Every introvert has been asked, “why are you so quiet?” The implication is that quiet is bad or wrong. It’s equated with weakness, meekness, and an overall lack of confidence. But that’s not always the case.
Introverts aren’t necessarily quiet because we’re shy. We simply approach conversations and socializing differently than extroverts.
While extroverts are verbal processors who speak as they think, introverts need to think before we speak. This leads to a slower, more thoughtful communication style that involves fewer words, and longer pauses.
People assume that introverts are lonely when we turn in. In reality, we are lonelier when we spend too much time focusing outward. Turning in is both a joy and a necessity for introverts.
That said, it doesn’t feel good when people assume introverts are shy or uninteresting just because we’re quiet.
That’s why I’ve put together some tips to exude introvert confidence, even if you’re quiet like me.
Put yourself in the right frame
A beautiful painting needs the right frame, and so does an introvert. For most introverts, busy, loud environments like bars and clubs don’t allow you to convey your best qualities. They also drain the heck out of you.
Put yourself in places where you can actually hear yourself think, plus showcase your passions and talents. Nature walks, poetry readings, intimate dinner parties, paint nights, and other low-key activities will put you at ease and allow you to shine.
Be the first
Confident people aren’t afraid to take initiative when socializing. That doesn’t mean you have to strike up a conversation with everyone in the room.
Look for the most approachable person in the room — the person who is not engaged in conversation with anyone, has open body language, and is looking up. (*Hint: make things easier for yourself by being the approachable person). And then be the first…
- Be first to make eye contact.
- Be the first to approach.
- Be the first to smile.
- Be the first to extend your hand.
- Be the first to introduce yourself by name.
Focus on expressing over impressing
Much of the anxiety of socializing comes from a desire to impress people. Everyone’s trying to prove that they’re witty and interesting.
But what really exudes confidence and draws people in is authentic expression. Ask yourself: “How can I express my values and qualities, even if I don’t say much?”
When you focus on expressing your dreams, passions, thoughts, and feelings you can say more with less. You can also express who you are with your clothing, accessories, and the environments you frequent.
Do a judgement detox
One of the biggest confidence blocks for introverts is self-judgment. This judgment often manifests as rating, analyzing, and criticizing yourself while socializing.
You judge your actions as good or bad, look for things to pick apart, and approach every situation like you’re writing a Yelp review.
To stop the cycle, when you find yourself judging yourself or a situation, switch to an observer role. Give yourself permission to simply experience the situation without attaching a rating or label to it.
If your mind insists that you’ve said something idiotic and everyone is judging you, ask yourself, “what other possibilities/interpretations could be true?”
It could be true that no one noticed or cared. It could be true that they noticed and found it endearing. It could be true that they accept you, even if you don’t always say the right thing.
Try this easy confidence visualization
Imagine someone who you believe is the embodiment of confidence. They can be introverted or extroverted, famous or someone you know. Get a clear picture of them in your mind and notice their overall vibe, posture, and facial expressions.
Now imagine stepping into them and seeing the world through their eyes. Settle in and notice how it feels to be them. What’s their energy like? What emotions are they feeling? How do they feel in their body (relaxed, energized, strong, etc.).
And that’s it! This is a great exercise to imagine what it feels like to be truly confident and comfortable in your own skin, even if you’ve never experienced that for yourself.
For more introvert confidence tips, be sure to grab my free Introvert Confidence Lessons.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!
P.S. If you’re new to the blog, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michaela Chung, author of The Irresistible Introvert and The Year of The Introvert, and creator of this amazing innie community we have here. For several years, I’ve been building up a labyrinth of introvert resources that will take you on a magical journey toward more confidence, connection, and self-love. Start with this free Introvert Connection Guide.
great article.. i do get drained at loud, places(bars, parties etc.)
will try lower key ones..
Michaela, thank you so much for this blog! I just found you and have been so helped already. I am 61 years old, and have been wondering for YEARS what is wrong with me? I really do love people, but absolutely abhor small talk. It is a real problem for me especially at my church. I just want to go in and sit down and be quiet, and think about the Lord and why I’m there. But it’s just abuzz with everyone talking, which is fine for them I guess. I feel the “pressure” of having to be social and I have a hard time even going there sometimes. It’s like I hit a wall when I walk in; I long to be honest and just say, “I’m sorry, but I really don’t have anything to say right now.” Then I guess I’d be a social outcast or something. My husband and I are fairly new there, compared to everyone else who has known each other since dirt. I have struggled for so long not feeling as if I fit in – now I know why I feel this way. I’m going to keep reading here and learn I can just be comfortable in my own skin. Also, I have so enjoyed reading others’ comments; some are very funny, and I feel a real connection here. THANK YOU!!
Thank you for this article especially not judging ourselves. I tend to do that after every social interaction even when I feel it’s being a pretty fruitful one with close friends! But wanting to let go in order to just let that experience be and not dissuade me from continuing to meet with others due to my insecurities. And like you said I doubt people really notice those things the way I do