Being an introvert in a place like Lagos has got to be challenging. Lagos is this chaotic city where everyday driving requires that you yell or honk like it’s going out of style and to be in constant contact with people. I always considered myself to be an introvert until I realised that Nigeria required that I constantly had to get out of my comfort zone, so now I am an Extroverted Introvert (if that even makes sense)
In Nigeria, you are often told that in order to meet the ‘right’ people, you have to ‘go out’ often, go for parties or maybe crash weddings; which is okay if you are about that life but if you are not, you want to make sure that stepping out of your home is worth your time and can guarantee you meeting the ‘right people’.
Pretending to be extrovert never helps because people will be able to see through the facade and in a place like Lagos, you’d definitely end up with some drama while at it.
So how exactly do you survive as an introvert in Lagos?
- Be ready to step out ‘wisely’ – I know it’s not something you would like to do but the key to going out in Lagos is by being specific as to where you would like to be found. Luckily, you can find anything so instead of going for the noisy events or carnival weddings, look out for intimate events like open mics, art expos (if you are into that kind of stuff) or networking events.
- Ask questions – One of the ways I’ve been able to survive Lagos is by being the one to ask questions and not the one answering them. This way you don’t have to do most of the talking. Avoid being an interrogator though because no one really wants to feel like they are being questioned.
- Go out with a friend – Unlike popular Lagos belief that you need to be on your own to be noticed, going out with a friend helps. So if all else fails, there is someone to talk to and keep you company. At the same time, avoid being too clingy and be open to having a conversation with others, your friend is simply a fall back option.
- Use your circle – Just because you are an introvert does not mean you don’t have friends; you just tend to prefer to interact with them one-on-one or in small groups. Your friends can be one of your most valuable connection when it comes to meeting new people in a comfortable environment without the pressure of having to go out and approach strangers. Rather than asking to be hooked up or trying to force yourself to be more outgoing at a party, try letting your friends know you’re interested in meeting some new people… so maybe they could bring another person or two they think you might get along with.
- Feel free to recharge – Regardless of whether you consider yourself an introvert or not, everyone has at least some part of them that cherishes their alone time especially after a crazy day in Lagos (which is almost everyday). If you find yourself craving some down time away from all the madness, then by all means do that, this way you won’t be cranky when you have to step out with a few friends.
On that note, I think I’m done for the night, time to go read a book or catch up on my nollywood flicks.