Introvert vs Extrovert (which one are you?)

Holy moly, did I resonate with Sarah Wilson’s blog post about why introverts just can’t handle you…sometimes or what! Every couple of sentences I was nodding my head agreeing with everything she was saying. You see, I belong to the same club as Sarah and many others belong to…

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Rose and I am a self-confessed introvert….lovely to meet you :-)

 

elizabeth rose

 

As Sarah points out, the official definition of an introvert is someone who turns inward; a person characterized by concern primarily with his or her own thoughts and feelings. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy, or loners who lock themselves in their rooms all day long pondering over their thoughts however. Introverts still like to be social, can stand up in front of a crowd with confidence and charm, can be funny and engaging, and like going to parties and concerts (sometimes) and having fun…

but they have a social threshold far lower than the bubbly extrovert

On the flip side, extroverts are an outgoing person; a person concerned primarily with the physical and social environment rather than with the self. These people LOVE being in the company of others rather than on their own, are positive, bubbly, energetic, friendly and generous.

But man, do these gorgeous people drain my energy. I felt relieved when I read that Sarah finds extroverts to be hard work and energy vampires. Even though their energy can be quite infectious and (in my case) even lift my energy up at times, I find I can only hang out with them for so long. And if they’re a real bombastic, center-of-attention kind of extrovert, I’ll do my best to avoid them altogether (please don’t take this personally extroverts!).

Like Sarah, this is what pains me the most, as it makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me, like I’m such a snooty bitch for not wanting to be around a larger than life personality. I feel like I must be boring and judgmental for not wanting to bounce around gleefully with these energiser bunnies all the time…

but then at times, when my energy has been built up, I’ll be a little social butterfly

And those who happen to meet me for the first time when my energy is maxed and I’m enjoying being social, will think I’m extremely outgoing! Until I suddenly disappear out the back door (back door exit anyone?).

Sarah describes this beautifully…

And here’s the final thing that really makes me a bit of a nightmare: I’m not like this all of the time. Sometimes I’m really quite cool to hang back and hang out. I don’t find parties or concerts energising, but I can find them bearable sometimes and I can look like I’m having Capital F Fun! (Apparently introverts like to explore phenomena…this makes sense in this context. I’ll find the phenomenon of the event fascinating to observe. This is fun; the event, inherently, is not).

Which can make it confusing for all. It’s certainly confused me. But a bit of reading and chatting cleared things up a bit. According to Dr. Marti Olsen Laney, author of “The Introvert Advantage”, introverts can move around their introverted “set point” (how much solitude versus social activity they need). But have to keep it balanced. They can do “fun” and social and be as ra-ra-ra as the next extrovert…but if they push too far, they freak out and withdraw. To recharge.

And that is me to a T. Don’t get me wrong, I love socialising with my friends and I even have some close friends who are extroverts (my partner is extremely extroverted at times funnily enough!), and I love interacting with people, but I need ‘me’ time above anything. I need time to be with my thoughts, to contemplate, to dream, to be…

What about you lovely? Which category to you fit into? I’d love to hear an extroverts point of view! Leave a comment below x

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Comments

Comments

  1. says

    I completely relate to this too! I’m an introvert but I also pick up on the energy of others and so can be very outgoing (sometimes). It’s important for me to get away and have some alone time to re-energise as well, though!

    • says

      Hi Katherine. Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment! I hear what you’re saying – I too need ‘alone time’ to re-energise. Sometimes I wish I was more of an extrovert, but you can’t be someone you’re not (as it’s too exhausting!) :-)

  2. says

    Totally relating Liz. Love to be social but the amount of time I spend with myself in my cocoon is about 90%. I am the sort of person who sighs with relief if an event clashes with a work commitment or I have something else on. Usually it’s the sort of events that involve bars, drinking, loud music & going out of my way location wise.

    If’s it’s small, intimate, personal & nourishing I’m all over it. For example I drove 75 minutes both ways the other week for a girly Scentchips party where I only knew the hostess & had a great time. Then I tried to get out of a bonfire/big drinking party at my own house as it made me shudder!!!! Totally random… xx

    • says

      Haha, love it Kat! I feel the same…totally up for more intimate, nourishing events, but definitely have to be in the mood for anything else. Thanks for commenting x

  3. says

    I totally relate to this post Elizabeth. I am an introvert however I also like to be around people. It is a fine line to find the right balance between that of energising and where it can be draining. I find that my body totally gives me the clue to what is going on and when I need “me time” to recharge…Thank goodness for those signals and in being able to honour where you are at :) xx

    • says

      Hey Jenny! Yes, it sure is a fine line. That’s great you’re so in tune with your body to know when it’s time to recharge. I’m beginning to think quite a large percentage of bloggers are introverts :-). Makes sense as there’s so much solitude required for this type of business/hobby. Xx

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