Guest post by Patricia Weber
Introverts often are criticized for not being sociable. The truth is, and this is from research for possible non-believers, that both introverts and extroverts enjoy social situations. It's just that introverts tend to choose to be in fewer of them.
We find too many social situations can have an energy vampire effect. But interestingly, both types of style people find happiness in social situations.
Attending more parties, more networking events or more of any kind of social situation for the introvert can be as disillusioning as discovering that a great seafood restaurant gets its tuna from a can. So let's make social situations have longer lasting happiness for even us more introverted by enjoying the social situations we choose to be in.
An introvert's happiness in social situations comes from being authentic. And since we know that our energy comes from within, we can plan to set the stage up in almost any social situation, to either plug in during, before or after the event. Not learning until mid-career during my sales management days, I can say emphatically lessons are all around us.
Select a support partner. For me this was and is always easy: my extrovert husband was and is in sales and he is regularly out networking. He generally asks me if I want to go to a party with him or attend an event.
Because I came to understanding my introversion later in my first career, even he and I didn't understand how effective it would be for me to have that extrovert right beside me. This helps tremendously with that often awkward and initial small talk. He finds it fabulously energizing to make introductions.
He is the person introduced me to the term net weaving. I took that to new dimensions of becoming a connector: if you know someone who can fill someone's need, then focus on that instead of yourself. It's a truly effective approach if you are in sales.
Choose comfortable situations more often. My weekends and my husband's weekends are so different. We do however agree on several things. There is always a night for date night, just him and I. It could be at a restaurant, or going to the movie theater or me cooking dinner at home – he usually cleans up.
We also agree to get together with either another couple or a small group of friends. Living in our community for a number of years these invitations are always forthcoming and there are plenty to select from.
If you are either new to your community, or not yet old enough to have so many experiences, plan for this to show up for you. Use hobbies or interests you have to make a few new connections. Then be yourself and let your passion carry you through the mutual hobby or interest get-togethers.
This can be as simple as finding a local coffee shop and planning to be there at a regular time each day. Or it can be as elaborate as taking your passion for cars and finding car clubs where smaller groups of people meet regularly. Soon, you'll be finding yourself having more and more events or parties to select from and it's all within your choosing.
Be more in the present moment than in your head. The older I get the more I find morning meditation is so helpful as I move through the rest of my day. It's particularly helpful for me with engaging in conversations at social situations.
In being present more often, my attention can flow outward more easily. And since as introverts we tend naturally toward listening, that comes across to the person doing the talking.
Just the other night my husband and I were at a dinner party and the table arrangement had us sitting with a new couple. As I mentioned in talking about a support partner, I can always count on him to be introducing me to new people! It's easy for me to focus so I focused on what the woman said – she was a breast cancer survivor and quite open about it. I let her do the talking, I asked the questions and the conversation as you can imagine, went deep. Deep conversations at a dinner party by being more in the present with who you are with.
Will you decide to plan for your next social event to be more to your liking? Our introvert part of the brain called the neocortex is what directs us, and is responsible for thinking, planning and decision-making. So what will you do to plan for greater happiness at that next social event?
About Patricia Weber:
Networking online is an introvert, and even reluctant marketers, turf and Patricia Weber can help make social media as well as in-person networking easier for you, better than any extrovert, without storming your brain. Get INSTANT access to a 39 page report for success with a confident introvert approach: Blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ can be your domain at http://www.introvertsrulesocialmedia.com/