Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Introvert? Extrovert?

Do you think it's possible to be an extroverted introvert? Or, an introverted extrovert? Where exactly do the lines get drawn on the distinctions between the two polarities?

I'm usually what people who are introverted call an extrovert. I get nervous about speaking in public, but once I'm up there I'm totally fine and even enjoy it. If I go to a party where I don't know a soul, I'll go around the room and introduce myself and have an easy time making small talk. When I'm out and about in the world, I talk to strangers to the point where I often get their whole life story. We've moved several times, and I tend to make new friends pretty quickly and easily because I have no qualms about putting myself out there.

In fact, without social contact and a network of differing peoples and personalities in my circle, I get a little isolated and down.  That's why Twitter is so great for me, I love trading chats with all walks of life from all over. I really DO truly believe that everyone has something to teach or offer to help me re-frame my outlook. It's refreshing to me.

Yet, I am also very particular in my need for quiet space. My husband laments the fact that I'll insulate myself once the kids are in bed and I have no other obligations to my family or home. In those quiet moments of the night, I will sit quietly and surf the net or just be alone with my thoughts.

I'm also more than likely not to share personal facts or feelings outside of my own minds ramblings or with a select one or two individuals. I'm not typically the type that's going to "spill it" and ask for your feedback. I prefer to work things out in my own way, in my own time. Yes, that takes quiet introspection and being alone.

I seem to swing from super outgoing and sociable to solitary and withdrawn. That seems a little Polar now that I've expressed it as such. I'm sure that's totally the norm on the introvert/extrovert spectrum.



  1. I'm a mix of both as well but would likely align more with the definition of an introvert. I enjoy knowing people are there for me if I want to engage but enjoy my own space at the same time. I enjoy being with my own thoughts and can quite happily exist doing my own thing (I have never said I'm bored!). I am also the type of person who doesn't need to be in a conversation actively - I enjoy listening more than talking and I am quite comfortable with silences when in the company of others - I don't require that someone be saying something all the time. I have noticed that my tendency to be an introvert or an extrovert has to do with the balance of energy (a la The Celestine Prophecy)...if someone is trying to suck my energy from me I become an introvert and shut down because they are draining me. On the other hand if the people I am with are energy givers then I'm the extrovert and as such am the outgoing, bubbly, talkative one.

  2. I can relate to much of this Tammi...and...I've seen you in both of the situations you've described. I've seen you very quiet, and more boisterous. The good news for me is...I must be an energy giver for you-cause when I've seen you in the more bubbly/talkative times-it's usually in a shared moment! :)