If you’re like me, you’re an extroverted introvert. You can be outgoing, yet you desperately need your alone time.
You can’t do that. You’re one or the other.
No, this is how I am. And that’s how many other people are. But we’re often misunderstood.
Take for instance, people often see me as completely, inarguably, extroverted because that’s the personality that gets the most attention. The other side of me, the side that stays home and reads all day, doesn’t get any attention (but I love doing that, take a look at my reading list if you don’t believe me).
Let me tell you what happened a few weekends ago.
I spent Saturday alone, reading, writing, getting errands done. At 8:54 pm, I got a text from a friend, asking what I was up to. He was making plans to go out. I responded, “Nothing. What’s up?”
Fifteen minutes passed and he didn’t respond. I wanted to go out and considered calling him to see what was happening, but also wanted to sit in bed and read a book before going to bed at 10 pm. So I didn’t call.
Another fifteen minutes passed and I finally made the call. It took half an hour and a significant amount of energy for me to put down my book, pick up my phone, and call him to figure out the plan for that night.
So instead of staying in and reading myself to sleep, I left my apartment at 9:30 pm to go out for drinks.
And you know what I did? I danced. And I was obnoxious. And I had tons of fun.
But the next day? I sat at a coffee shop and read a book. I did some grocery shopping, cooked, and ate alone while watching Netflix. I spoke to almost no one. I only texted my friend who I went out with the night before to see how he was doing. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. And I loved it.
So yes I’m outgoing. But not all the time.
The fact is, extroversion and introversion isn’t an either/or type of thing. It’s a spectrum and you can lie anywhere along that spectrum.
For us, we happen to be very close to the middle and even flip-flop between the two.
I know, it’s confusing.
Some of us learned to become more extroverted because we realize that the basis of human nature is grounded in interacting with each other – it’s kind of unavoidable.
To relieve you of some confusion, here are a few things we’d like you to know about extroverted introverts.
1. We’re often quiet, but it doesn’t mean we don’t want to talk.
We most likely have plenty of thoughts we want to talk about, but think that they won’t interest you. We’d rather listen to you talk because we want to learn about you and we know you’d enjoy talking.
2. And just because we like being around people doesn’t mean we want to talk.
Talking requires a lot of effort. For us, being around people is often enough to make us happy. I know, it’s a little confusing.
3. We like hanging out one on one better than groups. We’ll listen to you forever.
One on one hangouts are more intimate and we like that. It means we get a chance to actually get to know you and have a thorough conversation about what we really care about instead of making small talk that an entire group can contribute to.
4. We suck at responding to texts because sometimes we don’t want to talk – to anyone.
It’s not that we hate people or that we’re annoyed. Sometimes we’ve just been around people so much that we’re exhausted from talking and texting and Skyping and we just don’t want to talk. We’re totally open to hanging out in person, just don’t expect us to talk too much when we’re in one of these moods.