(And How to Use This to Make Every Conversation Easier)
“I like you.”
These are the words I desperately wanted to hear growing up as an introvert.
Little did I know, being an introvert during a conversation could actually help people like me more. (It only took me multiple decades to figure this out.)
Today, as a Communication Coach, this topic is one of my favorite things to share with my introverted clients. After I explain it, they usually say something along the lines of “Oh, that makes sense,” or “What a relief,” or “THANK GOODNESS.”
Now, let’s dive in.
Please join me in welcoming Ty Hoesgen as our Beyond Introversion guest blogger. Ty is a perfect example of an introvert who struggled until discovering his true strengths and how to use them to succeed socially and in the workplace by exerting his authentic self. Ty's story is insightful and inspirational. Dive in...
Deep down, we all want to be liked on some level. It’s part of our human nature. In our caveman/cavewoman days, if we weren’t liked by our fellow tribe members, there was a chance we would be separated from the group. And back then, being separated from the group meant a much lower chance of survival.
In today’s world, we know that we won’t die if we’re not part of a group (even if it might have felt that way when I was a kid). However, these instincts are so deeply ingrained in us that our subconscious minds still associate isolation with a lower chance of survival. That’s right — the modern-day desire to be liked and part of a group still comes from prehistoric survival instincts.
If our instincts could talk, they might say: “We’re just helping you stay alive. We care about you!”
I Was VERY Wrong About This
Can you remember a time when you met an outgoing extrovert? Not just any extrovert, but a particularly loud, enthusiastic, life-of-the-party type of person?
When I was younger, that was always the person I wanted to be. I wanted to bounce around the room, have a ton of energy, and talk to every person I meet. Oh, and I wanted to say smart things and impress everyone with my stories.
This sounds likable, right? What do you think?
Without getting too deep into my past — I’ll save that for another blog post — I’ve spent many years and thousands of hours researching, reading, practicing, and experimenting in order to figure out the world of communication. I’ve worked with introverts, extroverts, and people of all skill levels from around the world.
On a fundamental level, I’ve learned that humans have one thing in common. We want something during a conversation.
It has nothing to do with dancing around the room and having a ton of energy. Or saying smart things. Or impressing people with your stories. I was wrong about this for most of my life.
During an interaction, humans want to feel heard.
You Know How it Feels…
We really like people who make us feel this way. Can you think of a time when you were talking to someone, and you could tell they were really engaged with what you were saying?
Their phone was away, their full attention was on you, and they seemed interested in what you were saying. You could tell they really cared about listening to you in that moment. How did it feel? And how did you feel about that person?
On the flip side, can you think of a time when someone interrupted you? Or you were talking to someone, and they were staring at their phone? They didn’t seem to care at all about listening to you. How did it feel? And how did you feel about that person?
If you approach every situation with the goal of making the other person feel heard, you can immediately become more likable, and your conversations will become easier.
How Does This Apply to Introverts?
As an introvert, do you find it easier to speak for an hour or listen for an hour? If you had to choose, which one would you rather do? If you’re like me and the many introverts I know, you’d probably prefer to listen.
This is an extremely valuable quality to have for being likable. Why? Because people want to feel important. They want to feel that others care about them. They want to feel valued.
Listening to a person and giving them your full attention is one of the best ways to make a person feel like this, which is one of the most likable things you can do. From this perspective, if you’re a quiet introvert who would prefer to listen rather than speak, this can be seen as an advantage.
And for many of us, the approach feels significantly less draining. Most people find they can last much longer in a social situation when they’re more focused on listening and asking questions. And as a bonus, a lot of my clients find themselves less worried about saying the right thing or trying to sound interesting. It’s like the saying goes — instead of trying to be interesting, the goal is to be interested.
Easy Ways to Make People Feel Heard
In most cases, it isn’t that we’re not capable of listening and making people feel heard—it’s more so that we aren’t thinking about it.
We’re going through the day on autopilot without considering how we want to show up in each situation. The simple act of intention-setting changes everything. Going into each conversation with the intention of absorbing information, eliminating all distractions, and giving 100% focus will do wonders in making people feel heard and valued.
That means silencing all your notifications, tuning out external noise, and doing your best to be fully present with whomever you’re listening to. If you practice active listening with intention, your interactions with others can change in incredible ways.
To encourage people to speak more, you can also use open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are questions that begin with “how” or “what” — they’re extremely effective at getting your conversation partner to keep speaking and expand on their thoughts.
Unlike closed-ended questions, they cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” The nature of the open-ended question makes the person reply with a more detailed response.
Next Steps — You Get to Choose
Whether this was brand new information or a casual reminder, you get to choose what to do next. You can choose to agree, disagree, move on with your day, take action, or anything else.
No matter what you choose, you are in control. You get to decide your fate. If you want your conversations to be easier, and you want to be more likable, focus on listening with intention and asking open-ended questions. If you want to see your introversion as an advantage, you have the opportunity to choose that perspective.
You are more powerful than you could ever imagine.
If you’d like to learn more about tapping into that power and improving your communication skills as an introvert, you’re welcome to book a free call here or send me a message on your favorite platform. All links are listed below in my bio.
I’m excited to hear about your journey!
Bio: Ty Hoesgen
Ty Hoesgen is a communication coach and #1 best-selling author. Growing up, he was a shy, awkward, introverted kid who avoided human interaction as much as possible.
Motivated by his past struggles, Ty has spent many years and thousands of hours researching, practicing, and experimenting in order to master the world of communication. Determined to make others’ journeys less painful than his own, his life is now dedicated to helping professionals improve their communication skills and reach their peak potential through his coaching.
Ty lives happily with his wonderfully communicative partner Liza in downtown Toronto. To this day, he firmly believes he would have never scored an extraordinary woman like Liza if he hadn’t worked so hard on his communication. When he isn't working, Ty enjoys lifting weights, playing piano, experimenting with breathwork, and seeing how long he can last in saunas and ice baths.
Free Gifts from Ty:
Elite Communication eBook: https://www.elitecommunicationskills.com/welcome
Instant Likability Video Training: https://www.instantlikability.com/free-access
Get in Touch With Ty:
Hello Fellow Introvert, Thank you, my loyal subscribers and followers. I started this journey at Beyond Introversion three and half years ago to share my stories and help others discover and embrace their natural strengths to thrive at the meeting table and the dinner table. But along the way, you've helped me release my inner struggles and worries and find my inner peace and joy. I hope this journey has been as transformative for you as it has been for me. Over the years, I've added over 180 blog articles from leadership strategies to party tips. The website now offers three different quizzes to help introverts explore their strengths and talents. And I'm proud to share my memoir, In Search of Courage, and the two-time award-winning leadership book, The Corporate Introvert. So many of you have joined the journey, shared my posts, read my blogs, and even been world-class guest bloggers. Your stories and comments enrich my own journey every day. I'm excited to offer you the biggest sale ever on all books and formats for this week only! Add one or both to your library Gift one to introverted friends and family Share with your extroverted boss too!
December 4-11 Only >Paperback is now only $12.75 >Hardback is now only $16.99 >eBook is $3.99 on Wednesday!* >NEW Audiobook is free on your Audiobook account or buy $17.99 *Amazon sale increases ebook price $1/day throughout the week. Build your Toolkit with TCI
December 4-11 Only >Paperback is now only $10.99 >eBook is $1.99 on Wednesday! Pick up your 'Courage'
Catch me on Aimee's 12 Days of Page Turners this Friday at 7pm (CST) on her Facebook page LIVE.
Welcome guest blogger...Terrance Lee!