I am about as introverted as they come, i’m not gonna lie. I am so happy in my own little bubble and meeting new people is something i find so stressful and so draining, especially in a large capacity. I really struggle with it, and it makes events a bit of a challenge.
I went to two events recently which were a bit different for me, for two reasons. One; they were breakfast events. Ya girl is unemployed currently (but not for lack of trying) and whilst it sucks, it meant i was able to go to some events that i wouldn’t have been able to previously.
Two; i went alone. I never normally go to events alone and my general rule is that if i can’t bring a plus one, i won’t go. Unfortunately, these recent events seem to have heightened my introverted senses and made me more wary of attending events alone.
The struggle to involve myself
I have no idea how to start a conversation. If i do manage to start one, i’m way too nervous about how i came across when starting said conversation to worry about how it’s actually going. Awkward silences are my worst enemy.
It didn’t help that everyone at these events already seemed to know each other. I felt like i was back in high school, trying to involve myself in a group i had no place in. A few times i tried to smile and involve myself by laughing along with everyone else, but without actually using words, nobody takes any notice.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the girls i did speak to were absolutely lovely. They just want to have a catch up with their friends, which i totally understand. Plus, the girls who organised the events noticed i was looking a little lost and made sure to speak to me, which i can’t thank them enough for.
Am i coming across as rude?
Being shy often gets confused with being rude. I’m not great with introductions and i’m not great with conversation. I totally get why people wouldn’t think to talk to me. I wouldn’t even want to talk to me!
Trying to force myself to say things doesn’t work at all, either. I’ll do that thing where i say something without thinking and it’s a little stupid, nobody replies and i wish the ground would swallow me up.
Thing is, i’m really not trying to be rude. If you’re the same, you’ll know there’s a mental block there to convince you that whatever you’re considering saying is really dumb.
So then you think about it for way too long, and it’s not relevant anymore. And there goes another conversation that you’ve seemingly ignored, when really you’ve spent the past 5 minutes working up the courage to say your piece.
Networking is kind of impossible
Networking as an introvert. Oh god. The word itself is enough to provoke a fear so deep within me that i feel like my stomach is about to explode. Networking and my amount of shyness do not mix. At all.
I had the opportunity to speak to the International Director of Huda Beauty and she was the most fascinating woman i’ve ever spoken to. I think she also took pity on me sitting by myself at this event. She was so kind and actually cared about what i had to say – not at all as scary as her job title suggests!
I feel like most people would take this opportunity to be super chatty and friendly and just, y’know, make a good impression. I totally froze and i think i didn’t ask her any questions. Rookie mistake. And it’s what happens any time i try to network! I don’t know how to do it.
A different kind of catfish
I think i come across as quite a confident person online. I don’t mind chatting to the camera on Instagram Stories and even tried vlogging a little bit, albeit in a different country. I feel totally fine posing for photos on the street. But ask me to speak to any of the people on the street? Nah. No thank you.
People must be so underwhelmed when they meet me. They’re expecting this hilarious, confident person and instead they’re met with me – a girl who can’t even string two words together most of the time and will struggle to look you in the eye.
Don’t get me wrong though, if we become friends i will open up completely, and i’m a totally different person when that happens. That’s the ‘me’ i portray online. It takes me a while to gauge what kind of personality each person has, and if we’ll be compatible enough for me to make a dirty joke.
I find myself being more reserved when it comes to events now. I’m more likely to ask for a plus one, or just not go if i’m to go alone. It has probably resulted in me missing out a few cool opportunities, but the panic is just too much. Sitting alone, realising nobody cares who you are or why you’re there, is not a feeling i’d like to feel again.
For everyone else, all the extroverted and confident bloggers, if you see someone sitting alone at an event, talk to them. Ask them about their day, if they’re enjoying themselves. Involve them! We’re desperate to be involved. We’re not rude, we just struggle a little with the initial interactions.