Tell me if this is you:
It’s Friday evening and you receive a text from your friends to meet at a bar. You have nothing going on tomorrow so you decide to go out. You arrive, all your friends are happy to see you, you have a few drinks. You’re the life of the party, chatting the night away, telling everyone your hilarious stories.
It’s getting late, you appear to be having a good time, but this desire to go home and fall asleep in front of Friends re-runs is clawing at your insides. You make an excuse to leave (some volunteer thing in the morning) and everyone is sad to see you go.
Absolutely drained, you finally arrive home and plop down on the couch. Your phone vibrates, “Had a great time tonight!” You had a great time too, but you’re exhausted, you feel like like you just ran a half-marathon. “What’s wrong with me?” you think.
You might be an outgoing introvert
If the above situation is all too common, you might be an “outgoing introvert.” It’s a special breed of introverts.
Still not convinced? Skip WebMD, ask yourself these three questions:
- Does alone time help me to recharge?
- Does being in a social setting drain my batteries?
- Do you love being the talkative one in your group of friends?
If you answered “yes” to all of the questions you are most likely an outgoing introvert.
A lot of our friends find it shocking when we tell them that we’re introverts. We love hanging out with friends, we love socializing and talking, so naturally they think we are extroverts. But after a few hours of socializing, we’re pooped and need to go home to relax.
What’s an outgoing introvert?
I’m no psychologist, but being an outgoing introvert means battling a constant internal struggle. There are two sides of us folk: one that loves being the center of attention and the other that dreads meeting new people.
For whatever reason we are terrible at small talk but handle ourselves just fine in front of a large crowd. Part of the reason is that we are naturally shy people, but try to overcompensate by attracting all of the attention. We put on a facade. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
It boils down to this: we’re human, and humans are complicated creatures. It’d be nice if we could put our personalities in a neatly labeled box. But that’s not going to happen; our personalities (all of us, not just outgoing introverts) are more like soup with bits and pieces of social context, childhood upbringing, anxiety, desire to be known, and fear all floating around.
All of these factors add up to shape who we truly are. I know, we’re just a hot (soupy) mess.
So how do you fix it?
This isn’t something that needs to be fixed. Just continue being you. However, don’t feel bad now when you cancel plans because “your parents are visiting” (aka you just want to binge watch House of Cards). Sometimes we just need that alone time to recharge our batteries for the week ahead.
You can, however, be honest with your friends and tell them every once and awhile you just need some “me time.” There’s no need to make excuses anymore or feel bad for missing out on a party. Continue being you and your friends will love you all the same.
Interesting follow up resources:
Originally published at millennialtype.com on April 13, 2015.