The official definition of an introvert is someone “characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings,” and if you self-identify as an introvert, you might also believe the hype that we are “too shy” to network, “too quiet” to compete and get ahead, and “too in our heads” to form strong and lucrative connections with other entrepreneurs. Frankly, that isn’t true. Don’t believe the hype — we don’t all curl into a ball on the couch while willing our business ventures to magically develop and grow! Introverts are best-known for their appreciation of solitude and familiar spaces and groups. But there are so many characteristics that the introvert has in their arsenal that make them compelling networkers.
Introverts don’t ramble on mindlessly and they’re not here for small talk
Let’s be real: introverts would probably rather be at home, in a snuggie and binging on House of Cards or with their noses two cm away from the page of their favorite book. They’re not going to leave the comforts of everything they adore to, in turn, talk your ear off about the most recent BuzzFeed video or the latest way that some Kardashian has broken the internet. Introverts will engage in the appropriate amount of friendly banter, then get to the point. Why waste time? There are snuggies to wear and pillows to lie on! No need to play coy when both parties are aware that business is the priority.
Introverts don’t rock up with half-baked thoughts
Do you know just how busy the average introvert’s mind is? It never stops. It’s like that game of Monopoly you started back in 1997, but never finished because it simply got too involved with all the hotel vs. house vs. mortgage situation. Introverts spend enough time building up their ideas, evaluating them, picking them apart and then reshaping them again that by the time they leave the comfort of the intricate labyrinth that is their mind, the ideas are well thought out and ready for whatever the potential client will throw their way.
Introverts take time for self-care
They listen to their bodies and know when to re-charge and step away. They just want to go home! That primal instinct of what do I need to do to get out of here is motivation like you wouldn’t believe. That being said, when they step away from the scene, they know exactly what they need to do to regroup and come back refreshed and ready for the next undertaking. Although some people will push themselves into high-intensity social situations, introverts value their sanity and mental health above all, so they work that much harder to maintain the balance. A whole and healthy hustler is a smart hustler.
Introverts have an all-seeing eye
Some people say that introverts are quiet and never speak up. On the contrary: They are simply watching, observing and learning from the missteps of others. They pick up on nonverbal cues because it’s a language they’re fluent in and it allows them to read situations and body language with ease. Because introverts spend so much time in their heads, they become fluent in a second language — non-verbal communication. They know that words don’t relay the entire story. They listen, observe, analyze and then respond. As a result, they’re able to read people and situations with greater precision and avoid unnecessary miscommunications.
They think outside the box
They are innovative in terms of how they approach the networking game: Introverts will capitalize on connections they already have. They keep their circles strong, exclusive and small — but so powerful. Introverts find atypical ways to network because the most traditional way — social, almost aggressive tactics — don’t appeal to them. Instead of quantity, introverts invest in nurturing and growing the connections they’ve already established through patience, loyalty and trustworthiness.
We live in a curated, manufactured world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate the real (people, things and feelings) from the fake. Introverts are the realest people around: They make no apologies for the fact that home is where they’d rather be; however, when it’s time to handle business, introverts have tunnel vision because, of course, at the end of said tunnel is a pair of sweatpants, a comfy chair and peace and quiet. That, my friends, is worth fighting for.
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid, Spain. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle. Reach her on: Facebook, Twitter @MorenasdeEspana, or Instagram: @lasmorenasdeespana