Up until probably a year ago, I thoroughly believed that I was an extrovert. I’m outgoing, good with people, and like being the center of attention (guilty). Even when I took those personality tests in school, I always got some form of an extroverted personality. Introvert? No way.
But the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve started to realize that I desperately crave alone time and probably my greatest joy in life is curling up in a cozy comforter, lighting some overpriced Jo Malone candles, and posting up with my laptop and a glass of champs for some nighttime work. Honestly even writing that out right now is making me excited.
It’s not that I’m not social – I love my friends and love meeting new people. I’m great with small talk and good with crowds, and can hold my own in pretty much any conversation. It’s safe to say I am basically the opposite of shy. So I’m an extrovert, right? Wrong. I’m a die hard, true to the core introvert – but I’m an outgoing introvert.
Didn’t think there was such a thing? Like me, you’ve probably always equated being extroverted with being outgoing and social, and being introverted with being shy and a bit of a loner. Let me tell you – that’s not what it means at all!
Being an introvert or extrovert is defined by what recharges your energy and what drains it. Extroverts are recharged by social gatherings and introverts are recharged by alone or 1 on 1 time.
It seems like there’s a stigma around introverts – that they’re antisocial, bad leaders, and shy or boring. I really want to clear that up and let you know that being introverted is badass. It’s not any better or worse than being extroverted – the world needs all types of personalities to function. I used to try to be or act more extroverted and it made me pretty miserable. Once I realized that it just means that my alone time is what fuels me and helps me recharge, I was able to fully embrace it and use it to my advantage.
Since finding out & accepting that I’m introverted at heart, I’ve started to craft elements of my life around what works best for me – for example: I get most creative and am happiest when I get to work from home and work on my own schedule, so I’ve altered my career path to allow for that. I also feel less pressure to keep up with more extroverted friends socially – I only go out when I really want to, and when I do, I’m the life of the party because I actually have enough energy to be there. The people in my life are important to me, so I plan more one on one or small group date nights, girls nights in, happy hour drinks, and phone calls to keep my relationships strong.
No shame in my game, girlfriend!
As soon as you let go to how you think you “should” be, you’ll feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders and you’ll be so much happier.
QUESTION: are you an introvert or an extrovert? What is the #1 activity that helps you recharge? Post in the comments below!