An Introverted Extrovert: Confessions of a Social Guy

Eric Huber in San FranciscoHi, I’m Eric Huber with Blue Zoo Creative.
And you are…?

This is normally where I start when I’m out at a networking event or some happening where I’m meeting new people. From there, I love to learn about people, hear their stories and figure out who I can connect them with so they can further their dreams, goals and passions. Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

The extrovert in me loves social gatherings. I get amped up on the energy of ideas shared. And afterwards, I make mental notes of all the people I met, something important to them, and some story they shared. Now, I don’t always remember ever single detail, but I get a lot of them right.

Why do I do this?

Years ago while just getting started in my first business, I had joined a chamber of commerce and noticed that when the president came in, everyone lit up and he greeted them warmly by name, asked them something personal and often gave hugs or warm and hearty handshakes. It looked honest and sincere. People weren’t sucking up to him or being fake. He genuinely seemed to take interest in others. He became a mentor to me and he didn’t even know it.

The funny thing is that in no time at all, I really DID care about others and what they were doing. I couldn’t wait to pass along a referral, help them with a problem or otherwise find a resource for them. Soon, I was getting calls from all over as a ‘go to’ person for a variety of resources.

With my friends, it was much the same. We all helped each other during times of adversity and celebrated success when it occurred. Although, at that time, I had a propensity for continual tardiness.

But there was a side no one saw. I kept hidden. And it is only recently that I realize that it is something I still do today and still have not ‘confessed’ to the world as I am doing now. In fact, this behavior I have is simply excused by others as ‘being busy.’

I noticed even my family would start off invitations as “I know you’re busy, but…” I even shifted my working habits so I could be busy all the time. But what was really happening is that I needed ‘down time.’

The Introvert in Me

Swearing in new members at BNIOn Tuesday mornings (as I write this), I am lucky enough to be the president of a local Business Networking International Chapter (ask me for an invite some time!). On these days, I am revved up for networking, meetings, phone calls, luncheons and whatever else comes up. My wife and I have great conversations and often go run around a bit in the evenings.

Wednesdays, however, are very different. I focus on work and tasks. I schedule only certain times of the day to make calls or even answer emails. I let calls go to voice mail and will often forward it to team members of my business if they can handle it. I take long walks. I zone out on TV Shows or Movies in the evening. I check out and go ‘inside.’ I’m embarrassed to say anything about it, so I often text, “I’m tied up for a while. I’ll give you a shout later.” Or I simply ask for specifics to email answers or have someone else handle it.

I really can’t handle talking to anyone those days.

Now, I’m not saying it is debilitating or anything. I can still schedule meetings, make calls and so forth, but I have noticed that I mentally and physically need some alone time. And if too many of these days go on and on, things start to get a bit touchy with my attitude. I have to pay attention to that and adjust accordingly.

At this point, in my confession, I have to decide if it’s something I’m going to change about myself, or if I’m going to simply go with the ebb and flow. In my line of business, where I have to handle sales, production and business aspects, it seems to be working out nicely. But did the business create my tendencies, or did my tendencies shape how I work?

I’m sure there’s a psychological condition that describes my introvert/extrovert duality, but I just don’t feel like searching for it or labeling it. After all, it doesn’t matter what it’s called, it’s simply enough to recognize it and leverage it for the best outcome in helping others get what they want.

What traits do you have that you’re able to leverage?



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