In my quest to come out of the introvert self, I’m trying something new. This technique is pretty simple but I’m already seeing drastic results. I probably shouldn’t give away my secret but I hope to help all the introverts of the world to enjoy the fullness of relationships.
Here’s my trick: When I am starting a conversation with someone, I make sure I point my toes straight at them (so that I’m directly facing them). I do not angle my toes away, at all, and this forces my shoulders to face the person straight on. This body language says, “I am listening to you. You are important, more important than anything else outside of this interaction. You are worth my time and undivided attention.”
A funny thing has been happening since I started this experiment, people are opening up to me. I ask them questions and they answer. So now I have added the lean. As the conversation lengthens, I lean in to say, “You can trust me. I am safe and I truly care about what you have to say. Feel free to share your real self to me.” By breaking a couple inches of barrier, I invite intimacy.
Lastly, these two steps lead to lingering. There have been times that I needed to do/ be something/somewhere else, but for the sake of the person standing in front of me, I stay. I linger.
Social anxiety has made me fear that we will run out of things to say. That there might be that awkward silence as we search our minds for the next topic. But it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. As people are opening up in conversation a love and care for them grows inside and the conversation seems to flow more easily. I am now willing to risk being uncomfortable to make someone feel like they have been seen and heard.
I think that this new practice came out of my observations of how people have been interacting with me. As I continue to deepen relationships in my life, I am observing what’s different about the dynamics of these relationships. The ones that are growing are with people who linger in conversation. They are not walking the other way as they squeeze in a sentence. These people are busy (everyone seems to be) but their body language is saying, “Yes, you are worth my time.”
Thank you to those of you who have pointed their toes at me, felt I was worth a lean and were willing to linger in my presence. Dear reader, consider showing the love of God by pointing your toes, leaning and lingering. Let me know in the comments below if you see a change.