Image Credit: Iaaf
During my graduation party from the university, I got an award as the most social guy from my campus fellowship. I was surprised because I didn't have a very active social life. Unknown to me, most people thought otherwise.
I am what you can call a typical introvert. This means I don't enjoy having conversations with a group of strangers. I don't love crowds either. I am never the life of the party, and I prefer texts to calls. I don't like having chit-chats about the weather, and I enjoy my own company a lot.
In spite of all that, I was given "The Most Social Guy" award. It looks like a contradiction. But it happened to me, and below are eight unique things that made it possible.
1. I do very well on stage.
Whether it was to sing in church, defend my project or speak to a big audience, stage presentations didn't frighten me. I took time to study the art and I practiced until I became good at it.
I still had butterflies flying in my stomach. And I still had an increase in heart beats each time. But I got used to them, and I did a lot of good stage presentations.
2. I didn't find it difficult talking with ladies
I remember getting tongue tied when I tried to talk to two beautiful ladies during one of our junior year parties. It was so bad that my lips were physically shaking and I was stammering.
A year after that incident, it was as if something was set loose in me. I stopped being afraid of ladies and rather became very comfortable around them. I spoke easily to them too.
Being able to talk and hang out with most girls I wanted to, gave people the impression that I was an extrovert. This was because, unlike me, some of the most extroverted of my colleagues found talking to girls a herculean task.
3. I used to get shy from time to time, but I never allowed it show.
Being shy was not a regular thing for me. But it still happened once in a while. According to Susan Cain's 2012 Power of Introverts Ted Talk, shyness is about fear of social judgement. I still had that fear.
However I learnt how to fake it until I feel like it. So even when I felt shy and insecure, I tried to behave as if I was the most confident person around until I start feeling very self-confident.
4. I knew how to listen to people.
Just like regular introverts, I don't enjoy chit chats. However I know how to connect deeply with people by listening to them.
5. I don't find it difficult approaching people.
I read Dale Carnegie's Book on How to win friends and influence people as a student, and it changed my social life completely.
I learnt how to approach people, and what to say in social settings (as an introvert, it is usually not much). I learnt how to relate and connect with people easily too. Most importantly, Dale's book taught me how to make people feel good about themselves by being "hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise."
6. Though I enjoy my own company, I get lonely at times and seek human contact.
As an introvert, I can easily stay locked in for a whole day reading a novel, working on a project, or watching a movie. But after a while I will feel like going out to meet people. When this happens I could visit friends or call them just to have a little social interaction.
7. I smile a lot.
I have a very charming smile, which I got from my mom. I don't need to plan it before I smile. My habit of always having a cheerful smile when I see people makes them see me as friendly and social.
8. I try keeping in touch.
Many introverts are known to be bad with maintaining contact. The introvert's motto is, "Out of sight is out of mind," and we obey it to the later.
In my case however, I cultivated the habit of checking up on my friends and loved ones once in a while, especially through texts. It is usually not a regular occurrence (give me a break, I am still an introvert), but I try to do it from time to time.
Being an introvert is a beautiful experience. But best of all, I appreciate the fact that I have been able to develop certain qualities over the years which enable me to have the taste of both worlds.