I just read an article on the Huffington Post called 7 Things You Thought You Knew About Introverts. Introverts are generally quieter people – they’re internal. Unlike extroverts, who feel at ease talking and making their feelings and opinions known to anyone who will listen, introverts tend to keep their feelings and opinions on the inside, at least until you get to know them. And while many extroverts have no trouble approaching or talking to strangers, introverts don’t often do so without good reason and may struggle with making small talk. Because introverts are harder to get to know and harder to read, they may come off unfriendly.
Not surprisingly, dating can be more challenging for the introvert. Because they aren’t naturally as talkative at first, they may find it harder to meet people. And because they’re less chatty and expressive, they’re harder to approach. Imagine you’re a guy checking out some good-looking women at a party – who’s going to be the easiest to approach: the talkative, smiling extrovert or the quiet, serious-faced introvert?
Introverted + Attractive = Unapproachable
So let’s add another dimension to this: the quiet, introverted person is also physically attractive. That changes things! Instead of being the shy chick you might have sympathy for, she suddenly turns into the hot chick who won’t give you the time of day because she thinks she’s too good for you, right? People assume if you’re attractive, the world is your oyster and you can have your pick of dates! Yet attractive people can be introverted too, even shy – the Attractive Introvert (A.I.) can struggle with insecurity just like everyone else. But because they’re attractive, nobody recognizes the shyness.
Back in high school, I was a cute girl – nothing special, but attractive. And I’m an introvert, and was pretty shy back then. Recently, my childhood buddy Brent told me that his friends thought I was “stuck up” in high school. I swear I was not the least bit stuck up, but that’s the impression I gave! Meanwhile, I assumed guys weren’t interested in me and I didn’t date much in high school. Since then, I’ve had this same theme repeated many times in my life, and have had men tell me I come off “unfriendly” or “intimidating.” Once they got to know me (because I eventually spoke to them first!), they realized I’m neither of those things. But it was a powerful lesson for me that I often appeared unapproachable to men.
I’ve seen this play out with my friends and with clients. I’ve seen silent, frowning women light up once I walked up and got them talking. I’ve seen very handsome but standoffish guys turn into sweet, kind gentlemen once I broke the ice by talking to them. I’ve seen introverts score more phone numbers and dates once they donned a smile and asked people about themselves. With one couple I know, both A.I.’s, each found the other attractive for four years but never spoke because each was intimidated by the other – one day she said hello to him, and the rest is history.
Tips for Introverted Singles
As I discuss in my books, there are some ways to make yourself more approachable (and increase how many dates you get). These tips apply to all introverts, but the more attractive you are, the more they apply:
- Open up your body language: stand facing the crowd, uncross your arms.
- Make eye contact with people (especially those who interest you) and SMILE.
- Stay out of the corners. Get in the middle of the room where the people are.
- If you can, say hello.
- Overall, as odd as it sounds, focus on making others feel comfortable, rather than making yourself feel comfortable.
Tips for approaching the Attractive Introvert (A.I.)
If you find that you’re interested in an A.I., heed these tips:
- Remember that most people aren’t “stuck up” or arrogant. Chances are, your A.I. is a nice person.
- Make eye contact and smile. The A.I. may not give you a big smile in return, but if their facial expression is even remotely warmed by your smile, you’re probably safe to approach.
- Draw the introvert out. Ask them questions about themselves. But be sure to talk about yourself too so as not to put too much pressure on them. If they don’t talk much, try doing 75% of the talking at first, until they’ve had a chance to warm up and think of what to say.
- Don’t give them a hard time about being quiet or shy.
- If you make an effort to be friendly and the A.I. doesn’t warm up a little, or worse, is rude, excuse yourself and move on. Personally, I’ve found this very rarely happens.
If you’re introverted, remember that people can’t know who you really are unless you let them. This will help with dating, and with any other social or business setting.