Social situations make me uneasy. I’m a natural introvert and being around creative types can be very exhausting for me. It’s hard for me to walk up to another person and put myself out there. Recently I attended the Flea Style Summit; a networking event for people with creative businesses. The point in attending was to find women in my tribe that are local, but that meant I needed to get out of my wall flower shell.
I had to prepare emotionally for this event. As strange at that sounds, it was actually helpful. I visually walked through my introduction and explanation of what I do days before the event. I visualized myself in positive interactions. This method set the stage and kept my nerves at bay.
The event was lovelier than I could have imagined and I left gleaming with inspiration. More than that, I happened to make a few connections thanks to the advice cc recently shared with me. She is reading Tools of Titans and read an excerpt from Gabby Reece about going first. Her advice is to be the first person to smile and say hello because it’s always reciprocated. Don’t wait for the other person to make the first move. We are so consumed by our phones, schedules and hurriedness that we have forgotten how to connect with others.
This idea directly matches what I always say about staying in your own business. You can control your business, but you can’t control the business of other people. Reece’s advice is a different way of saying it. By being the first to smile and greet someone, you control the interaction. You control the emotion, the mood, the thought that comes after. YOU are the one in control. It’s a brilliant way to spread kindness and keep your mental chatter to a minimum.
So that’s exactly what I did at the summit. I didn’t wait for another person to speak to me. When there was an opportunity, I smiled. Sometimes that lead to a hello and a conversation, and sometimes it was just a smile. But I feel that even just the smiles made a big difference. The pressure to compare seemed to lift off the other person, which we all know leads to despair.
This advice is so simple, and yet it helped an introvert like me tremendously. Since the event I’ve been going first in many other situations. I have found that it diffuses the emotion trying to be projected on me by someone else. Smiling and pleasantly greeting someone shows them that you are an emotionally safe person.
I invite you to take Reece’s advice as well and go first. Let me know what results you find!