For all you introverts out there who are scared of the words ‘learn to dance’ and have taken great pleasure in hibernating this winter in your cocoon, the time has come to spread your wings and dance. In more tribal times, if a person consulted a shaman complaining of feeling disheartened or discouraged, the shaman would ask: ‘When was the last time you danced and sang?’ According to Justin Williams at Health Gudiance.org, “Dancing is a common method in homeopathic therapies and when we dance, our mind rests. Our heart forgets its pains; sorrows dissolve as if by magic.” But the thing is, if you are less extroverted and more introverted, the idea of dancing can seem the worst way to spend your Friday night. Perhaps you prefer to stay home, nestled on your couch reading a book. While this is perfectly fine, as humans it is important to interact and let our hair down with other people, whether it’s dancing, going to a party or mingling with co-workers at the office. Social interaction provides us with opportunities to grow as people and build meaningful relationships.
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One strategy to help butterflies to take off is to just go out there and pretend like you know what you’re doing. In other words, fake it (of course, you can always take some dance lessons, too). Whether it’s at dancing or karaoke singing or any other social skill you’re afraid you weren’t gifted with, many successful people say they use this technique whenever they’re doing something for the first time, and it’s helped them immensely. Actors, of course, are naturally good at playing characters, but if you pretend like you’re the kind of person that is very social and comfortable with people, then in real life this will be sort of true, since you are going through the motions. Trini Lopez, a guest contributor at Slate adds that, “This helps you break out of your own self-imposed social limitations by making you feel that you’re actually someone else. And before you know it, your alternate character will become a part of who you really are.” So if you think and believe that you can sing like Adele and dance like Jennifer Lopez, pretending really hard, then something’s gotta give. If not, at least you’ll have a good laugh at trying.
When was the last time you laughed out loud at work? And we don’t mean an “LOL” in a text message. Aim to get off instant messaging and have a real conversation with a co-worker at the office. People always tend to gather at a certain spot at the office, so jump into the water-cooler conversation. These little social breaks aren’t only good for your spirit and break up the monotony of the day, but you can actually network, hear about career opportunities or at least find a friend you might want to grab lunch with or an after work drink someday. Make the most out of your work time since you spend so much of your quality time there.
In the end, life is was we put into it and dancing and connecting helps. So make it the year of saying yes to everything, even when you really want to say no. If you’re like the typical introverted type, there have probably been many times where you’ve declined party invitations just because you didn’t feel like going. A great method to use when you’re really not in the mood for socializing is to say to say to the person inviting you, “I’m busy tonight, but I will try to stop for just a moment to say hi.” This way you can show up at a party and leave a few minutes later if you want without feeling bad about it. Remember, the more party invitations you decline the fewer invites you will receive when word gets around you never show up. Joining in, even if just for a few torturous minutes, will help you become a more outgoing person and get you on the dance floor more often.