Seeing that there hasn’t been any follow-up answers, I have a few to add. Just because one is an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean that one is shy. There are many outgoing introverts. Introversion merely means where you get your energy from. There also shy extroverts.
It can also be argued that one is born as either an introvert or an extravert. You are not likely to change that through your life. We are not born shy, nor are we born self-confident. Depending on your life experiences you can become more self-confident and socially outgoing. Given unfavourable circumstances, one who has been self-confident can lose their self-confidence and become socially insecure i.e. shy.
The additional comment removes the introversion factor out of the way and cuts to the chase, so to speak. Shyness!
I have faced a similar situation over the years. I am confident in 1 to 1 situations (I work as a mental health therapist). I was terrified of public speaking and over 20 years or so have become proficient at it. I regularly speak in public, offering seminars, chairing meetings, delivering speeches & presentations.
Being entrepreneurial in spirit I have tried several business ventures that have required me to get out in the public and network. I was very uncomfortable doing so. I am sure I could easily come up with a dozen or so excuses to get out of a large-sized networking group or the typical meet & greet type of event.
I decided to do something about it so I researched and wrote a book entitled: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly! In it I outlined a system that I created to level the networking playing field for shy people. Even those that wouldn’t call themselves shy can benefit from the strategies.
One of the reasons that we are shy is that we don’t have specific skills to use in social interactions, that others seem to have. They weren’t born with them, they developed them. My book outlines techniques to reduce the uncertainties that we experience when we network.
Break your networking down into smaller chunks. When attending a large networking event, think quality over quantity. Plan on meeting 4 or 5 people, rather than scores of them and spend your time productively with each of these ones you meet. That doesn’t mean monopolizing their time. See if you can make arrangements with them to set up a time for a coffee chat.
Research these individuals on-line before you meet them. This will give you an idea of their backgrounds and help you see if you have areas of common interest.
One area that we shy people have in common is that we often don’t know what to say when we are in social situations. Yet the irony is that many of us enjoy speaking one to one. It is a matter of taking the skills that you have in one area and applying them to another.
The original question/comments states “I hate networking with a passion.” Passion is good, however it isn’t helping you in this situation. If you want to share your business face-to-face, then there likely isn’t any other way to do so. I would be interested in exploring the reason behind your passion. Is it fear? Is it disdain over the way networking events are run? Do you find networking events to be boring, scary or perhaps purposeless?
Somehow, to move forward you will need to overcome your passion against networking and reverse it so that you learn to relish and enjoy them. Good luck with that. I continue to challenge myself with the same thing.
Thanks for your question!
Question originally answered on Quora.com