Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bringing out your inner extrovert

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I used to be very introverted. Still am, sometimes. But only when I want to be. Most people who meet me in company these days would be surprised to hear Myne and introvert in one sentence. I can laugh and make conversation like the next person, even dance and get some PDA going where it is possible. Starting this blog wasn't such a big deal, and I only thought about it for a few days before I opened up my Facebook page and my Twitter account to the public. Now I tell my readers what I put in my meatpie, and chat with complete strangers on Facebook on a daily basis. On twitter, someone even caught me whispering about Atala's beard. So what happened? The following are some of the ways I have learnt to bring out my inner extrovert;

Be friendly. I know you want to say, but I'm shy! I know, I know. The truth is that being friendly is not a personality trait, it can be learned. Study people who you think are friendly and note what they do. In the first months of my stint in banking, I read a couple of books that were helpful - How to make friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie, and Seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey. Some tips are to find out people's names and use it, ask about them and their family, and compliment them. Most of all, listen.

Don't forget to smile. This is like Bob, my DVD trainer's favorite saying, "don't forget to breathe". You know, some of us shy guys are so burdened by our insecurities that we almost forget to breathe. We think, I'm not pretty, I'm not curvy enough, I'm too fat, I'm too short, I'm too tall, nobody likes the way I talk, and so on. Well, let it out, or let it go, and smile. You'll be surprised at how far a simple smile can get you. And even in these days of the internet and online communication, don't forget the smileys. :)

Be kind to people, in a genuine manner. Sometimes, we're so caught up with the cares and worries of life that we become lost in our own small bubble. Try to remember that it's not all about you. Reach out to others who are either less privileged, or need your help in one way or another. Give generously of your time, money and efforts. I bet you, this will win you more friends that a dozen club outings.

Try new things. Start small, in things that involve only you, and then keep experimenting. Never read a book by Myne Whitman? Try it. Never listened to music by that singer? Go on. Is a major performer having a concert in your area? Buy a ticket. Did someone just ask you out on a date? Squelch that inner doubter and say yes. Of course you have to be careful, and stay within your means. But the more you do stuff outside your comfort zone, it will be a piece of cake walking up to someone to say hi.

Don't take yourself, other people, or things, too seriously. Of course that is the mark of introverts, we over analyse everything. More over, our egos can be quite fragile, and even as we're our own harshest critics, we worry even more what others will think about our every action. I tell myself when such thoughts intrude, it's not that serious. No matter how bad it seems today, tomorrow is another day.

Finally, be yourself. I've read some bloggers lamenting their weirdness. I rejoice in mine, because that is all it is, difference. Variety is the spice of life. If we were all the same, it would be so boring. Conforming may lead to less raised eyebrows from other people but it won't lead to peace of mind. So flaunt your quirks. Then, you can be sure when people love you, they know and appreciate the real you. Only bear in mind that not everyone will. But, so what?


  1. true talk Myne. Used to be introverted too but if you ask some people that know me they'll tell you i'm not. We all have to move past our insecurities one way or the other so that we can live life to the full. Thanks for sharing

  2. Hear hear hear. I definitely cant be called an introvert. My smiley face attracts all and sundry :)
    the disadvantage is friends easily know when i am sad, pissed or angry.

    Good one Myne!

  3. Guilty as charged - down to the over analysing bit... Definitely room for improvement going forward for me as I see it then..

  4. The second to the last paragraph describes who I am, and that "over analysing of things and worrying about what others think of me" is the reason why me and a good friend had a fight.

    I really need to change. Thanks for the tips Myne!

  5. This indeed is very inspiring ma. God bless you for this. I have been able to help out a few friends who find it hard to be extrovertial. I tell you, these tips are very profound and significant.
    You said, "some of us shy guys are so burdened by our insecurities that we almost forget to breathe" | That's actually the root cause of so many 'quiet' people today. One word - INSECURITIES.

    I also love how you talked about UNPAID COMMERCIAL "Never read a book by Myne Whitman? Try it!" hahah

    Awesome stuff!

    - LDP

  6. I am miss introvert and can be shy but i do a good job of masking it, i just come off as quiet. lol. Anyway, i never take myself too seriously. Good tips! I shall read a book by Myne cos i never read one. *gasps*

  7. Hahahahahaha. Great post Myne. and the commercial(LDP said so, not me) *coughs* :-)

    Actually learning the art too. Thanks Myne.

  8. this is soo true! I totally agree

    shy or no shy Business school has taught me to let people feel my presence (in a good way lol)

  9. Love your little commercial there.
    I learnt about getting friends from the Bible, ok I know some people will roll their eyes but seriously, there's a verse in Proverbs that says-if you want friends , you first have to be friendly.

    Not taking myself seriously helped a lot and I can say I'm at the happiest that can be. I'm smiling alot, therefore, my troubles don't seem so big.

    Also, I learnt this truth- True friends are not determined by quantity but by the quality of them

  10. Cosigning from a fellow introvert

  11. Great tips Myne.And not on the topic of discussion * I have read your books and recommended it to my family and friends, yay!.

  12. I realised that I had become more introverted after I moved to the States....dunno why precisely but I agree that one gets to choose which to be cos I definitely can be extroverted and then get as quiet as a mouse at other times.

    I have read a book by Myne Whitman. You know her?!

  13. You guys are so funny, LOL...

    Thanks for the comments, always appreciated.

    @Honeydame, yes I do o :)

    @Sting, I'm sure you'll do the needful too.

  14. LOL I will make an effort to read a book by Myme in this new year..

    Depending on the situation, I come off as quiet or friendly..I am doing the trying new things part and reading a book and blogging..kinda helping..
    Thanks for sharing..:)

  15. Oh i am not an introvert , the only introverted thing about me is my fear of speaking in public, apart from that i am as extroverted as can be, though i hid it under a cloak of maturity? but those who know me well...great post Myne!

  16. Great advice. Used to be one such person and even though I still don't go out that much, I am doing well.

  17. Your pearls of wisdom are invaluable. Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Great tips Myne. I use the 'don't forget to breathe' one quite a bit and when combined with the 'get a grip, they're just people!' bit, it really helps when it's time to socialize.

  19. @ChinnyUgoji, I like that too.

    @Jemima, more of us need to be like you. :)

    Thanks Mamuje.

  20. Haha, I like. I am actually an extrovert and a writer. I have always being an extrovert and have always loved writing. However, I love love days of solitude and then I crave people and things. lol dunno sef!

  21. This is a nice post and I'm sure done with the best intentions, however still quite dangerous.

    Introversion and Extraversion are not two boxes that people must belong to. Introversion doesn't equal bad or something that one shouldn't have neither does Extroversion equal good or something we must all be.

    It is all about where we derive our energy/motivations from. People high on extraversion are energized by other people, while those high on introversion are drained by people, and derive energy mostly from themselves.

    Therefore, anyone can be kind, unkind, friendly, unfriendly, sad, insecure, happy. We have the choice to make.

  22. great points on ways to improve self! Many people also think that im the shy introvert. (it's mostly being moody LOL) but God has been working on me! ps. thanks for checking out my post too!!!

  23. @GamineGirlie, I think the title and the first sentence are already enough to indicate my opinion. I do not think the personality traits are mutually exclusive, most of us have them in parts. This post is in no way saying that being an introvert is wrong, it's just about maximizing the extrovert in you.

    @Soul Remedy, you're welcome.

  24. great read that would definitely help.

  25. great read that would definitely help.

  26. This was spot on! I really need to stop analyzing things so much and cut myself some slack while I'm at it. Thanks for the tips Myne (I have it bookmarked for future reference) and yes, I have read a Myne Whitman book.

  27. This was spot on! I really need to stop analyzing things so much and cut myself some slack while I'm at it. Thanks for the tips Myne (I have it bookmarked for future reference) and yes, I have read a Myne Whitman book.


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