Many people will be connecting with coworkers, friends, and loved ones via Zoom over the holidays.
While this might sound like a dream come true for introverts, video calls can leave us feeling more disconnected than ever.
I’ll be honest, when I hear my friends talk about their upcoming Zoom work parties, I feel sorry for them.
While introverts aren’t exactly known for being party people, most of us crave meaningful conversations and true connection.
As great a tool as Zoom is, it has its limitations. It’s hard to read body language cues when all you see is a talking head on your laptop.
You also miss out on the invisible energy exchange and friendly touch that you might experience in person.
So, how can we truly connect over Zoom when there are so many limitations?
It turns out that many of the friendship cues that create a bond in person work like magic during video calls. Some of these tips also work for phone calls or text.
3 Ways to build friendships over Zoom
Congruity is a friendship factor that creates instant trust and likability.
Congruity means that things fit together in a way that makes sense. Your words match your values. Your actions match your words. Your face matches your feelings.
On Zoom, congruity in your facial expressions is particularly important. This is why pasting on a fake smile when you’re actually exhausted doesn’t work.
If you’ve ever met someone who’s always smiling, even if they’re obviously distressed, you know how annoying this can be.
Your face should reflect your feelings about a topic or story. I learned just how important this concept is when I started doing standup comedy.
One of the first things my comedy teacher, former Tonight Show writer and comedian Jerry Corley, taught me is that the audience needs to know how YOU feel about what you’re saying.
If you’re telling a story about something that annoyed you, show your frustration. If you think something is ridiculous, surprising, or embarrassing, show that, too.
If you want to truly connect with someone, whether that be in person, on the phone, or via Zoom, the key is to create warmth.
Focus on conversation topics and self-disclosures that create an emotional atmosphere that feels good to both of you.
You can do this by simply sharing an experience 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.
When you share the thing that made you smile, relive how it made you feel so that your emotions are congruent with what you’re saying. This brings a conversation to LIFE and instantly builds rapport.
Mastering the follow-up is an easy way to create a sense of closeness, even if you’re only connecting online.
Follow up on something the person shared the last time you saw them.
For example, you might say, “How’d your work Zoom party go?” or “I know you weren’t feeling well last time we chatted, how’ve you been feeling this week?”
The follow-up approach is great for introverts, because you can plan what you’ll bring up ahead of time.
I hope you liked today’s tips. For more insights on how to be content, confident, and magnetic as an introvert, check out my book, The Irresistible Introvert: Harness The Power of Quiet Charisma in a Loud World.
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 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.