Written by Mariah Black
Who said that you have to be a social butterfly to be successful? As an introverted woman, it can be mentally taxing to create internal playbooks of how to navigate social gatherings.
Who will be at the event? Will my attire be ideal for the occasion? How will my interaction with X be?
The internal dialogue can be relenting–especially for an entrepreneurial individual who relies on those interactions for networking and business-related matters.
So why are introverts positioning themselves to choose between their mental well-being and their business? Is there any other way? As an introvert, should you just succumb to the social pressures of being perceived as an extrovert?
Absolutely not. You should always be yourself even when tasked with maneuvering spaces that may not be the most comfortable.
Although there is no real roadmap to navigating social events as an introvert, it is important to consider what is in our control. We can either sulk in the anxiety of what we suppose could transpire or we can empower ourselves with tools to navigate our social endeavors masterfully.
Here are four ways to plan for your next social event:
1. Set Clear Goals.
What is the purpose of this interaction? If it is to meet potential clients, network, or attend industry events, be clear on your ‘why’. This can align your energy and shift your focus on the goal, which can ultimately make the most of the interactions.
2. Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Please prepare beforehand. Research the attendees, the topics of discussion, and/or the event agenda. This way, you’ll feel more knowledgeable and can contribute to conversations with confidence. Practice introducing yourself and summarizing your business in a concise and compelling way.
3. Lean On Your Strengths.
Introverts often excel in one-on-one conversations or in smaller group settings. Leverage these strengths to your advantage by seeking out opportunities for more intimate interactions. Schedule meetings or coffee chats where you can engage in deeper conversations rather than large networking events that may overwhelm you.
4. Consider How You Want To Decompress.
Before the social event or meeting, you should think about or even prepare for your post-meeting decompression session.
Even if that means icing your wine, chopping up your fruit, prepping a snack or meal that will make you feel amazing and even determining which movie or tv show you’ll be watching when you return. This will at least give you something to look forward to and it could potentially alleviate some of your anxiety.
You’re not a social butterfly and that’s okay.
The success of your business has been reliant on you and your dedication to making your mark in your industry.
Thus, introversion should be more of a yield sign as opposed to a hard stop. It shouldn’t hinder your ability to connect with key people who can propel your business forward. It is uncomfortable and oftentimes, crippling, but it should not stop you.
So, here’s a fact: You survived all of those dreaded interactions.
You earned your way into those spaces, so you deserve to be there.
Now, get prepared!
Mariah Black is a Content Writer who enjoys writing fiction and content in various niches. You can find her blog on WordPress called, “Eartha’s Blueprint” and on Instagram @earthasaidso.