Networking for Introverts

It's the silly season good and proper. For us business folk, that means lots of parties and opportunities to network. Something that doesn't always come easy, especially if you happen to be an introvert. 


For those people who know me in my life now, you may be surpised to hear I was a painfully shy child. Yes, it's true! When it came to social situations, I was always nervous, unless I had a close friend or my sister nearby. And still then, I would merely feel like I could actually get through it with someone close to me by my side without sitting myself in a corner with my other good friend at the time – a book.

In my teenage years, it was much the same. I could make friends very easily, but large crowds at parties were intimidating, as much as I enjoyed being at them amongst my peers. By the time I turned 18, I loved being out and about, entering the club scene for the first time – who doesn't get excited in that environment when it's shiny and new! However, each and every time I went out, I would get to a point in the evening, where I would feel overwhelmed and need to take off for a moment alone. I would take the long way around to the bathroom at least a few times throughout the evening. I honestly thought this was something only I did. It was a strange little quirk of mine… Until I watched this film. 

See, since my younger years I've inevitably grown so much more confident in social settings. I have spent many years faking it till I make it, to the point where I was lead to believe I was an outgoing person, who just so happened to still have that little habit of taking off on my own during a party or night out. Just to take a little moment on my own. It turns out, I'm not the only one! I was simply mistaken. I am but an introvert in social butterfly's clothing. 

This interview Marie Forleo had with author and fellow self-confessed introvert, Susan Cain is definitely worth the watch if you're heading to any functions this Christmas season. There is a lot of very interesting talking about introverts – and high-functioning introverts, like me – but if you don't have a lot of time, skip ahead to 10:43, where they start getting into the nitty-gritty of being an introvert, yet still making the most of networking opportunities.

The key things that struck me in this interview were the following: 

  1. It is okay to be an introvert and to own that part of my character. I don't need to pose as an extrovert. 
  2. Approaching networking without pressuring myself to go against my inate character is going to be more beneficial to me. I don't need to work the room – it's fine to have a few real conversations in preference of chit chat (which I can't stand!) with every person at the party. 
  3. It's great to accept the invitation and simply leave early when enough is enough for me. Making an appearance is okay. 
  4. There are many other introverts just like me, who work in jobs, where networking is very necessary. I'm not alone!

Thumbnail image by

Hi, I’m Sally, Founder and Editor of The Bride’s Tree. Over the past 13 years I’ve written thousands of articles about all things wedding from tips and trends to etiquette and ideas. On this blog I bring you the best of Sunshine Coast and Brisbane weddings.