How to Be More Outgoing? (33 Tested Ways + Expert Insights)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like you just wanted to blend into the walls? I know I have. But here’s the thing: learning to be more outgoing isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

It’s about small, manageable actions that gradually build your social confidence. In this article, we’ll explore straightforward strategies to help you engage more openly and effectively with those around you.

Let’s dive in and discover how you can start making meaningful connections today!

Do a Thorough Self-Evaluation

Starting on the journey to becoming more outgoing begins with a good, hard look at where you currently stand. Think of it as checking your social thermometer.

Ask yourself:

  • How do you feel in social settings?
  • Are large groups terrifying, or just mildly uncomfortable?
  • What about one-on-one conversations?

By honestly assessing your current reactions and feelings in social scenarios, you can identify specific areas for improvement. This isn’t about being too hard on yourself, just about knowing your start line. Remember, even the best runners had to start somewhere!

Understand Where Your Shyness Comes From

I mean, we’ve all been there, right? When you’re feeling shy, it’s like you’re stuck backstage, too nervous to step into the spotlight. Let’s unwrap that a little.

Often, shyness stems from:

  • Fear of being judged or saying the wrong thing.
  • Past experiences that might not have gone as smoothly as hoped.

Take a quiet moment to reflect. Maybe you clammed up in a group discussion once, and it stuck with you. Or perhaps it’s the thought of not fitting in that sends your heart racing. By pinpointing where your shyness hails from, we can start plotting a path past those pesky fears.

Evaluate Specific Ways You’d Like to Be More Outgoing

Now, let’s get into the specifics. You’ve done some soul-searching, and you know why crowds might make you nervous. The next step? Setting clear, manageable goals.

Maybe you decide that this week you’ll start a conversation with a coworker you haven’t spoken to much. Or perhaps at the next family gathering, you’ll ask at least three people about their day before retreating to your comfort zone.

It’s about baby steps that build your confidence gradually. This approach ensures you’re not just throwing yourself into deep waters but wading in, one toe at a time.

Create a Game Plan

Alright, so you’ve got a clear idea of where your social comfort levels lie and why certain situations feel tough—great start! Now, let’s plot out your roadmap to becoming more outgoing. Think of it like planning a trip; you need a clear route and manageable stops along the way.

Start by mapping out your typical week: note down when and where you might have opportunities to interact socially. Maybe it’s during coffee breaks, at the gym, or while waiting at the bus stop.

Decide beforehand what you’ll do or say in these situations. Could you maybe compliment someone’s attire or ask for a book recommendation? Having a plan takes the edge off the anxiety of spontaneity.

Set Personal Challenges

Personal challenges are like mini-missions you can give yourself each day or week to help build your social muscles. Let’s say you decide that tomorrow, you’ll smile and say hi to at least three people. Doesn’t sound like much? You’d be surprised at the ripple effect something so simple can have.

Or perhaps by next month, you aim to join a local hobby group. Each challenge should push your comfort zone just a little bit further. Keep track of these challenges in a journal or app, and don’t forget to reward yourself for meeting them.

It’s okay to start with something small; remember, the goal is frequent, consistent practice.

Embrace Your Unique Qualities

Everyone has something special about them—your unique qualities make you, well, you! Embracing these can actually be your secret weapon in becoming more outgoing. Maybe you have a knack for remembering names, or perhaps you’re great at telling stories.

These traits can be fantastic icebreakers and conversation starters in social settings. Next time you’re at an event, think about what makes you unique and use it to your advantage. It’s not just about fitting in; it’s about standing out in your own wonderful way.

Connect Your Desire to Be Outgoing With Your Personal Values

Becoming more outgoing isn’t just about being louder or more visible; it’s got to align with what matters to you.

Here’s what I mean:

  • Reflect on why being more outgoing is important. Is it to build friendships or maybe to have a more significant impact at work?
  • Let your goals be more social and powered by your values, like kindness or courage.

If you value learning, for instance, use your outgoing nature to ask others about their experiences and wisdom. When your actions mirror what’s in your heart, authenticity shines through.

Practice Positive Self-Talk

The way we talk to ourselves deeply influences how we interact with others. Negative self-talk can be a major barrier to becoming more outgoing. Flip the script and start practicing positive self-talk.

Instead of thinking, “I’m too awkward for this,” try saying, “I’m here to learn and grow.” You’ll be surprised how much this small shift in mindset can release anxiety and boost your confidence in social situations.

Think of it as having an encouraging little coach in your head, cheering you on as you step out of your comfort zone.

"The next time you are stressing and running through the list of what-ifs, I want you to ask yourself how likely is it that the thing you're worried about will actually happen."

— Megan Cannon, LCSW | Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Owner, Back to Balance Counseling, LLC

Smile More Often

It’s simple but true: smiling can transform your interactions. When you smile, not only do you appear more approachable and friendly, but you also feel better inside. This isn’t just fluffy talk; there’s science behind it!

Smiling releases endorphins, which are natural stress relievers and mood lifters. So, the next time you step into a social setting, start with a smile. It’s like opening a door, both for yourself and for others, to engage more comfortably with you.

Start Small Conversations

Starting small conversations might feel like a leap, but remember, every chat doesn’t have to be a deep philosophical debate. Keep it light and breezy:

  • Comment on something you both experience, like the weather (classic!) or the music playing.
  • Ask for a recommendation, like a good place to eat nearby or their favorite coffee.

And hey, if the convo fizzles out, no big deal. The fact that you started it is a high-five moment. I personally love kicking things off with, “Hey, have you tried the cookies here? They look tempting!

It’s simple, sweet, and sometimes leads to a great exchange… and cookie tips!

Learn Conversation Starters

Being equipped with a few go-to conversation starters can be a game-changer. They’re like your social Swiss Army knife—handy in all sorts of situations.

Here’s what that might look like:

  • “I heard you’re into hiking. Got any trail recommendations?”
  • “Did you catch the lunar eclipse last night? It was incredible!”
  • “That’s a great [item they have], where did you find it?”
  • “I’ve heard a lot about this event, have you been here before?”

The trick is to have a mix of these up your sleeve for different scenarios. Some of my personal favorites include compliments (people love to talk about their unique jewelry or a stylish tie) and tapping into current happenings, because hey, who doesn’t like to share their two cents on the movie that just broke box office records?

Ask Open-Ended Questions

You know what can turn a one-word answer into a full-blown conversation? Open-ended questions! These are the questions that cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’

Here are a couple of examples:

  • Instead of asking, “Did you like the movie?” try, “What did you think about the movie?
  • Swap out “Do you travel?” with “What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why?

When you use open-ended questions, you’re rolling out a conversational red carpet. It’s an invitation for the other person to share more about themselves. And guess what? Most people love to talk about their experiences – it makes them feel heard and valued.

I think it’s one of the best ways to keep a conversation flowing and show that you’re genuinely interested.

Be Curious and Ask Questions

Curiosity didn’t just do whatever they say it did to the cat—more importantly, it opens doors to new friendships and deeper relationships. When meeting someone, channel a humble curiosity.

Inquire about their interests, their work, or any hobbies they might mention. Don’t just ask for the sake of filling silence; aim to discover and connect.

For instance, if someone mentions they like hiking, you might ask, “What’s your favorite trail so far?” This not only keeps the dialogue engaging but also makes the other person feel valued and understood.

"One of the best ways I’ve found to get out of our own heads is to foster what I call 'baby-goat curiosity.'... If we are super curious about the other person, we stop focusing on ourselves, and we exhibit a genuine interest in them, which is the best way to engage others in conversation."

— Michael DeVoll, M.Ed., LPC-S | Licensed Professional Counselor - Supervisor | Owner, DeVoll Counseling Services

Practice Active Listening

Active listening is not just about hearing words; it’s about fully engaging with the person speaking to you. This means nodding in understanding, responding appropriately, and remembering key details they share.

It’s amazing how this technique can turn a simple chat into a meaningful exchange.

When you practice active listening, you make the other person feel heard and respected, which naturally enhances your interaction. So next time you’re in a conversation, really focus. It’s not just about waiting for your turn to speak. It’s about truly appreciating what’s being shared.

Show Genuine Interest in Others

Think about it—when someone really listens to and shows curiosity about your thoughts, you’re likely to feel more connected to them.

This is how you can do it:

  • When someone is talking to you, really focus. Tune into details they’re sharing about their dog, their kids, or that cake they baked over the weekend.
  • Ask follow-up questions that show you’re engaged with what they’ve told you.

My personal favorite is when someone lights up because I remembered a small detail they mentioned weeks ago. It shows that you consider their conversations meaningful, and trust me, that’s a big deal.

It’s a solid stepping stone to building lasting connections and feeling more at ease in social environments.

Compliment Others Genuinely

Have you ever received a compliment that made your day? It feels incredible, doesn’t it? Genuine compliments can create that buzz for someone else, and here’s how to dish them out:

  • Focus on something you truly appreciate about the person or their actions. Maybe it’s their energy, their outfit, or how they just explained something really clearly.
  • Be specific with your compliment. “Your passion for gardening is inspiring” beats “You’re cool.”

I think the secret here is sincerity. It bridges connections, and, hey, giving a compliment usually leads to receiving one down the line. It’s one of those karmic things that also nurtures our own capacity to be outgoing by fostering a friendly vibe.

Share Your Interests

Talking about your interests not only gives others a peek into your world but can also help you find common ground.

And it’s quite straightforward:

  • Don’t be shy to dive into your love for vintage comic books, acoustic guitar, or salsa dancing.
  • Share why you love it and maybe a story or two about your experiences.

You know, someone might just get curious and ask you to show them that salsa step, or they’ll share about the vintage treasures they adore. Sharing your passions can be deeply rewarding and is a powerful tool for sparking conversations that don’t feel forced.

I mean, we’re all a mixtape of unique tastes, and that’s a core part of the fun in getting to know each other.

Work on Your Body Language

Standing tall, maintaining eye contact, and using open gestures can signal confidence and openness, even if you’re still working on feeling that way inside.

To tweak your body language:

  • Catch yourself if you’re crossing your arms or looking down. Instead, try to relax your stance and look forward, maybe even add a nod or two.
  • Smile and nod while listening; it goes a long way in showing you’re engaged and friendly.

I often practice in front of a mirror to see what others see. It might feel a tad silly at first, but it really does help. Your body can sometimes tell a more powerful story than words, so make sure it’s singing the right tune.

"The first detail people notice is your body language. To make yourself seem more outgoing, you want to use welcoming body language... Smile, neatness, eye contact, arms open, and kindness."

— Ali Wenzke | Author, The Art of Happy Moving

Join a Club or Group

Diving into a new interest can be just the ticket to meeting new people and boosting your outgoingness. Whether it’s a book club, a cooking class, or a local hiking group, joining a club is about more than just the activity—it’s about connecting with people who share your interests.

This common ground makes initiating conversations much easier, and the regular meetings provide a perfect opportunity to practice your social skills. Plus, it’s easier to be outgoing when you’re discussing something you’re passionate about!

Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering isn’t just good for the soul; it can be good for your social life too. It’s an avenue where you can meet a diverse group of people united by the desire to do good.

To embark on a volunteering adventure:

  • Choose a cause close to your heart. Passion will make you a natural at interacting.
  • Use the tasks as an opportunity to chat. It’s amazing how a shared goal can make conversation flow easily.

In my own experience, volunteering has a way of putting things into perspective. It connects you with like-minded folks in a setting that’s less about ‘me’ and more about ‘us.’

And the best part? You’re being outgoing while making a difference, and that’s a mighty combination.

Offer Help and Support to Others

One of the easiest ways to break out of your shell and connect with others is to offer help and support. Notice a co-worker struggling with a heavy workload? Offer to lend a hand. Or maybe a neighbor is going through a rough patch and could use some friendly support. Helping out in small, meaningful ways not only creates bonds but also gives you a sense of fulfillment and confidence, essential traits for becoming more outgoing. It positions you as approachable and compassionate, qualities that naturally attract social interactions.

Host Something Small

One of the smoothest ways to ease into being more outgoing is to offer a helping hand. It’s a natural conversation starter and instantly sets a positive tone. How about these ideas?

  • See someone struggling to carry a heavy load? Offer to help them out. It might lead to a grateful chat and a new connection.
  • If a friend or colleague vents about a problem, listen, and then ask if there’s any way you can support them.

I mean, who doesn’t appreciate an extra pair of hands or a listening ear? Next time I see someone looking lost at a conference, I’ll offer some friendly guidance. It feels good to help, and it silently says, “Hey, I’m someone you can talk to.”

Attend Networking Events

While the thought of attending a networking event might send a shiver down your spine, these gatherings are gold mines for practicing outgoing behaviors. Start with smaller, more intimate events where the setting is less overwhelming.

Prepare a few icebreakers or conversation starters beforehand, such as questions about the event theme or comments on a speaker’s presentation.

Remember, everyone’s there to meet new people and make connections, so you’re all in the same boat. With each event, interacting will get easier and more natural.

Seek Out Public Speaking Opportunities

If the idea of public speaking makes your palms sweat, you’re not alone. However, seeking out public speaking opportunities can be one of the most effective ways to boost your confidence and outgoingness.

Start with something small, like speaking up in meetings or joining a local Toastmasters club where you can practice in a supportive environment.

Each time you speak publicly, you build not just your speaking skills but also your ability to interact openly with others. Over time, what once felt daunting will start to feel like just another enjoyable challenge.

Accept Invitations

Here’s a simple yet transformative tip: start saying yes to more invitations, even those you might normally skip. Whether it’s a coworker’s birthday party, an informal get-together, or a community event, each invitation represents a chance to enhance your social skills.

Don’t worry about staying all night or being the life of the party—just focus on showing up and participating at your own pace. The more you put yourself out there, the easier it becomes, and the more natural your interactions will feel.

Push Yourself to Try New Ways of Meeting People Weekly

Becoming outgoing is an active, not passive, process. Challenge yourself to try new ways of meeting people every week. This could be attending different social events, trying new meetup groups, or even exploring new social apps if face-to-face interactions are a big leap at first.

The key is variety and consistency. Each new setting or method provides unique opportunities to practice engaging with others, and the diversity keeps the process exciting and less intimidating.

Think of it as a social experiment—what’s the best that could happen?

Embrace Discomfort and Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Growth and comfort don’t stroll hand in hand. If you want to expand your horizons, you need to embrace the butterflies in your stomach.

Here’s what you could do:

  • Sign up for an activity that makes you a tad nervous, maybe it’s a dance class or a language exchange.
  • Remember, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable when you try something new. Acknowledge it, but don’t let it stop you.

I remember starting a conversation with someone at a gallery (a “Hi, what do you think of the artwork?” kind of deal), and boy, my heartbeat was drumming in my ears.

But that discomfort? It gave way to one of the most enriching discussions I’ve had. So, take the leap – discomfort today, outgoing tomorrow.

Learn to Handle Rejection Gracefully

Rejection is something everyone faces, but not everyone learns to handle it gracefully. As you become more outgoing, not every interaction will go perfectly—that’s a given. The key is to see rejection not as a failure but as a learning opportunity.

Perhaps after a conversation that didn’t go well, reflect on what could be improved next time rather than dwelling on the negatives.

Developing a resilient mindset will not only help you deal with rejection but will also empower you to approach new situations with less fear and more confidence.

Celebrate Your Successes and Learn from Your Failures

Becoming more outgoing is a journey filled with ups and downs. It’s important to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem.

Did you initiate a conversation today? Give yourself a pat on the back! Each success is a step forward in your social skills journey. Equally important is learning from the times things don’t go as planned.

Instead of getting discouraged, ask yourself what you can extract from that experience to do better next time. This balanced approach helps maintain motivation and commitment to your personal growth.

Practice Self-Acceptance

If you’re waiting to be perfect to be outgoing, you’ll be waiting a long while, my friend. Embrace who you are right now, quirks and all. Get comfortable with the idea that you’re a work in progress, and that’s totally alright.

  • Celebrate what you’re good at socially, and give yourself grace where you’re not.
  • Keep a gentle, forgiving mindset – we’re all learning and growing every day.

There was a time when I’d get tongue-tied around new people, and I’d kick myself for it. But I learned that accepting my conversational bumbles made them less frightening. It’s not about being flawless, it’s about being authentically you.

"Acceptance does not mean approving of or enjoying the discomfort. Instead, acceptance means acknowledging reality as it is; being more outgoing may be important to you, and you feel really uncomfortable doing it! You are not alone in that struggle."

— Dr. Anna Hoffman | Licensed Psychologist, Thrive Psychology Group

Be Aware of the Discomfort

Acknowledging and being mindful of discomfort when stepping out of your social comfort zone is crucial. Recognize that feeling nervous or anxious about social interactions is a normal part of the process.

Instead of avoiding these feelings, lean into them. What are they trying to tell you? Often, discomfort is just the mind’s reaction to new scenarios.

Viewing these feelings as signs that you are pushing your boundaries can change your relationship with them, transforming them from obstacles to beacons of progress on your journey to becoming more outgoing.

"The truth is, if we allow our discomfort to always steer us away from connecting with others, we may find ourselves feeling dissatisfied in one or many deeply valued domains in our lives, such as friendship, intimacy, career, and others."

— Dr. Anna Hoffman | Licensed Psychologist, Thrive Psychology Group

Embrace Being Yourself, Free from Self-Doubt

Let’s get real for a second. Self-doubt is like a shadow that can follow you around, especially when you’re trying to be more outgoing. But guess what? Being authentically you is your superpower.

Here’s how you can embrace it:

  • Recognize your own value; your thoughts and feelings are just as important as anyone else’s.
  • Trust in your abilities. You’ve got a lot to contribute to conversations and social settings. Really, you do.

My personal favorite trick is to pretend I’m my own best friend. I mean, you wouldn’t let your friend drown in self-doubt, right? It’s about being as kind to yourself as you are to others. Once you shake off the doubt, you’ll start to shine.

Learn to Introduce Yourself

Mastering the art of introducing yourself is an essential skill in becoming more outgoing. It’s your opening line in the story of ‘you’ that you share with others.

Start with a smile, extend your hand for a handshake, and say your name clearly. A simple addition like, “I work in [industry], and I love talking about [topic]” can open the door to further conversation.

Remember, the goal is to make a connection, not to impress. The more comfortable you become with introducing yourself, the easier it becomes to strike up conversations and build new relationships.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can social media help me become more outgoing offline?

Social media can be a helpful tool for initiating conversations and building networks in a less intimidating space. However, remember that real-life interactions are different, so use online practices as a stepping stone to improve your in-person social skills.

What role does culture play in being outgoing, and how can I be sensitive to different cultural norms?

Different cultures have varying norms regarding social behavior and openness. Familiarize yourself with cultural expectations and be respectful of differences. Being outgoing includes being culturally aware and sensitive to the fact that not everyone will respond to social overtures in the same way.


Final Thoughts

I’m rooting for you to plug into the social energy around you. Take each day as a new chance to try something from our chat here. And hey, each time you do, you’re one step closer to being that outgoing person you’ve pictured.

Just remember, it’s all about being comfortable in your own shoes and walking into those social scenes at your own pace.

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Jahrine is a seeker of knowledge and personal growth. When not exploring the worlds of self-help books and spirituality, she enjoys reading dark fiction and spending time with her beloved dogs. With diverse interests, including career development, travel, and poetry, Jahrine is constantly expanding her horizons and seeking new experiences.