It’s commonly believed that most introverts are shy, but I happen to be a shy extrovert. Introverts often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. They need time to be alone to ‘recharge.’
Extroverts, on the other hand, seek out others and enjoy being social. I love people and interacting with people. I am at my best when I am connecting with others; I become energized. However, over the years I’ve been painfully shy when attending functions with multiple people that I do not know.
Do you ever have to force yourself to attend networking events? Some simple suggestions to keep in mind:
#1 Invite a friend. I do recommend mingling with others, but at least you know you have one friendly person you can seek out if networking becomes too awkward for you.
#2 Very often, I happen to be the host; however, when I’m not, I pretend to be the host. What I mean by that is that as a nurturing spirit, I’m most comfortable when I am helping others feel comfortable. Try it. Walk up to others, extend your hand and introduce yourself. You’ve just made a new friend.
#3 Have a Game Plan. Set goals. For instance, you may decide that you have been successful, if you make 3 new contacts. Perhaps your goal is as many as 10 new contacts. Plan ahead and stick with your plan.
Remember that Networking is about connecting and serving. Be ready to serve.
Above all, have fun