Thanks to everyone who attended last Thursday's SWS teleseminar show 'specially for introverts about Socializing Without Fear or Discomfort!
If you are naturally socially-inclined, you may think that going out into the world with a smile and a hearty hello for everyone you find there is an easy, natural thing to do! But for those of us who aren't quite as socially comfortable, who enjoy time with ourselves far more than time spent in a crowd, who become frazzled and exhausted after too much social interaction - we sometimes feel inadequate, inferior or even fatally-flawed because we aren't interested in being the life of the party.
Not that we introverts need to apologize for our personalities - not at all! Nor should we try to "overcome" our more-reserved nature so we can be more like our extroverted colleagues. No, we're pretty awesome just the way we are, even if we do struggle sometimes in social situations. Hey, nobody's perfect.
Back to the show... my guest, Susan Haughton and I shared our personal tips for getting out in the world and inspiring the people we find there to like us, trust us and eventually care that we sell real estate for a living, using strategies that won't make a typical introvert feel like a schmuck. At the end of the show, I asked the audience to share their favorite tips, I compiled them all, and here are the Top Four!
Favorit-est Tip #1: Go to lunch with two friends every week. By "friends," I mean people you enjoy hanging out with, not just people you know. If you're dreading a lunch date because you have no idea what you'll talk about with this person, they aren't a good lunch date candidate for you. But if you go to lunch with two friends a week, every week, that's more than 100 times you connected with people you enjoy being with and who probably enjoy being with you, too.
Favorit-est Tip #1a: - Don't feel you need to always pick up the tab when you go to lunch. You're going to lunch with a FRIEND, not a prospect, and if they want to pay, let them! You can return the favor next time (so make sure there IS a next time). Don't create uncomfortable drama at the end of the meal by fighting over the check. You can pay, or they can pay or you can split it. It's a friendly lunch, not a business lunch.
Favorit-est Tip #2 (Thank you Susan!): If you have season tickets to local events and you can't always use them, start calling your friends and acquaintances offering to give them away. You'll probably "have" to go through several names before you find someone who will take you up on your offer, which is a wonderful way to organically connect! If your marketing budget allows, you might even buy tickets to popular events with the sole intention of giving them away in this manner.
Favorit-est Tip #3: When attending a party (which is not typically an introvert's favorite thing to do), ask the host for a job or task that you can be responsible for during the party. Help bartend, serve snacks, take photos; anything so that you aren't standing in the corner by yourself feeling as if everyone is looking at you. Also, related to party-attending, come armed with an exit strategy, if for no other reason than to comfort yourself that you CAN leave if you aren't having fun.
Favorit-est Tip #4: Walk your dog! Dogs are wonderful ice-breakers for introverts. If your dog is particularly cute (or particularly ugly!), just taking him or her out in public can start up all sorts of conversations. And don't forget that other peoples' cute or ugly dogs can be conversation-starters for you. If you don't have a dog, but consider yourself a dog person, offer to walk a friend's - not only will you be out there starting up conversations, but you'll be impressing your friend with how helpful you are!
- Don't pretend to be an extrovert if you aren't - it'll just make everyone (you included) uncomfortable.
- Be a Master of Your Market. Being conversationally familiar with your local market gives you all sorts of things to talk about when socializing.
- Leave your business cards at home when out and about so you aren't tempted to push them on everyone you meet. If someone wants your contact information, take theirs and promise to get back with them.
- Stay IN your comfort zone when socializing. If large parties make you nervous, avoid them, and host your own intimate dinner or casual afternoon BBQ with a small group of friends.
Here is a wonderful article called "Caring for Your Introvert" - if you ARE an introvert, you'll recognize yourself here... if you know an introvert, they'll much appreciate your taking the time to better understand them!
Check out the SWS Calendar of Events to see what's on tap through the rest of the year!