I keep coming back to networking - not just its importance, but also its influence on you, your connections and potential connections. Nothing feels as bad as someone coming to you only because they want your contacts, particularly if you are well connected. There is nothing wrong with asking for an introduction and most are happy to assist, but we all can sense when we are simply being used. I must add, the small talk made to get to "the ask" and the fact that the whole production seems rehearsed can be a bit grating to more sensitive types.
Bottom line, networking is best done when we approach it from from the angle of what we can do for the other - paying it forward. That builds the sturdiest and most long-lasting bridges. It is genuine because it requires us to know and give from our position of strength. But, networking is not something that introverts tend to get jazzed about. So, aside from knowing oneself and listening for opportunities to offer one's assistance to others, what else can introverts do to help them embrace networking?
Lisa Evans writes for Content Loop:
...community groups offer...a chance to be with other people and a chance to learn new things and have fun in ways that aren't socially demanding.
So, that may be the answer for introverts. You don't necessarily have to connect with others at meetings meant for networking. Perhaps you can find opportunities to build genuine bridges doing what you love.
Read the article, How Introverts Can Network Without Changing Their Personalities.