If you pronounce that you’re shy and boring, you probably have a lot of external behavioral traits that communicate that you’re shy and boring. The good news is that you can change this with some will power.
Change your internal behavior
Imagine if you had someone following you around everyday, calling you names and telling you negative things about you all day long. You’re currently doing that to yourself right now! Understand that what you think internally is projected externally. You have to change your internal dialogue before you can change your external behavior. Take the time everyday to congratulate yourself and positively reinforce when you were successful at being extroverted. Note: If you try to just fake it externally, you may come off as incongruent (although if you fake it long enough you might believe it internally, just be ready for people to call you out on it since there’s a mismatch in what you feel vs what you say).
Challenge yourself to not be “shy and boring”
Get a part-time job as a bartender. Join your local toastmasters. Create and lead a team for your current career position. If you put yourself in a position and role where you have to communicate with others, you’ll eventually get good at it. Although you might’ve fallen a few times, nobody rides a bike forever.
“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.” ― Zig Ziglar
93% of communication is done without words
After you’ve minimized the self deprecating internal dialogue, you can begin to work on your external communication. In his book Body Language (Body Language: James Borg: 9780137002603: Amazon.com: Books
), Borg states that 93% of communication is done with body language and paralinguistic cues and only 7% is done with words. This means:
1) Be aware of when your body language, vocal tonality, and energy are communicating the wrong things.
2) Train yourself to not do those things. i.e. don’t try to say something funny and look around for approval as you wait for others to laugh at what you just said, don’t cross your arms when everyone else is standing with their arms to the side, maintain eye contact (with the whole group if there is more than one person) when you’re talking to people. I recommend reading the book: (How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less: Nicholas Boothman: 9780761149460: Amazon.com: Books
). Boothman does a great job of covering all of the body language basics: eye contact, open body language, mirroring, matching energy levels, building rapport, etc.
Stop trying and start being
Right now you’re in the conscious incompetence phase. You want to get to the unconscious competence phase. To get there you have to go through the conscious competence phase by reflecting on what you’re doing and adjusting to the effects. At first, this might be robotic and seem odd as it is outside of your comfort zone(what you’re currently going through). But over time, as you master it, it will become second nature to you. Just keep doing a REALISTIC assessment and keep going. If you’re being an idiot, understand that it’s part of the learning process and will go away as you make incremental improvements.
Stop caring if you look like an idiot
Lastly, who cares if you look like an idiot. Most people look like idiots everyday. I’m sure Kelly Slater looked like an idiot the first time he hopped on a surfboard or Federer looked like an idiot the first time he picked up a tennis racket. It’s part of the learning process. Learn to not take yourself so seriously and genuinely find the humor in laughing at yourself. Most of the time, I actually love it when I look like an idiot. It gives myself and others a chance to laugh at something. People get really comfortable around someone who is confident and can find humor in their flaws. Note: Don’t go overboard and be that self deprecating humor guy