As an introvert, I have developed a niche reputation for being a good listener of people. I admit that I have a habit of displaying bad body language that would give off the persona of not being approachable. If I put my hands in my pants pocket, I look like I’m sulking. If I cross my arms, I’m being defensive.
I can’t win all of the time.
It’s quite a daunting task for introverts to be “outgoing and friendly” when society expects us to do so all of the time.
Maybe that’s why I started to feel weird several weeks ago at a recent function. The big hitters were there, from CEOs to financially ne’er do wells. There were several situations where despite my being friendly and respectful, I got the cold shoulder from some of the big dogs. I wasn’t in their “league.”
Or maybe it was me?
Anyway, the pressure to “smile and be outgoing” can drain a quiet guy like me most of the time. Just because I don’t say much, that doesn’t mean that I “don’t like you”. I’m interested to know more about what you do, what do you think, and other things…as long as you don’t brush introverts off like a fly.
In an odd sort of way, extroverts needs introverts. We’re the ones who will listen to your ideas, rants, and soak up the information and process it to help you find an answer. We are the ones that could help you connect to something or someone who could make you successful in the long run. The only thing we ask in return is that if we do have something to say, is that you give us your undivided attention, show some empathy, and help us with the conversation.
I’m a listener, not a motor mouth. If chatty conversationalists would understand that listening to others will gain you a wealth of new networks and people, the better they are.
Us introverts “like to be the strangers at the party” as Hall and Oates famously sung. You never know about us if you don’t get to know us.