Everyone knows at least one person who is extremely extroverted. Someone who is completely comfortable in every social situation. They feed of off peoples’ social energy. I call them energy vampires, but more positively, an extroverted superhero.
How do they do it?
For as long as I can remember, I had been an introvert. I had been severely bullied in elementary school. I had a two ‘friends’ through it all. Really, they weren’t friends, but just people in similar circumstances.
All through high school, this trend prevailed resulting in a lack-luster high school experience. While the bullying receded, the lack of confidence and self-esteem grew inside me. I had distant memories of happiness and confidence slowing slipping through my fingers.
I felt like I was not good enough, not for anyone else and not even for myself. I couldn’t form new relationships and I couldn’t maintain old ones. I started to internalize this behaviour.
It was definitely a dark time. Thoughts always zoomed passed my head. Maybe it was hormones talking, but I was anxious and depressed. Would suicide solve anything? What if I faked my own death and started over?
But, gradually I changed. I never really thought about how or what prompted it, but I changed. Thinking back now, I know how it happened. Everything changed gradually after I met one person.
Taking Baby Steps
I noticed that he started smiling at people, random people, for no reason. There is a lot of power in a smile. It’s not very often, that people smile at others. I adopted the random smile. Even without actual social interactions, smiling eased me out of my comfort zone.
Smiling eventually made people approach me, which took out half the internal battle. Extremely anxious at first, the interactions got easier.
You have to learn to walk before you can run. You have to take small steps to get over this hurdle. Something as small and simple as a smile can have profound affects on you and the receiver. You will notice that they almost always smile back.
A contented feeling erupted in my body and I smiled more. The more people I smiled at, the more that feeling grew. Eventually smiling became a normal reaction.
The Gradual Talk
Eventually these smiles blossomed into brief, albeit terrifying, conversations. It was extremely nerve-racking. Everything that was not supposed to happen happened. My hands started to sweat; my heart was beating faster and faster, louder and louder, until I couldn’t even hear myself think.
But after each conversation, my body produced a euphoric rush. That feeling pushed me to talk to more people. I needed to feel that rush again. Thinking back, it was like a drug and I was addicted.
I found myself talking to someone new every single day. My body was craving that rush and pushed me to do it. The crippling fear was there, but I used it to my advantage.
Being an introvert is hard work. I always knew I wanted to be a extroverted superhero, but when every single fiber in your body is telling you not to do something, it’s hard to go against it. But I promise you, when you do, that feeling is incredible.
I went from being a complete introvert to a moderate extrovert. Unconsciously, I desired a change and then gradually changed. What would happen if someone consciously decided to change? I think you may become an extroverted superhero.
I would love to be an extroverted superhero one day. Talking to anyone, at anytime, about anything, is an underrated superpower. Plus, I think I could pull off a cape.
Approaching random people is still somewhat hard for me, but it gets easier and easier every single day.