This is for you, Introverted-Extrovert!

This is for you, Introverted-Extrovert!

Saying no to people may be hard, but sometimes oh-so-necessary!
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I'm an extrovert.

I really need time to be around people, I enjoy meeting new faces, hearing life stories, and dancing the night away bustin out crazy moves. (I'm no gifted dancer, so don't make any assumptions that those moves are actually worth anything good.)

But...

I have an introverted side to Hannah that needs love and attention as well. That particular care comes in the form of utilizing healthy alone time. If I don't carve out time to decompress and recharge, I'm a mess. I run away from large groups because of stress, I can't function around others, I slowly deteriorate, and that legendary smile droops until it fades completely. It's truly a disaster.

So...

I'm learning that it's perfectly okay to be somewhat of an introverted-extrovert. It's okay to be slightly overwhelmed in large groups of people; unsure of who to connect with because so many people catch my attention, and I want to invest and go deep and hear about people's lives. I just don't know where to start. So, in a room of new faces, I can actually tend to shy away if there's more than about three or four, and lack initiative and motivation to engage in conversation. Which isn't "unlike" me, it's just a different side of me that comes out less often than the bubbly one. Nonetheless, it exists!

I'm learning that spending three hours by myself in a coffee shop, doing what I love (reading and learning and growing in my faith!) is wonderfully refreshing. My smile creeps back around the corners of my mouth, and I can't help but beam with joy with a cup of (weak) warm, black coffee in hand and journal close by.

I'm learning that doing laundry and chugging vanilla cream soda and stuffing my food hole with cheese puffs while writing an article in my basement until 3am is actually a great way to disconnect from my extroverted self and enjoy some alone time.

I'm learning that watching a movie on a lonely Friday afternoon is not weird, but instead, it may be just what I need to feel satisfied and to do something with me, myself and I.

I'm learning that sitting outside with my gorgeous, small-framed Martin guitar, and learning a new chord progression that compliments my voice is deeply thrilling on so many levels.

I'm learning that taking my Mexican blanket out on my backyard lawn and gawking up at a miraculously immaculate starlit velvety sky is heart-warming and makes me feel small in an amazing way.

I'm learning that I don't have to be everything for everyone and instantly available to give advice or listen, and that saying "no" to people and crafting out space for me in my day isn't self-ish, but self-care. I can't be there for others if I'm too drained to function as Hannah. I'm no hero.

It's okay to be alone, fellow extrovert. It's okay to be exhausted from others and "not-people" for a while. Heck, it's even healthy for you! A lot healthier and more fruitful than squeezing out every last drop of smile and speech and selflessness. That will go quick, and then you're just left empty and feeling helpless.

Take a moment, an hour, an entire day! Decompress, rest, enjoy time being alone and simply recharge. People will more appreciate a rejuvenated version of you - I promise. And, guess what? You will as well!

Cover Image Credit: Meredith Coleman

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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I Don't Have To Wear Makeup To Be Beautiful

You don't have to, either.

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For about as long as modern makeup/cosmetics/skincare brands have been around, the notion that women have to use any of these cosmetic products to be considered "beautiful" has also been around.

(If you've read my earlier article about red lipstick giving me my confidence back, you would know that I absolutely adore certain skincare/makeup products.)

However, I personally don't believe that I need to wear any kind of makeup to be considered "beautiful." And you don't, either.

I think that we, as a society, have seriously overvalued aesthetic beauty and undervalued the beauty that comes from being a decent, honest, genuine, and kind person. I believe that while makeup has an incredible and transformation-giving effect on women, (and men too, just for the record), that none of us honestly should depend on x, y, and z products to make us feel that we are beautiful, or that our self worth and sense of self should be tied up in how many likes a selfie of us in a full face of makeup get.

And quite frankly, there is so much to love about our makeup free, naturally glowing skin that so many of us hide, simply because society would love to tell us that we're not beautiful, or pretty, or worth very much at all if we don't use [insert new trendy skincare product here].

Well, excuse my French, but I'm calling bull.

It's not okay for any of us to think of ourselves as less than, simply because we're not following those crazy and crappy societal trends. In a culture where "Instagram perfect" pictures are the ideal that every woman, or man, is expected to look up to, I'd say it's pretty revolutionary to dare to bare a fresh-faced look.

No one has to ever feel the need to compulsively put on makeup to be considered "beautiful."

Because, in all reality, makeup can't measure the kind of person you are.

Makeup/skincare products can't measure your kindness, your generosity, your bravery in the face of adversity, or any other kickass quality that you might have. Makeup can't do that; only what's inside of you, if brought out for the world to see, can do that. And yes, I'm well aware of how cliché and "junior high preachy" that sounds.

So, I hope this article will possibly spark some introspective thoughts on what beauty means to you. I hope you start to think about the fact that who you are as a person is not defined by how "attractive" or "beautiful" someone else might tell you you are.

You define who you are as a person, nobody else has that power.

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