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5 New Year's Resolutions for Lawyer Introverts

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By Mark Wilson, Esq. on December 31, 2014 5:45 AM

Being a lawyer really isn't a job for an introvert, but we find our niches. We don't like getting up and talking in front of an audience, but we like writing in quiet cubby-holes, doing our jobs without anyone around.

Yeah, that's not going to cut it for long. Lawyers are stereotypically loud, and brash, and they like to talk (except maybe most of them are introverts?). One of these days, you're going to need to hang out with (gasp) other people. Just like Dr. Leo Marvin counseled (before he went crazy), it's baby steps. So here are some New Year's resolutions for the lawyer introverts out there:

1. I Will Go to Office Parties.

Get to know your work colleagues. They could become your colleagues at other firms, and potentially, your boss. You also never know when a business opportunity can come through a co-worker who needs to associate outside counsel and will remember you.

2. I Will Network With Other Lawyers.

Outside of the people in your office, you should also get to know the lawyers in your community for all the same reasons -- networking opportunities and so on, plus business ones. It's a common misconception that introverts don't like people; they just don't like hanging out with people all the time. Think of networking with strangers as a chance to go outside your comfort zone and practice skills you'll need for the rest of your life.

3. I Will Go Out With My Extroverted Friends.

Lifehack.org suggests that, if you have trouble going out and talking to new people, bring some extroverted friends along. They love talking, and they'll love hauling you into situations that you would never get into yourself, like talking to strangers at a bar.

4. I Will Talk to Strangers.

Yup, that's what it's all about. Whether you're in line at the coffee shop or in a taxi, make small talk with someone you don't know. You can even treat yourself to a reward if you do it. The more you interact with people in a normal and low-stress environment, the easier and more natural it will become.

5. I Will Join a Group or Team.

What better way to get used to talking to others than by hanging out with strangers who don't know each other? Groups like the ones found on Meetup.com are great for meeting people with similar interests in your area, like pub trivia or a book club. Everyone else is in your shoes: They don't know anyone, either. You'll quickly learn that humans aren't so scary, after all.

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