Here’s How To Break Out Of Your Shell, According To A Communications Coach
Have you ever felt stuck in the role that people have given you? Maybe you want to be more social, but everyone already has the preconceived notion of you as a shy, introverted person. So when you set up some party or social event, they don’t take it seriously. That’s the kind of scenario Vinh Giang is talking about in his recent TikTok. The self-described communication skills teacher, entrepreneur, and magician posted a clip from a workshop where he answered a question I’m sure we’ve all had at one point in our lives: “How do you encourage people to come out of their shell more?” His answer has now gone viral, and for good reason.
How To Come Out Of Your Shell
Vinh starts by telling a story. Apparently he wasn’t always this charismatic guy with a killer accent that’s now leading self-help workshops.
When I was 12, I wasn’t the popular guy in school. Not at all. Lenny, my best friend, was. […] I said, ‘Lenny, how can I find just one girlfriend?’ He said, ‘Oh, it’s easy, man. Just be funny.’Vinh Giang, @askvinh
It sounds simple enough. So many people rank humor high on their list of attractive qualities, and studies have shown that it’s a good marker for a high quality partner. Yet that’s not what happened to a young, 12-year-old Vinh. In fact, the advice totally backfired. He found a joke, told it to the girl he liked, and, rather than swooning over him like they swooned over his friend, she called him out. “Oh my god, you’re not funny. Stop trying to be like Lenny.”
Can you imagine the hurt? All of us have probably gone through something similar at some point in our lives. You do something to try to impress someone, you try to go out of your comfort zone, and it’s met with a less-than-favorable reaction. But Vinh has some reasoning why this happens:
There was a mold for me. So the moment I tried to do something different, I tried to break out of my mold, these people immediately put me back into that mold.Vinh Giang, @askvinh
He then goes on to suggest doing an improv class as a way to find people who don’t know you, so you can try on who you want to be, rather than the role everyone who already knows you wants you to play. But there’s something really important here to remember even if you don’t end up going the improv route. Sometimes we can’t truly be who we want to be when we hold on to how others see us. If you want to improve, get better, be someone or something new, you have to make a big change. It’s that New Kid Energy that means you can start fresh as the best version of yourself.
Check out the viral TikTok.
If you want more context, check out Vinh Giang’s viral TikTok about coming out of your shell below. As of this writing, it has over 750k views and nearly 100k likes.