By Carrie Greene

I’m an introvert.

Groups of people intimidate me. I worry about who I’ll talk with. I never know where to sit. I somehow always feel like a third wheel. Mostly though, I wonder… will they like me?

You know what? It feels good to admit this to you.

The real problem is that, as a business owner, I need to get past this and get comfortable being uncomfortable. There are times when I must walk into a room filled with strangers and get to know people and let them get to know me because above all else… I yearn to be part of a group.

What’s most interesting about me is the flip side. I love people. I love talking with people. I love getting to know them. I love watching people. I am comfortable with people I know. I’m usually comfortable in small groups, especially if there are a few people I already know in that group.

So what’s an introvert like me to do when faced with a networking function or an event with a large group of people? How do I (or maybe you?) break in and feel accepted and part of the room.

Here are five strategies I use every time I walk into a room full of people.

1. Know what type of environment supports you best. I prefer a quiet space and a small group of people. If possible I try to meet people in these environments and go to smaller networking events. On occasions when I can’t do that, I try to create my preferred environment. For instance, at large events I will step outside, or go to the side of the room with one or two people and get to know them better.

2. Decide what you want to get from the event. What is your goal and what is your plan to reach it? And to take some of the pressure off, BEFORE the event decide how you will follow up with the people you meet.

3. Smile. Before I walk into any networking event I purposefully put a smile on my face. Smiling makes you look more open and approachable to the people in the room and a smile on your face (even a fake one) will convince your brain that you are happy.

4. Take care of yourself. I will speak for myself here… networking takes a lot of energy for me. I need to make sure that I eat well, stay hydrated and build recovery time into my schedule.

5. Decide to have fun. Let’s be honest for a moment. A lot of this is mind over matter. Decide to have fun and look for ways to make the event fun.

Does walking into a room filled with people make you nervous too?

I’d love to know your strategies for getting past it.

Carrie Greene is a speaker, author & business coach. She is a business strategist & productivity expert helping entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and creating simple plans to get there. She is the author of “Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm & Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!” Resources at http://carriegreenecoaching.com/

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By Carrie Greene I'm an introvert. Groups of people intimidate me. I worry about who I'll talk with. I never know where to sit. I somehow always feel like a third wheel. Mostly though, I wonder… will they like me? You know what? It feels good to admit this to...