Feeling uncomfortable in a social situation sucks. You’re looking around at the people surrounding you; they all seem confident, put together, and like they have quality topics to add to the conversation. We're going to teach you how to become that person.
It all starts with looking inwards.
Inside each of us, our inner child is waiting to be remembered, awoken, and celebrated. Your inner child possesses crucial qualities to help you rock social situations. Open your mind and look for your curious spirit, spontaneous side, and love of adventure. These qualities will help you connect with people and feel comfortable and confident in your social life.
Your Inner Child
We all have an inner child desperate for attention, praise, and love. But what is your inner child?
According to Betterhelp.com, "The term' inner child' is often used to describe the connection you have within yourself to your child self and your childhood memories."
Your inner child is the key to helping you rock social situations and develop the confidence you need to start socializing more.
Your inner child is a more authentic version of you. The one who still looks at the world with a sense of wonder. The one who hasn't been beaten down by society and forced to adhere to erroneous social norms. Your inner you is like an undiluted version of yourself that you can invite the world to see. By opening the door and letting your inner child out, you're letting other people get to know the real, true you.
We will highlight a few key qualities you should look to your inner child for, like a cheat sheet to use when trying to connect with people.
Children are naturally open-minded. They're ready to accept others without preconceived notions or biases. As we grow older, our minds often become more closed off, limiting our ability to connect with a diverse range of people. By cultivating and leaning into an open-minded perspective, you will have the tools to get to know people better and even those outside of your social circle.
Approaching social interactions with an open mind allows you to embrace different perspectives and learn from other people's experiences. You'll even begin to listen to their once seemingly boring stories with rapt attention. Having an open mind encourages you to step outside of the comfortable world you know and engage in conversations that challenge your beliefs. By being open-minded, you'll enrich your life experience and be a welcoming space for others to express themselves and behave authentically.
Curiosity is a trait with immense power that is often neglected by adults. Children possess an insatiable curiosity that allows them to be fascinated rather than bored. It compels them to ask adults "why" thousands of times per day.
As we age, we become complacent and settle into familiar places, faces, and routines. Without engaging our curiosity, we close ourselves off from the limitless opportunities surrounding us.
Being curious in your social circle makes you more inclined to ask challenging and interesting questions. You're the one who comes up with amazing and fun ideas that push the boundaries of those around you. That wide-eyed wonder and curious spirit is an amazing way to bring you closer to the people you think you know and welcome others into your life.
Being curious is also a powerful conversation tactic. When we talk to others, we grab onto one thing and wait for our turn to speak. Then, when it is our turn, we share something similar.
However, the highest quality conversations are made up of curious spirits meeting. Asking questions that challenge linear thought, being adventurous in conversation topics, and learning from others is a great way to bring you closer to the people around you and the people you want to meet. Within your current social circle, it will bring you closer to those you already think you know. You're showing a genuine interest in their hobby, job, and cooking style, and, as humans, we love nothing more than talking about ourselves. You'll be surprised how much there is to learn about someone you thought you knew everything about.
In childhood, everything you do is your next great adventure. You're constantly searching uncharted territories and engaging in imaginative and challenging forms of play. As adults, however, we often shy away from new experiences due to fears of rejection, judgment, or even failure. But when you start to embrace the spirit of adventure, you can revolutionize your social life.
More than hopping on a midnight train going anywhere, you can suggest new bonding activities with friends that will bring you together through experiential intimacy. You can join clubs or groups with similar interests, take skill-based classes, or attend virtual social events to get to know new people. Adventure is more than jumping on a boat with a map.
A real adventure is pushing your boundaries and trying new things, maybe even with new people.
A sense of adventure is crucial for bringing you closer to the people you know. When you meet up with friends, what is it that you do? Likely grab dinner or some drinks and then call it a night, right?
Why not join a paint-and-sip class, or rent a canoe at the lake? By choosing to do new things with people you're close to, you'll form concrete, core memories that will last a lifetime.
Children often act impulsively and follow their curiosity without overthinking the consequences. In adult life, you have to include a certain level of responsibility with each decision; however, integrating and embracing a small dose of spontaneity in your social life can bring many benefits.
You'll find yourself in new and exciting environments by allowing yourself to be spontaneous. You'll meet new people from well beyond your comfort zone and try new things. Embracing the unknown and taking calculated risks will allow you to experiment with social settings, leading to serendipitous events that could improve your life.
When others see you as spontaneous, you'll get frequent invitations to outings and events, often to more interesting places than your standard plans would take you. These experiences become stories and skill sets, which all add up to you becoming a more interesting person for others to be around. It also makes you the go-to friend when someone needs a partner to attend hobby conferences or take a last-minute trip. When you're that friend, you're dependable in new ways that help others trust you and cherish your spirit.
Embracing your inner child will help you rock social situations by making you more open-minded, adventurous, and authentic. You'll stop being defined by who you "usually" are and start being seen as interesting, confident, and full of life. That's what you were envying in the first place, right? Those people you met who seemed put together and always had a story to tell? Now that's you; everyone is looking to you for the next great adventure or intellectual conversation. You're the ear everyone wants to listen to them, and that is a quality everyone can appreciate.
Embracing your inner child is about authenticity and being who you are as an entire human being. Like a child, you'll stop living out of fear and start acting out of curiosity, a spirit for adventure, and a love of the unknown. Use the qualities in daily life or when meeting new people virtually. Become the person you've always wanted to be by embracing the child you once thought you grew out of.