Introvert Energy Drain Rule Number Four – Be More Open
It helps to think of reality as a constant flow of opportunities that are constantly whizzing past you. If you pay attention to the opportunities, or if you contribute a little to that flow, you can catch them. The introvert’s problem is that they often miss out on these opportunities because they either don’t notice them in the first place because they are absorbed in their own world, or opportunities pass them by because the introvert is not assertive enough in conversation.
By making an effort to reach out and assist the flow of opportunities, just as extroverts do without any effort whatsoever, the introvert can be sure to take their fair share of these opportunities, too. To do this, some introverts may need to force themselves to speak up and overcome their natural shyness, which gets much easier over time the more you push yourself.
Look at it this way: Extroverts are curious people who enjoy finding out about new people. They tend to put themselves out there in conversation and are willing to share details about their own lives. This is what I call “facilitating the flow of opportunities”. You meet a new person, and through the most basic of small talk, you are open enough to reveal details about yourself that contribute to the flow of opportunities. In other words, you make an effort socially, and that means that you create an impression. You won’t just be remembered (or quite possibly forgotten) as that quiet person who didn’t say anything or talk to anyone. All you need to do is make a little effort just so you are noticed. If the conversation becomes boring or draining to you, excuse yourself if you lack the energy to become more involved. Or even better, assert yourself to make the conversation become interesting to you.
Introverts can really assist the flow of opportunities by projecting their personalities more. This means being less guarded when they first meet new people. I am not saying that you ought to share your life story with the new people you meet, but it does help just to go through the most basic elements of small talk so that the person to whom you are speaking can find out a little about you. Opening yourself up a little in social interaction allows you to facilitate the flow of opportunities. The principle of sharing in conversation even demands that you open yourself up and reveal a little of yourself or else you will feel drained.
I noticed in my own experience that it was a habit of mine to resist the flow of opportunities. To give an example, if I was in a group situation and someone asked a question such as, “What do you do for a living?” I found that I never answered the question directly. I would always let someone else/the other people in the group answer for themselves without answering for myself. I was guarded about sharing in group situations to my detriment because sharing information is what facilitates the flow of opportunities. If you don’t make a little social effort to overcome your inner resistance as an introvert, you will always remain outside of that flow. When in conversation somebody says that they work as designer, what they are really doing is allowing that nugget of information to fly and potentially be caught by someone else to whom it is relevant (and that’s how conversations can take an interesting turn). Sharing a piece of personal information can potentially connect two people in a meaningful way. More than this, you never know where assisting the flow of opportunities may take you. It could be towards an invitation, a job offer, or even a date.
Introverts resist the flow of opportunities for different reasons. Some introverts just may not be interested in what they perceive to be boring or meaningless small talk, in which case they may be perceived as standoffish and aloof. They find it draining and therefore stay on the edges of such conversations. Self-contained introverts are also very happy to lapse into their own silent daydreams when in social interactions, entertaining themselves with their own thoughts and not really listening to what’s going on around them (thereby missing potential opportunities).
For introverts who suffer with issues of self-worth at a core level which they may not even be consciously aware of, the real reason for their hesitance and guardedness in conversation may actually be due to limiting beliefs of unworthiness. In other words, they don’t speak up and share because they don’t believe that what they have to say is interesting to anyone or that anyone cares what they have to say. The best thing you can do for yourself as an introvert who suffers with self-worth issues at a core level is to mirror the conversation around you. This means that you make an effort to match the conversational replies made by other people: If other people answer a question and share what they do for a living, it is essential that you do this, too. You are worthy of attention. You don’t need to initiate conversation or reveal extra information about yourself. All you need to do is contribute just as much as the other people in the group. The more you stick to this rule, the easier it becomes for you to do your part to assist the flow of opportunities. By being more open, in this way you are doing your part to contribute and create connection within the social moment.