How To Be More Social If You Are Introverted (31 Tips + Expert Insights)

Does the idea of mingling at a party make you anxious? It’s a common worry for introverts, but it doesn’t have to be limiting. With the right approach, social events can become enjoyable rather than scary.

We’ll look at preparing for interactions, engaging in meaningful conversations, and even taking time out without feeling awkward. I’ll share practical tips and strategies to help you.

From setting achievable goals and finding the right activities to practicing self-care and building meaningful connections, you’ll learn how to navigate the social world without changing who you are.

Embrace Your Introvert Strengths

As an introvert, you have to embrace your unique strengths. We introverts have some amazing qualities that can help us in social situations.

For instance, we tend to be great listeners, have a knack for observing and analyzing social dynamics, and can form meaningful connections. Your introspective nature allows you to bring a unique perspective to conversations.

Instead of trying to change who you are, focus on your natural strengths. Your ability to listen attentively and ask thoughtful questions can make others feel valued and appreciated.

Set Achievable Social Goals

Rather than setting a goal to become a social butterfly overnight, why not take it one step at a time? Start with achievable goals that don’t feel overwhelming.

Maybe this week, your goal is to strike up a conversation with a coworker during lunch, or perhaps it’s saying yes to one social invitation. Let’s keep it real; nobody becomes a chatterbox in a day.

Here’s a mini roadmap to nudge you on:

  • Start with what feels slightly uncomfortable, not terrifying.
  • Shoot for regular, small wins—chat with a barista, wave at a neighbor.
  • Celebrate your wins! It’s about progress, not perfection.

Find Social Activities You Enjoy

One of the best ways to become more social as an introvert is to find activities that genuinely interest you. Consider exploring activities such as:

  • Joining a book club or writing group
  • Attending workshops or classes related to your interests
  • Participating in volunteer work for a cause you care about
  • Engaging in low-key social activities like game nights or movie screenings

Choosing social activities that align with your interests will make you feel more motivated to participate and less drained by the experience. When you engage in hobbies or pursuits you’re passionate about, socializing becomes more natural and enjoyable.

Practice Self-Care and Recharge

As an introvert, socializing can be mentally and emotionally taxing, and they often need alone time to recharge their batteries. Make sure to carve out time for activities that help you recharge and feel centered. What this might look like:

  • Taking a relaxing bath after a social event
  • Spending time in nature to clear your mind
  • Engaging in a creative hobby to express yourself

Self-care looks different for everyone. Some introverts find solace in quiet activities like reading, writing, or practicing yoga. Others prefer more active pursuits like hiking or painting. Experiment and find what works best for you.

"I spend hours with friends or colleagues during the workday or weekend, but I make time for me. On a workday, that means taking lunch early in the break room by myself or leaving the office to find a quiet, low-key spot to rest, relax, and recharge for 30 minutes to an hour."

— Kevin Lindon Ryan, MA | Creative Marketer | Founder | KLR|PR

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

While embracing your introvert strengths is important, growth often happens when we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. It can be challenging but also an opportunity for personal development.

Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean transforming into an extrovert but gently challenging yourself to expand your social horizons. For example, if you’re uncomfortable speaking up in group settings, set a goal to contribute one idea during a meeting.

If you’ve always wanted to attend a networking event but feel intimidated, bring along a supportive friend or colleague. Remember to celebrate each victory, no matter how small, and use them as motivation to keep pushing forward.

Balance Socializing and Alone Time

Getting the hang of being more social doesn’t mean you throw your alone time out the window. It’s okay to prioritize your own needs and well-being. When you do socialize, be fully present and engaged. Then, when you’re alone, allow yourself to fully recharge without guilt.

Here’s what you can do: Be intentional about your social commitments and make sure to schedule regular downtime for yourself. This might mean saying no to some invitations or setting boundaries with others.

Striking a balance between socializing and alone time is an ongoing process. Finding what works best for you may take some trial and error. Be patient with yourself and keep making adjustments as needed.

"Since it doesn’t come naturally to you, you need to make time to be social. It should be at least once a week where you text friends and just check-in...

...You’ll also need to make a habit of meeting new people once a month."

— Caleb Backe | Health and Wellness Expert | Maple Holistics

Attend Events with a Friend

Going to social events doesn’t have to be a solo mission. Having a familiar face by your side can provide comfort and support, making it easier to navigate new social situations.

Try to choose a friend who understands your introverted tendencies and is supportive. They can help bridge the gap between you and others until you feel comfortable enough to engage on your own.

Having a friend along can also make it easier to leave the event if you start to feel overwhelmed. Just make sure to balance focusing on your friend and interacting with other people.

But remember, the safety net of a friend is great, but the goal is to build your confidence to one day hit these events solo.

"If you get invited to a party that may get a bit rowdy for your comfort levels, bring an extroverted friend to tag along... They’ll understand that you don’t want to talk to everyone and can introduce you to people that you may want to connect with..."

— Caleb Backe | Health and Wellness Expert | Maple Holistics

Smile and Maintain Eye Contact

Smiling is a universal sign of friendliness and approachability. When you smile, you signal others that you’re open to interaction and engagement. It’s an easy way to break the ice and make a positive first impression. 

Eye contact is another important aspect of social interaction. When you maintain eye contact with someone, you show that you’re interested in what they have to say. It helps create a sense of connection and builds trust.

Just remember, there’s a difference between friendly eye contact and an intimidating stare. Aim for a genuine, warm gaze that feels comfortable for you and the other person.

Practice Active Listening

When you focus on really hearing and understanding what others are saying, you show genuine interest and create opportunities for deeper connections.

Active listening is an invaluable skill, especially for introverts. Focusing fully on what others are saying shows genuine interest and makes them feel valued.

Here’s how you can practice active listening:

  • Nod and provide verbal signs of understanding like “uh-huh” or “I see.”
  • Ask questions that show you’re engaged and want to understand more.
  • Reflect back on what you’ve heard to confirm your understanding.

As an introvert, you have a natural ability to listen and reflect deeply. Use this to your advantage in social situations.

"... By being a good listener and paying attention to what someone is saying in front of you, and asking questions that are truly inspired by curiosity, you’re forming connections with individuals..."

— Jen Oleniczak Brown | Author | Speaker | Entrepreneur | Owner | Fearless Winston Salem | The Engaging Educator

Ask Easy, Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions require more than a yes or no answer, prompting the other person to share more about themselves. This technique places the spotlight on the other person, giving you time to relax into the conversation.

Here are a few examples of open-ended questions you might use:

  • “What brought you to this event?”
  • “How did you get into your hobby?”
  • “How do you spend your weekends?”
  • “What are your thoughts on [a topic of mutual interest]?”

Asking such questions shows that you’re interested in the other person’s views and experiences, and you give the other person an opportunity to talk about something they’re passionate or knowledgeable about, helping the conversation flow more naturally.

Focus on the Present Moment

One of the biggest challenges for introverts in social situations is getting out of their own heads and worrying about what to say next. But mindfulness in social settings helps reduce anxiety and can lower your stress levels.

Here’s how you can practice being present:

  • Consciously remind yourself to focus on the current conversation.
  • Minimize distractions by putting away your phone or other devices.
  • Engage all your senses to experience the moment fully.

People tend to respond positively to someone who genuinely seems to care about what they are saying. This approach makes the interaction more enjoyable for you, making socializing easier.

Share Your Experiences

When you open up about your thoughts, feelings, and stories, you encourage others to relate to you and share their own experiences in return.

As an introvert, you may feel hesitant to share personal things about yourself, but you don’t have to reveal your deepest secrets. Start by sharing small, relatable experiences or observations.

For example, if you’re talking about a movie you recently watched, share what you liked or disliked about it and why. If you’re discussing a hobby, share a funny or interesting story related to it. The more you practice sharing your experiences, the more comfortable and natural it will become.

Show Curiosity and Empathy

Curiosity is having a sincere interest in others. It’s the desire to learn more about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. When you’re curious, you naturally ask questions and listen attentively to the answers.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their feelings. When you show empathy, you show that you care about the other person’s well-being and that you’re there to support them.

Some tips to exhibit curiosity and empathy include:

  • Mirror emotions and expressions—if someone shares something exciting, reflect that excitement in your response.
  • Acknowledging their feelings, even with simple validations like, “That sounds challenging,” or “That must have been exciting!” shows that you understand where they’re coming from.
  • Ask thoughtful questions to learn more about their experiences and perspectives.
"To be interesting, be interested... Being more interested in others makes the bigger difference. This means have a genuine curiosity."

— William Haynes | Recruiter | The Princeton Review | Founder | Friendship Hacks

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

For introverts, the idea of networking or large social gatherings can feel overwhelming. When you prioritize quality over quantity, you give yourself permission to be selective about the social interactions you engage in.

Sometimes, having a few deep, real connections is better than a large group of superficial ones. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to keep up with too many social obligations. Instead, invest your time and energy into the relationships that truly matter to you.

What this might look like:

  • Regularly checking in with close friends, even if it’s just a quick text or phone call
  • Planning meaningful one-on-one time with loved ones, like a coffee date or a hike
  • Saying no to invitations that don’t align with your priorities or energy levels

Take Breaks During Social Events

Attending social events can be overwhelming for introverts, especially if they’re long or crowded. Stepping away from the action for a few minutes can help you recharge and manage your energy so you can continue to enjoy the experience.

One of my personal favorite ways to take a break during social events is to find a quiet spot to sit and relax. This could be a bench outside, a cozy corner in another room, or even a quick restroom trip. Use this time to take a few deep breaths, check in with yourself, and give your mind a chance to rest.

Another option is to use breaks as an opportunity to connect with others in a more low-key way. Strike up a conversation with someone who also seems to be taking a break, or invite a friend to step outside with you for some fresh air.

You don’t have to explain your need for breaks to everyone; most people will understand if you simply say you need some fresh air. 

Use Social Media to Connect

When used mindfully, social media can help you stay in touch with friends, join communities of like-minded people, and even make new connections. For introverts, it’s a way to be ‘out there’ without actually, well, being out there, allowing you to socialize on your own terms.

Here are some tips for using social media effectively:

  • Join groups or follow pages that align with your interests. This makes it easier to start conversations with like-minded individuals.
  • Participate in discussions by commenting on posts or sharing your thoughts, which can help build relationships gradually.

By interacting online, you can get to know people before meeting them in person, making real-world interaction more comfortable and less intimidating. Plus, it’s easier to break the ice when you already know you have shared interests!

"Find an online environment that breeds new friendships in real life... Leagues, activities, classes, or groups that meet regularly give you a chance to develop that rapport over time to allow you to break that mold!"

— Peter Lucchese | Founder | Sam’s Social!

Practice Assertiveness and Boundaries

As an introvert, practicing assertiveness and setting clear boundaries in your social interactions means communicating your needs and preferences clearly and confidently and not being afraid to say no when something doesn’t feel right for you.

For example:

  • “I need some quiet time to recharge after work, so I won’t be able to hang out tonight.”
  • “I’m uncomfortable discussing personal topics in large groups, so let’s save that conversation for another time.”
  • “I have to leave the party by 10 pm to get enough sleep. Thanks for understanding!”

Setting boundaries is not putting up walls; rather, you’re telling others how to appreciate and interact with you better, helping you adjust to social situations in a way that feels comfortable for you.

Volunteer for a Cause

Volunteering offers a way to meet new people while positively impacting your community. When you’re working together with others towards a common goal, the social interactions often feel more natural and less pressured.

Depending on your interests and skills, there are countless ways to get involved as a volunteer. You could:

  • Get involved with an advocacy group.
  • Tutor students in a subject you excel in.
  • Volunteer at a local food bank or homeless shelter.
  • Help out at a local animal shelter or rescue organization.
  • Assist with community clean-up projects or environmental initiatives.

By choosing a cause you’re passionate about, your focus shifts from your introversion to the task at hand, and before you know it, you’re genuinely making connections with fellow volunteers.

Host Small Gatherings

When you’re the host, you have more control over the guest list, the activities, and the overall vibe of the event. Being in a familiar environment can help you feel more at ease and confident.

Here’s a tip: Start by inviting a few close friends or acquaintances for a low-key hangout. This could be a movie night, a board game evening, or a potluck dinner. Keep the guest list small and manageable so you don’t feel overwhelmed or drained by the end of the night.

As you become more comfortable hosting, you can gradually expand your gatherings to include more people or try out different activities. The key is to create a welcoming atmosphere where everyone feels connected.

Use Relaxation Techniques

Feeling tense before a social interaction is common. But relaxation techniques can make facing the day—or any social event—a bit less scary.

One of my favorite relaxation techniques is deep breathing. It’s simple, easy to do anywhere, and incredibly effective at calming the mind and body. You can even combine deep breathing with a simple mantra or affirmation, like “I am calm and capable” or “I am present and engaged.”

These methods are helpful before social encounters and can be effective if you need to take a quick break during an event. They allow you to reset your emotional state and engage with others from a place of calm.

"For social anxiety, there are a host of mindfulness techniques you can do, including meditation, breathing, muscle relaxation, and so on. In the case of social anxiety, the process often involves figuring out the 'why,' and working through some of that."

— Cody Higgs | Licensed Professional Counselor | Owner | J Cody Higgs Counseling LLC

Learn to Exit Conversations Gracefully

Let’s say the chat has run its course, and you’re ready to move on. How do you wrap it up without awkwardness? Be polite and acknowledge the conversation positively to ensure the other person feels appreciated for the time shared.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Express appreciation, such as saying, “It was great talking to you.”
  • Provide a reason, such as “I have to head out soon, but I enjoyed meeting you. Perhaps we can continue this discussion another time.”

Exiting a conversation doesn’t have to be a big deal. Most people understand that social events involve mingling and moving around. As long as you’re polite in your interactions, it’s perfectly acceptable to excuse yourself when you need to.

Expand Your Social Circle…Gradually

Expanding your social circle doesn’t imply you need to meet a lot of new people all at once. As an introvert, you may find it more rewarding to add new contacts slowly through activities and environments where you feel most at ease.

One way to do this is to focus on existing social networks. As we talked about earlier, spending time with friends of friends can be a great way to meet new people. You already have something in common (your mutual friend), which can make it easier to start conversations.

Expanding your social circle is a gradual process. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make a certain number of new friends by a certain deadline. Instead, focus on being open, curious, and engaged in the social opportunities that come your way.

"One way to increase a social-introvert is to spend time with friends of friends. It’s all too easy to spend time with people you already know, but a bit more challenging with those you don’t know..."

— Giuseppe Del Giudice | Professional Life Coach | Registered Behavioral Specialist | Real Potential Coach

Be Confident and Embrace Quietness

As an introvert, it’s easy to feel like you need to be loud, outgoing, or the center of attention to be socially successful. But the truth is that embracing your natural inclination towards quietness can actually be a strength in social situations.

When you’re confident in who you are, you don’t feel the need to fill every silence or be the most talkative person in the room. Instead, you can focus on being present and engaged in your interactions. You can listen attentively, ask well-thought-out questions, and contribute to the conversation.

Confidence is about being comfortable in your own skin, knowing your worth, and trusting that you have something valuable to offer, even if you express it quietly.

Identify Your Social Goals

Setting clear social goals can help you navigate your social interactions more effectively and make the most of your efforts. What does being more social look like to you? Is it about making new friends, networking for career purposes, or feeling more at ease in social situations?

Once you have a sense of your social goals, you can start to make a plan for achieving them. Break them down into smaller, more manageable steps, and identify the specific actions you can take to move closer to your goals.

For example, if your goal is to make one or two close friends, your plan might include:

  • Attending events or joining groups related to those interests.
  • Identifying shared interests or hobbies that could lead to friendship.
  • Following up and staying in touch to nurture the friendship over time.
  • Initiating one-on-one conversations and invitations with potential friends.
"One of the first bits of advice we give: be sure to identify WHY you want to be social and WHAT does success look like... if you aren’t identifying what you want out of a situation, and why you want it, you’ll never feel successful."

— Jen Oleniczak Brown | Author | Speaker | Entrepreneur | Owner | Fearless Winston Salem | The Engaging Educator

Manage Rejection Positively

Rejection is a part of life, and everyone experiences it. For introverts, viewing rejection not as a personal failure but as a natural occurrence can lessen feelings of discouragement and maintain your social motivation.

Consider the following when faced with rejection:

  • Reflect on the experience to learn from it, without over-analyzing or blaming yourself.
  • Remind yourself of your worth and that a rejection doesn’t define your value or your capabilities.

Keep in mind that each interaction is a learning opportunity. Building resilience against rejection allows you to continue putting yourself out there without the fear of being turned away or undermining your confidence.

Avoid Negative Self-Judgments

We can be our own harshest critics, especially when stepping outside our comfort zones. Still, being harsh on yourself after a less-than-perfect social interaction does more harm than good.

Swap out self-criticism with self-compassion:

  • Replace thoughts like “I’m not good at this” with affirmations like “I’m learning and improving every day.”
  • Reflect on your social encounters to find positives and learning points rather than dwell on what didn’t go quite right.

Everyone is a work in progress, and it’s okay to make mistakes, but they don’t define you. Remember that self-compassion builds the resilience you need to face social challenges head-on.

Observe and Learn from Extroverts

One of the best ways to improve your social skills as an introvert is to observe and learn from the extroverts in your life. Extroverts often have a natural ease and confidence in social situations that can be inspiring to watch.

Notice how they start conversations, keep them flowing, and engage with others. Observe their body language and the way they listen and respond to others. You don’t need to copy their behavior exactly, but you can pick up valuable techniques to adapt to your style.

For example, you might notice that an extroverted colleague always starts conversations by asking about the other person’s interests or experiences. Or you might see how an extroverted friend uses humor to put others at ease and create a sense of connection.

By observing these behaviors in action, you can start incorporating them into your social interactions in a way that feels authentic and comfortable for you.

Practice Social Skills with Strangers

When you interact with strangers, there’s less pressure than when you’re socializing with people you know and care about. If an interaction with a stranger goes poorly, you’ll probably never see them again, and you can use it as a learning experience to improve for next time.

How to start? Try simple interactions like asking a cashier how their day is going or try commenting on the weather with a stranger while waiting in line. You can also practice maintaining casual, friendly eye contact and paying attention to their responses.

You don’t need to have a deep, meaningful conversation with every stranger you meet. Just focus on making a brief, positive connection and practicing your social skills. Over time, you’ll feel more confident interacting with people you don’t know, which will make it easier to socialize with friends and acquaintances.

Give Compliments

Who doesn’t like receiving compliments? Giving a genuine compliment makes the other person feel seen, appreciated, and valued. You also create a positive association with yourself in their mind, which can make future interactions more enjoyable.

Giving good compliments needs to be specific, sincere, and appropriate. Avoid generic or insincere compliments that could come across as fake. Instead, focus on something you genuinely appreciate or admire about the other person and express it naturally.

For example:

  • “I really admire the way you always stay calm and focused under pressure. It’s a great quality to have.”
  • “Your presentation at the meeting today was so clear and engaging. You have a real talent for explaining complex ideas in a way everyone can understand.”
  • “I love your sense of style! That jacket looks amazing on you.”

Make Others Feel Comfortable

When you prioritize the comfort and well-being of those around you, you create a positive and welcoming environment that encourages them to contribute to the conversation without being judged or rushed.

How can you make others feel comfortable? Start by being a good listener. Give people your full attention when they’re speaking, and ask follow-up questions. Be mindful of your body language, and avoid looking at your phone or giving off a disinterested vibe.

Focusing on making others comfortable can also ease your own social anxiety. It shifts the focus away from how you’re feeling to facilitating a good experience for the people you’re with. Through this, you’ll often find that you feel more at ease, too.

"If you can get your conversation partner talking about something meaningful to them, 2 things happen: The conversation begins to flow much more naturally... 

...The person you are speaking with will generally make a real connection with you. They will feel appreciated, engaged, and will enjoy talking with you."

— Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L | President and CEO | Rehab U Practice Solutions

Maintain Existing Friendships

While meeting new people is great, maintaining existing friendships is equally important. These are the people who know you, support you, and accept you for who you are. But friendships don’t have to be demanding. They can be maintained with simple gestures.

One of the best ways to maintain existing friendships is to make a conscious effort to stay in touch and keep communication open. This might mean:

  • Scheduling regular check-ins or catch-ups with friends, whether in person or over the phone/video chat.
  • Sending thoughtful messages or check-ins when you know a friend is going through a tough time.
  • Planning fun, low-key activities or outings that allow you to spend quality time together.

Another important aspect of maintaining friendships is being a good friend yourself. This means being reliable, supportive, and present for your friends when they need you—following through on your commitments, showing up for important events, and being a source of positivity in their lives.

More Expert Insights

“Learning to zone in on the people around me who were happy and relaxed was a crucial step in becoming more social. I accept that I can’t brighten everyone’s day, and I focus on matching my pace to the people around me who are enjoying themselves.”

— Laurelei Litke | Digital Marketer | Health Labs

“I find that social media allows me to keep in touch and build relationships with friends and colleagues without the tiring overstimulation from too much socialization.”

— Kevin Lindon Ryan, MA | Creative Marketer | Founder | KLR|PR

“The biggest key for me is to know what situations and settings are more comfortable and natural for me… Since I’m comfortable one-on-one or with a few other people, I try to choose social activities that will put me in those situations.”

— Marc Andre
| Personal Finance Blogger | Vital Dollar

Frequently Asked Questions

Can introverts be good at socializing?

Absolutely! Being introverted does not mean you can’t enjoy or excel at socializing. It simply means you might need to approach social interactions differently.

Are there any good practices for making a good first impression as an introvert?

Focus on your body language. Maintain good posture, make eye contact, and don’t forget to smile. These non-verbal cues can make a strong, positive impact, even before you say a word.

Do introverts need to change who they are to be more social?

Not at all. Introverts don’t need to change their core personality to be more social. Instead, they can learn to use their natural strengths, such as listening skills and thoughtfulness, to interact in ways that feel like themselves.

Is it necessary for introverts to be social?

While introverts may enjoy their alone time, social interactions are important to the human experience and can lead to personal and professional growth.

Final Thoughts

As an introvert, becoming more social can be a challenge. But know that building a social life that feels good and right for you is possible. You only have to take things one step at a time and be gentle with yourself along the way.

You don’t have to change who you are to be social. Your introversion is a part of what makes you special and unique. Using the tips and ideas in this article, you can find ways to connect with others that feel comfortable and natural.

So keep learning, keep growing, and most of all, keep being true to yourself.

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Erika Maniquiz is a certified teacher and librarian with a Library and Information Science degree. She cherishes the calm moments reading books as much as the dynamic discussions she has in her classroom. Beyond her career, she is a fan of Kdrama and loves Kpop's lively beats.