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Comments 27

How An Introvert Networks & A Link-Up

How An Introvert Networks | Sheela Writes

Not quite gregarious.

Not really all that outgoing.


My name is Sheela and I am an introvert.  Before you brush off my confession, hear me out.  I find networking to be, at best, an exercise in trauma and torture.  More often than not, I’m the one in a roomful of strangers, standing around awkwardly, avoiding eye contact.  Like a trapped animal.  Or I cling to the one person I know.  All evening long.  Inevitably, I’d make a big show of checking my phone for “important” messages to avoid conversation.  And bond with my drink so no one comes over and talks to me.

Does that sound like you?  Then you might just be an introvert, like me.  Which doesn’t bode all too well, honestly, since networking is billed as a top (if not the most important) skill to have in one’s professional arsenal.  So what’s a wallflower to do?

How An Introvert Networks | Sheela WritesHow An Introvert Networks | Sheela WritesHow An Introvert Networks | Sheela Writes

The world generally prizes those who are social and outgoing.  Extroverts.  In such a culture, the quiet and contemplative, otherwise known as introverts, can have a rather difficult time.  It goes with the (misplaced) concept that all creativity, and leadership, and productivity, can only stem from a gregarious place.  I’ll be honest and admit that I spent years thinking I should be different.  I should be louder, funnier, more “out there“. But see, there’s a difference between introversion and shyness (although one could very well be plagued by both).

Shyness tends to be fear of social judgment.  Introversion is how you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation.  Extroverts crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel most alive (and most switched-on) within quieter, low-key environments. Not always, of course (these things aren’t absolute), but often. Therefore, the key to maximizing our talents (introverts and extroverts) is to be in the zone of stimulation that works best for us.

Several of these “zones” require getting dressed in something fancier than lounge pants.  Others can be undertaken in the comfort of our homes, without the need to schmooze and distribute air kisses (plastic fantastic, dahlink).  The latter is what I’m focusing on today since despite having a full-time day job, I’m in the unique (and blessed) position of being able to do all that remotely.

How An Introvert Networks | Sheela WritesHow An Introvert Networks | Sheela Writes


Introverts know the critical importance of networking, and their aversion thereto, early on.  We also know that at its heart, networking is about creating and sustaining relationships.  Meet and greets help with only the very first step in what should be a long, thoughtful process.  You learn a new name, become familiar with a new face, and make an initial connection.  What you don’t do at crowded, loud networking events is deepen relationships.  And that’s fine with us because let’s face it, we generally don’t do well in such situations.

How An Introvert Networks | Sheela WritesHow An Introvert Networks | Sheela Writes

Here are a few tips I’ve learned work for me.  You’ll note that each link opens up to a new page.  I thought I’d keep this post as short as I possibly could.  Hey, short by Sheela’s norms, how about that??

(a)  Gossip Girls

(b)  Social Marketing

(c)  Your Village

(d)  Sane Zones

How An Introvert Networks | Sheela WritesHow An Introvert Networks | Sheela Writes

And that, my fellow introverts, is how I’ve been navigating my way around this awkward (but oh so necessary) business called networking for the past 25 odd years.

Oh my. 

That sounds like a lifetime, doesn’t it?



Are you an introvert too?

Love, Sheela

p/s my photos by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.


  1. tiinaslehtoranta says

    Oh yes, I can relate to everything you say here… Of course, I’m a Finn, and small talk is poison for us, but still… that awkward feeling when you have to get to know strangers, the whole idea of networking, oh dear… And in my professional role (as a teacher) I’m perfectly fine being the centre of attention. But that’s different; then I’m in charge, and there’s an invisible wall between me and everyone else, it’s safe.
    BTW, fabulous pictures, love the strong background, and those glasses are crazy fab.


  2. jodie says

    Hmmmm…it really makes me wonder how many bloggers are introverts—because in reality most extroverts probably don’t enjoy typing and spending time on the computer—-they like being with people.
    I’m assuming you’ve taken the DISC test and all those other personality determinants! I, too am an introvert—I’m on the line between the two and can certainly hold my own in a crowd (lessons learned throughout life), but I don’t gain energy from being in a crowd. My husband and I always say we are true homebodies!!
    But I do think this social networking is almost perfect for us—-we can “network” without having to be among throngs of others and in writing, at least you can read it over before it goes public!!
    And it wouldn’t be a Sheela/jodie interaction without at least one reference to shoes—-girl, you amaze me! Tell me your favorite shoe shopping place? (please, pretty please)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being an introvert in a world of extroverts (or around people who pretend to be!) isn’t easy. I am a college instructor and feel energized when I teach, but the rest of the time I need a much quieter place and alone time. It took me years to be okay with that and do what’s right for me.

    I love your black & white outfit! Black & white is such a great combo! Great video, too!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes


  4. shelbeeontheedge1 says

    Sheela, you got my brain reeling again! I actually battled shyness and introversion for the first 30 years of my life. I always told myself I had to be different, I had to try to not be so scared of social events and (GASP) speaking in public. Or speaking out loud, in general. I literally was afraid to speak, so I wrote. Writing was my ONLY way of communication for so long.

    Then at the age of 25 I went to law school. They forced you to speak up, speak out, and argue in front of rooms full of people. Four years later, at the age of 29, I somehow graduated with my law degree, still unable to comfortably to speak in front of people. I made it through those 4 years with stellar grades because I could write!

    Then, I did something crazy! I took a job where my main responsibility was to speak in front of groups of people. About a topic that I was only just learning. And my audience knew way more about it than I did. And I was one of very few women (and a young woman) in a field dominated by older men. Yikes! And along the way, I found my voice…my speaking voice. And I realized the less I knew, and the more I admitted that, the more respect I gained. And I flourished there.

    And now in my 40’s, I find than I am more of an extroverted introvert. I conquered my fears and I love a great social event, but only in moderation. Because yes, I still get a little shaky and a bit nervous if I am the center of attention. And because, frankly, I get exhausted from too much social activity. I need about a week of introversion to recover from a few hours of extroversion! But I am comfortable with that, so it’s all good! But I went outside of my comfort zone and I discovered a whole new way of living!

    Another fabulous post and another gorgeous outfit and another pair of fantastic shoes!


    Liked by 1 person

    • shelbeeontheedge1 says

      And thanks so much for linking up On the Edge of the Week!


  5. stinedurfdl says

    Oh, but I love this outfit my friend. The striped shirt is to die for and of course…those shoes. I’m predominantly an introvert, but I guess I’m going to make up my own phrase and call myself a situational extrovert. When I’m teaching, I’m on fire; engaging, witty, entertaining. If a room full of middle schoolers find me amusing I’m apparently doing something right. If I’m with a large group of people I know, again, I can totally handle myself. But throw me in a room full of strangers, not so much. And it’s not shyness, I’m definitely not shy. Just not overly social with people that I don’t know.


  6. happinessatmidlife says

    I do horrible in those networking environment as well, there’s only so much small talk you can talk about. Love the clutch!

    Thank you for hosting and hope you are having a fab week!


    Hope to see you for TBT Fashion link up.


  7. Another creative black and white look. I am enjoying the varied geometric patterns going on in this look and how well they work together. I really liked your cute and fun video, too! I grew up being extremely shy, but started branching out in my teenage years. I identify more with being an extrovert, although I do enjoy my quiet moments.


  8. jaymieashcraft says

    I am definitely more of a extrovert but have a close friend who is extremely introverted. Great post!!


  9. I am also an introvert, so I can definitely identify with what you are writing about in this post. It seems ironic that many people who are introverted (myself included) are comfortable creating their own fashion blog and posting pictures of themselves online, but I think blogging can be a facade that allows people to actually be more themselves than they might be in person with others. As the Oscar Wilde quote goes: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.”

    Anyway, I adore your outfit. The accessories are amazing! Thanks for hosting!



  10. I’m a little bit of both depending on this situation and if I’m around people I know. But I think I definitely side more with being an introvert. Always the wallflower, never the life of the party. A lot of these things that you talk about are true in my life and you’re right, society does not think highly of introverts. Of course being introverted does not mean you are unfriendly or strange. I’m relatively quiet but I do love talking to people and hearing their stories. I love being silly but not loud. Funny enough, I like to stand out with my clothing but not with myself. Networking is… difficult. Being a little more extroverted in public and uncomfortable situations is something I’ve been working on for a long time and probably will continue to work on. I’m so glad there are others out there like me! And I’m beginning to there are a whole lot more introverted bloggers than extroverted 🙂




  11. I’m definitely an introvert and you’ve describe it perfectly. I had never quite realized the difference between it and shyness but I understand it better now. Based on the other comments, there are many of us introverts that are bloggers too. Thanks for another interesting read.



  12. Yes I am on the introvert side. There are most probably millions of bloggers all ages that are this way even though they don’t seem that way. I could never speak publicly and if I’m in a crowded room, I am happier standing back, people watching and taking it all in x


  13. Funny how I feel like I’m an extrovert but sometimes I have introvert tendencies. I used to chart several non-profit organizations as their PR director and therefore by title I have to do a lot of networking events and “schmooze” at these. My first one was awkward, but I soon learned that if you fake your confidence, people tend to gather around you and make small talks instead of trying to go around and find people to talk to. Fake it til you make it?! Thanks for inviting me to the linkup and good read as always Sheela.

    xo Sheree
    IG: @poshclassymom


  14. Yes and yes. My boyfriend is way more extroverted, get him in a room full of his musician friends and I’m left on the sidelines. On the other hand, I’m a teacher, and have to command attention in the classroom. It was a horrible trial at first, after 20 years, it’s just another thing that I do.
    I wear loud, weird clothes to social events (well, almost all the time) and let the outfit be a catalyst for conversation. My bold glasses do it too.
    Found you through Shelbee’s On the Edge linkup.


  15. I am an introvert right with you. I don’t attend a lot of functions 1). Because of fear I may not know someone, 2). I am not great around big crowds 3). Most functions don’t host babysitting, and for this momma a special church event or other adult conference wouldn’t really be worth while with kids so why waste the time and money. I am not saying I don’t attend church (my church has classrooms for age groups) but certain concerts or events are just a no go unless I know some people that are going or if I can find a sitter. I thrive in one person environments.
    Rachel xo


  16. No Fear of Fashion says

    I am a true extravert. Ni problems with big crowds of strangers. But it has nothing to do with creativity. As you say, you just get energized by different things. The world needs extraverts and introverts, reaching goals in different ways.


    • No Fear of Fashion says

      Darned, orgot to say I love your outfit. Great background you chose. And of course the shoes… Perfect.


  17. Another introvert hereee *waves hand wildly around*
    I’m 30, and although I’ve always wished I had been less introverted in my 20’s (the world would have been a bigger oyster), I’m slowly teaching myself to be more comfortable around strangers I meet at functions / events. When it comes to socialising, I don’t think one ever stops learning the ropes – doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or extrovert!


  18. I would never have guessed you were an introvert because you dress so creatively. Creative/different clothes catch attention, which introverts generally want to avoid. I’m an introvert too. Funny how us introverts don’t mind taking photos of ourselves and being in the public eye on the web, yet we feel uncomfortable in live/public social settings. Maybe I feel I can be myself on-line whereas publicly I can’t.


  19. mcr says

    thanks for such a thoughtful post, Sheela! I’m also an introvert, but I feel like blogging and interacting with people online makes socializing much easier… I can share my opinion and feelings exactly how I want through writing in a way that’s more challenging for me in the moment in person. I think I have translated many of my socialization skills learned through online communities into real life events too though!


    Love, Mary


  20. Sheela, as an introvert, I love how you let your wardrobe speak for you! Sorry, I am a little slow to visit all you linkers from the July My Refined Style Linkup. Thanks for bringing your fabulous flair to our party.



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