Let me clarify—no, I’m not an ambivert. Google defines an ambivert as a person who has a well-balanced set of introverted and extroverted attributes. The introverted and extroverted sides of me are not balanced in any way whatsoever. I am an introvert with extroverted qualities. When I first come in contact with situations, my default mindset is one of an introvert’s unless there has been vigorous mental preparation where I’ve convinced myself that being an extrovert is how I need to act in a given activity. Always having been this way, I feel like I have gotten to be pretty good at being an extrovert. I have even grown to enjoy being recognized as someone who is outgoing, well-spoken, and a risk-taker. But, I know that I’m still an introvert because people exhaust me. That being said, I think there are pros and cons to both social types! Everyone is different, but when I think about how I would describe myself, these are a couple things I would share. Here’s five signs you’re an extroverted introvert:
You have social anxiety but you’re social.
Thinking about going to a class or activity where you don’t know anyone is super scary, especially if whatever you’re doing is interactive. Reaching out to someone through social media that you don’t know very well is also scary. So is raising your hand in class, walking into a room with a lot of people alone, or pretty much being approached by anyone that you don’t know in public. However, you’re the first person to put yourself in these situations. You constantly apply for positions, register for events, and plan to go places where there will be crowds of strangers. You’re the first to hit send to that connection you want to make on LinkedIn. Why? Our world functions off of networking. You get tremendously stressed thinking about it, but it’s something you’ve had to accept and a skill that you’ve gotten used to using because you wouldn’t get anywhere otherwise.
You don’t really talk about your private life, but you’re always talking.
You talk a lot, especially once you’re comfortable. I feel like there’s a misconception that introverts just don’t talk, and I don’t think that’s a common case. I think that there’s definitely a social barrier where introverts take a bit more time to open up or maybe only care to open up with a very small number of people, but I think once anyone is comfortable, they can ramble on forever. As for extroverted introverts, there’s always a crazy amount of talking. Starting a conversation with someone isn’t really the problem, and even talking for hours on end isn’t a task, but opening up still is. There have been several long-term friends that just found out that I have siblings. It’s not that I specifically refrain from talking about my family or other more personal subjects, but I think in my head, I’m just naturally used to keeping to myself in some form at all times. However, extroverted introverts are definitely able to hold a conversation and get others to feel comfortable and talk deep issues.
You’re a fan of alone time but get lonely sometimes.
People are exhausting. You need to work independently to really focus, you’re not a great multi-tasker, and if people are around you, you feel the need to focus on them. You love having time to yourself with no obligation to pay attention to others, and sometimes you feel like you’re not thriving as much around others as you can if you’re by yourself. You’re a perfectionist, as many introverts are, so you even want to be perfect when you are social, and you do cherish human interaction. You don’t require much social interaction to be happy, and if you had to choose to spend one year alone or six months stuck with a ton of people, you’d choose to be alone, but everyone gets lonely. If you happen to be in the mood to be social, you already have the social skills to mingle, and there’s nothing stopping you from painting the town red.
You’re not in a friend group, but you have a lot of friends.
Keyword “a.” You have a lot of friends because you talk to everyone you meet, but you selectively choose who you get close to, and often times, the people you pick wouldn’t run in the same circles as each other. You’re picky about who you want to spend your mental energy and limited social capacity with, and if you’re anything like me, the most stable and longest friendships you have are with the most random people that you don’t see often. You get sick and, frankly, annoyed with anyone you spend too much time with, so social interaction in moderation is still key. You’ve always been a floater, being comfortable enough to socialize with everyone you meet, but really only knowing one person in the room really well. You wouldn’t have it any other way, though.
You’re an introvert but no one will believe you.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Once a person is outgoing and can mingle, everyone automatically assumes you like people. But in truth, being seamlessly social is a switch you can flip on and off. It’s a curse and a blessing when you’re outgoing and hate people. If you’re truly an extroverted introvert, having that last sentence apply to you is all you really needed to be sure.