Overcome Introversion By Creating A Character In Your Mind

Overcome Introversion By Creating A Character In Your Mind

Many of us deal with shyness and social anxiety on a daily basis. One way to be more comfortable in challenging social situations is to act out the role of an extroverted character that we create in our minds.

Image: redfriday

GloriaG at weblog Beyond Shyness and Social Anxiety highlights Daniel Tosh, who has overcome his own introversion to become a wildly successful comedian. To connect with his audience, Tosh creates an extroverted character in his head, and then imagines himself as that person when on stage. Obviously, most of us aren’t accomplished actors, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use the same technique:

If you want to try out a personality, do it! Go to a bar or a store and act like someone totally different from yourself. This will be a unique experience, so see how it feels. You never know, you might like the rush of talking to people in a way that isn’t so personal to you.

In the long run, it’s probably better to break your shyness habit, rather than hide behind a mask, but this trick could be useful in a pinch if you find yourself at an uncomfortable social gathering.

Daniel Tosh Social Anxiety Sufferer? How he uses it to to Great Effect. [Beyond Shyness and Social Anxiety]


    • -1

      I may not be as introverted as the next guy, but I am extremely shy (in fact, this is one of a handful of posts I’ve had the courage to make in my life, even anonymously). I find that my fears constantly hold me back – from friendships, relationships, career opportunities and even everyday tasks like asking to make refunds.

      While it’s a little insulting to tell people to cure themselves of a personality trait, this article never suggests it. It suggests that Daniel Tosh overcame his introversion (implying that he wished to) then goes to suggest that it’s *probably* better to overcome it.

      Perhaps it could have been more PC and used very specific language that told all the precious readers that it was OK to be themselves, but ultimately it’s up to each peson to decide whether their introversion or shyness is a debilitation or a uniqueness of their personality. I want more than my fear, and I appreciate the thoughts in this article.

  • I think the term introvert is as commonly misunderstood and misused as schizophrenia. I’m an introvert, and I am shy (though I prefer the term reserved rather than shy). But I fully understand why people equate introversion with shyness. Neither is something that needs to be “fixed.” However, sometimes shy behaviour does prevent people from enjoying life or doing the things they want. In that end, the person needs to learn new behaviour or strategies. Roleplaying, just like we did when we were children, can help people feel comfortable with these new behaviours. It’s not that you are pretending to be someone you aren’t. You are just learning a new skill.

  • introversion [ˌɪntrəˈvɜːʃən]
    1. (Psychology) Psychol the directing of interest inwards towards one’s own thoughts and feelings rather than towards the external world or making social contacts
    2. (Medicine / Pathology) Pathol the turning inside out of a hollow organ or part Compare extroversion
    introversive , introvertive adj
    Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

    adj shyer, shyest, shier shiest
    1. not at ease in the company of others
    2. easily frightened; timid
    3. (often foll by of) watchful or wary
    4. (Group Games / Card Games) Poker (of a player) without enough money to back his bet
    5. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Biology) (of plants and animals) not breeding or producing offspring freely

    I agree- article should be clearer as to what it is talking about. I consider myself introverted, but not shy.

  • Wow, LifeHacker’s war on introverts continues. It’s a shame really. This had the potential to be a good article if they actually stuck with what the article is actually about – social anxiety and/or shyness. Instead they had to go and screw it all up by labelling it as about something completely irrelevant. Nothing in this article has anything to do with introversion at all.

  • Other than the whole war on introverts debacle, another thing I specifically wanted to comment on in regards to this advice is that it may be a trick to use to overcome anxiety when public speaking or doing similar tasks, but when it comes to networking and socialising in general this is probably very bad advice to follow. It may get you by, but most people tend to prefer someone who is genuine, who is themself, even if that person is shy and not the most outgoing or attention grabbing.

    If you’re thinking of trying out this advice, choose the situations wisely.

  • Yeah, Introvert here too. I used to be shy, but get along fine in social situations now. The thing is, as an introvert I just don’t need to socialise much. There has to be some social interaction, but by and large I’m quite happy on my own. Just because those extroverts out there need to confirm that their disposition is the ‘valid’ one, doesn’t mean you need to label us introverts as ‘disabled’ in some way…

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