For extroverted introverts, there’s a fine line between wanting social contact, and needing to be alone.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with other people in general? You might be an extroverted introvert.
Online quizzes and HR personality indicators like to put us into clear, easy-to-read boxes.
People think you must be either an “extrovert”; i.e. somebody that thrives being around others, or an “introvert”, somebody who is best left alone. But not both.
Extroverted introverts know that the way you prefer to interact with the world isn’t fixed. It’s a sliding scale, which you’ll understand if the following 12 things resonate with you.
1. YOU’RE GREAT WITH PEOPLE
- As an extroverted introvert, you know how to work a party.
- You can be charming and funny, and most people around you think you’re a genuine extrovert; one who simply gets along with everybody.
2. UNTIL YOU’RE NOT
- Extroverted introverts reach a point in any social situation where they’ve had enough.
- While they may have been initially energised by the buzz of human interaction, a couple of hours of it and they’re completely drained.
- They want only to be alone, not talking, so they can recharge.
3. YOU PREFER ONE-ON-ONE
- Communication with another person one-on-one is usually the favourite type of interaction for an extroverted introvert.
- While they are great with people, they don’t really like small talk – something they find too prominent in group situations.
- Extroverted introverts prefer to spend time with people they are really interested in and can have meaningful conversations with.
4. YOU HAVE SOCIAL ANXIETY
- No matter how many times an extroverted introvert makes a great impression in a social situation, social anxiety always rears its head in the hours (or days) before the next time you’re required to be “on” for a crowd.
- They know they’ll enjoy it once they get there, but think about cancelling many times before they leave the house.
- Sometimes they even go out with friends not because they want to, but because they don’t want to disappoint them.
5. YOU LOVE BEING ALONE
- Extroverted introverts don’t understand anyone who is uncomfortable being alone.
- Sometimes an extroverted introvert will go an entire day without speaking to another human being and not think twice about it.
- They love being by themselves, and find being alone reading a book, watching a movie, or partaking in any other solitary pastime, extremely invigorating.
6. BUT STILL GET LONELY
- Just because you’re good on your own, doesn’t mean it’s always good for you.
- Extroverted introverts still get lonely when they cross the fine line between loving their alone time, and needing social interaction.
- It’s often hard to know that you’re lonely because you’re so comfortable in your own space that you don’t want to leave it.
7. YOU CAN MEET ANYBODY
- Extroverted introverts are good at meeting others’ parents, partners, girlfriends and boyfriends, bosses, you name it. They could even meet the Duchess of Cambridge and probably make her laugh.
- They’re good at asking questions because they don’t really like talking about themselves, but still manage to walk away knowing the person they were talking to thought they were the interesting one.
8. YOU FIND FRIENDSHIPS THAT NEED MAINTENANCE EXHAUSTING
- The ideal friend for an extroverted introvert is one that isn’t demanding.
- Friendships that require work, like the kind that need constant attention and communication otherwise that friend gets needy, don’t usually last long.
- Extroverted introverts are happier seeing each of their friends sporadically, and if months (or even years) go by between hang-outs, it’s no big deal… you’ll have more to catch up on anyway.
9. SOMETIMES YOU’RE BAD AT MESSAGING
- On any given day, an extroverted introvert might feel like complete solitude. That means no replying to messages and texts, and they’ll only pick up the phone if they think it’s important.
- Extroverted introverts can be bad at messaging, not because they don’t want to talk to you, but because they don’t want to talk to anyone.
10. YOU DON’T LIKE COMPLIMENTS
- Sure, extroverted introverts like making a good impression and want to be noticed.
- But when somebody actually gives them a compliment to affirm them, they get completely bashful and feel very uncomfortable.
- It’s a strange oxymoron: like you want people both to look at you, and not look at you, at the same time.
11. YOU’RE HAPPIEST IN CAFES
- An extroverted introvert loves being around people, but not necessarily engaging with them.
- Cafes are the prime spot for this: you can look around and see the hustle and bustle of life, and at the same time be removed from it.
- The result is one of those great situations whereby they feel like they’re part of something, but there’s no pressure.
12. YOU LIKE GOING OUT, BUT THEN YOU WANT TO GHOST
- Extroverted introverts do enjoy going out with friends and being social.
- Take them out drinking and dancing and they’ll thrive on it, but there will come a point – and it’ll happen like the switch of a light – where they’ll just want to go home.
- Not because they’re not having fun anymore, simply because they feel it’s time to be silent.
- Naturally, their inclination is to ghost from these situations, because goodbyes leave them riddled with guilt.
My personal contemplation:
- I can be charming and funny, and get along with most anybody, but I do not know how to, or want to, work a party.
- I can be shut down emotionally for a couple days after an event of socializing on a larger scale. Then, I get out of the funk, and am ready for another round.
- YES. Give me a one-on-one conversation with real, meaningful, authentic discussion and interaction.
- Oh the drama leading up to an event. The mental gymnastics. The fretting. But, I attend, and have a really great time, and then, I need to recharge.
- I truly can go a whole weekend without any human interaction back and forth, and not even notice.
- I want to be alone, but I don’t want to be alone. I am that porcupine. Do porcupines feel lonely? They want to be close, but know that they should not get close.
- Oh. My. Goodness. I so enjoy meeting new people. I want to find out everything about them. Hopefully they will like me.
- Friendships, relationships, lovers. All. I don’t have time or energy or stamina to be the one who is always striving to maintain the connection. If there is no two-way, and I am doing all the initiating, I am done. I do not mind silence in a conversation. Sitting in presence with another is wonderful.
- ESPECIALLY if your number is not in my phone and I do not recognize it. Besides, that is the bliss of text messaging — it is not necessary for an immediate response, like as with face-to-face vocal conversations.
- Do not expect me to shower you with gratitude for you complimenting me. I will accept, uncomfortably, with a bashful, quiet “thank you”.
- People watching — so exciting! I can create storylines without having to interact.
- Yes, please do allow me to slip away into the darkness without any grand fanfare of a departure. And please, please, do not text me the next day with something along the guilt lines of, “What, didn’t you enjoy yourself? Why’d you leave without saying goodbye?” A quick, and quiet thank you the host, and I am gone.
Do you find yourself somewhere in-between as well?