There is nothing wrong with being an introvert. Introverts have wonderful and unique personality traits that make them interesting and exciting, as long as someone is willing to take the time to get to know them. And if they don’t, their loss. Am I right? Yes I am.
That being said, I’ve decided to work on my social skills.
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At parties, I often feel tongue-tied, anxious and out of my comfort zone, and I don’t like that feeling. But more than that, I’ve decided to try to come out of my shell a bit more because of the following compelling reasons:
Making New Friends is Good for the Brain
According to Dr. Edward Hallowell, in his book Connect, making new connections is healthy for our minds. He calls it ‘Vitamin C’ for our brains.
“Connection [..] is as essential for health, success, joy, and longevity as Vitamin C. Living without enough of it can actually lead to an early death. Studies show that social isolation is as bad for your health as cigarette smoking. Short of an early death, lack of (connection) causes low-grade depression, lethargy, lack of get-up-and-go and a demoralizing feeling of purposelessness.”
As a single mom, I know I need all of the get-up-and-go that I can get. That means, instead of staying home safe and cozy and avoiding social situations that may potentially make me anxious, (or hugging the wall so tightly people wonder which one is holding the other up), I need to practice making new connections.
A Sense of Safety
There is strength in numbers.
It takes a village to raise a child.
Sure, these are familiar clichés, but only because behind the familiarity there is truth. The more connections (and this would, of course, be good, trustworthy connections), the safer and more protected we feel.
All You Need is Love
I’m not saying that we need romantic love to be happy. But having love, affection, and kindness from people in our daily lives is extremely important to our mental health. Having good friends and moral support can make the hard times much more bearable.
“We use the emotional input of other humans as much as we do the air we breathe and the food we eat. Deprive us of emotional and physical contact and we will wither and die just as surely as if we were deprived of food,” says Nicholas Boothman, author of How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less.
For example, the act of giving and getting hugs every day has positive physical and emotional benefits. (Read more about that here.)
And if you happen to be a mom like me, who is grieving, helping her kids cope with loss, and trying to hold everything together while letting go of what is gone, you need all the moral support and connections you can possibly get.
For me, it’s going to take some practice, but my plan is to use the advice and suggestions from the following books to help me make more connections:
How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman
Using tips from this book, I’m hoping to learn to read body language, learn tactics to help open up conversations, and connect with other people quickly. Very quickly.
How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends by Don Gabor
Hopefully, this one is going to help me pull out any wit and confidence I may have lurking underneath my wallflower exterior.
I will keep you posted on my results, and any tips I learn.
Anyone have any suggestions for me in the meantime? Please comment below.