I always knew that I was shy. I had that fear, crippling fear of public events and talking to people. Later on, I found out that I was both shy and an Introvert. There's a difference? Oh, yes!
Introversion is a personality trait whereby thoughts, feelings or moods are focused on internally rather than through external stimulation. While shyness refers to being nervous or timid. So, you see being shy and being an introvert are not the same. However, introverts can be shy- even extroverts can be shy too.
I think a year ago, I started something for myself, the Social Journey of an Introvert and let me tell you- I've learned a lot. It was after I had a conversation with a friend of mine that I thought I really need to make a post about this.
In this post, you'll learn some tips and tricks that have helped me whenever I attend expos, hair shows, makeup shows or other social events.
First thing: when you arrive at the event find a quiet corner. This can be a literal corner, a bathroom, shed or a tree. Now, take a deep breath. You can also utilize deep breathing techniques especially if you get or are anxious. Remember the spot; just in case.
2. Challenge yourself
We've all heard the saying, 'Feel the fear and do it anyway.' No, really. Do it! Going to events have always been terrifying to me because I am an Introvert and I am shy. But, once I started to set mini goals things started to become a lot better.
Here are some examples of small goals that I've set and return to from time to time.
1. Today, I challenge myself to visit every booth.
2. Meet 7 new people today.
3. Coleen Dryer will be at this event today. Find her and take a picture with her.
4. Talk to x, y and z
As introverts, we have a natural instinct to hide. There's just too much going on on the outside. But! Inhale. Exhale. Smile! Plus this makes you a lot more approachable. Nobady nah chat to yuh wid yuh face mek up!
4. Take a break.
Remember that spot you found earlier? If things start to get a bit overwhelming take a minute in your temporary place of refuge. Then go back out there.
5. Ask questions
As an introvert, your superpower is being a great listener. Utilize it! It makes you look like you're a conversationalist, makes you become comfortable and aware of the group you're in.
Having questions on deck is good too! This is very effective- especially, if you turn up at an expo and you're able to meet the faces behind companies.
General questions such as:
1. What inspired you to start this business?
2. What motivates you to continue your business?
3. What was it like when you first started yours?
4. What tips do you have for new entrepreneurs?
Use your attending skills. We all love to know that someone is interested in our story/stories, right? Right. So, nod your head and even paraphrase to show you're paying attention.
6. Embrace it and become 2.0
Now, this does not mean that you must not be your introvert self rather be more! Accept it, you're an introvert but being an introvert doesn't define you completely. You're kind, funny, talented. Don't be afraid to show that.
7. Find a friend
Did you see someone at a booth that looked just as terrified as you? Say hi, you never know you might make a friend.
8. Reward yourself
Did you complete any of your small goals? If yes then it's definitely time to celebrate. Put some music on and have a party! But, by yourself of course for after all that socializing you'll be exhausted. But! You did it!
How do you survive at social events? Drop your tips below.
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