On Being an Extroverted Introvert
I am kinda loving this new 'On' series I have accidentally started because it's turning into a hugely cathartic experience for me, a little free therapy if you will. I also hope it gives any readers (who don't know me/Oli) a chance to peek into our crazy minds. Please do let me know your thoughts in the comments box - I genuinely love hearing your thoughts and if you have your own website, you can pop it in and get a bit of pingback love from anyone who reads the post. If you know me, you will know that I am pretty chatty and sociable. Whilst I'm never gonna be the first on a dance floor, or on a table (although, fed enough of the hard stuff I have been known to do both) I guess as a rule - you'd probably have me down as an extrovert.
I'm actually not. My natural state is that of an introvert and several psychiatrists have confirmed this diagnosis...just kidding. Before secondary school, I was painfully shy and found making friends less than easy. I also LOVED both books, and my own company. The library was my favourite place to be, which culminated in regularly re-organising my books into alphabetical order in my bookcase. As such, I was kinda weird and got bullied a bit in primary school (doesn't everyone?!)
I did a Psychology and Counselling degree at University and as part of that we had weekly group and individual therapy which I, earnest as I am, took pretty seriously. Through those sessions I discovered that if I have to have a label (and don't we just love labels in the western world?) mine is that of a 'learned extrovert'. Thats to say that I made a choice after being bullied to cope by tapping into the parts of my personality that, I felt, would help me to fit in and appear more confident.
Like everyone, I don't have just one facet to my personality. I'm like an onion people, I got me some serious layers...........I love meeting new people, but only when I am with close friends and relish one on one time the most. I hate small talk, I just like to cut to the deep shit and get to know you properly. I really do not like being the centre of attention so if I am, I panic and either say something stupid or run away. I don't cope well with extensive socialising and living in a big flatshare is my idea of hell. I recharge my batteries with serious alone time, which I like to do regularly.
Luckily opposites attract so my opposite is an extrovert. One of my least favourite things about travelling is feeling as though I have to constantly meet new people and I avoid hostels for that reason (along with loads of other reasons) but happily, Oli picks up a lot of the slack as he is a total people person.
People sometimes mistake me for being really moody or stand-offish which I guess I can be with newbs but if am, it's usually because I don't want to 'do small talk' and I really, really hate silence. It totally freaks me the fuck out. I think of myself of a girls girl through and through and I like nothing more than bonding over a glass....okay a bottle of wine.
Because I'm naturally introverted I am a
bit lot of a deep thinker. This is both a blessing and a curse I guess, because I genuinely do feel like I pick up on peoples moods and have a pretty high level of intuition and emotional intelligence (I am also super humble!). The downside is that I'm a sensitive little soul and often take silly things to heart. I am also, FO SHO, a sulker. It's one of my worst qualities but I'm working on it.....On the flipside though I do not bottle things up, my feisty Arabic blood won't let me. So you pretty much always know where you stand with me.....after the initial stand offishness passes obvs.
The reason I wanted to write this post I guess, was to see what you all thought about your own 'status'. Are you an introvert who draws energy from your own company or do you crave social interaction? Are you like me and have adapted to fit in?
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