An introvert tries to be an extrovert


Haleigh Neckel

Homecoming of 2019 was not my cup of tea. I stood there watching everyone dance until I found myself hovering over the snack table with a hungry eye. Song after song, my friends would run through the crowd of people dancing and singing. They finally dragged me over to the dance floor for a split second, and it was enjoyable…kind of. 

I’m an introvert (most of the time), especially in places such as the cafeteria or a school dance. So it is not surprise that a school dance in the cafeteria would be an uncomfortable situation.

Here’s the idea. I’m going to the Snowball dance this weekend, and I want to try to act like an extrovert for the night. Best case scenario, I accomplish being an extrovert. Worst case scenario, I fail. Either way, I’m going to be nervous to try this experiment.

The plan 

On the car ride to pictures, I will try to start a conversation. I’m planning to ask whoever is in the car at least two questions, not including the usual “How are you?” 

Before the dance and after pictures, we will be going to dinner at Sluggo’s, a pizza place. During this time I hope to simply eat without letting my nerves get to me. When put in an awkward situation, I’d usually choose not to eat. I’d worry about food on my face or if I am chewing weirdly. 

My goal by the end of the night is to carry full conversations with the people around me. However, my biggest goal is to find a way to dance with all of my friends instead of shying away. This will be the hardest to accomplish. I plan to dance to at least four songs.

 Finally, throughout the whole dance I want to keep my confidence up. That means no negative comments about myself or anything the entire night, a habit I consistently fall into. 

The results 

The dance overall was a solid 10/10 for me. I found ways to be communicative, though there were some hindrances when it came to speaking up. 

My first goal of asking two simple questions on the ride to pictures was a complete failure. In all honesty, this was hard. As I sat there staring out my window, I thought of all the things I could say, but fear seemed to conquer me. 

My date’s dad, whom I have never met, was the one driving the vehicle. Therefore my instant reaction was “OH, how do I speak to this person?” My phone sat in my lap, practically begging to be picked up just to block out the awkward atmosphere. 

When we finished with pictures and arrived at Sluggo’s, I felt my nerves begin to slowly but surely lessen as we sat down at the table. I knew it would be rude to not eat, especially since I did not pay for the meal. I saw the pepperoni pizza get placed on the table, it looked amazing. I realized how dumb it would be to simply not eat anything, and after all, I was famished. So I ate, and on top of that made some conversation, even if it was only a few sentences. This felt like a small victory to me.

 I surpassed my goal of dancing to four songs. I can’t remember the exact amount, but I kept myself moving. Instead of doing my usual cupid shuffle far away, I found myself doing the dance with everyone else. 

It felt good to actually be a part of the dance instead of sitting on the sidelines. Having my date with me really helped too. Dancing with him made me feel happy; it was almost as if I didn’t need to try to be an extrovert. When we danced together, my fear turned into comfort. The best part was when we danced to the song “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. The song fit well, since it truly was perfect.

I texted my date after the dance asking him if I was more confident than usual or about the same. His reply was “A bit more secure towards the end”. Which would mean I did not completely meet my goal of being confident throughout the night, but I definitely showed more than I would usually. Further into the conversation, I assured him that I tried to be more confident, then his reply was “I’d say you were.” 

All I can say is that I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish. Switching from an introvert to an extrovert is very difficult. Would I say it’s worth it? Yes. 

Stepping out of my comfort zone led to an amazing night.