MC: “….Take two minutes, get out of your seat, and meet someone new.”
Introvert (you): “Oh no.” *runs and hides in the bathroom*
If you find yourself in scenarios like this, more often than not, you’re not alone. Here’s some tips to help get you through this social endeavor.
1. Don’t Hide
As introverts, it’s our natural instinct to find an immediate escape route when any organized socializing occurs. And God forbid anyone makes eye-contact while executing our escape.
Tip: Although these moments are out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself by finding someone to say hello to before you run.
2. Don’t Get Stuck (make conversation)
Let’s be real, in most cases, we usually never make it past “hello,” because we don’t actually think that far. Now we’re stuck. #butactually
Tip: Preempt a question or topic in your mind before you say hello, so you don’t find yourself admiring the decorations in the room for the next 3 minutes. #thatsreal
3. Embrace The Hugger
You know that one person that always greets people with a hug? And I don’t mean a ‘Christian Side Hug’ (which is bearable), I mean the real thing, the 100%, the grand slam! And to top it off… it lingers, and you find yourself hugging a stranger longer than socially acceptable. #comfortablyuncomfortable
Tip: Don’t freak out! Instead of fighting it, try hugging back. Who knows… you might find yourself with a new friend. 😉
4. The Exit.
We’ve all encountered that person who has a hard time catching exit cues. Like when you say, “It was so nice meeting you! I’m gonna head back to my seat,” and they respond with: “Oh, where are you sitting? I’ll come with you!” – And then…. silence.
Tip: Sometimes stepping out of our comfort zone isn’t for us – it’s actually for the other person. Allowing ourselves to be inclusive not only challenges us but creates an opportunity for people to feel at home.
and LASTLY, once you’ve conquered the most memorable 2 minutes of your life.
5. You’ll go back to your seat like…