Any quiz I take the results have attributes that describe an extrovert.

It’s no secret - I love a crowd and I love being around people most of the time. When given the choice to be around friends or family or to be alone, I choose to surround myself with others 8 times out of 10. Don't get me wrong, I love my alone time to eat Skyline and watch Netflix and I have even turned down an invite for a night on the town a time or two! But being an extrovert, and more so being a known extrovert is not always easy.

From a young age, and I mean a really young age, I knew how to work with a crowd. My mom would tell me stories about how on the first day of pre-K I knew everybody’s names before my teacher did. I would call everyone by name and make sure everyone was included in activities or play time.

I have always had a gift for figuring out what I have in common with someone, and relating to them to make conversation. My big personality grew as I did.I always was able to communicate to all ages and I liked being able to talk to anyone and everyone. I loved making friends and being around people. But as I started to get older, I realized that being a bubbly extrovert was not all fun and games.

In sixth grade, I remember getting into an argument with my friends because one weekend I neglected to make plans. I was the planner of the friend group by nature. I usually spend Monday-Thursday thinking about what my friends and I were going to do Friday-Sunday.

I had the ideas and I communicated the best, so making plans often fell on me. Most of the time it was no problem but even at age 12, I remember the toll it sometimes took. It’s not easy to make sure everyone is aware of what is going on, and on top of being an extrovert, I also am a people pleaser. I strived to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves. One weekend I took a break and expected my friends to reach out and make the plans but it didn’t happen. Come Monday morning my friends were mad at me! I was so confused - why was it always my job to make things happen?

Aside from middle school, I have had experiences throughout my life of being misunderstood thanks to my personality. Whether it be something I say that was misinterpreted or I was just being myself and I upset someone, I have learned over the years the hard way: not everyone is going to like you. Sometimes when people dislike me, it’s literally just because my voice is louder than some.

Sometimes people think I'm fake or "too energetic." I've even had someone warn their friend that they “weren’t going to like me because I'm hard to understand.” Every time I hear one of those comments, it does sting at first to hear, but it honestly isn’t a shock. Maybe being a loud and big personality is hard to understand, but is that such a bad thing?

I'm twenty-two years old, and I guess I expected that eventually having my personality misunderstood would die down. But then I realized something.

Sure, I could dwell on being misunderstood all day long to the point of crying. As an extrovert and a people-person, I want everyone to get along so it hurts when someone doesn't like me. But I have come to the exception that I am not going to be everyone's cup of tea and that's OK.

I love being an extrovert and consider it a gift. Being able to make friends in just about any situation makes me extremely thankful. I shrug off the people who don't care for me and know I am confident in who I am as a person. I think back to those days of pre-k and attempt to still draw others in any situation. No matter what type of personality you have, be proud of who you are and don't listen to what people say about your personality to bring you down.

I am an extrovert and I am proud of it!