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4 Ways Introverts Can Feel More Comfortable at Networking Events



1. Know Why You’re Doing It

Why are you considering networking in the first place? What's in it for you to do it? The answers you give yourself to these questions will determine your attitude, your behavior, the type of energy you will project, and how you will be perceived by others. Will you give yourself excuses for not doing it, reasons for hating it, or exciting thoughts about the possibilities?


To make yourself move in certain direction, your reasons for doing it should be more compelling than the reasons you’ve been giving yourself (consciously or not) for not doing it.


2. Allow Room for Imperfection

Sometimes we’re uncomfortable doing something because we feel we’re not able to do it as well as we should. But once you throw the “shoulds” to the trashcan and realize nobody will die if you suck at something, you’ll give yourself permission to do something for the sake of doing it, not with the goal of being impeccable at it. If you screw it, so what? If someone doesn’t like you, so what? If they’re talking about something you don’t know anything about, so what?


To tame your fears, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I make mistakes while doing this or if I’m not as good as I’d like to be?” Chances are the worst thing you can think of is not really that bad.


3. Set Your (Natural) Intellectual Curiosity Free

Are you intellectually curious? Do you like learning new things? Most introverts are. Do you enjoy listening to stories? Do you believe you can learn something from every person, no matter how big or small they are? If you answered ‘no’ to any of those, go back to square one and think again, because your mental blocks will prevent you from enjoying networking and meeting people.


If you want to be good at something, start by believing it’s not only worth it but also potentially enjoyable.

4. Turn Small Talk into Deeper Conversation

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, by Maya Angelou: "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude."


Now, let's apply her advice backwards: if you can't immediately change your attitude, change what you don't like. Case in point: small talk. Introverts usually dislike small talk.


Tip #3 above suggested you change your attitude about conversing with others. Well, that may take more time and practice that will have at your first networking events. So--change the small talk into deeper conversation. Here's a post that tells you how.


In Closing

Well, there you have it.


This post has no intro, no stories, no research, no images, and no conclusion--just the bare content offered by its title. I made myself network and interact with you by writing this post, and now I'm done!

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