If you’re an introvert whose been told that you come off as “cold’, “aloof”, or “unemotional”, I understand how frustrating these comments can be.
Just because you don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, doesn’t mean you don’t have one.
As an introvert, you likely think and feel deeply, and yet, you may find it hard to express who you really are in conversation.
It’s as if your inner light is covered by an opaque lampshade. No matter how much you glow with wisdom and love on the inside, no one around you can see or feel your warmth.
This begs the question: how do you have a warm personality that draws people in when you’re introverted and tend to put up walls. Not only that.
How do you feel comfortable being warm and open in interactions?
Many introverts have learned to be highly self-protective, because our energy for socializing is limited.
It’s hard to play the role of both a vigilant guard and a warm and welcoming host.
Fortunately, there are ways to create warmth in any interaction, without feeling fake, or getting totally overwhelmed.
4 Steps to Have a Warm Personality as an Introvert
Set an intention for interactions
“Intention” has been a buzz word in the self-help field for several years—and for good reason.
When you set an intention, which is an aim or plan, for every interaction, you become the driver of conversations, rather than a passive passenger.
This means you get to decide who you will BE and what kind of tone you will aim to set in social interactions.
For example, before going to a social event, you might say to yourself, “my intention is to create warmth and make people feel good.”
You can let that intention be your guide and reminder when you start to get too self-conscious and in your head while socializing.
Create a sense of familiarity
Imagine someone you know who has a very warm personality. What is it about them and the way they behave with you that creates this warmth?
Chances are one of the factors is familiarity. We feel comfortable and close to people who seem familiar.
You can create that sense of familiarity with someone new by finding common ground early on in a conversation:
“Oh, you went to Hillcrest High School, too? Did you ever have Mrs. Young?”
Another way to build that familiarity is to follow up. Make a point of remembering what they shared with you in a previous conversation or online and ask about it.
This makes it feel like you’re already good friends who check in and care about each other.
Many introverts are highly empathetic. We feel the emotions and energies of others deeply.
That doesn’t mean we know what to do with all the emotions that come our way.
In fact, some of the most empathetic introverts come off as the most guarded. This is because they don’t went to get overwhelmed by other people’s ‘stuff’.
But you don’t have to fix, solve, or take on other people’s emotional baggage to exude empathy and warmth.
Here are some effective ways to be empathetic in conversation:
- drop judgment of yourself and the other person
- truly listen for emotions and deeper motivations
- use reflective listening
- affirm and acknowledge what they share
Here are some go-to empathetic questions and statements that will show that you care about how the person feels:
How did that feel?
What’s been on your mind?
That must’ve felt ________
I’m sorry you’ve been feeling/experiencing _______________
Share things that made you smile
Focus on conversation topics and self-disclosures that create warmth in the conversation.
In this way, you’re creating an emotional atmosphere that feels good to BOTH of you.
You can do this by simply sharing something that made you smile. It could be something funny that someone did or said, a scene from a movie you saw, or an anecdote from your day.
Some things that made me smile this week include:
- Seeing the fresh snow sparkle under the city lights when I went for an evening walk
- Watching the cat lawyer video (“I’m here live, I’m not a cat” got me every time!)
- A close friend bringing me homemade empanadas to enjoy on the weekend
- Going to a comedy show after 7 weeks in lockdown, and seeing people laughing
- Learning a contemporary dance choreography to Sunday Kinda Love (I’m taking beginner lessons online and it makes my heart smile)
Notice how these little disclosures create warmth while also telling you a lot about who I am and what’s important to me.
If nothing else, remember this
Most importantly, remember that as an introvert you already have everything you need to exude warmth. You don’t need to fix or change yourself.
This is simply an opportunity to experiment and practice revealing more of that innie glow that has been within you all along.
Also, if you worry that you’ll run out of things to talk about in conversation, be sure to grab my free Introvert Conversation Cheat Sheet .
P.S. If you’re new to the blog, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Michaela Chung, author of The Irresistible Introvert and The Year of The Introvert, and creator of this amazing innie community we have here. For several years, I’ve been building up a labyrinth of introvert resources that will take you on a magical journey toward more confidence, connection, and self-love. Start with this free Introvert Connection Guide.