So, I’ve officially been in L.A. for 6 months now. A lot has happened. A lot hasn’t happened, but we’ll get to that later. I’d be lying if I said this adventure has been easy. I’d also be lying if I said it hasn’t been fun. My introvert has been challenged beyond what’s comfortable, and I love it. I truly believe that growth comes from stepping out and playing in the land beyond your comfort zone. And holy eff if I haven’t stepped out behind the shy, introverted, veil to introduce myself to the magical world of the unknown. I wanted to be able to articulate how I’ve been going about life as an introvert living in L.A. I wanted this blog to be an instruction manual for introverts alike. How have I survived conquered this new life? A couple of years ago, if you asked me what I wanted, I’d have said I just want to survive. Recovering from heartbreak, jaded, and questioning my existence, I simply didn’t have the capacity to dream of the life I’m living now. I want to share how I got here. How I’m finding myself going to the movies alone, signing up for belly dancing and astrology classes, eating at restaurants solo, planning trips, and going to meetups with people I’ve never met. I wanted to offer some tips/advice that I’ve been taking with me on my L.A. adventures. I hope someone will find them helpful.
4 Tips to Thrive as an Introvert
- Get embarrassed. Put yourself in a situation that makes you anxious. Let your face turn red, let the awkward increase and, most importantly, just breathe. Raise your hand in class, talk to someone you don’t know, dance in front of people. Let loose and get comfy with the sweaty palms and discomfort. My biggest fear has always embarrassment. So, I found when I let myself fully experience the embarrassment, everything became, well…less embarrassing.
- Talk to people. For an introvert this may be easier said than done. I suggest starting small. Start without words at all. Talk with your facial expressions. I like to practice this when I’m out walking. Say hello to people you pass with nothing but a smile and warm eyes. Slowly add a “Hi” or “Good morning” when you are ready. Ask for assistance at the grocery store, tell a stranger you really like their shoes, call people (no texting) etc.
- Do something by yourself. God this is hard. Trust me, I know. The trick is to do something you really want to do. Pick a movie you really want to see. Go to a restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Sign up for a class on something that really interests you. The great thing about solo adventures is you are the boss. I suggest, again, starting small. Go to a local coffee shop. A lot of people are there by themselves. Bring a book, get a good cup of coffee and settle in.
- Sign up for a class. This is such a wonderful way to do something by yourself, without having to be alone. Not to mention it’s a great way to meet people with similar interests and learn something new at the same time. Curious about painting? So are a lot of other people. Join in on a 101 class. Check out your local parks and rec guide. There are tons of classes to sign up for from knitting and crocheting to writing and Zumba.
These methods have worked for me so far and I’m constantly learning new techniques to dampen the shyness and let my inner extrovert out. What do you do to exit your comfort zone? Go ahead and share below!