Extrovert or introvert?

While visiting Greg’s family, we got into a conversation about extroverts and introverts. I mentioned that Eleanor will chatter nonstop when she’s with one or two friends, but when a big group arrives, she clings to my leg. Given her genes, this is no surprise.

Social interactions recharge extroverts and drain energy from introverts. I’m an introvert. It’s not that I dislike people. I revel in gathering with my friends and hearing their stories and opinions, but when the party is over, I want to go home and snuggle on the couch with a book. I crave that time to sort my thoughts and quiet my mind.

Being an introvert does sometimes make me feel like an outcast, particularly because I’ve chosen to work in communications. Shouldn’t I post a tweet instead of folding back the cover of that new novel? Can I succeed in a society where an outgoing personality is so highly prized? I looked up synonyms for introverted and found this: cold, reclusive, standoffish. How flattering!

How about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? And have you ever wished that you were the opposite?

(Photo is Eleanor watching her cousins play outside.)

7 thoughts on “Extrovert or introvert?

  1. Is it possible to be both, do you think? Whenever I hear discussion about introverted vs. extroverted behavior I have a hard time categorizing myself. I enjoy social interaction, including meeting new people, but I’m usually trying to manage my feelings of awkwardness, even with people I know well. And I crave time to myself, too, which is in short supply these days.
    I don’t wish I were something other than what I am, but I do wish I felt more comfortable in social interactions, in general.

  2. Frances, I love how you put that: “I’m usually trying to manage my feelings of awkwardness …” I’ve always felt that way but never heard it stated quite so well. I’m definitely an introvert!

  3. Frances, I do think you can be a bit of both. In the psychology class I took, we talked a lot about how measurements of personality fall on a continuum, so even though I’m an introvert, I like socializing, and even though I’m more feminine than masculine, I like learning to throw a punch.

  4. I’d classify myself as a shy extrovert. I prefer being around people and can converse with most anyone, but I’m very shy in certain social environments, like big groups where I don’t know anyone.

  5. I’m an extrovert in introvert’s clothing. I dread social occasions but I’m the last to leave the party. Although I may seem a little more introverted in future, I’m probably just concerned about being punched!

  6. John, Sarah has been grilling me about whether that “introverted in future” is a time traveling Doctor Who reference, but I don’t know it. Is it?

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