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Introverts: How to meet people IRL

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“At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. “ Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.

Being a self diagnosed introvert, in a society that glorifies extroverts, I used to think it was me who needed to change. I should be more outgoing, I should talk more in group situations, I should be more aggressive. Recently, in my late 40’s, I’ve had a perception shift. Introverts offer many talents and gifts that the extrovert simply cannot not offer.

Thanks in part to the internet TED Talk by Susan Cain everyone is beginning to understand us instead of change us! There are a plethora of buzzfeed articles and clickbait links that inform people introverts are just like everyone else; except when we aren’t. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t want to socialize, it just means you want to do it on your own terms. Introverts typically need a lot of alone time to rest and rejuvenate and collect our thoughts in a world that seems to have the volume turned to high. Often this means we can suffer from loneliness and though we long for intimate relationships, we often don't know how to go about searching out new friends or partners.

This is an area that many of my introverted coaching clients work on and with a little effort they attain success without pushing themselves too far out of their comfort zone. Though your perfect evening may consist of Netflix and chill, don’t stay inside every night!!!! Read a book in the park, journal in a popular cafe, pay a stranger a compliment, take a class. Follow whatever peaks your curiosity! In New York City meeting new people can actually be fun and easy to do on your own, while doing what you love. Here few ways you can get started

1. MeetUp.com- Meet Up is a great way to find like-minded people to go out and have a good time with. There's something for everyone on this site, I've personally used it and I think it's a perfect example of the internet helping people make real life connections. Whether you want a girl's night out wine tasting, a knitting circle, or to attend a free concert, there's bound to be something only a subway ride away from where you're sitting right now!

2. Volunteer- Getting up early on a Saturday to do free manual labor may not sound like the best way to make new friends but it actually is! There are hundreds of community projects going on in the city every week. Most programs are run weekly so it's a great way to make a consistent group of friends. It doesn't hurt that most adult volunteer groups often head out to happy hour after they've finished their good work. My personal favorite way to find new organizations to volunteer for is through New York Cares, they are a great organization with an insane amount of heart, and events, to choose from!

3. Read a Book!- One of my favorite bookstores in the entire city The Strand hosts a number of literary, drinking, and event dating events! It's one of the best ways for bookworms to rub elbows, so to speak. It's lovely meeting people who you already share a passion with! If you’re a reader, you know the instant connection you feel to someone who also loves that book you couldn’t put down for a week straight. 

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