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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

Social styles are usually categorized in one of three ways: extrovert, introver, or ambivert. Some people fall seamlessly into one of these categories, but for others, there can be significant overlap that makes everyday social interactions confusing and difficult. Everyone has their own personal style and preferences when it comes to socializing, so find what works for you and embrace it!

Do exactly what you want for any particular moment

Sometimes you might feel more extroverted, and will want to go out and socialize with people several days in a row. Other times, you may feel like laying low at home or just doing one or two small activities in a week. Both are fine! There is no rule that says you must fit the description of a single social style. Find a balance that works for you and don’t let the expectations from a given label dictate your social life.

Push yourself outside of your comfort zone… sometimes

Never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to try new things! We’ve all had those situations where we are invited to something that sounds fun, but in your mind, you’re just thinking about how much easier it would be to just stay home. Maybe it’s on a weeknight, or it’s something you’ve never done before, or any other excuse that you can come up with – but sometimes, making the decision to just go can lead to a wonderful social experience that you’ll be glad you didn’t miss out on.

Help your friends understand your social style

It’s important that while you maximize your sociability in a way that is best for you, you make sure that you are not unintentionally alienating your friends in the process. Help them understand that while you may have to say no to social outings occasionally, that you are doing it for your own mental health and not because you don’t enjoy hanging out with them. Additionally, if you have to say no to an outing, try including a future plan – for example, “Sorry, I won’t be able to make it to that activity tomorrow. Can we plan for coffee next week instead?” That way, your friends know that you care about them and are still making an effort to socialize with them.

Find specific activities that match your style

Maybe you can go out every Friday night and have a great time, but that means that on Saturday you can only commit to baking cookies and drinking tea. That’s great! Find a friend who wants to do those same things with you, or find multiple friends that match with each of your types of social preferences. The opposite of socializing isn’t necessarily being antisocial – if you feel like staying home, try having a low-key pizza and movie night with one or two friends or your roommate.

Katrina Hicks

Northwestern '19