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Show Notes

Do you feel like you’re always the odd one out? Do you avoid social gatherings because you don’t know how to act around people?

If you’re an awkward introvert, you know that feeling of awkwardness all too well. You might avoid social situations altogether, or feel like you’re always saying the wrong thing.

In this episode, guest Monica Parkin will show you how to overcome your awkwardness and embrace your introverted nature. She will also share some strategies to help you overcome awkwardness and build confidence so that you can enjoy socializing and networking without feeling uncomfortable. Listen now to learn how to start conversations, make friends, and feel more confident in business and life situations.


Monica is an award-winning international speaker, and author of the Amazon bestseller “Overcoming Awkward, the Introverts guide to Networking, Marketing, and Sales.” She’s also a licensed Mortgage Broker, Entrepreneur, and self-professed introvert.

Guest: Monica Parkin

Get Monica’s Book:
Overcoming Awkward, the Introverts guide to Networking, Marketing, and Sales

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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

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Timestamped Overview

[00:02:07] Transitioned from solo entrepreneurship to being a mortgage broker but was surprised to learn networking and building relationships was a big part of the job.

[00:03:34] Person struggles with networking at industry event, throws away business cards and realizes the need for a better way to build relationships.

[00:08:14] Discovering authenticity and introvert strengths through seeking advice from successful colleagues. Embracing and showing true self leads to deeper connections.

[00:10:56] Overcoming social awkwardness through gradual steps, using the example of starting to drink coffee. Started with small interactions and found evidence of positive outcomes. Eventually became natural and effortless.

[00:15:50] Introverts are often perceived as stuck-up or snobbish, but they’re just gathering their thoughts and trying to work up the courage to talk to someone. Extroverts who read a book on introverts said they had a misconception and felt bad for judging introverts.

[00:19:37] Conversations about introversion help understand others; author’s introverted spouse is her editor; introverts need alone time.

[00:22:26] Working from home with family is frustrating without privacy.

[00:24:42] Writer joins 30-day book-writing challenge during pandemic, inspired by social media post and son’s advice, and writes book based on overcoming social awkwardness and introversion, which she views as a superpower.

[00:29:37] Noticing and elevating others can change networking and trigger positive responses in the brain. Reciprocity and curiosity favor people who notice others. Focusing on elevating others helps to build organic relationships and connections.

[00:31:22] Shift in conversation approach: curiosity & helping connect others leads to personal benefits through community growth & reciprocity.

[00:34:49] A writing meditation group at night, with music, asks a question and writes the answer from the subconscious. Helpful to connect to inner self.

[00:38:07] Setting healthy boundaries, knowing yourself, and loving yourself lead to building relationships and easier communication without pretending to be someone else. Authenticity is key.

[00:41:09] Take smaller steps to overcome fears and accept awkward moments.

Questions and Answers

1. What are introverts good at according to research?

Answer: Research shows that introverts are good at deep listening to other people’s ideas and having meaningful conversations, and they have the ability to ask good questions and dive deep into a problem to find solutions.

2. What is one of the most underrated strengths of introverts?

Answer: The strength of problem-solving through deep thinking is underrated and not talked about enough for introverts.

3. How did the speaker learn the importance of taking time to recharge?

Answer: The speaker experienced burnout from overscheduling themselves, leading to taking a month off to recharge their “introvert battery” and get back into their own groove.

4. What are some examples of fun activities that can prevent overscheduling and increase productivity?

Answer: Unwinding and catching up through fun activities like reading a book or listening to a podcast without any end goal can prevent overscheduling and ultimately increase productivity.

5. What advice did successful people in the industry provide the speaker who was struggling in their career?

Answer: The successful people advised the speaker to be their authentic self and embrace their strengths as an introvert.

6. How can being vulnerable help build better connections with others?

Answer: Being vulnerable allows others to also be vulnerable, leading to more meaningful connections.

7. What is the speaker’s approach to networking?

Answer: The speaker spends more time talking about other people, elevating them, and helping them grow, which leads to organic relationships and connections.

8. How did the speaker overcome social awkwardness and introvertedness?

Answer: The speaker joined a book writing challenge which helped them realize that social aspects of their personality were not flaws, and turned their focus towards navigating and improving upon these traits.

9. What is the speaker’s analogy for the importance of building a strong community and industry?

Answer: The speaker uses the analogy of real estate to emphasize the importance of building a strong community and industry, and how it can benefit individuals in the long run.

10. How can introverts gradually ease into social interactions?

Answer: The speaker applied the strategy of starting small to their social interactions, by taking baby steps like talking to the clerk at the grocery store and eventually creating new neural pathways that made socializing feel natural and effortless.

Podcast Transcript

David Hall [00:00:00]:

in a nutshell, how would you say, loving yourself and understanding yourself. Is that how you overcome awkwardness?

Monica Parkin [00:00:06]:

Yeah. And and, like, giving yourself a little bit of grace you’re not gonna do it overnight. You’re not gonna, you know, change overnight. And and and I don’t ever wanna not be an introvert. If I could go back in time and be an extrovert, I would say no. Like, I don’t want ticket. I want the introvert ticket. You know, do I wish I knew back then what I know now? Like, what a superpower it is and how amazing it is and and how amazing skills is given me. Yeah. But little steps, baby steps challenging yourself to maybe do that one little thing that makes you uncomfortable. and then noticing the positive, you know, observing the evidence that it worked for you and and just getting a little uncomfortable, you know, occasionally. and then the uncomfortable becomes comfortable, and then you’re ready to to stretch again. Hello,

David Hall [00:00:59]:

and welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Intro version is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, we will air each episode on a Monday,

David Hall [00:01:19]:

Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.

David Hall [00:01:21]:

Leave a review. Tell a friend, help get the word out there. Monica Parkin is an award winning international speaker. author of the Amazon Best Seller, Overcoming, awkward, the introvert’s guide to networking, marketing, and sales. She’s also a licensed mortgage broker, entrepreneur, and self professed introvert.

David Hall [00:01:42]:

Welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast, Monica. So happy to have you. Yeah. I’m excited to be here. Thanks for the invite. k. So Monica has written a great book called overcoming awkward, and we are gonna get into that. But first before we do, tell us a little bit more about yourself, Monica. You know, your journey through being an introvert and and feeling awkward to embracing that and then writing this book.

Monica Parkin [00:02:07]:

Yeah. It’s definitely been a journey. Thanks, David. boats I don’t know. I guess it’s about 7 years ago now. I went from you know, I was still an entrepreneur, but I was a solo entrepreneur where I really didn’t have to, you know, go out anywhere or talk to anyone. Then after Mark and myself, it was a business that just kinda sold itself to deciding to be a mortgage broker, deciding that because I thought it would be the perfect job to work virtually from home, not have to talk to people, you know, and wow, I did not get the memo about that. career, I had no idea. I went through the whole process, took the course, everything, you know, got hired by a brokerage and then found out that you know, a very small portion of that job is writing mortgages and dealing with numbers and sitting at home and a very large portion of it is networking, building relationships, selling yourself, getting to know people. And, you know, I I almost quit when I found out that day. It was it was really it came as a very big surprise to me.

David Hall [00:03:02]:

Wow. So you weren’t expecting to have to get out there and find your own clients and things.

Monica Parkin [00:03:09]:

Yeah. I thought they would just be handed to me. I had no idea. And the mortgage broker that I’d always worked with, I’d literally never seen her in person. Never even talked to her on the phone. We did everything by email. So I thought that was just the norm And she was just catering to me as a as a very introverted client. She was matching what I wanted, but that’s not the norm in the industry at all.

David Hall [00:03:27]:

Yeah. So was it at this point you started to figure out that you were an introvert, or did you know before that?

Monica Parkin [00:03:34]:

I think I had an idea before that. For sure, I was the mom who, you know, wouldn’t let her kids even have friends come over because if they can’t have their friends over, that meant I’d have to make friends with their friends. Mom is that to talk to them. You know? I dropped them off of the curve, that kind of thing. But so I jumped into that industry. I went to my first networking event, because I had to. Basically, they said this there’s an event next week. You’re coming. Here’s your ticket. You know, showed up at that chamber commerce dinner, walked in the room, looked around, freaked out, turned around, went back and sat in my car, and and just kinda had a little little meltdown there and tried to decide if I was gonna make an excuse and go home or, like, what am I gonna do here? And my coworker drove up. So, okay, I can’t just say I’m sick now. I’m already here. She’s seen me. I’m gonna have to go in. So I go in, and I’m like, you know what? You just do it. Just do what you’re supposed to do, go shake people’s hands, go talk to them. So I did that thing. I, you know, forced myself to work the room and tell everyone what a great mortgage broker I am, and I can give you the best rate and Right? And then, you know, I come home at the end of the night, and I’m I’m going through all these business cards because everyone’s given me their card. I’ve given them my card, you know, that thing that you do, and I’m looking at these cards. And I’m like, like, I don’t know these people. I didn’t make a connection to them. Like, I What am I gonna do with these cards? And I decide to throw them in the fire. And in that moment, when I’m throwing them in the fire, all of a sudden, I’m like, oh, Oh, no. Like, if I’m getting rid of their carts, that means all the carts that I give out tonight are probably landing in someone’s garbage can or someone’s fire. Like, all of that work that I did that I thought I was supposed to do that felt horrible that made me feel a yucky that that went against everything. I am, like, maybe really uncomfortable, didn’t bring any business. It did nothing for me. Like, it it had no value at all. And I think that’s when I realized, a, that I I have a serious problem if I’m gonna stay in this industry. I’m not gonna be able to do it this way and be that I have to find another way to build relationships. because that’s not it’s just not because something’s gonna work for me.

David Hall [00:05:35]:

Yeah. I I read that story in your book. I I thought that story was awesome. because I’ve felt the same way. And you made the point that, yeah, just walking up to someone talking for a couple minutes, exchanging cards, That’s not a relationship. That’s not a true connection.

Monica Parkin [00:05:51]:

No. Unless that’s your skill set. Like, some people are really good at that. I was telling you I was in Toronto last week for this mortgage industry event, and I was walking around with this girl who’s a tour extrovert. And and so I’m kinda ease in my way. And I’m doing it my introvert way, which works great for me, but people would walk by. And she’s just like, hey. Hey. I haven’t met you yet. Come over here. Tell me about yourself. Like, I wanna learn more. And so she had this magical way of just building this connection, but that’s her strength, and that’s not my strength. And so I just it’s not that that way doesn’t work for some people, but for me, it it just wasn’t the right approach.

David Hall [00:06:25]:

Yeah. Yeah. And that’s the point I’m making. It’s and I’ve been in the same situation where You know, I’ve watched a extroverted colleague do the same thing, and they have that gift. It doesn’t happen to be ours. Yeah. Yeah. We have our own gifts. And, you know, we’ve learned to embrace those and find that thing that works for us, you know, whether it be networking and other things. So how would you describe what what does it mean to be awkward? Like, what was that like for you? I guess well, for me and still sometimes, you know, although I’ve come a long, long ways.

Monica Parkin [00:07:00]:

And now I can, you know, I can find different ways to build connections with people, but for me, it was that kind of like, what do I say first? How do I do this small talk thing? Like, where do I stand? How how long is appropriate to stand here and talk to someone? Like, Is 5 minutes too long? Is it not long enough? Okay. Well, now I’ve only talked to one person. Like, how do I extract myself now and go talk to the new person? Like, just all those questions, which I think for some people come really naturally. For me, they don’t come naturally, and I have to really think through them step by step They come a lot more naturally to me than they used to, just like a lot of things when you practice and you get better at them. But for Angel Burton, for people that are, I guess, socially awkward, Those questions are often running through your head while you’re trying to have a conversation, and it it makes it difficult to to make a connection when you’re trying to think about the logistics of all the socially acceptable things, the rules that you’re supposed to follow.

David Hall [00:07:56]:

Yeah. Exactly. And I I’ve definitely been there And, you know, part of, for me, overcoming awkward just it was understanding who I was and not trying to do it like my extroverted friend, you know, figuring out what worked best for me

Monica Parkin [00:08:14]:

was that at this point, how did you learn more about being an introvert and your strengths and things like that. Yeah. Just what you’re saying was really my light bulb moment too. Right? The the you know, be who you are, be your authentic self, and I didn’t discover that on my own. I discovered that by asking some people in the industry that were super successful. You know, I’m at the end of my 1st year, and I’m not doing well at all. And I’m struggling, and I don’t even know if I wanna stay in this career. And so I started phoning up these some people in my industry that are doing really well and saying, like, what am I doing wrong? What do I need to do differently? And, you know, the first one says, you know, like, just be you, be your authentic self. And I’m like, that’s a load of crop. Like, give me a break. Like you know? And then I call the next one. They said like, basically, they all said the same thing. And And at first, I really I didn’t embrace that at all. I was like, this is just this load of garbage. They just want all this business to themselves. But when I started to try to put that into practice and little tiny bits and pieces, like, show real me. Like, literally let my little inner weirdo shine and and show who I am to people. And without this fear of being judged, all of a sudden, like, I started to connect to people in ways that I’ve never to people in my life by showing the part of myself that I’ve always been afraid to show whether that’s, you know, the fact that I’m a crazy goat lady, and I love goats or my weird sense of humor or geeking out on new technology, all those things that I thought weren’t cool. The reality is there’s always someone else that will connect with that. And when you get a little bit vulnerable, it gives other people space to to also be vulnerable, and that’s where you actually make those attendant connections.

David Hall [00:09:47]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And sometimes, you know, that’s a good advice to be yourself, but a lot of times the problem with that is that you don’t know yourself. You don’t know who you are. And so that advice doesn’t really work because you really have to know who you are and what your strengths and gifts are to to make that work. yeah, it is a process of discovery for sure and just trying trying it out a little at a time.

Monica Parkin [00:10:11]:

Even if you don’t know who you are, often you know who you’re not. And if you can start with look. This is who I’m not. I’m not the person that’s gonna walk around the room and shake everyone’s hand. And, you know, like, who who am I really? Or what am I passionate about? Like, what things are happening in the community that I’m excited about? What is what are the things that make me excited and share and talk about those things and ask other people about what makes them excited. Right? Because that’s where you find those commonalities.

David Hall [00:10:38]:

Yeah. Yeah. There are things that we are passionate about that we have strengths in, and that’s the key. So it seemed like in your book there was just kind of a point in your talking about where you’re just like, you know what? Enough is enough. I’m I’m gonna live differently. Is am I remembering that right?

Monica Parkin [00:10:56]:

Yeah. I I definitely realize that this talking to people, this social awkwardness wasn’t was a real problem for me. Like, a real roadblock And I thought about, you know, all the other times in my life where I’ve resisted change, and it seemed really hard. And then I’d bit it off, like, a little bit at a time, and it gets to the point where it becomes easy even if it’s something, like, I think the example I used is coffee. Right? I didn’t drink coffee for, like, the 1st 4 years of my life, and I was dragging around myself up in the morning. I’m like, can I try coffee. You know? And 1st day, I hated it. The second day, I hated it. The third day, I’m starting to think about it. You know, 1st day, all of a sudden, I’m craving it. I kinda did the same thing with social interactions. I kinda told myself, you know what? I’m gonna just pretend that I like people. I’m gonna pretend that I like relationships and connecting to people. And I’m gonna start really tiny. So I started with something really, really small, like talking to the clerk at the grocery store. And then noticing the good that came out of that. Like, not just doing the act, but then looking for evidence that it worked for me. So, oh, I found out something was on sale or you know, talking to a random person and then getting an interesting piece of news. So sort of forcing myself to take baby steps And then at the end of the day going, well, that worked out. That worked out. That worked out. And then the next day taking a bigger step and then a bigger step and a bigger step until all of a sudden it just feels as natural as breathing. Right? It’s no longer an effort. It’s it’s just part of who I am because I’ve created these new neuro pathways that we’re awkward and weird and uncomfortable at first. Like, when you take a new drive to work the 1st week, you keep taking the wrong turn and the wrong turn, and and then your brain remembers. And all of a sudden, it it’s natural to do that.

David Hall [00:12:36]:

Absolutely. So as you were discovering that you’re an introvert and trying to overcome your awkwardness. I mean, what what strengths did you determine that you had as a introvert?

Monica Parkin [00:12:49]:

Yeah. One of the things that I’ve found out and that research tells us that introverts are really good at is is really listening deeply to other people, like, hearing other people’s ideas, connecting with them, resonating with them, and having really deep conversations about things that you’re both passionate about rather than just skimming through the surface topics, but actually taking the time to to dive really deep. And then the other thing is asking good questions, which leads to solutions and, you know, solutions obviously degrade things, but that ability to just get really curious and instead of just instantly jumping for an answer going, well, why is this like this? And what about this? And what about this? And going down those rabbit holes and and, you know, following you know, following that little string and getting to the answer. And then when you get the answer, you get the solutions. And then all of a sudden, you know, it’s exciting and magic is happening. And and, you know, really cool things come from that. And I think that’s definitely the strength that introverts have that’s really underrated and under talked about is that problem. Deep thinking. Right? That ability to go back and be still and think deeply about a problem and then go back with a solution.

David Hall [00:14:00]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And to me, that’s how I define it is I am a deep thinker. And and I can understand that and get better at things. Like, I can get better at small talk like you described. But, ultimately, the purpose of my small talk is to have those deep conversations you also just described. because that’s what you know, I I don’t mind doing some small talk. I used definitely used to hate it. But it’s really I I I wanna get to those deep conversations That’s that’s the point.

Monica Parkin [00:14:29]:

Yeah. For sure. And when I’ve talked to other introverts about this too, that’s sort of the feedback I get from them is that hey, they don’t love small talk, but they do it to get to the deeper conversations. And and when I’ve talked to extroverts that, you know, own companies or manage companies can I do to make my introverts feel more comfortable to make them feel included? I’m like, well, to be honest. Ask them if they just like to skip the small talk because they might. They might prefer not to have that small talk, they might prefer to go straight to the big stuff, and that might actually make them more comfortable even though you’re trying to make them more comfortable with small talk. Some of them would would just like to skip right through that and get to the good stuff.

David Hall [00:15:05]:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. And, again, I’ve definitely gotten better at it. I enjoy it sometimes.

Monica Parkin [00:15:10]:

I had a extrovert one time told me that I’d skip too quickly to the deep stuff that he he needed to do more small talk. And that’s yeah. start talking deep, and that was kinda foreign to me. Yeah. And that’s the balance. Right? It’s trying to because you’re not always gonna be talking to another introvert. And so, yeah, it’s trying to figure out who that person is you’re talking to and how to meet them where they need to be in that and find that middle ground where you both find your happy spot.

David Hall [00:15:35]:

Yeah. So, definitely, this show is about understanding the strengths and needs of introverts, some strategies for success. And, also, we bust some myths here. So is there an introvert myth or 2 that you wanna bust today?

Monica Parkin [00:15:50]:

Yeah. For sure, I think the introvert myth that I’d love to bust that I’ve heard from extroverts that have read the book that have come back and said, oh my gosh. I’m so I had this misconception about you introverts is that we’re stuck up. They were standing in the corner because we’re snobs or we’re stuck up. We don’t wanna talk to people. it’s not that we think we’re better than everyone or we’re this snobby person. It’s just literally they’re trying to gather their thoughts and go, okay. Who am I gonna talk to? How am I gonna start the conversation? Like, you know, trying to work up the courage to talk to someone, not, like, hey. I’m too good to talk to you, and I think that’s something they that they get a lot or at least in talking to extroverts that read the book, they’re like, oh my gosh. I feel so bad. I’ve been judging people like you, my whole life. thinking you’re you’re super stuck up and you’re really you’re just trying to find that, you know, your way into the conversation.

David Hall [00:16:41]:

Yeah. I I’ve I’ve been accused of that too, and it’s like, wow. That’s that’s weird. There’s nothing further from the truth there, but sometimes we get red that way.

Monica Parkin [00:16:49]:

Yeah. And I think in Go ahead. Sorry. I think even though we’re talking about social awkwardness, I think introvertedness and social awkwardness are actually 2 different things. They often get lumped together. But I think you can be an introvert and not be socially awkward, or you can be an introvert and also be socially awkward. They don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Yeah. Thank you for making that point.

David Hall [00:17:09]:

Absolutely. So I’m an introvert. I’m a deep thinker. I will always be introvert, deep thinker. I’m very analytical. I go into my head more often than not. Those things are not gonna change for me. But there’s definitely a time when I was younger where I was shy. I had a lot of anxiety. I was awkward. Learning about myself has changed all of that for me. And and that’s what your book is is doing too. It’s like, you don’t have to you’re gonna be an introvert But you don’t have to stay awkward. You can learn about yourself and how you work, what you want. And that’s the point. Yeah. So very good distinction. Yeah. We’re Interversion is a beautiful thing once it’s understood. But if you don’t understand it, you definitely can, you know, feel like something’s wrong. Most of my guests and different authors I’ve read have had that experience where they felt like something was wrong with them, and it takes time to embrace it and figure it out and overcome things like awkwardness or shyness or

Monica Parkin [00:18:10]:

other things. Yeah. I definitely spent many, many years thinking there’s something very wrong. Like, why can’t I make friends like other people can? Why can’t I walk into a conversation? Why am I so tired after a social thing? Like, why is my husband excited and wanna go to the next party, and I just wanna go home put my pajamas on. Right? And, yeah, the more you get to know yourself, the more you get to know that other people are like that, you realize that it’s that whole thing about neurodivergency. Right? Like, we’re just not all exactly the same, but one isn’t better than the other. We just you know, it’s the Mac and the Apple. operating system. We’ve got these different operating systems going on. But, you know, ultimately, we’re all still still human.

David Hall [00:18:48]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And it’s very natural, and that’s I could tell lots of stories of why I just know that. So you’re married to extrovert?

Monica Parkin [00:18:56]:

I am. Yeah. And, you know, it’s created conflict at different times in our marriage. We figured it out now. In some ways, it’s been great. because he can go and hang out with his friends, and I’m never like, why did you bring me with you? I’m like, you’d go. I’m having a great time. But, you know, early on in our marriage, it did create conflict because, you know, he’d wanna go out, and I’d wanna stay home. And how come you don’t wanna come with me? And I’m like, well, you don’t wanna just stay home and watch a movie. You know? We had to kinda navigate our way through that. Now I think it’s actually a good thing. It’s it’s a real yinyang balance for us. but it it takes time, I think. I don’t think I’d wanna be in a relationship with 2 extroverts or 2 introverts, to be honest. I think that that might be a challenge.

David Hall [00:19:37]:

Yeah. And that’s that’s part of why it’s so great to have these conversations because, you know, definitely that situation, you weren’t alone in that. There’s so many people that experience that, and I’ve heard that from others. I’ve also seen it where, you know, you do learn to understand each other. I am married to a introvert, and we get along very well. It’s funny, though. We are married a very long time, and it wasn’t until I started blogging and writing about introversion, and and she is my editor. And I started having having better conversations, and I started to realize, oh, that’s why I’m sitting close to you, and I’m talking to you, and you’re ignoring me. It’s because she was in her zone working. You know? She or that’s why You’re staying up late because you’re trying to get some quiet to get your work done. Or the funny one when my kids were little, you know, maybe she’s going to the store. And I’m like, hey. Don’t you wanna take the kids with you? And she’s like, nope. You know? That’s awesome. So, yeah, you just gotta get to know each other. And even like, as introverts, you know, we we really enjoy spending time together, but we also each need our alone time too. And sometimes that’s hard to navigate because that might not occur at the same time.

Monica Parkin [00:20:51]:

And do you think because this is just curiosity for me. Like, do you think it inhibits your like, going out socially because you both kinda wanna stay home, or does it just make you more selective about where you go so that when you go, it’s it’s like a meaningful experience and someone you really wanna see rather than just going because you got an invite.

David Hall [00:21:07]:

Yeah. I definitely think that’s a factor. I think, like you described, you know, probably, if I was married to expert, we might do a lot more things like that. So we probably are more selective. I think that’s that’s pretty fair.

Monica Parkin [00:21:20]:

Yeah. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. So and — Yeah. Yeah. — and I don’t know about you, but my kids are both. Like, I’ve got 2 daughters that are introverts and a son that’s an a word, and it was interesting watching through the pandemic. because, you know, at the beginning of the pandemic, when we all had to stay home, the girls were like, could do this. I’ve trained my whole life for this. Like, I have I could do this forever, and my son is just, like, paves in the floor. Like, when can I go somewhere? You know? And it was interesting to to see the reaction from both.

David Hall [00:21:47]:

Yeah. We had a similar experience because I have 3 kids, 2 extroverts and 1 introvert. And in the pandemic, my my wife has always worked from home ever since we started having kids, and so now we’re in her territory, you know, in her space. And I had a couple kids that were now in online school and they hated it and just everybody’s kinda stressed out anyway. So it was a it was a rough 1st year to get to navigate that. And I had not worked from home before, and it wasn’t a really good you know, like, a lot of introverts dream of working at home. Right? But for me, it wasn’t a really good experience because I had a full house

Monica Parkin [00:22:26]:

off the time. That was my experience also. It’s, like, I I love the idea of working from home until all of a sudden I had my husband home and the kids home and, you know, people in my space and interrupting me and what about this and what about that and I’m just like like because I’ve got an open office, and on one side, it’s living on the other side, it’s kitchen. There’s no doors on it. And, yeah, it was it was a really frustrating time for me, and I’m sure them too. And for a lot of people, I think, got a new appreciation of what working from home actually actually can look like. Yeah. because it it it work. I have a door. at home, I’m in the open office too. And, you know, and,

David Hall [00:23:01]:

you know, people are knocking on the door. I’m like, I’m working them. I can’t get the door. You know?

Monica Parkin [00:23:07]:

Or can you take our daughter this place or that place? I’m like, I I can’t. I’m working. So — Yeah. And it’s that end of the day close or 2. Right? When you work away from home, 5 o’clock comes and all your coworkers are shutting down the computers and leaving. You’re triggered to go home. When you’re working from home, there’s this temptation, well, to like, I’ll just do another half hour and another half an hour before you know it, it’s 8 o’clock at night, and you’re still you’re still deep into that project. And I think that’s something as introverts. We tend to get into something and then have a hard time getting out that it’s a deep thinking piece. Right?

David Hall [00:23:39]:

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. But the other thing that I found was I definitely recharged on my drive home. Mhmm. And then all of a sudden, like you’re talking about, here I am. I’m working. I don’t need to drive home, but I still need that space. I need that separation where I I can take some time. And so that was something I definitely had to navigate to. How do you find that time when you’re already home? You’ve been home all this is you’re not going anywhere.

Monica Parkin [00:24:07]:

So how do you find that space? That was a challenge for me. Yeah. You don’t get that transition time. And I don’t know about you, but I love audio books on my way home or a podcast or something to just destroy track my mind from work and and go through that transition, set myself up to come home. And, yeah, you lose that that half hour, 20 minutes an hour, whatever your commute is where you get to to just decompress.

David Hall [00:24:28]:

Yeah. So, I mean, obviously, it’s nice not to drive especially right now with gas prices, but but that was something I had to figure out. Yeah. So what made you decide to to write this book, overcoming awkward

Monica Parkin [00:24:42]:

Yeah. It was a pandemic book for sure. I was sitting home one day on a Saturday afternoon just kinda scrolling through social media, and I saw this thing for a 30 day book writing challenge, and I was like, 30 days. Like and by the way, I also have some serious ADHD. So I get this hyper fixation thing happening right get into an idea. And then at the end of a certain amount of time, I’m like, okay. I’m done. I’m on to the next one. And, you know, I mentioned it to my son, and he’s like, mom, like, 3 days. Like, that is that is the amount of time that you can hyperfixate on something. You could probably knock this off in 30 days. And I think it was, like, a $100. So it was, like, Not so much that it was unattainable, but just enough that if I didn’t finish it, I’d feel like I threw away that $100. So every every day they send me a new assignment. But the 1st day’s assignment, at that point, I didn’t even know what I was gonna write it on. But the question was, like, what’s something that you’ve overcome? Like, what is an that you have overcome, that you have firsthand experience that you can share with someone. And immediately, my thought was, you know, it’s It’s this social awkwardness, this introvertedness, this part of me that I thought was broken that I realized is actually my superpower. This is what I wanna talk about, and that’s where the book came. from.

David Hall [00:25:51]:

Very nice. And I should have read the subtitle too. The introverts guide to networking, marketing, and sales, and that’s definitely you you share in the book how you, you know, you’ve brought this new understanding

Monica Parkin [00:26:03]:

into the various aspects of your life. Yeah. I went from that 1st year in sales where I had literally nothing to, you know, exceeding my own wildest expectations in terms of clients and referrals and and meeting targets and and growing my business way beyond what I what I thought I could and by not doing those traditional things that I was told to do, but by really just cultivating relationships one at a time. Yeah. So he said when when extroverts read your book, You know, they’re like, oh, I understand you.

David Hall [00:26:35]:

Or I understand better. And I had that experience with my book too where you know, people would say, oh, I understand introversion a little bit better. Was there anything else that surprised you about feedback that you got?

Monica Parkin [00:26:47]:

Yeah. One of the things that really surprised me is the amount of introverts that are in really high performing roles, like, that are really, really successful, but what they do that I didn’t know were introverts. Like, they would private message me and go, hey. I read the book. It was awesome. I’m not leaving a public comment because I don’t want my boss and my coworkers to know I’m an introvert because it’s actually it’s not cool to be an introvert in sales. But I really loved it, and totally related to everything in it. And I thought how interesting that there’s so many introverts out there that are killing it, but they’re afraid to say so because there’s like, this negativity around being an introvert. Like, if you’re an introvert, you can’t accomplish things or you you can’t get out there and build relationships when the reality is, Some of the people in my industry that are that are really, really good at what they do are these total introverts and nobody knows.

David Hall [00:27:37]:

Yeah. That’s That’s why I do this work, you know, because there’s so many misunderstandings. And I’ve had a lot of experiences like that too where someone’s It’s funny. They’re confiding in me. Just like you said, that the you know, they’re telling me this secret. And I’m like, I know you’re an introvert because I know what it is. And I’m and I tell them, what makes you brilliant is that you’re an introvert, that you are thinking about things. You’re deep thinking about things. You’re solving You’re coming up with great ideas.

Monica Parkin [00:28:09]:

That’s what makes you brilliant. Don’t be ashamed of it. You know? Yeah. We got a lot of work to do around that, Monica. Yeah. And misconceptions. Right? because even now, people look at me that that maybe didn’t know I wrote the book and they see me out there speaking and doing things and getting involved in stuff. And then they see the title of the book, and they’re like, no way. Like, there’s no way you’re an introvert, and you’re speaking of 1500 people. But, like, one has nothing to do with the other. at least for me as an introvert, it’s really hard for me to have those little small talky conversations, but I can I can talk to a group 1500 people, no problem. I’m in my happy place there. I’m expressing ideas. I’m expressing deep thoughts. I’m sharing things. That’s that’s my zone. You know? And I think there’s a lot of introverts that are phenomenal public speakers because there’s in this back and forth in the conversation. It’s just I’m not sure my idea, and you you get to listen to me. It’s amazing. Yeah. That’s always a funny misconception too that they say, oh, well, you’re a speaker?

David Hall [00:29:06]:

Are you a podcaster? Or, like, you’re an introvert. How could you do that? But no. And I I say this a lot. It’s like, well, Actually, I have a lot to say because I’m an introvert, because I’m always thinking. And I love speaking too. I just I do need to prepare differently than my extroverted friend might You know? I do need to think about what I’m gonna say, but I do love that speaking. And we do have things that we want to share. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. So we talked about networking and how you threw you threw your business cards into the fire

Monica Parkin [00:29:37]:

and how that really, you know, just understanding yourself as just change the way you network. How’s it changed how you work in marketing and sales as you write about in the book? Yeah. Well, one of the sort of catchphrases I’ve come up with along the way that I I really feel is super relevant is this idea that people notice people who notice them. You know? Like, rather than me just going over there and selling myself, this is why you should buy my stuff whatever. But noticing what other people are doing, you know, either in my industry, in my community, whatever elevating other people saying, hey. Someone’s got this thing going on. You should check it out or you know, well done, whatever, leave someone a review. Like, these little tiny things that are totally free that cost you nothing. When someone notices you, like, it it triggers a a, this cascade of feel good chemicals in your brain. You feel amazing. But, b, it makes you wanna get to know that person more. Like, when I notice someone else, they immediately are like, well, who’s this Monica person? Like, I wanna get to know them. Right? Even when you reached out to me and said, hey. Would you like to be on my podcast? Now I’m like, Who is this guy? And I’m listening to your podcast, and I’m I’m stalking you on LinkedIn. And now all of a sudden, I’m interested in you. because it’s just this human thing that happens. It’s kind of I don’t know if it’s reciprocity or if it’s curiosity, but, you know, people notice people who notice them. So instead of talking about myself now. I spend a lot of time talking about other people elevating other people. How can I help you? How can I, you know, how can I help you grow? Who can I connect you to? And out of those come all these wonderful organic relationships and connections.

David Hall [00:31:09]:

Yeah. And people absolutely wanna be seen and valued. We all do. Introverts, extroverts. We all want to make connections, and that that’s just so important. And so,

Monica Parkin [00:31:22]:

I mean, how has that changed the conversations that you have? I know you wrote a lot about that. Totally. Yeah. Like, I never go into conversation talking myself anymore or what I can do for someone. I go into conversations now with curiosity. Like, you know, what do you do? Why do you do it? Like, what makes you excited about your business or who can I connect you to? I think a story maybe I share in the book is I, you know, I ran into this lady an event who who has a food blogging business. Like, she blogs about food and wine, and she has food allergies. And so I immediately thought, well, I could connect you to so and so over there. She does food words, and I connected the 2 of them, didn’t think anything more of it. But, you know, in the next 2 years, I got business from both those people because they remembered who connected them. And, you know, when you grow your own community or when you grow other people’s community industry business, you grow your own. Right? There’s like that I think I use this real estate analogy too. Right? If I have this beautiful house and this beautiful neighborhood and I take amazing care of it, But I look across the street, and my neighbor’s house is falling down or their lawn’s not cut because they broke their leg or whatever. or or my community is not doing well, all of a sudden, my property value is gonna go down. Right? Like, if I, you know, stand a hand and go, hey. Can I mow your lawn for you today? His house looks better. All of a sudden, my property value goes up when your community is strong, when your industry is strong, when the people around you are doing amazing. you’re doing amazing. And it’s that reflecting stuff back to yourself by looking after what’s around you.

David Hall [00:32:54]:

Yeah. Absolutely. As introverts, I think one of our big needs is we do need some time. You know, we’ve talked a little bit about this through this conversation. We do need some time to to recharge, but also other times maybe to focus or dream or make plans. How do you find that time for yourself?

Monica Parkin [00:33:14]:

Yeah. I have learned to schedule it. I made a big mistake when my book first came out, and I got myself scheduled on all this stuff, you know, podcast TV shows whatever. You know? And I did that for 2 weeks straight, and I was running off this adrenaline high of all these interviews. And then I just crash. Like, I’m like, I don’t wanna talk to another person. I don’t wanna like, I completely drain my sort of mental battery. And I was like, I can’t think straight. I can’t work on the things that I wanna work on, the things I’m passionate about. I just I just couldn’t, like I was just I was completely like, they talk about this introvert battery where you wear out your social. Like, it was dead. It was depleted. And I I almost had to take, like, a month off and just do nothing and just sort of get back into my own groove. So what I I’m really careful now that I’m doing whether it’s a speak engagement or a community event or a podcast or even writing an article, like, that I don’t to more than 2 a week of those things that require deep thought and social interaction. And that I give myself time in every day to to recharge or to have those deep thoughts and ideas or to just, like, read a book that has no value for me just for fun or listen to a podcast. It’s just for fun. It doesn’t have an end goal. That’s just a chance for me to just just unwind and catch up and really not overschedule myself because I I really pay the price for it when I do. And it actually makes me less productive in the end.

David Hall [00:34:40]:

Yeah. And that’s what you gotta figure out is alright. What energizes me? What drains me? And what do I do when I you know, when I’m drained?

Monica Parkin [00:34:49]:

Yeah. I have this great writing meditation group I do too, and it’s at night after my kids and my husband go to bed. It’s, like, 11 o’clock at it’s in the UK, and it’s their morning. But I do, like, 3 days a week, and we’d literally just, like, write a question, like, you know, what do I wanna do today or what’s my plan for today And then we turn this music on for 10 minutes. We just write the answer, and the answer is supposed to come from you, from your subconscious, like the quiet part of your brain. And it’s so cool because the answers I get when I do those writing meditations are, like, kinder and gentler and nice than anything I could come up when I’m busy and frenzied and running around. It’s like, you know, just for a cup of tea, give yourself some time. Like, it’s just it’s gentle and kind, and and so to let that kind inner voice shine through a couple nights a week for me in the evening after everyone else has gone to bed and to listen to that sort of wise kind inner self. It sounds a little woo woo, but it’s it’s really helpful for me to just recharge and and connect, you know, to me.

David Hall [00:35:49]:

Yeah. That sounds great. So you’ve come up with these things that work for you. How do you set these appropriate boundaries with other people so that you can have what you need?

Monica Parkin [00:35:59]:

Yeah. Well, I try to say yes instead of no. Like, I try not to say no. I can’t do that. I say, yeah. Absolutely. Hubbo 2 weeks from now. Or and I I use Calendly a lot now to that app. It’s like block off times when I’m not available, and I’ll just send some of the link And, literally, the only time they can book is, you know, times that I have open, and I make sure that the times that I’ve left open have times built around them for me to have time for me or time to work on the projects or the writing or the other stuff that I wanna do. So it so then I’m not saying, no. I’m too busy. I’m just saying, yeah, for sure. Here’s the link and oops. I’m sorry. There’s nothing available in there for 3 weeks. But, you know, it it it’s it’s a way of saying no without actually saying no. Yeah. because I am people pleaser. Yes, ma’am.

David Hall [00:36:48]:

That’s some great advice. And, you know, I I block off some time every day, like, first thing. But then sometimes I will go back in and just you know, maybe I know that thing’s gonna be draining to me. Let me just block off a little time right after that. Or like you said, you know, if people want some of your time, they can’t find you you on your calendar. I think that’s great advice.

Monica Parkin [00:37:12]:

Yeah. It it helps me for sure to to set that boundary. And, yeah, like, after this podcast, I booked an hour off because I know after I do a podcast like this, You know, as much as I’ve enjoyed our time together and I’m gonna you know, I really enjoyed it. I I’m not gonna wanna have a deep conversation with someone right after this. Like, I’m not gonna wanna have a business call or even a personal call. I’m gonna wanna go for a walk or go for drive or or read a book and just let myself process it too and think about the things that we’ve talked about and how they flying my life and and just sort of run it through my mind.

David Hall [00:37:43]:

Yeah. Same here. And so I give myself always definitely an hour before so I can get in the right space and kinda charge up ahead of time. But, yeah, you’re right. After this, I’m not going into another another podcast. You know? I I I will need to take a break in again, I’m very much enjoying this conversation, but That’s a good example. You just gotta know yourself.

Monica Parkin [00:38:07]:

Yeah. Yeah. So some those healthy boundaries and knowing yourself and and setting up systems and processes. so that you’ve got the time to to do those things. Yeah. So it’s so important to know yourself, but also in your book that you you wrote that you learned the value of loving yourself. Talk us talk to us about that. Yeah. Like I said, you know, when I was younger, it was always a wrong with me, and why don’t you know, why can’t I make these make friends or why don’t you know, whatever. And now, honestly, I yeah. have more friends that I could possibly count. Like, I just I I could pick up a phone on any given day and call someone because I’ve managed to build so many relationships over the years. But but just like loving me crazy weirdo introverted me. Like, just being able to go, yeah. You know what? You’re awesome. Just exactly as you are, you don’t need to change, you don’t need to pretend to be someone else. The other thing is when we’re pretending to be someone else, like, our brain knows that we’re lying to ourselves. Like, It’s like we’ve got all these circuits, like, having a computer with all these windows open in the background. As soon as I try to pretend to be someone I’m not, actually get more awkward and I get more uncomfortable and I have a difficult time communicating because I’m trying to remember all these fake details When I’m just me, authentic me, what you see is what you get, the conversations flow easier, words flow easier, ideas flow easier because I’m not trying to remember all these little lies or these, you know, this facade that I want people to know about. I’m just I’m just being me. I’m just playing movie reels for my own memories, for my own self. Speak that way too when I’m a speaker. I I don’t have a script. I just tell stories and and, you know, those stories or where people connect to you.

David Hall [00:39:46]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And so it’s I think loving yourself is a big piece of overcoming awkwardness And, again, we’re not talking about overcoming introversion because I will always be an introvert, but I’ve learned to be strong just like you’re saying, and understanding myself, and that’s helped me overcome awkwardness and shyness and other things. Is there anything else, like, in a nutshell, how would you say? Loving yourself and understanding yourself, is that how you overcome awkwardness?

Monica Parkin [00:40:14]:

Yeah. And and, like, giving yourself a little bit of grace, like, you’re not gonna do it overnight. You’re not gonna, you know, change overnight. And and and I don’t ever wanna not be an introvert. If I could go back in time and be an extrovert, I would say no. Like, I don’t want that ticket. I want the introvert ticket. You know, do I wish I knew back then what I know now? Like, what a superpower it is and how amazing it is and and how many amazing skills it’s given me. Yeah. But little steps, baby steps challenging yourself to maybe do that one little thing that makes you uncomfortable and then noticing the pause of, you know, observing the evidence that it worked for you and and just getting a little uncomfortable, you know, occasionally. And then the uncomfortable becomes comfortable. And then you’re ready to to stretch again.

David Hall [00:40:55]:

Yeah. I like that. It’s it’s you’re stretching because you’re you know, sometimes people say get out of your comfort zone, but I’m like, oh, really? It’s stretching because if you’re you’re changing your thoughts. You’re saying, you know what? I can do this kind of thing, and you’re just you’re expanding

Monica Parkin [00:41:09]:

and and making things easier. And so you’re The next time it’s not a difficult thing. Yeah. And not so far to your comfort zone that you have a total meltdown. Right? Like, if I had a fear of spiders, I went through myself in a pit full spiders and go get over it, Monica. Right? Like, I would start by maybe watching a documentary about spiders and getting used to seeing them on TV. And then maybe I’d get close to 1. Like, I wouldn’t just throw myself into the most terrifying situation I could imagine. I would I would baby step it a little bit at a time, and and I think that’s what we need to do with our with our shares in our own personal lives as well. Yeah. And I also like that you said, you gotta give yourself some grace because No matter how far you come, you’re gonna have some awkward moments. Totally. Yeah. Yeah. And I still do, and that’s cool. Like and that’s part of me too. And now I can joke about it and go, oh, I’ll just be an awkward. Like, I wrote the book about it, so I’m allowed.

David Hall [00:42:00]:

Yeah. Like, sometimes I do get lost in my thoughts, and someone might I might pass by someone and not notice them. And, you know, they they say, hey. What’s up? And I just took knowledge. You know how I was just lost in my thoughts. Or, like, when we were starting this conversation, I was on mute, and I know everybody’s had that experience for the last couple years of You know, you may say something really important and nobody heard. And, I mean, it happens to all of us. So, you know, it can be awkward, but just just let it roll off. You know? And I think that’s a big piece to all this too is understanding who you are, loving yourself, and giving yourself some grace. So I think that’s amazing. Monica, this has been a wonderful conversation. I’ve I’ve learned a lot today. Where can people find out more about your book and the work that you’re doing along those lines?

Monica Parkin [00:42:46]:

Yeah. Absolutely. Thanks for having me on. It’s actually becoming one of my favorite podcasts pretty quick, but you can find me at in Canadian, so it’s dot CA. You can also find me on on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, anywhere. But will give you a a link to the book. Also have a podcast. It’s actually just for women who I’d invite you on, but it’s culture. And without balls, it’s for women that juggle a lot of responsibilities. nothing to do with business. It’s just a fun podcast to talk about some of the challenges of of living a busy life But, yeah, it’s Monica Park Condella, and it’s on Audible as well. Very nice. Oh, it has been a pleasure talking with you today, Monica. Yeah. Thanks, David.

David Hall [00:43:30]:

Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at david at or check out the website, which includes blog posts and links to social media channels. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type-finder personality assessment on the quiet and strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report including the 4 letter Myers Briggs code, and you can also have the option of purchasing the full report if you’d like to learn more. I’ll add a link to the show notes. So many great things about being an introvert, and we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths, and needs and be strong.

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