You may think I’m an extrovert, but I’m not. I’m an introverted extrovert.
We like to think things are black and white, you’re extrovert or introvert, but you can be both. You can be an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert. How introverted or extroverted you are depends on the situation. Understanding this has helped me to understand myself.
I can’t speak for all introverted extroverts. So here are 10 things I’d like you to know about being me, an introverted extrovert:
1. I’m different around different people.
Some of you know me as an extrovert.
Some of you know me as an introvert.
I am both.
I am extrovert around introverts and I am introvert around extroverts.
Both are the real me.
2. I can sometimes seem anti-social.
I’m not, I am selectively social.
I need the company of people but I also need to be alone.
I’m not rejecting you when I need to be alone, I just don’t have the energy to be around anyone.
3. I can seem calm but there’s lots going on underneath.
I’m like a duck on a pond, calm on the surface but legs paddling underneath.
I have a cool exterior but I am highly self-reflective and contemplative.
I can be very quiet when I am nervous.
I can be very quiet when I’m confident.
I’m outgoing but live in my head a lot of the time.
4. My energy level varies depending on my environment.
Loud music and bright lights can completely overwhelm me.
But in the right company, at the right time, this can revive me.
I like background noise but too much noise makes me feel exhausted.
I need excitement but only when I choose.
5. I am cautiously trusting of everyone.
I like to trust people but I can be wary.
I’m not being rude.
I just won’t be the life and soul of the party until I’m comfortable with you.
This won’t necessarily take long.
Trust is important to me.
6. I am more comfortable with individuals than groups.
I am so much more myself in a one-to-one situation than in a group.
So, I have never had a particular social circle.
I am a social butterfly.
But my friends mean everything to me.
7. I want acknowledgement without attention.
I hate being center of attention.
But I want to be acknowledged.
I swing constantly between these.
8. I find small talk painful.
I hate chit chat.
I love meaningful conversation.
When I meet someone who I genuinely click with it is rare and incredibly satisfying.
9. I love to be alone in crowded places.
I love coffee shops, airports, libraries.
Places I can be alone but surrounded by people.
I need human contact but I can feel overwhelmed by too much interaction.
10. I formulate thoughts both aloud and in my head.
Extroverts typically think aloud.
Introverts typical thinking carefully before they speak.
I often think aloud, carefully.
My thoughts and opinions are very personal and I’ll often think aloud but having already put in a lot of thought.
Please don’t be dismissive if I seem like I’m overthinking.