Outgoing Introvert

Outgoing introvert probably seems like an oxymoron but it’s not. I know this because I am one.

It probably started with anxiety as most of my skills growing up did. The silence made me uncomfortable, I couldn’t even do homework if it was quite. Through college I always had something on the TV as background noise while studying.

Silence in conversations or group settings unnerve me to an extreme level. I can sit with my husband and kids in silence but it took a lot of therapy to finally not be anxious sitting in a quiet room with family.

Most of my jobs in life have been in customer service, this is perfect for an outgoing introvert. I would get loud and smile and talk with everyone who passed by. Then I would go home and crash, speak to no one shut in a room reading or something else that didn’t require conversation.

A great article on the differences points out the below:

  • Introverts get exhausted by social interaction and need solitude to recharge.
  • Extroverts get anxious when left alone and get energy from social interaction.

This is how I know I am an introvert for sure. Before my MS started causing bigger issues for me when having conversations I often felt tired after talking with people all day. Just because I can do it, doesn’t mean I enjoy it or even that there aren’t consequences for those conversations.

Just like most things in health and mind, there are varying degrees of everything. You can be an extreme introvert with shyness and that general stereotype or you can be the extreme extrovert who needs to be talking with someone most of the day, then there’s everything in between.

The problem with being an outgoing introvert is that everyone assumes you’re extroverted and don’t understand when you need to break away from conversations or skip events. Now that I have two fairly significant other medical issues people just assume it’s one of those when I cancel or reschedule.

Where do you fall?

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