The Challenges of Being an Extroverted Introvert

The Challenges of Being an Extroverted Introvert

I’ve touched on the notion of having an extroverted introvert temperament in previous posts, but I’ve become more aware of the traits associated with this over the last few years.

Stereotypically, introverts prefer calmer environments, find socialising particularly draining and often need time alone to recharge and regain their energy. Introverts are often self aware and learn through the observation of others. Extroverts, on the other hand, often try to seek social stimulation and engagement with others and are characteristically talkative, assertive and excitable. They are excellent communicators within larger groups and enjoy being the centre of attention.

Of course, both are extremes and many people fall somewhere between the two categories. Extroverted introverts, or ambiverts, can generally be found within the middle of the spectrum, but with so many contradictory personality and social traits it’s a rather confusing place to be for both the individual and their friends.

Socialising is both fun and exhausting

I like my friends and I’m incredibly lucky with the ones I have. It’s not them, it’s totally me. I’m pleased to be in their company and don’t often show signs of feeling awkward or needing personal space or alone time (at least, I don’t think I do) – in fact I often vomit conversation at them to the point where I can be a little overwhelming. However, I find socialising really fun and exhausting in equal measure after a while and when I’ve had enough, I’ve HAD ENOUGH, wearing myself out like an excitable puppy. Where I used to wait to leave for fear of being seen as impolite, now I make my excuses and go and I need an extended period of time afterwards to regroup. I’ve also noticed that I’m far more selective when it comes to my social circle – the more I age the smaller it gets…

Making a decision is difficult

I constantly argue with myself, particularly over the decision of whether to go out or not. Thinking and overthinking when deciding on something makes even a simple choice far more complicated than it needs to be.

Solo or groups interactions are equally fun

I like both one-to-one conversations and group events. I like sitting down for lunch in the pub, or going to a nightclub with a group of people. I’m happy to invite one person or a whole group out at the same time and have no problems with mixing friends from different areas of my life.

Leaving the house is exciting but takes a certain amount of self-motivation

I know that whenever I go out I always have a good time, but getting to the point of being ready and preparing to leave the house often takes a massive amount of effort, especially if it’s in the evening. I have to start psyching myself up at least an hour or two before I know I need to start even contemplating getting myself together. It isn’t the being out that is the problem, it’s the thought of it that always proves to be the most difficult part.

Days vary between craving company and alone time

I often go through phases in how much I socialise. I never feel consciously bored with my own company, but if I spend too much time alone I find myself arranging consecutive meet-ups with friends over a period of a few days. This inevitably leaves me feeling overwhelmed afterwards and needing some serious quiet time in order to recharge my mental and physical batteries. 

Conversation needs to be meaningful.

I don’t like small talk – if I’m having a conversation with someone then I want it to have a point and be able to take something away from it. That doesn’t mean that I want to hear the full life story of the person I’m with, but talking about the weather is much more draining. However, the extroverted side means that I often share more about myself than an introvert would, whether you want to listen to it or not. 

If anyone needs me, I’ll be on the couch. Or I’ve gone out. With friends. Or by myself.

What about you guys? Are you more of an introvert, extrovert or both?

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32 thoughts on “The Challenges of Being an Extroverted Introvert

  1. I guess we all undergo something similar, Suzie. We would like to tune out of conversation with which we don’t relate. On the other hand, we love to talk and converse for hours when we enjoy chatter.

  2. I really like how you describe yourself in this way, Suzie. I find myself very similar, being an introvert but also enjoying the company of others (in small doses for me). Someone once referred to me as a, “Gregarious introvert.” I think that is a pretty accurate moniker. Cher xo

  3. We is twins. I am an ambivert, which is both too. I’m actually extremely extroverted, but most of the people I’d choose to hang with aren’t here (that’s why blogging is so great). Because I’m selective, new people think I’m boring. Also because I’m selective, I don’t care. After a while the people who find out I’m not boring are surprised. I call them ‘new friends’.

    • Totally agree – that’s why blogging has been so beneficial for the introverted side. A lot of the bloggers I have met in person have been major introverts, but they don’t seem like that online!

  4. Totally an introvert. I have a small group of friends I see, but I have to travel to see them. I guess that means I get my social in intense doses, then come home to get my space.

  5. “ambiverts”

    Now I know what I am. Thanks.

    I find it very easy to slip into the introvert mode, sort of like slipping below warm water and staying there and am always reluctant to switch back to extrovert mode like swimming against a riptide in icy water but once you reach the party on shore, you forget about how peaceful it is floating in the warmth alone … for an hour or more.

  6. Omw l literally kept saying, ‘I know right!’ to each point you made! I can totally relate to all these lol being an extroverted introvert is both fun and annoying tbh☺

  7. I’m also and introvert with extroverted traits. Apparently it happens becasue life kind of forces it onto us and equally the other way around.
    But some days I don’t know where I am.

  8. Hi Suzi,
    Sorry I haven’t been around for awhile. I haven’t been as active with the blog for a bit and have been researching a book. The whole introvert-extrovert thing has intrigued me for years and it’s much more complicated that these simple personality quizes make out. I am an extroverted extrovert, which immediately becomes apparent as soon as you meet me. I wear bright coloured or stand out clothes and nothing about me is beige. However, writing and research tend to be solitary pursuits and that’s how I spend most of my days. However, I am often researching and writing about people. Other people two. So even this seemingly introverted activity, takes me out of myself.
    I also find this dynamic quite interesting in my personal relationships. As you may recall, I’m married with two kids. Our daughter is quite an introvert at home, although she can be chatty. I talked to her teachers at school and they describe her as a social butterfly and she really can be quite chatty. However, that’s with people she knows. Take her out of that and she clams up. The other interesting aspect for her is that she’s very active in the performing arts. She can perform on stage and very seemingly very out there, but I now know that the minute that show is over she wants to go home and into her room and shut all of that out. She’s overloaded.
    Our son, on the other hand, I think is naturally more extroverted but over time is retreating. He goes in the Scout Gang Show and smiles the whole way through and dances away and clearly loves what he’s doing, but he’s also interested in sound production, which is behind the scenes. It is hard for people with a dash of both to achieve a balance and know who they are at times. Or, perhaps I’m just too wishy washy.
    Best wishes,
    PS Here’s a glimpse of our daughter in a segment of Swan Lake. I’m still waiting for a photo in her tutu but a managed to get a photo of her on stage via another mum who was helping back stage.

  9. Pingback: Are You An Introvert? An Extrovert? A Bit of Both? | Writing Across Genres

  10. This made me smile Suzie, I love your descriptions and thought patterns. All we can be is ourselves and I find as we age we learn more about ourselves and who we meant to be and spend time with. Really enjoyed it!

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