgoing person, there is a good chance you will see that they are trying to overcompensate for some insecurity. Maybe even two.
For instance, I am on the short side. 5 feet tall to be exact.
In grammar school, I would often use humor to make myself feel more noticed.
I made people laugh all of the time and often got into trouble in class… all because I wanted the same attention I felt the taller, prettier girls were getting.
I was outgoing for all intents and purposes, but it was driven by insecurity.
As I grew older, I started to make friends with different kinds of people and quickly found that height doesn't matter… unless you want to play for the NBA.
I had tall girlfriends who hated that many boys were shorter than them. And, because of it, they were quiet. Didn’t date much.
Once I was able to recognize the insecurities in myself and others, I was able to focus on who I really was… and who I wanted to be.
I was an incredible athlete. Size be damned!
I was smart.
I was still funny.
I was kind.
I never judged anyone and had no specific criteria for choosing friends.
So if you’re feeling inferior, take a cue from me and look at who and what is making you feel that way.
I promise that the minute you do, a weight will be lifted and you’ll be able to take one more step out of that shell of yours.
2. Don’t Fear Rejection
Many times, we are afraid to step out of our comfort zone for fear of being rejected.
What if they don’t like me?
What if they think my idea is stupid?
What if I don’t get the job?
What if I fail?
The thing is… even if you make an utter fool of yourself for taking a shot at something, it’s unlikely anybody will remember it.
At least not for long enough to have any real impact on your life.
We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to letting ourselves off the hook for things, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
You are who you are. And as long as you give it your all… you’ve succeeded. Made strides. Gained confidence.
If someone doesn’t accept you for who you are… that’s on them. And they are most likely not worth your time or effort to try and prove otherwise.
Move forward. Never look back. The rest will follow.
3. Seek Out Mutual Friends
If you have an outgoing friend or colleague… chances are they have some outgoing friends themselves.
What does this mean for you?
It means you can ask your friend to introduce you to other people who may help you come out of your shell a bit more.
It’s the simple law of diversification… and it works.
People in finance talk about diversifying portfolios.
Companies seek diversity in their employees.
The world would be quite boring if everybody was the same.
In fact, having some differences with others can bring out the best in us… especially when it comes to forming meaningful and lasting relationships.
The more effort you put into meeting and engaging with people who are different from you… the more likely you are to migrate towards change.
And the less you’ll be afraid of it.
Look at what makes your friends tick. Then, figure out what would work for you and what wouldn’t.
Whatever path you choose, just make sure you have more than one type of friend to follow it along with.
4. Kill Others With Kindness Before They Have A Chance To Judge You
There will come a time in your life when that outgoing person you admire will reveal a character flaw.
One that makes them seem mean or caddy.
And when that time comes, you may find yourself questioning your opinion of them and re-evaluating the relationship.
It happens all of the time.
People fall from grace when their friends or family see that side of them they may have never known was there.
But it was.
It was always there… disguised in a larger than life demeanor.
So if you are worried about what others may think of you, and it’s holding your back from being more outgoing, remember this: it’s nearly impossible not to like a person who is genuinely kind.
Or at least trying to be kind.
You can still be fun, outspoken, confident and charismatic… but use those powers for good.
Don’t exclude people from your inner circle that may benefit from your friendship.
Offer help to those who need it.
Consider other people’s feelings.
Think about the consequences of your actions.
Remember that kindness is good for the soul… and the body.
If you make that a priority, everything else will fall into place on your journey to be more outgoing.
5. Take Baby Steps
Okay… so you’re shy.
Big crowds freak you out.
You’re nervous meeting new people.
You don’t like change.
You follow, but rarely lead.
Many introverts think of themselves in this way.
That is why taking “baby steps” is crucial when you’re trying to figure out how to be more outgoing.
For example, don’t look to sign up for karaoke night to quell your public speaking fears… or jump out of an airplane to cure your fear of flying.
You are who you are and like what you like… and that is okay. So why the rush to be someone else?
Take your time.
Say your goal is to be more assertive and ask your boss for a raise.
It would be detrimental for you to barge into his office one afternoon and demand that he listen.
Because you would be nervous and emotional, perhaps a little frustrated and angry… and it wouldn’t be the productive conversation you were looking for.
Instead, compose your thoughts and try writing down what you want to say first.
Then rehearse it in front of a mirror a few times.
Next, practice saying it to your spouse or a friend.
The trick is to slowly work up the courage and confidence to address your employer.
When the time is right to present your case, you’ll know it… and you’ll likely be glad that you waited.
6. Push Your Comfort Zone And Remain In Uncomfortable Situations For Longer
Life is filled with uncomfortable situations.
They are inevitable.
It is how we handle them that defines us.
Most outgoing people are able to roll with the punches and let things go. They don’t often get caught up in all of the negative energy and are able to move on fairly easily… without giving things a second thought.
A bashful or timid person tends to self loathe and worry about things… even things they can’t control. She will walk into a room of people and assume that at least one of them won’t like her.
While that may not even be true, she’s already taken herself out of the game and convinced herself that she’s not worthy of being among them for some reason.
If you want to be more outgoing, you will need to push the envelope a bit when it comes to your comfort zone.
We have all experienced that moment when our nerves are getting the best of us… and we want to bail before we make a situation more uncomfortable.
The difference is, outgoing people often stick it out. Shake it off.
But not introverts.
They will retreat. That, or they won’t allow themselves to get into that situation in the first place.
If you want to change, force yourself to stick around when something makes you uncomfortable.
This can be as simple as staying at a party just 20 minutes longer than you intended to.
Or being the first one to say hello to someone you don’t know.
By pushing yourself just a tad beyond your comfort level, you will condition yourself to become more comfortable.
It may not happen overnight, but it will.
7. Talk Yourself Up: Stop Criticizing and Acknowledge Your Best Qualities
One of the hardest things to do when you’re a little short on confidence is to build yourself up.
In fact, you likely find it easier to criticize yourself than acknowledge any of your good qualities.
The thing is… you have them. Plenty of them. You just need to make the effort to look deeper into yourself.
You can start by making a list of your best qualities. Sit down with a journal and write down what you like about yourself… or what others say they like about you.
If you’re having trouble coming up with stuff, you can always read over daily affirmations. These mantras will help get you in the right mindset to start the day.
Once you’ve come up with your list, you can keep it in your pocket or purse. Or store it on your phone as a daily reminder to keep you motivated and positive.
If you arm yourself with self affirming weapons like these, you will be less likely to succumb to fear and more likely to be more outgoing… at least in certain situations.
Believing that you are good enough and likable is half the battle when you’re trying to figure out how to be more outgoing.
They say the mind can play tricks on you… but it can also work magic if you let it.
Final Thoughts on Being More Outgoing
If you read this article from start to finish, you are already ahead of the game when trying to figure out how to be more outgoing.
Seeking help and advice means you want it.
You want to be more outgoing!
You want to succeed personally and professionally in your life.
You feel the need to widen your inner circle and experience new things.
It will happen for you. I promise.
But the trick is to remember that it won’t happen overnight… and that all good things are worth waiting for.
Stay diligent on your journey.
Don’t accept every invitation because that can be overwhelming.
Recognize your own needs and limitations.
Acknowledge your comfort zone and step gently outside.
Embrace your alluring qualities and get ready to share them with the world.
Fear no one and nothing.
You can implement all of the strategies outlined here… or pick and choose the ones you’re most comfortable with to start.
Do what is best for you, in your own time, and you will get there.
You will get there.
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.