Not everyone approaches their feelings as an open book for others to read. However, closing yourself off from new people can stunt your personal growth. Learn how to teach your kids to be bold and confident.
- Understand that there is usually some fear with opening up to other people: Accept this and move on. Tell them it’s okay to have sweaty palms, a shaky voice or fidgety muscles, since it will get better with practice.
- Adopt open body language: Keep your arms and legs uncrossed, while looking directly at a person when they speak to you. You will come across as more positive and bold, which can help when looking for people to interact with.
- Ask people open-ended questions: Try open-ended questions to get open answers. In turn answer open-ended questions with honest answers. Asking people personal questions is not always appropriate; however, in most cases people are flattered that you are listening to them and interested in their life.
- Look for mutual interests: Try teaching them how to connect with people based on interests, family life, vacations or books. When someone mentions something you relate to, say, “Oh, I love that too.” Then, ask follow up questions.
- Avoid being a “know it all.”: Some people think advice is opening up, but it is unlikely to help you be more open. When they want to give advice, tell them to listen and try to learn something new from the situation.
- Don’t be so hard on people: Teach them to try to corral their thoughts and be open minded when someone is sharing their opinions with them (it’ll help them speak more easily with the person). Teach them to give people the kind of acceptance and non-judgement they would want if they were the ones.
- Try emulating someone who is very open. Teach them to observe people in a social situation. Then, tell them to try to act like them occasionally. Many open behaviours are learned, and not a natural part of personality. In this case, practice can make perfect.