How to Be More Outgoing

friends talking at an outdoor gathering

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Some people’s personalities are reserved and reticent. Can we become more outgoing if we aren’t already? When we are at work or a birthday party with family and friends, we can’t always withdraw from the situation.

We might not want to either. Sometimes we just want to be more comfortable, act friendlier, and more engaged when in these social situations. There are ways to become more outgoing.

What Makes Someone Outgoing?

An outgoing person isn’t afraid to approach others and easily meets and chats with new people. Outgoing types usually find it easy to make friends because of this trait. Extroverts are often naturally outgoing. Extroverts are defined as those who draw energy from social interactions. They are friendly and approachable, but sometimes attention-seeking and uncomfortable being alone.

Ways To Become More Outgoing

If you want to become more outgoing, the good news is you can learn the skill of how to build rapport.  Being more social is tied to your behavior and could involve spending more time with current friends or meeting new friends at clubs, through sports or volunteering. Becoming more outgoing involves working on yourself: to increase your social confidence, to act more responsive to others and to make social interactions more pleasurable.

Think about your goal. Are you wanting to begin dating or be more at ease with your co-workers? Let’s say you’d like to make more friends and don’t want to be nervous once you’re in that social situation. Here are ways to become more outgoing to make new friends:

  • Practice first.
  • Seek out those most aligned with your values and interests
  • Be comfortable in your own skin and speak as your authentic self.
  • Don’t ruminate on past failures.
  • Imagine a positive outcome.
  • Mention something personal or vulnerable to connect.
  • Discuss mutual interests
  • Empathize with the person you’re speaking with.
  • Ask questions that don’t result in yes or no answers.
  • Focus on the other person, not yourself.
  • Look for commonalities and go deeper in discussing them.
  • Maintain eye contact, uncross your arms, and smile so your body language conveys openness.

Some people find it difficult to interact because they are mildly anxious. Those who are extremely self-conscious, dread social situations, and fear being negatively judged could be suffering from social anxiety disorder

It’s one thing to experience minor nervousness occasionally, but social anxiety interferes with daily functioning and often creates physical symptoms.Mental health experts often recommend medication and/OR cognitive behavioral therapy, depending on the severity, to treat social anxiety.

Benefits of Becoming More Outgoing

When you feel more comfortable in social situations, find it easier to ask questions and move a conversation along, you’ll also feel more confident and boost your self-esteem.

In a study of 862 ninth grade students in Finland, researchers discovered that social engagement plays an important role in increasing the self-esteem of introverts. When given opportunities for more social engagement in their learning by joining groups and practicing teamwork, their self-esteem was higher than those introverts who weren’t engaged in social interactions.

When you’re outgoing and build your social support system, you also protect your health. Loneliness can have negative consequences. According to the American Psychological Association, feelings of isolation and loneliness have been linked with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diminished immunity and cognitive decline.

Therefore, becoming more outgoing might diminish your loneliness and enhance your health. One study of adolescents found that having friends with healthy moods affects these adolescents greatly. It actually reduces the likelihood of them developing depression by 50% and doubles the probability of them recovering from depression.

Social support is a key aspect of strong psychological health. Having a network of people who care about you, especially during time of need, is important.

Are You an Introvert?

Introverts focus more on internal thoughts, enjoy solitude, and sometimes find being around lots of people energy-draining.

Not all shy wallflowers are introverts though. Those who are shy are fearful of interacting with others and being judged negatively so they try to avoid being around people.

Those who are introverts are making the decision to be by themselves. Introverts become overstimulated easily unless they’re with small groups of friends.

A Word From Verywell

Helping people communicate better and feel at ease in social situations is a plus. Therefore, if you desire to become outgoing for positive reasons, try the above suggestions.

Endeavoring to change introverts into extroverts or making yourself or others into something they’re not is not the idea nor is it encouraged.

It's important to note that extroverted and introverted nature exist on a spectrum and where you fall on this spectrum can change throughout your lifetime.

2 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Tuovinen S, Tang X, Salmela-Aro K. Introversion and Social Engagement: Scale Validation, Their Interaction, and Positive Association With Self-Esteem. Front Psychol. 2020;11:590748. Published 2020 Nov 30. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.590748

  2. Hill EM, Griffiths FE, House T. Spreading of healthy mood in adolescent social networks. Proc Biol Sci. 2015;282(1813):20151180. doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.1180

By Barbara Field
Barbara is a writer and speaker who is passionate about mental health, overall wellness, and women's issues.