Extraverted Introvert or Introverted Extravert? ✚ Tuesdays with Tish

I’m still trying to work out if I’m an introvert or an extravert.

All the introvert memes are relatable- socializing uses up my energy, I look forward to time alone after social time, I’m a homebody, I’m more comfortable with a genuine one-on-one conversation than lots of meaningless small talk.

But also- I don’t mind small talk sometimes. I used to be so socially anxious I couldn’t talk to anyone I didn’t know but now I can. And while I do like to recoup at home alone after, I look forward to socializing with one or a group of friends. And hey- I even look forward to speaking in public!

So which is it?

I think I hid my social anxieties under the introvert label for a long time. The introvert label relieved some self-hate I acquired during the depression- & anxiety-filled (although I didn’t have the words/understanding for those) teen years. I suddenly felt understood and it wasn’t just acceptable to be like this, but actually a cool thing everyone on the Internet was doing. Instead of hating myself for not being able to join in group conversations, I learned that it was okay to not talk in groups. So I started sitting quietly not riddled with anxiety and fear but a quiet self-assurance because I was comfortable with my place in the group. I wasn’t quiet out of fear; I was quiet because I was okay being quiet.

As I look back in my 20s, I can see how my social anxiety has lightened over the years. Every time I had a new social experience (leading a class, a first date, an apartment viewing, a job interview), I survived (duh) and the next similar experience was that much easier for having been through it before.

And now, while I still definitely get anxiety over new experiences, (and frankly, my anxiety feels worse than ever over certain things) I am very aware that I do many things with ease that would have crippled me with fear before. Socializing in general, with strangers, customers, coworkers, friends, first dates, is easier and less frightening (okay first dates are still pretty terrifying).

So… am I an extravert now? Do I fuel up on socializing instead of alone time? Or do I get to sound really pretentious and say “Actually, I’m an ambivert” because I have traits of both?

Because, I may want nothing more than my empty apartment at the end of a full day of being around people, but I also get lonely home alone pretty quickly. Can I get the best of both worlds? Can everyone pay attention to me and leave me alone at the same time? IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!

Ya, probably. But we’ll deal with my self-centered issue at another time.

He gets it- the best of both worlds.

He gets it- the best of both worlds.

Sharing is Caring: I’m not the only one scream-singing along to Halsey’s Nightmare, am I? ”I DON’T OWE YOU A GOD DAMN THING!”

See you next Tuesday, introverts!