Full disclosure – I absolutely love going to meetings where I don’t know anyone. Nothing is more fun than getting to know a large number people and sharing my story–my business. I lay awake at night just anticipating the next time I will get a chance to network with acquaintances and strangers. Or not…
In fact, the opposite would be more true of me. It’s not that I don’t like people – I do! But for me, how I express that I care for people will look different. I am an introvert. There, I have said it. I am introverted and guess what? In reality 30 to 50% of the population, depending on the study, are just like me. We genuinely care about people but don’t enjoy large gatherings where we don’t know anyone. In fact, sometimes we are even a little awkward when you ask us an unanticipated question. It’s not that we are abnormal, we are just introverted and pointed questions can make us uncomfortable until we decide how we want to answer. So, in the spirit of helping those that are introverted or those who work or live with introverts, here are some points of interest.
To my introverted sisters and brothers, I want to state the obvious – the world, to a certain degree, caters to the extrovert. It seems much of life is in motion, from posting a live video on a social network, to meet and greets that require a 30 second elevator pitch, or networking social events where the goal is to meet 25 people at an hour-long event. If you are shuddering at this point, let me assure you I understand. But here’s my suggestion – quit playing the game. What I mean is that your super power is the world of ideas and making deeper connections. So, go for it! Instead of live videos, 30 second presentations, or people greeting extravaganzas go with who you are – it IS your strength. Get to know people, listen to their needs, ask questions, and be present. Yes, people are going at a 100 mph but you don’t have to. And there is something refreshing when someone stops and actually listens to someone’s story. If you are not a fit for an organization, that’s okay. There are a lot more fish in the proverbial pond that will value your expertise and/or products. But what you will have intact is your own authenticity, which I believe is very attractive to others.
To my extroverted friends and readers, I would like to nudge you toward something. If you are trying to pitch, sell, share, etc. to an introvert, please understand their mindset. Introverts don’t like to be cornered, they don’t appreciate being put on the spot, and they resent situations where they are made to feel abnormal because of the way they are wired. You will completely turn off a true introvert by forcing a decision or even a conversation for which they are not prepared. You will get farther by stopping and listening to what an introvert is thinking about. In fact, a reasonable amount of time and space can greatly increase the introvert’s reception to those who want to network with him/her.
If you want to talk more about the differences between introverts and extroverts, feel free to contact me. I promise I will even respond.
Until next time,