The Struggle of an Adventurous Introvert


Adventurous Introvert

I am sitting in a session at Wordcamp Seattle and overwhelmed by a realization about myself. I’m an adventurous introvert.

I go to a decent amount of events. Conferences, speakers, concerts, festivals… I like them. They’re informative. It’s a good way to keep learning things after 19 years of school without more student loan debt. Because I don’t always have someone to go with, I’ll frequently go to these things by myself.

But I’m terribly awkward at them. First, I’m a homebody. So as much as I love them when I’m there, I spend most of the hours or day before deciding not to go at all. Then I remind myself that my couch will be there at the end of the day, and I get up and force myself to go to the event.

The struggles of an adventurous Introvert

Then, if I’m by myself, I arrive and I awkwardly wander around. I sit alone. I eat alone. I walk in between sessions alone. Unless there’s a setup that requires me to talk to those around me (a round table like at Blogpodium where it’s even MORE awkward to ignore my table-mates), I don’t randomly speak to people I don’t know. I’m impressed by those (like J) who can strike up conversations with anyone.

How do you know what to talk about? How do you know what to say after, “Hi, I’m Brittany.” It’s not that I don’t want to talk to them, I just don’t know what to say! I also don’t care for small talk, so I don’t have a lot of ideas on what sort of small talk topics are possible.

I don’t have any tips or tricks here. I just had to get off my chest that if we meet in real life for the first time, it’s possible I will seem like a wallflower. But once we get comfortable, I swear I’ll be a lot more fun :).

Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to start up conversations with those around you? Please share them in the comments! Perhaps if there are enough, I’ll use those comments for an actually helpful blog post on being an adventurous introvert!

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  • Reply
    December 14, 2015 at 6:31 am

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. You described everything that goes through my mind before and during an event where I won’t know anyone. The funny thing is I am almost always happy that I went because I ended up chatting with someone interesting and having a good time but that doesn’t stop me from repeating the anxious cycle for the next event. Maybe we’ll end up at an event together one day and we can ignore one another comfortably. ;)
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    • Reply
      December 14, 2015 at 7:01 am

      Haha that would be perfect!!! I’m glad it’s not just me :).

  • Reply
    December 14, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Omg I know exactly what you mean! I wish we could just skip to the part when me and the other person are already friends and don’t have to do the awkward small talk bit LOL.

    • Reply
      December 14, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Haha yes!! That’s a great idea!

  • Reply
    Sarah Alway
    December 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I am SO awkward in these types of situations! But good for you for putting yourself out there and going… I rarely even do that!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2015 at 8:24 am

    You’ve pretty much described me to a T (except I might not be quite as adventurous these days!) My only piece of advice, which has served me well in the past, is “fake it ’til you make it!”

  • Reply
    Kelly Lorene
    December 16, 2015 at 11:34 am

    This is an awesome post! I struggle with this all the time. Normally I will end up chickening out and not going (unless I already spent a bunch of money to go). I too am not good at small talk and unless I know a few people at an event have a hard time going to them. When I do go, I spend the majority of the time trying to figure out a way to leave or watching the clock wondering when I can go home. Even if my fiance is with me and he’s the only person that I will know there, I struggle. If you talk to me, I wont be rude. In fact I will probably seem like a super friendly person. The problem is that is takes so much out of me that I will literately go home and sleep for the whole next day. Just reading your post and thinking about going and not knowing anyone has my heart racing :-(

  • Reply
    December 16, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Oh I know how you feel. I love the idea of going to these things solo and being brave and meeting new people, but I usually end up talking myself out of going, or being a total wallflower when I’m there, acting like I have something really important to look at on my phone. Maybe the more you go, the more comfortable you feel? When’s the next outing? you could put it out there on the PNW bloggers page and maybe a group of us could all go together.

  • Reply
    December 17, 2015 at 6:22 am

    I struggle with this too, especially since I often feel really tired at events. I think the best thing to do is just remember everyone is feeling the same way and follow up online after. You can follow them on Twitter until the next event and then it won’t be so awkward because you have things to talk to them about.

    ​​xx katie // a touch of teal

  • Reply
    March 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    thanks for reminding us inverts that we are normal!

    • Reply
      March 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      You are! :)

  • Reply
    One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – Kelly Lorene
    December 15, 2017 at 9:56 am

    […] Brittney’s post the other day has given me the push I needed to write today’s post. I’ve talked about my social anxiety before. I wish I could say that it’s all gone for me, but that would be a lie. There for a while I thought it had gotten better. Since I moved to the big city, I have gone to so many things where the only person I know is my fiance. I’ve had fun and gotten to know some of the people in his life. Most of them I truly enjoy. They are nice and have welcomed me into their group with open arms. Yet, here I am back at square one. […]

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