Introverts: remain calm. You are fantastic—smart, observant, focused, responsible, flexible, all-around a joy to work with. However, you know as well I do that when working in an office, there are times you’re required to step out of your comfort zone and go the extra mile for the sake of “being social” or “seeming like a team player.” Here are some tips to help you “Fake it til you make it.”
- Reframe your perception of office social gatherings.
While some people see getting together as a way to unwind, introverts see it as work, but often feel guilty for doing so. Instead, introverts should embrace the fact that yes, workplace social gatherings are a facet of work—and an important one at that. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do in order to push forward.
- Do a little prep-work.
Speech and communications expert Ita M. Olsen says that people who find small talk exhausting would be well-served by having a few practiced phrases on hand.
- Go for the one-on-one.
Most introverts are more comfortable speaking to people one-on-one than in groups, so try to put yourself in those situations as much as possible
- Do what you do best: listen.
When you really listen to people it makes them feel good, which provides an important foundation for productive and positive relationships.
- Ask uncommon questions.
Introverts tend to find small talk trivial—and they are most often correct. To make chit-chat more interesting, she recommends asking uncommon questions about topics you are genuinely interested in.
- Give yourself time to re-charge.
Trying to seem outgoing at work is undoubtedly exhausting, and too many social encounters can leave introverts depleted. Socialize, reward, rest, repeat. You can do this.