How to be an Introvert AND Great with People!

 

Anybody feel like the most awkward person EVER? Ever respond to someone and then turn the corner and whisper “What was that????” I've been there. Way too many times.

Anybody feel like the most awkward person EVER? Ever respond to someone and then turn the corner and whisper “What was that????”

I’ve been there. Way too many times.

I was the person who couldn’t pick up an unexpected phone call because I wasn’t mentally prepared. The thought of speaking up in a group setting would never even cross my mind (although I had a lot to say- in my head). I used to not be able to look my husband in the eye when we were “fighting” because the thought of conflict freaked. me. out. (I say “fighting” because I would normally just remain silent, stare at the ground, and nod my head until he was done telling me what had bothered him).

770bbf43589ec2e96e8bfd6972ccfd0cYeah, it was bad. By the grace of God, I’m a lot better now 😉

I am no longer afraid to make any phone calls, to anyone.

I can handle conflict with my family, friends, and random people.

I can speak confidently, even if I’m definitely not an expert on what we’re talking about.

But, hey, I never said that being an introvert doesn’t have its upsides!

We make great writers and readers and thinkers. We’re often pretty observant and many times can empathize and understand certain things that others can’t. That being said, there are a few things a lot of us can work on…

You don’t have to be a talker to be great with people, I’ll show you how:

Be Kind

This is one of the best words of advice I can give to any introvert. One fatal flaw of the introvert is that, to be frank, we can seem a bit stuck up and/or stand off-ish. But we don’t mean to! I have several friends now who have told me that before they got to know me, they thought I was mean. ME?! MEAN?! And I’m a freakin’ INFP. We are literally known as the mediator’s, listeners, and empathizers. But it’s true, sometimes quiet people can be misconceived as cold and distant and this is not the way to do well with people.

Here are some tips for an introvert when speaking with anybody:

  • Remember their name
  • Look them in the eye
  • Ask questions! About their life, feelings, opinions
  • Be kind: offer to help, hold a door, lend them something they need.

In summary: “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

Be genuine

One things that a lot of introverts struggle with is feeling that, in order to be accepted, they need to talk and act like an extrovert. Right now, I’m pretty much the only introvert in my office. There are times when a boisterous, well-meaning coworker of mine will come into my office and yell something funny, totally waiting for an amusing response back from me. And I got nothin’. Usually this goes 1 of 2 ways:

  1. I try to quickly come up with something funny to say back but once it’s out of my mouth I realize that it’s actually kind of weird and borderline creepy.
  2. I laugh and say nothing.

Either way, once the other person has left and I’m alone at my desk, we’re probably both thinking “What..??”

Did I ever tell you that I once got fired from a front desk job because I wasn’t peppy enough? I had just left my full time job as a doctor’s assistant to work part time as a receptionist at a local orthodontist’s office. There, we had a binder of “scripts” to memorize and say in response to any possible question we might receive. Yes, we weren’t allowed to use our own words. We were also told to smile… a lot. Which I love doing! But when you get reprimanded for not smiling enough while you’re talking on the phone with a patient who’s calling just to cancel an appointment, that’s where I think we can calm down a little.
e7b6d92670751ab3efb282bc9637a3fd

The thing is, it’s really hard for introverts to force excitement. But what I CAN do is be genuine and caring. I can make a person’s day by telling them they’re awesome without having a huge cheesy smile on my face. I can give kick-butt customer service over the phone and smile at my own free will!

*ok, rant over*

The point is, Inroverts, you be you. Be kind, be genuine, be you.

Say what you’re thinking

Back in my early extreme introvert days when I was just testing the waters on this thing called “talking,” I remember sitting in my scary high school freshman history class listening to a conversation taking place right in front of me. I remember having opinions or thoughts on almost everything they said, maybe even something clever or funny. But I never said any of it. I thought to myself, “You know, you could have said that. That would have been good! I need to just start saying what I’m thinking or I’m never going to talk to anyone!”

So then I tried it…

… and I didn’t die.

In fact, I don’t remember the entire class going silent and staring at me with ridicule for sharing my thoughts. I’m pretty sure my classmates just responded, and the conversation went on from there. Phew… that was close.

Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something

This was one of the reasons why I was terrified to make those dreaded phone calls. I was so afraid to sound like I didn’t know what I was talking about and look stupid. Then I worked a couple jobs where I was the person who had to pick up the phone and talk customers or patients who had no idea what they were talking about. I realized that when I call scary places (like insurance companies, colleges, etc.), the person on the other end of the line is actually a real person. They have a name, they might be having a good day or a bad day, and they’re actually they’re to help me. I’ve learned that the nicer you are to the person on the other end, the more they want to help you and the less they care about how much you know what you’re doing.

Here’s an example of what to say:

Sally from the insurance company: “Hi this is Sally from So and So Insurance, how can I help you today?”

You: “Hi Sally! Ok, I have a question about my insurance. I’m new at this and honestly don’t really know what I’m doing but maybe you can help me…”

Sally will probably (hopefully) say something in return like, “That’s ok, just tell me what your question is and we’ll start from there.”

See? Totes not scary. And if Sally doesn’t turn out to be as friendly as my example, don’t be afraid to ask to speak with someone else. Many businesses really care about their employees’ customer service skills and if Sally isn’t nice and friendly, that’s her problem- not yours- and you don’t have to deal with it.

To sum up, being an introvert is something you can be proud of! You don’t have to be loud, the center of attention, or extremely amusing to make friends or have people skills in general. You don’t even have to be a people pleaser. These are tips that any introvert can follow in order to be a great people person whether you’re looking to make friends, give great customer service, or just learn an awesome life skill!

Pass this onto your introvert (or extrovert!) friends who need a little push in the people department!

Be heard and be loved, introverts!

All my best,

LTSW Signature

  • comment
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • Stumble
  • Email
  • Follow @Chelsealeighdamon on Instagram!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Comments

    Emily

    I am such an introvert and, over the past 2 years, I’ve slowly been working on coming out of my shell. These tips are great! The one that works best for me is to be kind. While I may not talk much, people always comment on my kindness, which then makes me feel more comfortable to be myself!

    Shelly

    What a thoughtful post! I’m more of an extrovert, but certain interactions do freak me out…like talking on a phone, arguing with someone I love or having to speak about something I’m not particularly comfortable speaking about or knowledgable in. Your tips can apply to almost anyone and any uncomfortable interpersonal encounter 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    Branson @ My Reflection of Something

    I am a seriously awkward person who is constantly putting myself in situations where people look to me t lead. I do that well when I can do so through written words. Speaking? Not so much 😉 Being kind and genuine always wins!

    Maryam

    I am an Introvert myself 🙂 Every time I make the efforts to talk to a lot of people or just be around too much people at the same time, I need to recover by taking some time off.

      Charlee

      I too feel drained when around large groups for extended periods. I used to have to go to quarterly​ corporate meetings. I really was so worn out from forced interaction, I started getting sick. Being kind, honest, and occasionally funny helped. Still turns out it wasn’t my “village”. I totally burned out. I will let everyone know upfront in the future so people know I’m an introvert who genuinely​ likes people and enjoys comarederie. But need my space.

    Anne

    I’m a hardcore introvert myself, so this is great food for thought! I will try to make an effort to do these things more, although it’s a bit scary :p

    – Anne | annesmiles

    Alicia

    I, too, am an introvert and have been working on speaking up in group settings. It is very true, and frustrating, how we can be seen as stuck up when the truth is we are just not comfortable speaking up. Thank you for writing this post. Slowly but surely I will try some of your suggestions.

    Krista

    Great article! I’ve also found that kindness is the #1 thing to be mindful of. Ever since I was a little kid, people have told me I appear stand-offish and rude…but as soon as they talk to me, they discover I’m super nice and friendly. My problem is starting up conversations. If there’s a topic to start with, I’m good, which is one of the reasons I like bad weather! For some reason people are much easier to talk to while complaining about something than they are when talking about anything positive. I’m more at ease when the other person is talking a lot, so once they get going, I’m able to talk like a normal person. Usually if I’m the first one to speak, they just kind of stand there staring me like I’m an alien.

    Brittney

    Great info! Hopefully I can come out of my shell this year. I always say weird things when I’m nervous and it sounds a lot better in my head than when I speak it or it comes out all wrong! I’m constantly wondering what people think about me especially when I don’t say much, they must think I’m so rude or something. I think my mind is the biggest problem because I over think things, but I feel better knowing I’m not the only one who deals with this sort of stuff.

    Patricia Ross

    This is so me! I could not even order my own food at McDonald’s. Everything you said is so true. I have been working on this for about a year. Went through a Leadership program with our preacher and his wife and yesterday I found myself carrying on conversations at the amusement parks with people I have never met before. Totally new! Next get better at making friends that’ll stick haha

    Renee Alexis

    This post is totally on point and I have to commend you for that. I am an introvert, I have always been but I am proud to say that I do great with people now. I found my confidence in highschool and I have been gradually developing it through the years. It was a struggle and up till now, I always go back to being alone just to recharge my batteries before facing other people again. Introverts are often misunderstood and it’s up to us to correct those misconceptions.

    therenalexis.blogspot.com

    Jaclyn

    Loved this, thank you!

    Britini

    I loved this so much! I’m an introvert and all these points are totally me right now unfortunately. One of my resolutions this year is to be more outspoken and this article was really nice to read!

    Britini

    I loved this so much! I’m an introvert and all these points are totally me right now unfortunately. One of my resolutions this year is to be more outspoken and this article was really nice to read!

    Instagram