Hello my pretty little weirdos
I have been thinking heaps lately about how to connect better with other humans. Now, as you may have gathered from my Embracing Your Inner Weirdo blog post, interacting with those of my species is not exactly my forte. Even though I am completely at ease with my own weird black little heart, as a writer/artist I do need to interact with people (even if only via the social medias) and this can be a problem.
Sometimes, I kinda feel like Ariel from the little mermaid (Disney, not the original. I don’t feel like swords are stabbing my feet and legs while I walk.) When she is sitting at the dinner table with Eric and she sees the fork and starts brushing her hair with it … yeah. That is how I feel most of the time. “human do this way, question mark?” As I do something wrong and awkwardly that normal people seem to pull off without a hitch.
So, if you are here, it probably means that you are also a little odd, like me. So how do we, the weirdos and generally introverted, do things like Network, make friends and make human connections.
“Introverts can find networking intimidating because of all the louder extroverts in the room trying to sell themselves,” says Stefan Thomas, author of Networking for Dummies and self-confessed introvert. “But introverts make the best networkers because they’re good listeners and tend to be more interested in other people than about talking about themselves.”
I found this quote while researching this topic. Kirstie Brewer wrote a great little piece on Networking called: Shhh, quiet: an introvert’s guide to networking which I recommend if you need help with “in-person networking.”
But for some of us, this is still not an option. I know someone ( someone very close to me) that even just going to the grocery store can be a struggle sometimes. Just the proximity to other humans can be a difficult task, let alone interacting with them.
This is where social media is a great tool. We can post pics and thoughts all from the comfort of our dark rooms or even from the toilet.
“I wasn’t a nerd, mind you, but I’d spent a lot of my youth studying Epics, so I’d had limited experience with social interaction. I mixed with ordinary people about the same way that a bucket of paint mixed with a bag of gerbils.”
― Brandon Sanderson, Firefight
I once got advice from a “professional” social media marketer on what I should do on my Instagram. One of the first things she said, while she looked at me with her scowling face through the skype screen, was that she would remove the word “weirdo” from my description. People won’t connect with that, she said. And yes, she was probably right, the majority of the human race don’t connect with weirdos. And therein lies the solution!
I had thought getting this chick to give me advice was a complete waste of my fucking time. She put me down, my account down, even my profile picture and what I looked like… But I was looking at the experience all wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, she was as useless to me as a bag of tits and dicks, but her reaction towards me, although it was nothing new, was something I have learned from. I don’t want to connect with humans like her.
Well, that’s not entirely true, I would love to be able to connect with everyone, but not everyone is going to like me (cause I ain’t fucking pizza!) But who may like me? You, you bunch of freaks!
So, I think that is the key, think of your ideal reader, or your ideal customer and just keep trying to reach out to that person. People will start trickling through. And then, when these “ideal” humans come through to you, it won’t be as difficult to talk to them and connecting with them because they will probably be a socially awkward as yourself. You can discuss the particulars of blood splatter and no one will be scared. You can express your love for love for “Samuri Pizza Cats” because the people you have been calling out to like it too.
The thing with networking is that sometimes, it can grow into more. Sometimes, the best form of networking is just making new friends. And as difficult and daunting as that might be, I think that if you have to force it too much, then you aren’t trying with the right human. Wait until you find someone that you just click with. Keep reaching out and putting yourself out there.
I’m gonna leave you with a John Green quote, because, even if you aren’t big on John Green books, then you can atleast agree that he knows something about being weird and reaching out to his target audience.
“Writing is like a really long game of Marco Polo that you play in your basement and you’re saying, ‘Marco. Marco. Marco. Marco. Marco.’ and it’s not for like four years that someone’s like, ‘Oh! Polo!'”
Much love and Hugs xxx