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  1. 1


    These are great tips, Gina!

    One thing I find helpful for shorter events is to intentionally identify my “home base”. I will find a spot at a table or a chair in a corner to retreat to when I need a break from the action. Sometimes just knowing I have a spot to step away to is enough of a pressure release that I don’t need to actually use it.

  2. 2


    “Figure out a way to escape from conversations you’re not enjoying and upgrade to better ones–stat.”

    I’d love to see a post on this skill alone!

  3. 3

    Sharon Brogan

    Excellent advice, and a link to one of my favorite articles ever. One more suggestion: volunteer to help with conference tasks (sign in, set-up, whatever.) This is especially useful if you don’t know anyone else there; it gives you a role to settle into, and automatic introductions.

    Gah, I used to hate the anxiety that conferences incited, no matter how much I enjoyed the learning, the people, the challenges…

  4. 4

    Mitch Wagner

    Great post. I used to travel a lot on business, and go to a lot of conference. For about the first seven years I was doing that, I’d stay over until Saturday afternoon. I’d retreat into my hotel room Friday evening, order a room service dinner, and luxuriate in lovely isolated splendor, watching movies on the hotel TV and noodling around on (pre-Internet) online services. I’d hang the do-not-disturb sign on the door and not see *anyone* from before dinner Friday to a little after lunch on Saturday, when I’d emerge from my cave and fly honme.

  5. 5


    As a dyed-in-the-wool INT[J|P], I can attest wholeheartedly to how “horrible” conferences and group events are… but also how rewarding they can (sometimes) be.

    The “care and feeding of your introvert” article is a classic and also very true. I made my former boss (an “E” something, with the “E” in 18 point bold italic underline and blink) read it as a way to understand me a little better.

    My current motto is “I’m not anti-social, I just don’t like people.”

  6. 6

    Troy Malone

    I never thought about how an introvert would have just as hard a time exiting a conversation as entering one. Very good perspective.

    Here’s a tip from me to the world: The next time you want to pull the rip cord on a conversation, just pretend that you are about to pee your pants. It works every time…but might not get you the job. Hmmm; is that an extrovert tactic? :)

  7. 7


    All excellent tips. Being in sales and sales management for too long to mention, as an INTJ I’ve found several ways to minimize the time with bores and move on to find more interesting conversations. I find that even extroverts have a difficult time breaking lose from the grip of these as well. I’ve never given much thought to the affect of just saying, “Well, I promised so and so I would meet up with them so I need to find them, (or I need to see if they came in with …) so excuse me for now.” It’s never stated in a rude manner, there’s no need for that. What I am sorry for is on occasion after the break away, “Let’s catch up another time.” Some people take that seriously so I’ve dropped it from my exit lines.

    I know my readers will love your post so thanks so much!

    Patricia Weber
    Business Sales Accelerator Coach for Introverts, Shy and Reluctant
    Blogging Business Sales Ideas for Introverts, Shy and Reluctant

  8. 8

    Mitch Wagner

    Sometimes I don’t just pretend — I do it. This not only ends the current conversation, but prevents all future conversations with that person and anyone in the immediate vicinity.

  9. 9


    The best way to get out of a conversation (this is platinum from a conversational maestro I once met)

    “I’d like to go talk to those people over there. Come with me.”

    Why this is the most tactful way – if they do not want to go – they will politely excuse themselves. If they do want to go, you have a partner in mingling.

    Tell them what you want to do, let them decide.

    Do not, do not – say “Nice meeting you” – you could make a temporary enemy if they feel like you are ditching them (and you very well may be)

    My Infrequently updated blog

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