It amazes and inspires me just how much talent certain people have in the field of verbal communication. They could be so spontaneously witty like they were spitting out words round the clock at the right pace, at the right time. I feel a little embarrassed to admit I asked a silly question once to my office mate. And the question was, “how do you think so fast?” This was of course in reference to the fact that I found him quite witty.
I know a lot of people who are witty and, more often than not, these are the same people you would usually find having no problems talking to groups in social situations. I tend to be more comfortable with talking one on one. I feel close to the other person like that, you know. Weird? I would not dare to disagree with you on that.
So the question for introverts goes, is it necessary to engage in social situations at all times in order to be better at communicating?
I think communication is a broad field. To master the art of conversation, yes, you have to immerse yourself in social situations. Developing communication skills, however, involves more than just the prospect of a conversation.
I guess there’s no right or wrong answer to this one. Just like any annoying answer to a subjective question, it depends. It depends on the person’s personal preferences. But no matter our choices, the fact remains that communication is important and is key to better relationships and successful business/ professional relations. After all, we were not born in this world alone. There are lots of people in the world for a reason: we need each other. Otherwise, try to watch the Cast Away movie brilliantly played by Tom Hanks.
So how do we, as introverts, succeed at good communication towards others when we are deemed by society to be too engrossed in our own worlds?
First of all, we need to get rid of those assumptions we make about society.
Society is what society is. I know, we don’t give an F about their opinions in the first place, because how else do we make choices like not going out when feel like staying home, right? But this time, consider the idea of actually acknowledging what they think about us but doing our thing anyway because we inherently adhere to the philosophies that we believe in not what everyone else believes in.
Second, keep the basics in mind.
There might be a myriad reasons why we choose to communicate but most importantly it is because we either want to express or we want to learn from others. This goes to say that, when we communicate, it’s not necessarily because we’ve suddenly decided to go all out extrovert. Communication is basic. We have to get in touch with people and perhaps even more communities sooner or later if we intend to succeed.
Third. It is important to make sure that those we consider important to us mostly understand what we’re all about.
If they don’t, odds are we’re going to end up lonely. There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. Being alone, we could get used to that. But being lonely, I just don’t think it’s a good idea especially in the context of our sanity. Nobody should feel lonely. So, try to identify the people who matter most to you and see if you’re able to communicate yourself clearly to them.
Fourth, we need to get a strategy on improving communication.
I know the drill for some of us. We just don’t feel comfortable unloading ourselves to others because we don’t want to be a burden. Well, here’s the thing: life is more beautiful when we share blessings AND burdens. Imagine if you don’t have anybody to share anything with. (Insert my overrated example: the Castaway movie by Tom Hanks. Though even he-a castaway-found solace in Wilson the Volleyball.)
There are a lot of useful things we can find online and offline that share tips on better communication. But before we can do this, it would help if we assess ourselves first. By assessment, I mean being honest with ourselves about our strengths and weakness. Once we are able to understand where we’re good at and where we need more help, it will be easier to find the right strategies to use to improve our means and ways of communication.
Finally, these two words: self evaluation.
Regular self evaluation is necessary so we know that change has taken place. However, just because there is change doesn’t mean we learned. Learning is something much more complex than just achieving goals. Education tackles with systems and approaches but learning is a matter of time. When we regularly evaluate ourselves through time, we can then better appreciate how much we’ve learned AND figure out the areas we can improve on next time. Safe to say perfection is not the goal here. But improvements, even those little changes we identify in ourselves everyday, are useful in reminding us that we’re moving forward.
Nobody was born a good communicator.
Somewhere along the way, he/she learned the art of communication. You and I are not exemptions to this. If we can be whatever we want to be, then let’s be better at communicating. God knows this world needs it more than ever. By being able to communicate well, we are enhancing not only our social relations but also ourselves. We are actually doing ourselves a favor by being clear on our intent and purpose. This skill could take time to master or develop but, as I said, learning takes time. Be patient and continue to learn anyway. Life is a series of one pursuit after another. 🙂
What are your thoughts introvert-friendly styles of communication? Would you like to add your own tips? Please feel free to share below.
(Featured photo from Dyaa Eldin)