Election season is upon us, and many of us are rolling up our sleeves to help elect pro-education candidates. For many, knocking on doors and making phone calls come natural. For many others, it can be incredibly daunting. It’s difficult campaigning and being an introvert.
I truly believe, that the internet, was invented so I wouldn’t have to order pizza by phone ever again. I probably know more dog’s names on my street than I do neighbor’s names. I need alone time to function. I’m an introvert.
So, how does an introvert contribute to such a crucial election? We need every voice involved in this campaign to elect pro-education policies and candidates. Below is simply my experiences as an introvert on the campaign trail.
One thing that helps me is that I believe passionately in what I’m doing. Without my deep belief in the power of public education, I couldn’t do any of this. I volunteered to speak at my first rally, because I felt so strongly about the issue. Although, it gets better with practice, my legs still shake a bit when I’m speaking. NC Public Education is worth a little leg shaking.
Another thing that helps, is I know my limits. I’m not going to sign up for a phone bank. You honestly don’t want me in a phone bank. I get nervous, I talk too fast, and then mess up the script. I once left a message on a Senator’s voicemail that basically gave my name, my number, and begged not to be called back.
Door knocking can also be scary. The first time I went door knocking, it was with a friend. I never said a word. It’s something that took practice. I now sometimes prefer to go solo. I like going at my own pace. I also generally shorten the script. Although I take breaks between houses, I am a very quick canvasser. After a morning of door knocking and talking to strangers, I’m done. I need quiet afterwards. Which as a mother makes it all the more difficult. Still with a little help from my family, I can canvass.
There are lots of jobs on campaigns that are perfect for introverts. There are opportunities to put up signs or drop flyers. Canvassers can use drivers especially in rural or large areas where houses are more spread out. Letters and postcards need to be written.
The problem is so much of working on the election involves getting out the word to the public. In the end, you might at some point be asked to go beyond your comfort zone. You don’t need to jump in the deep end. Try one thing new. You might find it isn’t so bad. You might find you hate it and never do it again, but that’s OK. I actually set up a reward system. If I have to call people I don’t know for a candidate, I get to eat Bojangles for dinner. It might sound silly, but it works for me.
The truth is elections take work. Just getting people to vote takes work. Think how much time, money, and effort is needed just to get people to the polls. So many campaigns and issues need our help. Now isn’t the time to sit on the sidelines. So whether introvert or extrovert, we’re all in this together.