As many introverts will tell you, talking to people can be overwhelming. Being an adult involves interacting with so many people. Whether you're buying a car, renting an apartment, interviewing for a job, or even just going to the grocery store alone, you are going to have to talk to people in a clear and intelligible way. I find this difficult, especially because my various jobs and school all force me to talk to people I don't know all the time. I wish I had known how to take on the task of adult communication before I found myself in the midst of it. Here're a few things I've learned so far that would have been great to know at the start:
When I'm nervous about something (This literally happens daily, like more than once a day; it's an anxiety thing, but whatever), I give myself at least an hour to get ready for it. Sometimes that means waking up extra early before work or giving up my TV time, but it's a time that I find incredibly useful. Being well rehearsed makes me feel more secure in my ability to speak and function as an adult human should.
2. Take Breaks
Human interaction for an introvert is exhausting. It is important to give yourself time to be alone, be quiet and feel comfortable. When the whole world puts you out of your comfort zone, giving yourself ample time to relax can be really helpful.
3. Push Through It
On the other hand, sitting in your house alone watching Friends reruns is not healthy. When you know that you're starting to go from taking a break to avoiding the world, you've got to get back out there. You'll miss so many opportunities if you spend all your time observing and not participating.
4. Be Forgiving With Yourself
Having an awkward interaction or failing to speak the way you wanted to happens to everyone. Don't beat yourself up if that phone call you memorized sentences for doesn't go in the direction you thought it would and you find yourself scrambling. As long as you keep trying, things will get easier and you'll find that those failed interactions don't add up to as big of a problem as you thought they would.
5. Know Your Resources
Having people that you can talk to about your life and how you are navigating through it is so important. Whether this is your boyfriend, best friend or mom, always make time to speak to people who want to help you succeed, and don't be afraid to ask for help or advice when you face a situation that freaks you out.
6. Know Your Limits
In situations where you have control over what you do and how you do it, don't overload yourself. Remember that it is okay to say no. Thinking of yourself and what you can handle will reflect in your ability to perform well in the jobs you have taken on.
Being an adult isn't easy when you're happiest in your own company and interacting with new people wears you out. As an adult, there is no avoiding these situations. It is best to spend time preparing yourself now so you won't be left feeling overwhelmed when life hits you hard.