extroverted introvert

A Note from the Extroverted Introvert

I’ll be the first to admit that I have multiple personalities. Not in the schizophrenic sense – or, maybe it is, since I’ve never actually had a doctor take a look at my brain… OK, well I have, but only in the neurologist sense for my frequent migraines, not in the psycho-therapeudic sense for my less-than-explainable thoughts and actions. Put simply, I am many people twirled into one small, 5-foot-2 body. I don’t need a doctor to tell me that.

And that’s much easier stated than explained. Because of course we all have mood swings. Of course we all have different areas of our lives that bring out our different sides. But most people are pretty simple to pin. Some people are known for being the loud talker who doesn’t care that the whole restaurant can hear the conversation about dad’s colonoscopy. Some people are remembered for their strength and audacity, never to back down even if a rhino were charging full speed ahead on an African safari gone sour. Some people are the sweet, compassionate souls who hold funerals for the unlucky bugs too slow to escape the fatal steps of a human.

Some people are known as introverts. By definition, an introvert is a person who is shy, retreats to their inner thoughts and minimizes contact with other people.

Some people are known as extroverts. An extrovert is essentially the opposite of an introvert – someone who is sociable, outgoing and “the life of the party.”

I am all of these people.

The brash opinion-blurter, the strong and stubborn leader, the kind lover of life, the silent introvert, and the mingle-happy extrovert. Luckily, my multiple personalities get along with one another well enough that I haven’t been too threatened.

As an introvert, I can go actual days in complete silence, which is often my preference. I don’t need to speak to anyone, because I’m completely fine talking to myself in my head (is that my cue to see a psych?). But then once I’m around people, I become an extrovert. I feed off of the energy and instantaneously become the hilarious comedian that I am and work the room like it’s nobody’s business. I’m an extroverted introvert.

What the hell is that?

Aren’t we supposed to “stay true” to ourselves? What if yourself is many selves? How can you simply explain to another person that yes, I love to have a good time and I love having a bunch of friends, but no, I won’t answer my phone to chat with you and no, I probably won’t invite you over just to spend time together. Because as much as I like you, chances are I like myself better.

And now you must have noticed that I have a healthy side of narcissism to complement my schizophrenia.

But you know what, it’s totally fine. Because when my extroverted self gets to be too much of an obnoxious asshole, my introverted self takes note and can’t help but feel bad about it. And the introvert talks the extrovert off the proverbial ledge of self-indulgence and back down to self-deprecance. Just the way I like it. Three days of all-out social insanity, followed by four days in a cave of solidarity and reclusiveness – that’s the perfect storm for a totally normal and balanced person like myself.

In all seriousness though, I’m happy that I’m the multilayered individual that I am. It’s given me the opportunity to connect with so many amazing people on so many levels. I am many things to many different people, and I cherish all of those roles that I play. I can be your listening ear and I can be the one to get you to step outside your box. I truly feel that I was meant to give myself to others in this life, and I was blessed with the gift of adaptability in order to give these parts of myself to people who need them.

So I’ll take these multiple personalities any day. And no, I’m not going to the doctor.


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