Home » Inspirational » The Introverted Extrovert: A True Story

The Introverted Extrovert: A True Story

Today I would like to tell you a story about an introverted extrovert.

You might be asking yourself, what is an introverted extrovert? Introverted extroverts are people who, from an outsider’s perspective, can only be described as introverts… that is, they’re quiet, introspective, and they often keep to themselves. On the inside, however, they long for strong relationships, and they need to be around other people in order to feel truly valued. Basically, they are introverted by nature, but extroverted by nurture. They would prefer to live an extroverted life, but they just don’t know exactly how to go about it.

This, my friend(s), is my story. am an introverted extrovert.

To illustrate just how complicated such a lifestyle can be, here are some posters I found on the internet.

introverts

extroverts

So how do you care for an introverted extrovert? By using a combination of strategies from each list. But nobody would ever do that, because nobody expects a person to be both introverted and extroverted.

I, however, do not believe that anyone is completely introverted or completely extroverted. We all have a little bit of both in us–that’s my opinion, at least. There might be just a few exceptions to that rule, but not many.

My journey to introverted extroversion has been a long, arduous one. When I was little, I had such a vivid imagination that I didn’t really need friends. I was perfectly fine just hanging out with myself. I had friends, but they were just an added luxury–not a necessity. As I grew older, and especially when I started college, I developed the need to associate with others. Naturally, as soon as I developed this need, I found it much more difficult to actually make friends. Isn’t that how it always goes, though? The more you need something, the harder it is to get it. That is just one of the unfair things about life.

introvert (1)I started feeling the need to have friends in sixth grade. I was about 11 years old, otherwise known as that awkward “pre-teen” phase. My friendship-making skills have improved drastically for yours truly since then, but I still find that incessant need to constantly associate with others, as if the amount of time I spend with others actually determines my worth!

In all honesty, I wish I could go back to my childhood mentality. I valued solitude back then. It didn’t matter if I was by myself or surrounded by loved ones–it was all the same to me. I was living in an introverted world, and I was an introverted boy.

I’m still introverted, but modern society does not value introversion. So I feel an increasing pressure to become more extroverted because that’s what society teaches us is acceptable. College especially seems to emphasize this perspective. It almost seems like college students are always expected to be social, just like they are expected to stress over schoolwork or eat pizza five times a week. I want to enjoy solitude again, but an extroverted version of myself has been created as a result of my college-student status. This new extroverted self is constantly fighting against my introverted self. It would be so sad if you had to stay in tonight, my extroverted self says. (Just to clarify, though, I do not actually hear distinct voices in my head, so please don’t refer me to a psychiatrist after reading this post.)introvert-vs-extrovert

I find it especially difficult to be introverted on a Friday or Saturday night. On any other given night, I’m usually fine going about my normal, introverted life. But on the weekends, my extroverted self screams at me (again, not literally) that I need to do something social. I physically can’t allow myself to spend a Friday or Saturday night by my lonesome. I’ve tried it before, and I always make plans at the last minute in order to escape the shame of an evening in solitude. The younger version of me would shake his head in disgust at my desperate need for weekend company… then he would most likely try to strangle me (I was a surprisingly violent child). Why, why can’t I just spend a weekend night alone? Why can’t I just take some time off from being social? Why can’t I just throw a me party every once in a while?

Unfortunately, it feels as though a me party is simply out of the question. Thus is my life as an introverted extrovert. It’s rough trying to live a life that goes against what comes to me naturally. I wonder if other people experience a similar dilemma in their lives? Maybe I’m crazy (and many people have suggested that I probably am), but I kind of doubt I’m alone in this one.

introvert-and-extrovert-personality-test

If anyone else suffers from the introverted extrovert dilemma, there is hope. As much as I think Hannah Montana is the worst, I think we should take her advice and get the best of both worlds! We can work on exploring the extroverted side of life while still embracing our inner introversion. There is nothing wrong with being who you are, after all–unless who you are is a serial killer.

A quote comes to mind: “Whatever thou art, act well thy part.” So if you’re an introvert, be a good introvert. Don’t hesitate to be more outgoing, though. Still try building relationships with others. But don’t feel obligated to meet anyone’s expectations about how outgoing you need to be. If somebody tells you you’re too quiet, punch that person in the face. OR just ignore them… yeah, that’s probably a better (though admittedly less gratifying and fun) idea.

introvert

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11 thoughts on “The Introverted Extrovert: A True Story

  1. You are an extroverted introvert – not the other way around. The first word becomes the adjective for the object. So… you are an introvert at core – the primary object of the sentence. It’s really just a grammatical peeve on my part, mostly because I am this also.

  2. as someone who straddles this line as well, i can empathize. i find that listening to my body is much better than listening to my brain. it will tell me honestly what i need, whereas my brain will play all kinds of tricks on me: FOMO (fear of missing out), shame at not having weekend plans, lots of shoulds… but my body will say, ‘eek, i’m stressed, stay home.’ or ‘you’d feel better if you were in the company of others, but be gentle.’ or ‘whee, let’s go!’

    lately i’ve been finding that a weekend on and a weekend off is a good rhythm for me. but this will likely change again at some point down the road. being in the middle means that we’re probably going to be less consistent over time. that a general pattern or strategy that worked two years ago might not work now.

    one of the most helpful things i ever read was from someone who’d figured out their ratio: for every extroverted hour, they needed two introverted hours to make up the lost energy. that’s my weekend on/weekend off pattern right now. i’ve learned to accept that i need this. you’ll find your own pattern that works for you. but you have to allow yourself to experiment with introvert time. i know that when i’m taking enough introvert time, my extrovert time is much more fun, i’m more interesting to be around, and i leave tired but not shredded. when i’m doing too much extroversion, i’m often at the end of my rope, super stressed, and have even given myself adrenal fatigue a couple of times in my life. it’s a bad state to get to. i protect myself diligently from ever going there again.

    also, brené brown writes some great stuff on shame.

    good luck with it and give yourself permission to be whatever you are on that day. introverted, extroverted, or somewhere in between.

  3. I absolutely lobe this article because I really identify with everything. Thank you for being able to put ‘pen to paper’ what its all about being an introverted extrovert.

  4. this is awesum!! n ts exactly the way how i feel ..!
    i’ve always thought i was the only one .. very happy to know there are a lot o’ us around.. 🙂

  5. I really identify with what you say and have really suffered for not enjoying what everyone else does (though I didn’t realise that & just drank to get through it). Now I realise the problem is about acceptance of who I am. Life is too painful trying to be something I’m not. I’ve worked on my sel-acceptance and although still occasionally challenging I no longer define my worth by my natural temperament an how that plays out in the world.

  6. I wouldn’t say that introverts prefer constant solitude. We like interaction too. We just tend to prefer for deeper interaction with a small group. I don’t feel drained when I’ve had a good, deep conversation, but I do when I’m milling about a party. I want to have a conversation that is going somewhere, not waste my time talking about the weather or sports…

  7. I know exactly how you feel, except most weekends I am able to happily sit at home reading, playing xbox, watching movies/TV. But every few weeks I like to go out and try to be social, I’ve even recently taken up dance lessons.

    Its funny though, even though dance lessons were entirely my own idea, each evening I decide to go I have a mental battle with my introverted self who would rather be at home.

  8. Pingback: The Extroverted Introvert: A Counter Story | missfutureteacher

  9. Pingback: Nothing But Nostalgia | M.S.G. (Musings of a Sarcastic Guy)

  10. I spend most of my days confined to wherever I’m staying(hostel on college months & home during breaks). Even though my friends insists for me to go out with them, i solidly refuses( I’ve never bent to peer-pressure 😉 ). But I do go out once in a while with them. When I do go out, almost the entire day is spent out it’s not like I party or anything, I just enjoy the world around me that i miss during my solitudeness (we roam around the town ,me & my cousin or friends just sightseeing). I’m naturally invorted so confimement doesn’t bother me much but but being alone for some days takes its toll on me with all the thinkings that i do during that period. This break helps a lot. It’s not necessary to go out often or every weekend, once in a while is enough. Just make sure that you enjoy the whole day to your satisfaction.

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