2. Become fascinated by other people.
Here’s the great news for us introverts: most other people love to talk about themselves, and all we need to do is to give them the chance to do so—simply by saying hello, asking a good open-ended question, and then listening. When you take the focus off of you and really pay attention to the other person, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your nerves disappear.
3. Practice in non-threatening contexts.
While you’re walking, rather than staring at your phone or the ground, practice looking at the people walking by. Say hello to the person next to you in line or on the airplane. Ask the barista or the store clerk how they are doing, and watch them light up when someone actually treats him or her like a human being. Then take this a step further and say hello to people whom you might find intimidating—the boss, the president of the bank, a political official. You don’t have to initiate a conversation, just get used to keeping your focus on others.
Watch for the next installment of this blog…