Wednesday, June 10, 2015

5 Things You Need to Understand About Extroverts

I'm an extrovert. Every personality test, every Meyers-Briggs, every buzzfeed quiz, all point in one direction - I'm outgoing. Meet me for the first time and in 5 minutes it's obvious. A 2012 study revealed one-third of the population are Introverts. That third has surrounded me in a veritable cocoon of "Don't talk to me I'm introverting." My husband, my daughter,  my friends, hell, even my dog are all introverts.
I am living in an introverted world, and I am an extroverted girl.  - Madonna
 As most modern Americans part of my life is spent on social media where I see articles and links about "10 Things You Need to Know About Introverts" or "Why Being Introverted is Better" and the like. The plight of the introvert. So alone. And they like it that way.

Perhaps I feel a bit slighted that the "Misundersood Introvert" gets to whine about having to deal with people, whilst I anxiously bide my time waiting for their "People Energy Meter" recharges for another conversation. Regardless I feel that there's some explaining about extroverts that needs to be discussed so that each side can better understand the other like bitching.

1. We have anxiety about social events.
But it's different. We have anti-antisocial anxiety. FOMO, forgetting names, saying the wrong thing, being too annoying. Extroverts go into social situations hoping that they add to the life of the party. While we don't fear talking to new people, having small talk, or approaching strangers - we fear the outcome. Frequently extroverts leave a party thinking - "Was I too outgoing?"

2. Some people don't like us. 
Just because you're an extrovert doesn't mean people like you. In fact, the majority of those who don't like us is due to our extroverted-ness. We're loud. We talk too much. We crave social interaction. For many people those qualities can be highly annoying and off-putting.

3. We hide a lot of of our extroverted-ness.
There's serious self-control and will-power going on. You can't see or hear what's going on in our head while you're' talking, but most of the time it's "ZOMIGAWD YES THIS IS SO SUPER GREAT!" When we're on our good behavior you're getting like 80% extrovert power. Just enough to reheat your leftovers, but not "nuke it from orbit" setting.

4. We get lonely in a crowd. 
The old adage of "there's a difference between being alone and being lonely" applies here. Just because we're surrounded by people doesn't mean we feel completely satisfied. Extroverts have feelings too and they run deep. We can have multiple conversations at a social situation and walk away not truly connecting with anyone. Brooding emo extroverts... black eyeliner but we passionately tell you all about it.

5. We wish we were like Introverts.
We wish we didn't think about something to say while others are talking. We try our best to not jump in with funny anecdotes and witty stories, but honestly they just come out. Full blurt mode. We wish we had the ability to observe, listen, and process quietly.  We. just. can't. Silence needs to be filled. Our stories, opinions, and feelings need to be discussed - otherwise how will we connect?  We don't know any other ways, our neural pathways beg us to collaborate.

Whether you're an introvert, extrovert, ambivert, outgoing introvert... or whatever label huff po has created to get more click-throughs... understanding the intentions of another person is the key to understanding them more fully. I always remember what Maya Angelous said:
People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
But they'll never forget how you made them feel.
Do your best to make them feel special.

And try not to be an asshole. 

4 comments:

  1. ((((love this)))))
    did not know this!!!! ----> we get lonely in a crowd.
    xo

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    1. Thanks Carla! Crowded rooms are awesome for extrovert stimulation - horrible for connectivity.

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  2. I love this! (As I mentally am rehashing a dinner out with new friends last night and wondering if I was too annoying :0)

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    1. rehash over succotash is what I always say... ok I never say that... But thanks for the compliment!

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