How to Appeal to an Introvert

People say to write what you know. Having identified with this personality type, I consider myself well educated on the topic.

Often times we as humans tend to skip the sometimes impractical insightful attitudes with our peers and skip to our knee-jerk thoughts. I would imagine because for one they are convenient (just describe how you feel) and they are fresh in our heads (like a vegetable just picked from the soil.) While it may be nutritious and enjoyable, we cannot simple dive into it without a little time to process and refine the fruits of our labor. That being said, the same goes in the social setting. Some of us might be able to live our lives not being completely aware of our actions, thoughts, and decisions in our lives. Others (myself included) not so much. I have been thinking of some qualities to help those who want to get their cheesy Instagram messages out there to motivate others to “Be all they can be” and to “Just hang in there.” Here are a few key concepts to take into consideration when appealing to your fellow introvert.

Present your thing

This may seem like a given, but let me expand a little bit on this idea. It is hard to go through life and not be persuaded to purchase something we may or may not want on a daily basis. People have conjured up entire curriculum and careers of marketing to push a product onto others. While some of these techniques may work to sum, the majority of approaches are exhausting for us quiet types. We all have a friend who is constantly pitching some product whether it be a new bike, a book, some lifestyle choice, or a political ideology. The exhausting part isn’t necessarily that they do this, but how it is done. If you have ever spent longer than a week trying to play your hand in the dating world, you are all too familiar with the initial “getting to know each other” phase. This introductory step applies the same when appealing to your peers. Through my own experiences and observing fellow introverts around me, I believe I can say that in order to maximize this appeal, simply cut to the chase and present your point (thing) as concise as possible. If you have ever been stopped by someone promoting their own religious or political beliefs, than you too have experienced these introductory questions that frankly beat around the bush and waste both parties time. I would love it if someone would ask if I was interested in practicing (insert religion, political affiliation, or a career in real estate) right off the bat. That way, we all know what that person’s intentions are, and can decide for ourselves whether we want to continue this conversation or not.

Minimal eye contact

Never have I been talking to someone and thought to myself, “Jeez, I felt really nervous at the start but once I looked directly into their eyes I felt that I could let my guard down and give that person my undivided attention and all the money in my wallet.” Short, digestible glances are preferred and give both parties time to gather themselves for the next type of engagement. We all know how powerful starting in someone’s eyes can be. So when considering the social battle for power, someone who feels obligated to keep a continuous stare on someone else is attempting to posture their power over someone. This is effective almost all of the time if the person chooses to engage back. There lies the problem when appealing to the quiet types. After we have acknowledged what your intentions are, and that you won’t look at something else other than our faces, we (well, I) will disconnect right away. Introverts have a short tolerance for these types of social engagements and while you may feel like you’re winning someone over with your irresistible charm,  you are in fact doing the exact opposite and detouring from a fundamental goal of making someone feel comfortable.

Limit side-tracking / anecdotes

Personal experiences can be a great opportunity to get someone on your side and on your side when offering advice or a recommendation. The problem with this is that people tend to jump the gun when deciding to throw in a personal testimonial. As powerful a tool this may be, the key to executing this is timing. If you believe that your personal experiences are what will win people over, please stop to consider whether or not this is something they want to hear. All of us as human beings are able to go on and on about our personal experiences if we choose to go down that figurative road. Hell, most of us are intrigued by storytelling in all of its forms with the new generation of podcasts and other social applications. The difference here is we are making a mindful choice to engage with one another, which brings me to my next point.

Let us decide on our own

This is probably the most important point of this whole post. The ole, “Come on, what’ll it be?” and “come on down and, (buy this car, phone, timeshare, bicycle)” approach is frightening and genuinely uncomfortable. I can’t imagine a setting in which this pushy style of persuasion can provide a pleasant experience. The last thing an introvert wants to be told is what to do. I cannot stress this enough. Most of our decisions in life have been given some amount of thought and with as much energy as these choices require, asking us to change our minds or go about things in a different way is rude and inconsiderate. I personally have become aware of this selfish approach and will not cater to the egos that are present. I am more likely to disconnect from people who try and go about this path sooner than most. The ideology behind this stems from our emotional energies. We have a finite amount and are drained from them from the moment we leave the house. That being said, this is a precious resource and we do not wish to waste it being told to “never give up” and “keep going” and “be all you can be.”

In summary

If this entire post has been a dense and confusing approach, allow me to concentrate and condense my point. If there is a single piece of advice I can offer that summarizes all of these points, it would be to be a good listener. You could have the best piece of advice for someone that could change their lives forever. This is a big deal and should be treated accordingly. In order to execute the perfect move to win someone over (in any setting) is to wait for the right time to present your thing. Listen and see if someone is first off trying to ask for your thoughts on the matter. Mainstream media disregards this completely and shoves their marketing techniques down our throats whether we wish to hear from them or not. Don’t be a commercial. You are a human being. You are capable of empathy and have the ability to change peoples minds (a very strong tool.) People might be sympathetic and say you “motivate” them to be friendly. However I personally imagine that this may be easy to say, our idle actions show that no one is convinced they should leave their comfort zones.

Please reconsider your approach when talking with someone who may want to genuinely hear your thoughts on a specific topic, or just want you to be a wall and listen (keep in mind walls do not talk back.) The net time you’re talking with someone, try and acknowledge what they’re saying without including yourself in the topic of discussion. (WHAT?! But I have so many stories and I know that what I have to say about my own experiences will get my point across and change their mind.) This is the exact behavior I am describing as unappealing for most people. I am curious to hear the findings of someone who chooses to not directly include themselves in the conversation. In my personal experiences, this is an incredibly powerful and therapeutic tool for all parties. Who knows, maybe more people will want to talk to you and your Instagram stats will go through the roof.

-dfj

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