Dear introverts, there are easy ways to put yourself out there without walking too far from your comfort zone.

Let’s be real here: introverts are friendly, and the only reason why they may seem like the odd ones out is their shyness and insecurity.

In case you’re one of the proud introverts, you’re awesome the way you are, and making friends will become a more manageable task with this list:

Smile

Yes, it’s hard to smile when you feel all awkward, and all you want to is to read a good book. But, as a social creature, the least you can do is put a smile on your face.

As time goes by, smiling will come to you naturally. It’s a comfortable and warm way for people to see you as a nonthreatening, approachable individual.

Now, before you go out and start making faces, practice. You don’t want to show all your teeth, or look as if your jaw got stuck. Practice makes perfect, so the next time you’re in a social situation, use that smile to gain positive attention.

Learn small talk

Another huge advantage for an introvert is to be prepared. To avoid feeling anxious among strangers, create at least two interesting, universal topics. You don’t have to learn them by heart, but it’s good to feel as if you’re in control.

It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. You can start talking about your pet or a book, topics you actually enjoy. Then move on to something even more personal, even if that means saying: “Yes, I am an introvert, and here’s what happened to me the other day…”

Join a club

From knitting and pottery to yoga and book clubs, the world is full of choices. The first step is to join a club. You’ll learn something, and get a chance to be more comfortable among people.

Don’t judge them or yourself. It’s hard getting yourself out there, but you have a goal. Don’t allow yourself to be too pushy. Instead, learn to love small talks.

Listen

Most people aren’t as closed as you. They want to talk, and some are borderline annoying.

Since you’re not the talkative type, you can do the listening. Stand straight and look a person in the eye, as if they’re telling a fascinating story. Give them the approval to tell you more.

While the same people will think they are great at telling stories, you’ll learn that you don’t need to be in the center of attention to get attention.

Go out

You don’t want to go out, and that’s fine. But you do want friends. So, get dressed up and get to a coffee shop or a bar.

It’s going to be hard at first, but the more you put yourself out there, the more likely you’ll form relationships. You can choose the same coffee place, at the same time of the day. People will notice you, start chit-chatting, and you’ll be fine.

No one is 100% introverted or extroverted. What you need are small steps to wake up the sleeping extrovert in you. It’s not hard once you accept that you’re capable of making friends. And the only way to do is to expose yourself more and more.