The Introverts Survival Guide For HUGE Extroverted Events by Gary Miller
I’ve spent years of my corporate life as a trainer and coach working with leaders at all levels of organizations. Much of the time I talk a lot about personality type through the lens of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. One of the areas within the instrument that I’ve probably talked about the most is the diﬀerences between those preferring introversion and those who preferring extroversion.
This post is certainly not a primer in the diﬀerences between the preferences. I gave you that quick background about myself to tell you that I appreciate the diﬀerences between the preferences especially as it relates to introversion because I’m an introvert.
Introverts and Big Gatherings One area that can quickly suck the life out of us introverts is large public events such as workshops, conferences, and seminars that are packed with people, particularly strangers. I’m writing this post from the airport on my way to an massive event for online entrepreneurs in Denver. There will be an estimated 6000 people taking over the mile high city. It’s THE premier event in internet marketing and personnel development. I’m completely excited but also well aware that if I’m not careful the entire experience will exhaust me. So with that in mind, I wanted to throw out some general advice to my fellow introverts on how to actually enjoy people packed events while preserving your sanity in the process.
The Introverts Survival Guide For Huge Events 1) Prepare To Stretch Your Introversion Outside The Comfort Zone The whole idea behind self awareness through type is to help you thrive in a variety of environments. Understanding that you prefer introversion can never be used as an excuse to stay in the corner and refuse to take chances. Part of growth is stretching and for us introverts that means getting out into the sea of activity at events outside of our comfort zones. I’m not suggesting you have to live in the heart of the business and people for the entire event. Far from it. But understand the event is probably just for a few days max. Yes it will zap some of your energy but you’ll survive and what you’ll learn and experience with the extroverted masses will more than likely be awesome!
2) Pick Your Spots Carefully… Your A and B list For great events scores of people work more hours than I can imagine to make it happen. They want to make the experience as packed and value added as possible. That means tons of things to do. Here’s the caution fellow introverts. You need to pick your spots carefully. Remember, just because you can attend every single event, hang out, or meet up doesn’t mean you should. Look at the schedule and pick out what matters most to you. Make that your A List. Then circle the activities that interest you but wouldn’t break your heart if you had to skip them. Remember point #1, stretch your introversion to make some of the B List. You’ll normally be glad that you did but don’t force it. 3) Make Recharge Time A Priority By Saying No When Needed Big events typically have a lot of after hours meet ups with attendees for socializing and fun. These can be absolutely awesome but for the introvert they can plunge us into the depths of awkwardness and exhaustion. Learn to say no to these. If you feel up for it on the first day go for it but do not feel obligated. You’ll enjoy the event more and learn more if you’re mind and body are fresh. For introverts that will often mean heading back to the hotel room, reading, watching a movie, or getting on the phone to chat it up with close friends and family. If those around you don’t respect your need for a recharge, don’t lose a seconds sleep about it. You have to take care of yourself. Remember the whole idea of attending personal and business development events is to personally get better. Getting better doesn’t only happen after but during the event. Take care of yourself.
Enjoy The Ride Here’s a reality I’ve learned over the years my fellow introverts. Some of the most fun I’ve had in my life was when I had to stretch beyond my introversion with a room full of extroverts. When it comes to big events remember that all of us have blind spots. Those who look at the world with diﬀerent personality preferences can open an entirely new world of opportunity to us. It’s these opportunities we want to embrace so we can have a truly great time!
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I’ve spent years of my corporate life as a trainer and coach working with leaders at all levels of organizations. Much of the time I talk a...