Does that sound like an oxymoron? Outgoing Introvert. Not only do they exist, but you might be one yourself. Here’s how I made a pretty mind blowing revelation that has changed how I see myself and how I define my happiness.
A few weeks ago a stumbled across this article: 18 Struggles of Having an Outgoing Personality But Actually Being Shy and Introverted. Bullet after bullet described my life to a T. Never before had I seen it written out like that… but let me step back and explain:
My whole life I’ve assumed I was a strange contradiction. I never thought of myself as “shy” because I like to talk. I don’t really get stage fright, I like expressing myself and I was always the first person to raise their hand in class (picture Hermione Granger-esque) so I always assumed that meant I must be an extrovert. However I’m easily overwhelmed in large groups. College orientation was my idea of an anxiety attack.
So after reading the article, and subsequently this article 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert it makes so much sense! I’ve been told I’m an “old soul” many times before (and I happen to agree). I’ve never been able to keep up with wild parties and huge crowds. I’m much more content spending time with close friends over coffee. (or alone in a craft store)
Finally I understand why I hate talking on the phone, even to my closest friends and family, why I’m often paralyzed when I have to small talk or “network” or why huge ragers never did anything for me. It’s so obvious to me now, but for so long I thought I there was something wrong with me because being around too many people for long periods of time drained my energy. And I always thought I was weird because I enjoy spending time alone.
This isn’t to say I don’t like being around people, but wandering the streets of New York City with a coffee in my hand observing, the world around me from the outside is both delightfully peaceful and restorative.
But I’ve got to say this was the one bullet I related to most “You ebb and flow between wanting to be noticed for your hard work, reveling in the attention and achievement you receive, to sinking and panicking over the thought of somebody else paying more than 30 seconds of attention to you.” I try so hard to be appreciated but if I get the attention it’s borderline painful hearing praise. Weird.
Anyway this post was a bit self indulgent but I just couldn’t believe someone had been able to put into words what I hadn’t been able to figure out my entire life – and really
I’m curious to hear what you think:
What are you:
Introvert? Extrovert? Both? Neither?