Open Letter to the Introverted Extroverts

Growing up, I never really knew which category I fit into. When I was little, I was super shy, and I was always described as being quiet and really nice. Then, when I started high school I slowly started to come out of my shell, but even then, only my close friends would describe me as loud and outgoing, while those that I didn’t know would say the generic ‘Oh yeah she’s really nice and quiet sometimes’ (for the most part at least). I think it’s a bit unfair to try and put people into these two bubbles, especially since it’s normal to not always want to feel outgoing and energetic and vice versa.

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I like to think of myself as an introverted extrovert, and I know there are tons of people out there who feel the same. Introverted extroverts usually like being around people and being social, so we’re always down for a party (we love house parties), and we love spontaneous adventures. But we also tend to be reserved during difficult times, and overthink all the time we really, REALLY enjoy alone time and being alone. 

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People tend to get offended when an introverted extrovert doesn’t want to hang out, or cancels plans. I’ve experienced this first hand, where I’ve been in such a weird/bad mood and I just don’t want to see anyone, that I just canceled plans with friends. I would constantly cancel plans too, and I have gotten better at it, but I still have my days sometimes. I’ve found that the best way to deal with this is to be honest with your friends about how you feel and what your mental state is like at the time. My friends are unbelievably understanding when my mental health gets the best of me, and these are the type of people you need around you all the time. It can be frustrating to deal with a friend like this, but just know that we have good intentions and we really hate canceling. But when we cancel, trust me when I say we constantly stress out and worry about hurting your feelings, or we worry about how our friends start to think about us.

People may notice your introvert-extrovert tendencies and call you out on it, and there is no reason for you to ever have to feel like you have to explain yourself. If it’s just who you are, either people learn to accept that, or do you really need those people in your life? There is no space in your life for people who attack you for who you are. We tend to get closed off, or push people away when we’re going through extra stressful times in our lives; and while you shouldn’t push people away sometimes it will happen. When you manage to get a clear head, take some time for yourself and make sure you’re okay before you start worrying about making sure other people are okay. This is a lot easier said than done, but when those moods hit you, self-care is the best care.

Self-care could just be something as simple as taking a warm shower and snuggling in bed watching Netflix. I recommend having a giant teddy bear to keep you company (or not if you don’t like giant teddy bears). Other people invest in face masks, hair masks, listen to some feel good music, bake, journal or do yoga/Pilates. Figure out what works for you the best and stick to it. When you’re ready, and only when you’re ready start reaching out to friends again. If they know you and accept you for who you are, they’ll welcome you back with open arms.