How do you survive this industry being an introvert?

As the heading says, I'm wondering how introverts survive this industry.

I'm a 23 guy and am very shy when talking to strangers, especially the first time meeting him/her. I'm also very very very bad at small talks because I find myself hard to relate. I'm had a deep thought about why and maybe it's because I care too much of what others see and think about me. I just fail to keep the idea of "nobody gives a shit" inside my brain.

By now you may already tell that I'm awful at building relationships and networking. So, can somebody give me some advice on how to improve even just a little cause I do have dreams and goals but this is really becoming a solid fuking barrier to get through.

Thank you all.

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Comments (23)

Nov 8, 2021 - 12:42am

First of all, we have to get specific about what industry. You've got certain guys on an ER team who don't interface with the public at all and just build out models. You've got Equity Sales people who are wheeling and dealing and making pitches all the time. Your profile says Residential Real Estate, which is fairly broad, but I'm going to run with that.

You get better at the things you consistently do, and there are plenty of opportunities to meet people in RE. You ever go to any REIA meetings? There should be one nearby. What about Urban Development or City Planning organizations for real estate developers? Does your role have you driving or dialing for dollars? How much do you need to interface with strangers right now?

Most of the people on this forum are actually introverts. If you want confirmation on that, just look up all the MBTI threads. Business thrives on relationships, but that doesn't mean that we're all extroverts. It's mostly a muscle that we exercise. Find some RE groups or just do the work that's placed on your desk. Couple of years down the line, I'll bet you find that you handle it better than most. Cheers

  • Partner in RE - Comm
Nov 10, 2021 - 8:04pm

I'm in brokerage and an introvert, and do quite well.  I avoid outings, events, etc. to the extent possible and only go to the rare ones. I've been asked to speak at events and conferences and have only done it once a few years ago and not since.  Opposite of 90% of the others in my business.  I like to think I'm successful because I focus on what I know, am not afraid to kill a deal (to the detriment of my income), and advise people to do things the way I'd do it if it were my money or business. 

Basically, be honest, know your stuff inside and out, and it may come slower than if you're out there sucking a bunch of you know what, but it will come.

Nov 15, 2021 - 11:12pm

Partner in RE - Comm

I'm in brokerage and an introvert, and do quite well.  I avoid outings, events, etc. to the extent possible and only go to the rare ones. I've been asked to speak at events and conferences and have only done it once a few years ago and not since.  Opposite of 90% of the others in my business.  I like to think I'm successful because I focus on what I know, am not afraid to kill a deal (to the detriment of my income), and advise people to do things the way I'd do it if it were my money or business. 

Basically, be honest, know your stuff inside and out, and it may come slower than if you're out there sucking a bunch of you know what, but it will come.

Impressed with your response. Thanks for sharing.

SafariJoe, wins again!
Nov 8, 2021 - 1:14pm

Generally speaking I've seen introverts able to step up decently when they need to sell. Toast masters clubs help improve speech and confidence. Some of the best sales people I've come across various parts of the finance industry were clearly introverts, but you can tell that they worked on it and got good at what they do. 

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Nov 8, 2021 - 9:32pm

Skull Dick

Generally speaking I've seen introverts able to step up decently when they need to sell. Toast masters clubs help improve speech and confidence.

Speech and confidence don't exactly have a lot to do with introversion. Being an introvert is more about what is draining to you and what builds you up. If you're a 60% 40% introvert/extrovert, you can be around people a good bit.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 10, 2021 - 1:53pm

Yeah this is true people get this mixed up a lot. By definition an introvert isn't necessarily someone who is socially awkward but someone who is easily drained in social situations and their social battery runs out quickly. As someone like that I can easily talk to random people but I've always worried I'd not have enough energy to constantly network and win clients like some extroverts can.

Most Helpful
Nov 8, 2021 - 3:29pm

This topic is covered to a great extent in this forum, highly recommend you search and dig around. 

Also: labels like Introvert and Extravert are measurements of to a person's collection of behaviors and preferences....at different periods of time....in different situations/contexts....in various states of mind....and on any given day.  It's very subjective, and it changes.  It's also on a sliding scale and very very few people are pure introverts/extraverts all the time, usually a blend of the two.  Also don't confuse shyness, lack of confidence, or social anxiety with introversion: they entirely different things and introversion web memes are mostly severely misguided.  People will test radically different on a Briggs-Meyers test at different times in their life, so it really says more about your overall state of life and mind than any innate hardwired way you will behave.  It's exactly the opposite of asking "how tall are you" which is highly unlikely to change once you reach about 20 years old.  Your behavior patterns are like flexing a muscle: the more you build competency and confidence with something, the more you will prefer it.  The reality is that all people require periods of quiet introspection and periods of socializing/stimulation.  Don't limit yourself with a label.

Quick and easy way to think about it is like asking how high the sea level is: it depends on the tide, where you are in your life.

Get busy living
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Nov 9, 2021 - 4:30am

Half of the people in my office could be considered introverts 
They are quiet and coal, not very talkative type and always trying to avoid eye contact and conversations 
And the other half just understands that not trying to get them out of their shell
But when it comes to some office activities or some parties everyone finds their group or someone they are comfortable with 

Money makes money
Nov 9, 2021 - 5:44am

From my personal experience, I tend to prefer colleagues who are in an intermediate position on this regard (not enclosed in their shell, but still a bit reserved instead of forcefully trying hard to be the cool person of the team all the time with everyone).

However, if you consider yourself very introverted there are many roles where this is not a problem (and probably an advantage if this helps you be very focused on analyzing things): anything related to research, AM/HFs, and so on.

"Anyway, four dollars a pound"

Nov 9, 2021 - 2:23pm

I'm an introvert myself, did an MBA and now working in an investing role. I'm a work in progress but some tips:

1. Stop looking at being introverted as a weakness. The American society is obsessed with loud people, doesn't mean they are right. 

2. Learn to engage in conversation. Pay attention to what others are saying. 90% of the times we are formulating a response in our head or trying to look smart. Stop doing that. Genuinely take interest in the other person's content.

3. Once you start paying attention, ask questions. This is a very helpful trick especially with senior people. People love talking about themselves, let them. If you are a junior professional, you have a LOT to learn. You'd be amazed at the confessions you get with the right questions and genuine interest. You'll see things others can't. And this is a great skill. One of the best deal sourcers in my team is an introvert because of this reason. This will also help you overcome the small talk barrier. You ask somebody how their weekend was, what did they do. Go one step further. Ask why. Ask where. This may seem odd at first but trust me it works.

4. Practice this consciously and I think your confidence will also rise. You'll realize when we talk we don't care about what others are saying. We only think about ourselves. This applies to everyone. Step back and use this to your advantage.

If your lack of self confidence is genuinely debilitating, I'd also suggest therapy. I'm extremely bad at networking and have spent events hiding in corners, so understand that it can be a phobia. It's something I'm working on but the above mindset helps a lot. Good luck

Array

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Nov 9, 2021 - 2:29pm

Raziord

As the heading says, I'm wondering how introverts survive this industry.

I'm a 23 guy and am very shy when talking to strangers, especially the first time meeting him/her. I'm also very very very bad at small talks because I find myself hard to relate. I'm had a deep thought about why and maybe it's because I care too much of what others see and think about me. I just fail to keep the idea of "nobody gives a shit" inside my brain.

By now you may already tell that I'm awful at building relationships and networking. So, can somebody give me some advice on how to improve even just a little cause I do have dreams and goals but this is really becoming a solid fuking barrier to get through.

Thank you all.

Being shy when talking to strangers and calling this introversion is not correct. They are not the same thing.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
Nov 9, 2021 - 2:43pm

You get better with practice. That goes for anything in life. I used to be rather shy and awkward when talking to people or giving presentations and it was really hard for me to talk to new people. Over time I just got used to it and built those skills up. I'm still somewhat introverted but it's much easier to open up and talk to people, or carry a conversation, etc. 

In my freshmen year, I took this public speaking class (everyone has to take it) and it was in that class that I got over my fear of public speaking, a lot of my finance classes also use the case-study method - so every couple of weeks I'm giving a presentation 2-3 times a day. On top of that, just talking to people on the phone and meeting them for coffee when I'm networking all help. I don't really get nervous anymore when talking to strangers, I've just done it so many times that it's not something that makes me nervous. 

Nov 9, 2021 - 3:08pm

Reeses

You get better with practice. That goes for anything in life. I used to be rather shy and awkward when talking to people or giving presentations and it was really hard for me to talk to new people. Over time I just got used to it and built those skills up. I'm still somewhat introverted but it's much easier to open up and talk to people, or carry a conversation, etc. 

In my freshmen year, I took this public speaking class (everyone has to take it) and it was in that class that I got over my fear of public speaking, a lot of my finance classes also use the case-study method - so every couple of weeks I'm giving a presentation 2-3 times a day. On top of that, just talking to people on the phone and meeting them for coffee when I'm networking all help. I don't really get nervous anymore when talking to strangers, I've just done it so many times that it's not something that makes me nervous. 

The guy asked how to survive being an introvert - this has nothing to do with being an introvert.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 9, 2021 - 7:04pm

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