So many of my friends, and my husband’s friends too, will not believe I am an introvert. But the truth is I am and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When online social networking came along for me, a few years ago, I jumped in and even lead the way for most of my extrovert friends.
For me, and likely other introverts, it’s a perfect way to meet friends and have an easier way to make business connections – all in one activity and with less energy drain. By actively using online networking for friendships most introverts can help themselves if they would like to move in the direction of being more outgoing and attract both friends and business connections.
Career and business reality check: who you know is still best. While socializing, even networking, in person can be a challenge, using online for this purpose is a blessing for those with an introvert preference of more solitude. While it’s still more influential about who you know, it’s also how many you know. In my own online networking I’ve found that playing in the numbers game of how many people you know, I get closer to who is it I want to know. I don’t believe I would have met someone like Bob Burg without online social media. Why not give yourself that advantage of the numbers to get you to the who you want to meet without exhausting yourself?
Healthy reality check: turn up your energy. Whether you are connecting for friendships, or connections for business, energy goes into nurturing any connection. But the more introverted like myself really don’t get a charge from that time investment: we get a charge from solitude. It’s being able to control the online engagement more and rather easily that can give us just that boost without depleting ourselves.
Friendship reality check: you had me at, “What do you think about that?” Many friendships can help us grow on a personal level. Often starting a conversation with someone online is an easy stepping-stone on the path to a more meaningful conversation. Quite often after someone invites me to connect with him or her, it leads to quite the inspiring telephone or Skype call. It’s often a more purposeful, versus a random conversation, that helps us know who it is we want to get to know further.
Knowledge reality check: personal growth can grow by leaps. Let’s face it, sometimes to experience new things we more introverted need that encouragement of someone more extroverted. The friends I’ve acquired through the years, pre-internet and post-online social media, tend to be a mix. The ones who help me to meet more people often lead me to find new hobbies, interests and again, new people.
Happiness reality check: finding happiness and success gets easier. Life balance today is really an oxymoron; it’s a thing of the past. But dreams of balance still exist. The more introverted might be closer to reaching those dreams online where you can have more control over certain pieces of the journey. You can more easily manage friends in small doses. You can take the time to think things through before speaking your mind to someone you would like to friend. You can rejuvenate yourself almost anytime you want. You actually get to spend more time with your mind if you like and how cool is that?
We are social beings whether we are an introvert, extrovert or any other label you want to put on people. If you want more friends or just better friends, if you want business connections who you can help and who can help you, or if you want to be yourself and at the same time have an easier time being friendly, even approachable, they you can benefit in almost any area of life from making online social networking your next good friend.