7 Habits of Highly Outgoing People

7 Habits of Highly Outgoing People

For as long as I can remember, I have been a devout practitioner of Extraversionism, or what has been called in some cultures Outgoingism {I try to be culturally sensitive given my sociological background}.

You know the old saying. “Give a man a fish, but only if he isn’t allergic”, or whatever. Well, I would love to give you a fish, but

Be outgoing. Its cute.

Be outgoing. It’s cute.

I have none. Instead, I have decided to impart some knowledge for all the inquirers that have stepped on to the path to En-Outgoing-Ment


I can only muster so much originality in one day, so I have chosen to borrow (without intention of returning) the format of some book I heard about one time.  On we go.

1. Look at people.

They won’t bite. Probably. A little eye contact can go a long way with someone. Eye contact lets people know you are aware of them. Done tactfully, it forms a connection with someone before the burden of conversation is introduced. Just be careful not to get overzealous and give some poor soul the Creepy Staredown.

2.  Smile at people.

You know what they say. It takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown. So, relax, man, and let the person have a little beam of your inner light. If I were a gambling man (0 for 2 there, but it’s a metaphor, so just go with it), I’d venture to say that you have a good chance of making someone’s day.

 3. Start a conversation.

You may be tempted to stop reading here, but the true Extraversionist is also a Conversationalist. Not to be confused with a babbling idiot, or an obnoxious moron, the conversationalist, like an artist, is someone comfortable in his or her medium: speech. You don’t have to be a verbal Monet. Every little speck of your discourse does not have to fit perfectly alongside the others. Remember, Jackson Pollock was just as brilliant, and his art is chaos. The key is comfort. Don’t rush the conversation. If you feel very uncomfortable addressing others, don’t force yourself to recite the Preamble in front of them.  

However, nobody likes a cop out. Except maybe…cops…. Unless they cop in. Does anyone know? But I digress. To make sure you cop neither out nor in, here are two helpful hints:

1. Compliment them: This is an unobtrusive but positive way to start a conversation. But stick to stuff like “Cool shoes” or “I like your shirt, I saw that band on the same tour”. Once you get into, “I could stare into your crystalline eyes as long I live”, things may start to go south.

2. Keep it simple: Notice I didn’t say, “carry on a conversation”. If that happens, great. If not, that’s okay. Just saying “Hello”, when brought together with Steps 1 and 2, is more than most do, (unfortunately), and it will be appreciated.

4. Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You.

We Southerners got this maxim right. It does not pay to be rude to or ignore those serving you food and beverage. And the “forced interaction” of ordering food, drinks, or coffee means that you have a chance to become more attuned to your inner extrovert. Many of the sweetest people I’ve met are the ones earning $2.13 an hour, so make sure you don’t count them out of your day. An extra hello may earn you a little more foam on that latte. And don’t forget to tip!

5. Ask Questions. Asking questions is great practice because it helps you to be outgoing without dominating the conversation. You have the chance to initiate, but your friends are still able to contribute (and you are afforded the distinct pleasure of learning more about them). Be careful that you actually allow them to answer the question before you keep on truckin’. The easiest way to start is by asking people about themselves. It is easiest to talk about what you know. Current events and music are two other areas with a lot of potential. Politics? Religion? Go for it.

6. Go in for the high-five. Life is a contact sport. Psychologists say that we need 10 meaningful touches a day to be in our right mind. This doesn’t mean a do-si-do or a Casablanca kiss with the person across from you on the bus is a good idea, necessarily. It does mean, however, that a little bit of physical connection not only takes your extroversionism to the next level; it shows presence. Just like smiling and making eye contact, it lets the person know you are conscious of him or her. I’m a hugger. But I recognize that not everyone would hug a lamppost when given a few moments to get to know it. So for the rest of you, I suggest little things first: a pat on the back, the classic high-five, or a dance-off.

7. Empathize. I seem to have saved the best tip for last. I know it’s cliché, but so are lists of 7 habits, so we might as well keep the theme going. Empathy is one of the driving forces for the genuine outgoingist. Anyone can talk your ear off or give you a spontaneous belly bump. but it takes empathy to truly engage someone, if only for a short amount of time. Why? Think about it. Eye contact and smiles probably make you smile. Questions involve you in a chat. And everyone loves a high-five. You know you do. So if all those things are bright points in your day, think of your Extraversion in terms of the effect your positive vibes will have on another human being. It will put the momentary discomfort and awkwardness in perspective. And it may make your inquiries about the weather a little more heartfelt.

So there you have it, young grasshoppers. 7 steps in the right direction for the aspiring extroversionists and fledgling outgoingists. I wish you the best as you keep on going- to the outmost. And I just love your shoes! Where did you get those?


4 thoughts on “7 Habits of Highly Outgoing People

  1. Pingback: elementary, my dear watson? | In Case of Fire, Use Stairs

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