Case Study – How do Introvert Traits affect Social Success?
I predominantly coach international people who live in London, or are visiting the city for a period of time, so the subject of British small talk is a very important one if they are to immerse themselves in the culture and develop new friendships. I do, however, coach British individuals on occasion, and it may be reassuring for my international readers to learn that not every British person understands small talk or indeed enjoys meeting new people.
Last year I had the pleasure of coaching a mature, successful British businessman. He explained that he could happily appear on stage to deliver a business presentation to 250 employees, but ask him to ‘work the room’ at a social event? This would result in cold sweats, and an endless counting down of the minutes before he could discreetly leave the party, preferably unnoticed.
Does this sound strange or does it feel familiar to you?
These characteristics are typical of those who lean towards the introverted side of the introvert/extrovert personality spectrum. They tend to feel drained when they spend too much time in the company of others, their thought processes can slow down, and large crowds of people can make them feel overwhelmed at times, especially if their energy is low following time spent in the company of others.
They also generally prefer the company of a small, close group of friends and meaningful conversation, making them very attentive and loyal people. So it is not a negative trait, it is just different to the outwardly confident extroverts that can often leave them questioning their ability to meet and connect with new people.
As well as learning about the facts of introvert/extrovert I also have personal experience. This is because I too am an introvert. In fact, over 60% of my clients fall into this side of the spectrum; you are not alone, my friends.
The good news is that if you do lean more towards an introverted personality, then you can learn how to recognize these feelings, and put a plan in place to give yourself enough private time. This ensures that your ‘energy tank’ is full and as a result, you can give the best of yourself to others. Meeting new people should be fun, and it is if you are in the right space.
During my classes, you can be reassured of being coached by someone who truly understands how you feel. I will always err on the introverted side of the spectrum, that is who I am, but I have learned the process and skills, and practiced them over and over again so that I now look forward to meeting new people and mingling. I will teach you how to do this too.
Please be reassured that you can feel differently about walking up to new people and starting a conversation. With a set of new skills, a little bit of practice combined with a dose of courage, you will be surprised at the person you can become, whilst remaining your authentic self.