We all need connection, and yet it seems like there’s so much in the way of it, and not just during COVID. These are the main barriers I hear about:
- Introverts and highly sensitive people (HSPs) can get overstimulated and exhausted with certain kinds of connection with other people.
- Some societal messages tell us we’re too “needy” or a “failure” if we were to reach out for connection or support.
No matter who you are, we are pack animals at heart. We need each other. Even the “lone wolf” idea for success is a myth; wolves are pack animals too.
Introverts and HSPs have learned how much we need connection during the pandemic when isolation got to be too much at times. We need some connection for sure, but not a ton, and not all kinds.
I know from experience that there are ways around those concerns listed above. I’ll explain more in this post and suggest some kindred spirit communities you might like.
Getting Past the Classic Barriers to Connection
Here’s my short version of how to get around the two classic barriers I listed above.
- Introverts and HSPs can enjoy and feel nourished by connecting our way.
- When it’s something like a group of 2-6 kindred spirits having meaningful conversations, that seems to be our sweet spot. I see it happen all the time. What a difference it makes.
- “Small talk” and larger groups are not usually our thing.
- We need to say no to those worries about being “too needy” or “failing,” and take small steps forward anyway.
- You are NOT too needy or a failure. The need for connection is what’s true.
- Connecting is a place to be brave and to stretch a little. Try out something that feels right, but not overwhelming. You can turn back at any point it becomes overwhelming. (Knowing you can stop helps you get started.)
- One work-around is to check in on someone else who might want some connection.
- Follow your true instincts as to when to stretch or turn back.
My “Independent Streak” Challenges
The independent streak in me has trouble letting in help. Ugh, I have resisted big time (fear of feeling stupid, most often), and I hate even admitting that right now.
Sometimes I’ve resisted because I recall times that things didn’t go well, but I can’t let that stop me from trying again, from well-earned wisdom on what works and doesn’t work for me.
Sometimes I let in some help and it works so well that I am reminded to keep opening up, when my intuition says yes. Lately I’m on a streak of enjoying team energy and loving it. It’s a positive feedback loop.
With practice, my “asking for support” muscles are now pretty good.
Having “teammates” has literally made my self-employment journey possible, and more fun too.
I don’t think it’s possible to have a successful business without letting in support.
Kindred Spirit Communities You Might Like
If you are trying to navigate a career transition and/or self-employment, it can feel too hard and too lonely. It’s hard to balance it all.
Getting practical guidance and moral support for the journey can help bring clarity, calm, and progress.
I love facilitating small group programs (up to 6 people each) that are especially geared for introverts and/or highly sensitive people (HSPs), from meeting style to the kinds of career/business guidance.
I just got this description from one of my group members today, with permission to share:
I recently felt able to take a leap of faith in my career because I know I’m not alone: I have friends who see my gifts and will remind me if I forget.”
As you can tell, I’m a big believer in the power of genuine community, the kind that works for introverts and HSPs, like me.