“Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert?” People ask this question in an effort to get to know each other’s personalities on a deeper level. In today’s society, people seem obsessed with assigning personality traits to themselves and others based on characteristics set out by society. For instance, people classify themselves as either introverts or extroverts. According to society, introversion means more quiet and reserved while extroversions means more outgoing and social. When it comes to deeming somebody as introverted or extroverted, people aren’t able to comprehend the grey area.
In between those two extremes is an introverted extrovert.
I have always been fascinated by people’s unique personality traits and the different personality types that exist. Until recently, I had no idea if my personality was considered that of an introvert or an extrovert. I knew that I did not completely fit under the introvert classification because introverts come off as being rather shy people who enjoy their alone time, instead of always spending time with loved ones or being in social situations in general. But I didn’t fit the mold of an extrovert either. No matter how outgoing I want to be, I’m not the type of person who always the life of the party. I’m not friends with everyone I know, and I don’t always want to be out and about. I need my alone time.
With this in mind, I realized that I could never be classified as either an introvert or an extrovert. I fall in the grey area between the two extremes—known as the introverted extrovert. Though society fails to realize that introverted extroverts exist, I’m sure that out of the approximately seven billion people in this world, some people identify as introverted extroverts. Yet some people probably don’t even know that being an introverted extrovert counts as a personality trait. They may fall under this classification and have no idea that people can relate to their feelings. That’s why I’m here to explain the ins and outs of being an introverted extrovert. To those who may not be aware of what this characteristic entails, just know that I understand.
From my own experience, I can tell you that being an introverted extrovert doesn’t exactly mean living the easy life.
I can’t just flip a switch and act like either an introvert or extrovert whenever I see fit. Sometimes I can be outgoing and sometimes I need my alone time. When I’m with people I feel comfortable around, I can reveal my true colors and be loud and outgoing. But when I’m in large groups, I tend to be more on the quiet side. Family members, close friends and people close to me in general have seen my shy side for a brief period of time—if at all. The quiet and shy side of me comes out to the rest of the world, especially when I’m out meeting someone for the first time or if I’m around somebody I don’t know well. If I’m in class with a professor or with students I’m not fond of, I will not be the outgoing self I am around those closer to me.
Those who know me well never believe me when I say I’m awkward and painfully shy around some people. I am also not the best at making new friends and keeping them in my life. I have found that throughout my life I have become friends with people I had mutual friends with. In other words, I would become friends with other people by hanging around my friends and their other friends.
In high school, I was considered an outcast and one of the “weird” kids.
At first, I let that stereotype define me. I stayed quiet and I struggled to make friends. Yet over time I realized that I could not let the negative stereotype define me and I became more outgoing and attempted to make friends. Though I only made a few friends, it was still an improvement from being looked upon as a weird loner. Plus, sometimes a few real friends can be enough.
Additionally, I also struggled to make friends when I first began my college career at Temple University. When I first arrived at Temple my freshman year, I had a hard time adjusting to life away from home and making friends. However, once I made one friend, I became friends with their friends, and soon I had my own friends. Yes I struggled, but I knew that my outgoing side had to come out eventually in order to make friends at school and social gatherings.
Eventually, I got there and made my own friends.
Another quirk about being an extroverted introvert is that sometimes I feel like going out into the world and exploring and going on adventures, while other times I just want to curl up in bed and watch Netflix by myself all day.
While my view of extroverted introversion comes off as being negative, it does have its upsides. I have insecurities about my personality type, but everybody does and that is what makes us human. Tasks may seem hard, but just like everyone else, I get through them. It might take me more effort to talk to people or to do things out of my comfort zone. I might not be totally content with being an extroverted introvert, but I am who I am and I wouldn’t change my personality for the world.