If you're anything like me, this question comes up at least twice a day. You're an extroverted introvert, and though you love having time yourself, you also get FOMO every once in a while. People often see me as an extrovert for the way I care for others and share my feelings. I love getting to know other people from different backgrounds and hearing about their stories. On the other hand, staying inside all day and catching up on my favorite Netflix shows is never a bad idea.
The reality of being an extroverted introvert comes with many questions. Are you outgoing? Are you shy? What would you like to do? The truth of the matter is, extroversion and introversion aren't an either/or type of quality. It's a spectrum delving into the psyche of and individual to indicate his or her innate style of responding to the world.
It's a confusing concept, I know. Some of us tend to prefer action or response from more internal pursuits whereas others feel energized interacting with a group of people and the environment around them. To relieve you of confusion, here are 10 facts you should know about extroverted introverts.
1. We aren't shy. We just have a lot of thoughts in our heads.
Surrounded by a lot of people in a large conversation, we are often thought of as shy for not speaking up. This is not true as though we often times have a lot to say but think we won't interest you. We like listening to other people speak to listen and hear about other's opinions to develop our own stance on the conversation.
2. We don't have a "real" friend group.
Given the chance to go out and meet new people, we love to build relationships with others. With our introverted side, however, it can be hard to fit in with a large group when we like to pick and choose a few individuals to come close to. The chosen ones become our best friends and we'd do anything for them no matter the circumstance.
3. Though we need alone time, we all have FOMO.
When you're an extroverted introvert, you'll always have hurt feelings. It's hard for us to balance alone time and social life when we are caught up in the moment trying to decipher what will benefit us most for the future. Should I study for this test to make a good grade or go out with friends and have a great time? Often we'll want to go out so that we won't feel alone, but we also like to put priorities in order.
4. It's hard to get us out of the house, but when we do, we are a different animal.
All throughout high school, I was known as the smart, shy girl who never did anything wrong. Thinking about all the fun times I missed out on with friends to be by myself, I knew I wanted to make a change in college. Upon graduation, I made a commitment to do what makes me happy. Sometimes it takes some persuasion to get me to go out with strangers, but I've learned to let go and be a part of the present moment. If we live in fear, we never get to experience life.
5. We live in our heads.
Even when we are outgoing, our brain is constantly pressing down the pedal driving in a million directions. Our thoughts consume our mind analyzing the situation causing us to daydream or lose track of the conversation.
6. Coffee shops are our happy place.
What better place to be surrounded by people and still have your own little space than at a coffee house? It's a perfect compromise of being around strangers and not having to talk to them. Oh, and there's caffeine.
7. We struggle controlling our introverted side.
As an extroverted introvert, I can say that I often get frustrated at myself for not participating in certain discussions or group projects because I'm too scared to say what I think. When I start to realize that I'm withdrawing from a situation to focus on my own thoughts, I often feel introspective and upset.
8. We like getting to know you one-on-one.
Though it's fun going out to large parties and interacting with lots of people, one on one dates are more intimate. I like getting to know others one one one for the opportunity to share personal experiences and have a thorough conversation.
9. We're often called the leaders but don't expect praise.
People often seem to think that we are born leaders of a group to interact with others and reel in discussion when the topic gets off task. We can stand up and talk in front of crowds when we want to. We can make fast decisions and produce results. Other times we have self-doubt that we aren't good enough to lead. We don't expect praise for what we do right but like to feel accepted with room for improvement.
10. If we like you, we really like you.
Spending time with other people has always been important in my life. I cherish the relationships I have with family and friends who have made me the person I am today. Sometimes it's a struggle to find people who will truly listen and understand what you're going through, but the ones who stay are worth having company.