Introvert Energy Drain Rule Number Eight – Push Your Introvert Comfort Zone
The word “introvert” is a tainted word that carries with it negative connotations of social phobia and shyness even though not all introverts are afflicted by these life-limiting communication issues. While introverts can learn tips and tricks to masquerade as extroverts, it is not recommended to apply such tricks constantly, as acting like an extrovert will be a disaster for your energy and will never stop feeling false. Yet every introvert should aspire to free themselves of communication blocks currently standing in their way because this form of progress and personal growth is what ultimately brings with it a sense of self-acceptance.
Once you face and break down your communication blocks, your social fears, and self-perceived inadequacies, you become comfortable in your own skin and can perform well in social situations on your own terms. It doesn’t mean that you suddenly become an extrovert who is the life and soul of the party. You don’t suddenly transform into someone who is great at holding the attention of an audience by cracking joke after joke. As an introvert, attaining self-acceptance means that you stop forcing yourself to fit into the shoes of extroverts, which don’t fit you and give you painful blisters. Instead, you embrace yourself as you are and are even proud of your individuality and deeper conversational style. You recognise that you are different to other people, but it doesn’t bother you, and you feel no pressure to conform.
When you feel inadequate about an aspect of your social performance or communication skills, you make it your objective to improve your abilities in this area. The approach to facing and beating your communication blocks is one where you gently and repeatedly challenge yourself to face your social fears. It was by following this process of constantly pushing against the edge of my natural shyness that I eroded it to the point that I barely feel it these days. In my experience, you can learn any aspect of social communication or speaking skills if you earnestly set it as a goal and practise it repeatedly. To give you an example, there was a time when I felt extremely awkward and resistant in any situation where the talk was at a surface level, such as a party where I didn’t really know anyone. I often felt like a freak who had nothing to say because I was resistant to engaging in the most basic of small talk about everyday things. However, moving to Dubai was my training ground to master the art of extroverted, surface conversation. This is because the social life in Dubai tends to be at a superficial level: You find that you know a lot of people, but you know few very well. When I moved to Dubai, I had to learn a completely new way of socialising that went against my need for meaningful, deep connections with others. I can’t say that I ever learnt to enjoy the fast-paced, repetitive socialising of Dubai, but I am grateful for the experience, as it has made me much stronger socially, and I can carry those skills with me my whole life going forward. Without moving to Dubai, it would probably have taken me a lot longer to learn the art of extroverted conversation.