We all need self-compassion for networking. I once worked with a patient, who said that networking was like making small deals with the devil to advance your future. She told small lies in these conversations, mostly about how much she was enjoying them or her current job, efforts she made to set the other person at ease or to persuade them to give her work.
We Are All In This Together
I think a lot of us feel this way. There is something odd about responding with overwhelming positivity and excitement to a complete stranger simply to further our exploits in business. Once in these conversations, we continue this charade with positive responses to any conversational contributions, even those we know that we oppose. Meanwhile, we stuff all of the real feelings that come up, so as not to damage a good opportunity. We reframe this effort in the positive with phrases, such as, “I am trying to make a good impression.” Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, we luck out, and genuinely love the people we meet. But, if that were always the case, networking would probably have a better name like, friend making.
Self-Compassion Steps For Networking
For those of you, who enjoy networking, please share your wisdom and joy with others. There is always room for more well-being. If you are amongst the folks, who find networking as comforting as a root canal, here are some helpful self-compassion steps. First, notice how you are feeling right now, and soften around the parts of you that are feeling tense. Second, notice how you come by these feelings naturally. Feeling like you have to perform for strangers is an uncomfortable experience, especially when you are already having a tough day. Give yourself permission to feel compassion for this experience, and also for the experience of all the other networkers. They are probably trying to make the best of it just like you! Then, do something really kind for yourself. Let out that breath, and remember that you are showing up, which is all you are every really responsible for anyway.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 254. In The Books.