Lunch hour is often the most dreaded time of day for introverts. Contrary to what you might think, our secret lunchtime anxieties have nothing to do with food.
See if this scenario sounds familiar:
It’s break time at the office, which means you have one hour to chow down, and relax. If you work in a job that requires a lot of talking and dealing with people, you desperately need this time to recharge and fortify yourself against the day ahead. But there’s one problem.
For other people, lunch hour is all about catching up with coworkers. Your extroverted colleagues congregate together, and engage in one of the most offensive pastimes to an introvert.
For extroverts, chatting with others is replenishing. For introverts, not so much. Over the years, we’ve come up with all sorts of sneaky ways to avoid small talk. When it comes to lunchtime at work, you’ll likely see us doing one of the following:
- Hiding behind a book, and doing everything in our power to avoid eye contact with other humans.
- Sneaking off to a secluded area of the office where we munch away in sweet solitude.
- Escaping the office all together and wandering the nearby streets or stores in the hopes that we won’t see anyone we know.
Don’t get me wrong, introverts are not necessarily anti-social. And we might really like our coworkers. But small talk is NOT how we want to spend our precious one-hour lunch break. Instead of replenishing us, as it does extroverts, lunchtime chit chat drains us.
How to make lunchtime less sucky
First of all, let go of the guilt. When I used to work as a bank teller, I worried that my coworkers would think I was a jerk for not socializing more at lunchtime. I couldn’t enjoy my recharge time because I felt so guilty.
Now I know that there is nothing wrong with wanting some peace and quiet on your lunch break. It’s your free time, and you can spend it however you like!
Choose quality over quantity
What I realized when I was working as a bank teller was that it only takes one quality conversation to connect with your coworkers. You don’t have to spend every lunch hour talking about the weather.
Having one interesting conversation with one coworker once a week is way more effective than engaging in mindless lunchtime chit chat everyday. The secret is to know how to transform boring small talk into true connection.
How to actually enjoy small talk
According to my friend and fellow introvert Dan Chang, most people in general are terrible at small talk. Instead of building connections they get stuck in painful pleasantries. Dan has a formula for mastering small talk and making friends, even if you’re introverted and shy
Over the last 9 years he’s spent thousands of hours (and dollars) learning from books, experts, psychology studies, and real-world tests. One of the biggest things he realized is that small talk can do big things.
Dan shares all his small talk secrets in his amazing FREE mini-course.
You’ll learn how to…
– Video #1: Uncover the power of small talk
– Video #2: Overcome boredom
– Video #3: Stop nervousness around new people
…so you can start making friends. Whether it’s at the office, weddings, or just waiting in line for the bus.
If you get nervous when interacting with new people and find yourself stuck in your head, this course is perfect for you. You’ll especially love it if you tend to analyze and understand things before doing them.
However you choose to spend your next lunch hour, remember to include a delicious slice of solitude, and to enjoy it without guilt! 🙂