As introverts we don’t usually like being the centre of attention, especially with people we don’t know very well. All sorts of social situations can make introverts shrink into the shadows and try to put on our invisibility cloak…
- too much small talk slowly burrowing a hole in our brain
- loud, abrasive personalities that overwhelm us
- overstimulation forcing us into ‘energy saving mode’
- superficial pleasantries that feel forced and fake
I’ve noticed that introverts especially hate forced pleasantries. But, of course, they are often inescapable (pleasantries, not introverts—you can easily escape introverts by distracting us with cat videos).
So, what do we do about this? How can introverts get the recognition and acceptance we desire without feeling put on the spot or overwhelmed?
How to feel seen and heard in conversation
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “you train people how to treat you”. This applies to conversations.
If you want people to listen to you and respect you from the get-go, how you approach that first conversation matters.
Luckily there are very introvert friendly ways to make a good first impression and spark interesting conversations.
Two strategies that work like crazy:
The first thing an improv coach tells his students is to NOT try to be funny or clever. Just commit on stage. That’s what will allow you to connect with your character and your audience. This applies in real life, too! Commit to the conversation and show the person you want to be there by being fully present, looking them in the eye, and truly listening.
2) Use the OAR method.
Keep the conversation moving and prevent awkward silences by making an Observation, Addition, or Revelation.
Conversation Starters for Introverts
I explain how to apply the OAR method in a recent Facebook Live.
In this quick FB Live, you’ll discover…
- How to make a lasting impression in 30 seconds or less
- 10 foolproof icebreakers to instantly spark conversation
- The OAR method for preventing awkward silences