Out of place. Irrelevant. Invisible. These feelings are horrible but common for some quiet members in certain groups of friends. According to neuropsychologist Theo Tsaousides Ph.D., “Fear of public speaking can prevent you from taking risks to share your ideas, to speak about your work, and to present your solutions to problems that affect many people — and as a result, it can affect how much you grow personally and professionally, and how much impact you can have.” If you lack confidence in speaking up in group conversations, here are a few tips on how to be more open and vocal.
Discover Why You Choose To Stay Quiet
Some are naturally quiet and soft-spoken for no reason. They are just not used to talking much in group conversations. The sad reality is you might be having negative feelings and thoughts that you tend to deal with on your own. It can lead to stress and frustration, which will negatively affect your brain, heart, and other organs. It is a domino effect.
It is vital to know the roots of your aloofness. If your peers are real friends, why are you afraid to open up? The most common reasons are as follows:
- You are scared to become too attached because of past experiences.
- You are not open to feedback or suggestions your friends may tell you.
- You got used to being judged, ignored, or not being heard.
- You are avoiding arguments and misunderstanding.
- You are not confident enough about your ideas and opinions.
- You feel like you cannot relate to most of the things your friends usually talk about.
If one of these is your reason, the problem might be on you and not them. Therefore, it is time to help yourself to contribute more and maintain social connections.
Start With Little Acknowledgements
You cannot just decide overnight that you have to start opening up. “Practice is also key to good preparation,” according to Susan Biali Haas M.D. Of course, you need to prepare your mental and verbal abilities first. You can begin engaging in your group talks more, face to face or online, by saying acknowledging statements such as the following:
- “I heard the same thing.”
- “You’re right.”
- “No way.”
These short responses are an excellent start to let them know you are still with them. Acknowledging them is a sign that you are a good listener. Also, they might reciprocate eventually and ask for more of your thoughts.
Politely Jump In And Know You Deserve To Be Heard
In every conversation, it is crucial to be a good listener. On the other hand, you need to accept the reality that most social group situations are chaotic. As Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary conclude, “humans have a need to belong: “a pervasive drive to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of lasting, positive, and impactful interpersonal relationships.” You do not have to take it personally when some of your friends talk over you or do not get what you are saying. It is usual for everyone in a group to interrupt each other, speak at the same time, and continuously change the topic.
It is why you need to get the perfect timing to interrupt and talk politely. You can use humor to keep things light. Apologize if you have to. Consider your friends’ experiences and previous talks. That way, they can relate to you and respond better. There is no need to feel bad because of interrupting someone or being interrupted by someone.
Trust In Your Friends More
You are in your social circle for a reason. You might be huge in number, and not everyone may get along well. However, there should be one or two whom you can rely on. If you trust them enough and feel comfortable with them, you know you can speak up. Someone will always be interested in what you have to say.
Trust in your real friends, and they will surely hear you out. You do not always have to do the talking to fit in. Always remember open communication is fundamental in keeping the group together.
Do you understand the struggles we mentioned above? Share in the comments how you overcome them!