You are confused, right? What do I mean by being an extrovert with an inner introverted self? Bear with me, in a 3 minute read you will understand me. But before I begin to unravel the mystery of my existence, I will first busy myself with the meaning of these two widely known terms.
An introvert is someone who is a shy person who loves to keep to his/herself; while an extroverted person is someone who loves to be out there, bold, and, many times, loud too. They thrive in social scenarios and are comfortable being the center of attention. In short, they are the opposite of introverts.
As we mature through life, we begin to understand human nature, and soon we learned about the introverted and extroverted folk. We also find out that a lot of people displayed traits that suggested they were introverts while others displayed human traits that suggested they were extroverts. And then we look to ourselves to find out where we belong – to find what box that best fits us. [As much as modern society tries to discourage group thinking or people wholely committing to ideologies, our tribal traits are hardwired]. And so, if you notice that you cherish your “me time” a little more than others and you would rather read about some new information than sit around and complain about the weather, you label yourself as an introvert.
And if you would rather be the guy that makes the party fun than sit down to some lame book you identify as an extrovert.
And so we begin to seek knowledge to better understand ourselves through the lenses of who we think we are. Our big and small life decisions become based on the type of person we think we are. Decisions like what college to attend, what career to take on, what friends to keep, what kind of person to date; the list goes on and on.
But although this plan works well for a lot of people, it doesn’t work for everyone. And if you happen to be in this pool of special and unique people, you might find yourself often asking why you can’t find your label?
Well, for me I have always have always been perceived as an extrovert – as early as my school days. I would always be nominated for post that required the holder to be comfortable interacting and communicating with a lot of people.
This was the case for the school’s dance groups, the school plays, and whatnot. I as a person loved to see environments I had never seen before, and I didn’t feel nervous about trying to communicate effectively with strangers. I could strike a conversation with just about anyone I met.
So with time, I began to see and identify myself as an extrovert. I mean, everyone from my parents to my friends thought me so, and therefore I just wore the badge. But as I have gotten a little advanced – age-wise, I have come to realize that although I still love the social buzz around me, I still felt emotions and displayed behaviors that seem to contradict what is expected of an extroverted person.
I have noticed that I would crave some “me time,” whenever I had spent long hours with my friends. And at such moments, I wouldn’t want to interact with anyone; I would ignore texts and procrastinate to call or hang out with my friends or family members. I would rather stay on my own. This didn’t mean I was bored of them or I didn’t value the relationship I had with them. I am no snob. But it was more of me not wanting to communicate with anyone at that moment. And although you might think that I was sad or was overwhelmed with some kind of depression, the opposite was quite the case. In fact, some of my most cherished moments were those that I shared with myself alone. I would engage in activities such as taking good care of my garden, physical exercise like running or jogging, all at the same time listening to my favorite podcast.
This all means that despite my outgoing nature and my love and affinity for the spotlight at social gatherings, I still find as much joy, if not more, being on my own. And although that I have quite a unique personality, I know there are people out there who feel exactly what I feel.
And so I pen this letter to you my friends, I want you to understand me.
I love the spotlight; I like to be the center of attention at parties and other social gatherings. I also love to make jokes, and sometimes I would make them at my own expense provided it got everyone laughing and the party vibe going. I also do like to have conversations with you, from the little irrelevant stuff to serious topics going on today in our society. I am very much interested in hearing about the events going on in your life. Very few things get me going like having the warm laughter of people all around me – they make my heart light. I also love to share my experiences with you guys with passions and gusto. I love to hear the latest gifts making the rounds. I also love to travel with my buddies, seeing new places and faces really get me pumped and delighted. I love it all. But you guys also need to know that that is just one side of my personality.
I also love to be by myself, so when you notice that it seems I have fallen off the surface of the earth, know that it isn’t because you did something wrong. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t love you guys or I don’t care about our relationship. And don’t get all anxious as to what is going on with my health. I am totally fine, and I am not depressed or anything, I just want to be by myself. Yes, I do cherish my quiet time with myself. So instead of dancing to the music blaring of the speakers at a club, I would rather be at home chilling with a book and a glass of wine. Or even if I find myself at the club, I would rather be in a deep conversation with someone and not just chat away with everyone. Even when I get silent when in your company, just know that I am not angry with you or bored, I just don’t feel like talking at the moment.
As the years pass by, I have come to the realization that as much as I crave and love the social activities that I engage in, I also love to be in peaceful and soul soothing silence from time to time. Don’t misinterpret it as me being moody or just being weird. Don’t get worried about me either; I am not suicidal or depressed. In fact, I am enjoying a quiet time alone with myself.
And as for those who share this unique personality with me, I employ you to be yourselves. Go with your intuition, if you feel like being out there with your friends and family then do just that. But when you feel otherwise, please act accordingly too. Don’t ignore the other half of you so that you can fit a particular social box that society has blindly carved for you.