Moving and Meeting New People
How Introverts Can Take the Pain Out of Meet and Greets
Introverts, (or anyone for that matter) can find the experience of meeting new people and having to make conversation as pleasant as chewing tinfoil. It can be especially challenging to introverts to move to a new city because they don't have the comfort of the familiar friends and faces they depend on. If you're an introvert, moving and meeting new people doesn't have to be draining and uncomfortable. There are strategies you can use to make the road a little easier.
Accept Your Discomfort
First, accept that it is an uncomfortable situation for you. You've moved to a new neighborhood with new people, so of course it's uncomfortable. Simply acknowledging to yourself beforehand that being with new people is wearisome and planning accordingly can help you approach it more proactively.
Get A Guest List
Whenever possible, find out who will be there before you arrive. Look up guests on LinkedIn or Facebook. Get to know some faces, perhaps what they do and their interests. Now they're not completely unfamiliar to you when you walk in the door.
Make A Specific Goal
Having an actual goal to your socializing can help ease your worries. For many introverts it's the barrage of new details, like names, faces, and personal details that can make a room full of new people overwhelming. So decide in advance what you want to accomplish at this meet and greet.
However, be careful to make your objective more specific than you want to meet new friends. That could be too much of an expectation. Go with something easier and more definitive. Perhaps finding someone you could go biking with would be worth your effort. Maybe finding someone local who works in your same industry would be useful to you. Give yourself a specific objective and it will help you eliminate the visual and verbal distractions that can be tiring.
With a few targets in hand, now you're free to ask the host, “Is anyone here into long distance bike riding? Does anyone at the party work in IT?” The host can then facilitate a helpful introduction and you're not stuck milling around trying to strike up a random conversation with a stranger.
Limit Your Exposure
Lastly, try to limit your exposure. You know your pain threshold for these kinds of events. If you usually reach exhaustion at an hour of socializing, then give yourself a reason you have to leave in an hour and let your host know beforehand. If it's a work event and you can't really leave, go to the restroom or come up with a work deadline that has to be met.
Moving to a new town can be a great adventure that offers new opportunities. Being an introvert doesn't have to make it more painful. Use these tips and your new home will feel as friendly as your old one in no time.