I’m seeing many introverts engaging more socially now due to our current, virtual world. Yay! Zoom is great for shy people as it can be less intimidating than walking up to someone in person.
Now is the perfect time to work on strategies to build your (or your child’s) social and emotional skills for when we return to “normal” in-person interactions.
The first step is to understand where you need help, and then to set achievable goals. What about interacting with others, online and in-person, causes you to avoid or delay connecting? Understanding where you need help is critical to setting up a plan.
Next, source online communities of like-minded people and in advance of the next meeting or call, practice working on these areas of concern.
Many feel uncomfortable when they use my social spy technique because we worry others are noticing us. Let me assuage your mind – they are not. Use this technique to gage the culture, make a mental inventory of people and what you KNOW about them, step into their shoes and figure out what hot buttons they have.
Next, practice making small talk. Bridge the gap from “Hi” to a deeper conversation. This is often easier in the virtual world as it can be less intimidating than real life, so practicing now is important.
Think about who in this larger group you might want to build a connection or friendship with. What invitation can you suggest to reach out to them individually? Look at their surroundings – what do the things in the background tell you about this person. Step into their shoes – what do they like?
Congrats on your desire to make friendships and connection important to you! Once you establish a connection, be sure to nurture the relationships by sending a message, calling or talking outside of the committee, school, workplace.
Remember to pick one thing to work on and every time you walk through a real or virtual door, to remember your intention, review the group and identify your role.
You Got This!