Six things that have helped me connect with others as a quiet person

Thriving as an introvert

Go to the profile of Preeti
Mar 13, 2017
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Connecting with others is important to me and as an introvert I look for different ways to do this. This can be difficult with the number of people I come across in daily life but over recent months I have discovered a few ways in which I can find moments of connection in both everyday situations as well as with closer relationships.

Becoming aware of the day-to-day connections

Each day I come across many different people, but those I make direct contact with are significantly fewer. So when I can, I now take time to notice the everyday connections I make – that smile in the lift, saying hello at the coffee machine, making eye contact and acknowledging someone as I pass them in the corridor – all this helps me realise that I actually connect with others more than I realise.

Being me

In the past I spent a lot of time presenting an image of myself to the world that did not entirely reflect who I was. Or I would hide certain aspects of myself away and keep them close to me. Even now I often worry about what others think of me and don’t always allow myself to be me. This can create a barrier between myself and the outside world and lead to a disconnect. So when I feel able to, I try to tell someone something about me that they don’t already know. Nothing too big, but something that I feel comfortable sharing and which helps others understand more about me. It could be something about a hobby for example, but just something that shows others the real me.

Noticing what I have in common with others

I often feel that I am different to everyone else, a bit of an outsider. I am quieter than a lot of people and my interests and experiences are not the same as many others I know. I expect that a lot of people have similar feelings at some point in their lives. So focussing instead on what I have in common with those around me helps with this. It could be that I live in the same town as someone I work with, or that I like the same kind of music as a family member. Maybe I know people who have the same interest in books as myself. Knowing this is a great way to strike up a conversation with them about it, and at other times it is simply enough to know we have something in common.

Focussing energy on those who are important to me

I have started to think more about whether I spend enough time with those people who are important to me, or whether I make the effort to stay in touch with them. As a result I am focussing on making more time for them, whether this is meeting up, sending them a text or an an email, or simply ‘liking’ their social media status update. All this shows I’m thinking of them.

Noticing and showing kindness

I don’t always fully appreciate it when someone is kind to me or has done something to help me. I will always say thank you to them, but I can quickly forget about it and move on with my day. I don’t fully recognise their act of kindness, so now I take time to appreciate it more. At the same time I look for opportunities to be kind to others. It could be that I can buy someone a coffee, give them a compliment, hold the door open for them, or simply smile at someone. All of this helps me feel much more connected with others.

Listening fully

When I’m having conversations with others my mind can often wonder and it’s not until the end that I realise I’ve heard very little of what that person said. You know that moment when someone looks at you expectantly, waiting for a response and you have no idea what they asked you! I’ve discovered that how well I listen can have an impact on my relationships with others. So I now try be fully present when I am in a conversation with someone. This means not being distracted by what is going on around me, not being absorbed in my own thoughts, and not planning how I am going to answer. I try to pay full attention to the other person and what they say.

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Preeti

I started off as a Great Wake Up! blogger but that wonderful project has sadly come to an end so now I am writing about being an introvert. I, like many other introverts, can feel lost as more and more value is placed on the number of connections we make rather than their quality. I often find myself in situations where I don't fit in and where louder people get a greater share of the focus. I am regularly seen as 'the quiet one' as if somehow that is a bad thing, when in fact, I think it's a pretty good thing. This blog is about my journey to find out more about the introvert personality and embrace my quiet side.
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Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
Mark Cuddy 3 months ago

I think its great that you are blogging about something that deeply concerns you because others may get something positive from it but it fascinates me that whilst you say (and study) this introvert side to your nature that you have the outgoing confidence to blog it. In the same way I know plenty of loud and outgoing people who wouldn't have the confidence to talk about themselves and their feelings in the same way you clearly do. I'm finding this fascinating leading me more and more to my theory nothing is black and white when it comes to human nature. I will continue to see where your findings and self-discovery lead to.
PS I'd just like to add that when I met you over a year ago at the Wake Up launch I thought you was a very nice person and just a shame you couldn't make it to Birmingham when a few of the other wake up gang met up. But it looks like Wake Up for most people is dead and buried and was just a fad. Shame really because I still live it and get daily positiveness from it (even if I say so myself, ahem). Anyway I look forward to your next blog. All the best and take it easy - self-discovery is a wonderful thing, best wishes Mark.

Go to the profile of Suzy Greaves
Suzy Greaves 3 months ago

Preeti, I really love this post. Thank you for your honesty. x

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Preeti 3 months ago

Hi Mark, great to hear from you! Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate you taking the time out to read my post. Yes, whilst I can write a lot about this subject, I may not be so confident if you asked me to talk about it without any prior warning! It's great to see that you are living Wake Up. I found that I felt much better connected with a lot of the experiments and I guess that's what I'm trying to continue with here (a sense of connection), but focussing on what works well with my introvert personality. Thanks again for your kind words. Preeti

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Preeti 3 months ago

Go to the profile of Preeti
Preeti 3 months ago

Thank you Suzy x