Confessions of an Introverted Extrovert

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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5 thoughts on “Confessions of an Introverted Extrovert

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  1. This is such an insightful post! I love reading about people exploring their introversion/extroversion. And I do think most people are somewhat of a mix. I also find small talk painful but love meaningful conversations. My energy level also varies a lot depending on the environment. And it’s funny you mention the duck in the pond, I was just talking to another blogger about that. For those of us with an introverted preference, there is often a feeling of paddling about madly to stay calm on the surface. Though I suppose extroverts could feel that way too.

    1. Thanks, it’s such an interesting topic isn’t it? I found it so helpful to place myself on both ends if the spectrum somewhat. Sounds like you’re an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert too! It’s a good club to be in… I think!

      1. I find it SO interesting! You might be more extroverted than I am? I’m like 75% introverted and 25% extroverted. That’s just a rough estimation. Do you have an estimation of what percentage you might be? Haha. But I definitely need some people time too. I do think it’s a good club to be in. Best of both worlds! 🙂

      2. I am definitely on the extroverted side of the spectrum but only just. Maybe 60% extrovert and 40% introvert. I love things like surfing- an extreme sport with a sense of mindfulness and introspection- it suits my extroverted-introverted self perfectly! Best of both world indeed! A great question on the Myers-Briggs personality test that got me thinking was if you’re at a party in a crowded room do you stand in the middle of the room mingling or with your back to the wall?…. Always with my back to the wall but I’ll be at the party like an introvert in an extroverts domain!

      3. The example of surfing makes a lot of sense for your balance of extroversion and introversion! It provides that thrill but also allows you to reflect. I really love to hike, and I’ve enjoyed rock climbing a couple of times. Hiking and rock climbing are a little less of an adrenaline rush (I don’t do the crazy rock climbing that some people do haha) and have plenty of introspection time. That’s an interesting question from the Myers-Briggs! I would definitely be with my back to the wall…and shortly thereafter would probably invite someone to go get some fresh air outside. Haha. Interesting thoughts!!

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