If you’re an extroverted introvert like I am, well, I feel slightly bad for you. I understand you completely and I get that life can be a bit difficult.
Social situations are awesome … until they’re not.
You can make a million friends but at the end of the day, are left with only a few.
You are so excited for a party but are home an hour after you had arrived.
You spend the entire afternoon out but then are on the couch with a good movie for the rest of the night.
Curious to know why these things are happening to you or someone you know? Here’s the easy steps to understanding an Introverted Extrovert (ambivert).
We get up in the morning, ready to take on the day … unless we’re not.
Introverted Extroverts (IE) get up excited, most days, for the social interaction for the day. They are ready to see their coworkers, friends, neighbors, or whoever makes them happy in their life. Some days though, we cannot fathom the idea of having to be by one more human or having to speak to one more person. We just simply can’t even get ourselves to walk out the door.
We like to choose when to be social.
With limited social energy, it’s important to us to choose what we’re going to do with our day. We don’t mean to be rude, we just need to draw a line as to what we’re going to do and who we’re going to socialize with.
Making friends is the easy part. Keeping them can be a struggle.
We can make friends left and right. That’s not hard at all. However, our limited ability to socialize might make it hard to be friends with everyone. Therefore, if we consider you a close friend, it’s a big deal. We chose to invest time in that relationship.
We understand most people.
Our personality allows us to understand both the introverted and the extroverted so we can make friends easily. There are very few people we don’t get along with, and if we don’t get along with them, it’s probably because of the other person. Understanding both sides allows us to keep up with the extroverted and to know that the introverted needs space and alone time.
If someone needs to chat, we’ll be there.
If we see someone who is worse than us at holding a conversation, we’ll step in and make them feel more comfortable. We understand that sometimes conversation is uncomfortable and sometimes being an introvert is hard.
Once you get us talking, we may talk for hours.
One-on-one situations are where we thrive. We can talk and talk and talk, especially if we’re with good company on a good topic.
But we may not talk at all.
Despite enjoying social situations, we may really enjoy being there but we may not say a thing. After chatting with people, we may need a break and enjoy just listening instead.
Small talk isn’t our strong point.
Striking a conversation with a stranger or acquaintance is fine but talking small talk might not keep us interested in the conversation. IEs have a limited amount of social energy and it simply can’t be wasted on small talk. If caught in this situation, we’ll either push it into a deeper conversation or walk away.
We enjoy a good party but may be ready to leave after 30 minutes.
IEs love social interaction but again, social energy is limited. After catching up with all of our good friends and meeting a few people, we’re just about out of energy. You can either find us in the back of the room or ready to leave after a short time.
If it’s a new situation, we’ll be in the back.
Any IE will approach a new situation with cautious excitement. We’re excited for the new situation but apprehensive about what will happen next. Let us slowly get used to the new crowd/activity and then we’ll be ready to jump in and participate.
We love large groups but do better in small groups.
We also enjoy small groups where we are slowly socially drained instead of large groups where we can be socially drained quickly. Going out with a few friends is one of the best situations for us.
As much as we love people, we may not want to leave the house.
Our closest friends may be going out for an amazing night on the town that you so badly want to go to but at the same time, you just can’t get yourself to leave. A night on the couch with a book or a movie might be all we can manage that day.
Our social personality can change in an instant.
One of the biggest downfalls of an IE is that our social desires can change quickly and unexpectedly. We might call you to hang out on Friday but not return any calls or texts the next day. We’re not mad. We’re just enjoying being an introvert.
We want to meet all your friends or try something new, just let us know ahead of time.
It’s exhausting to meet new people and to try something new so while we’re really excited about it, we just need to prepare ourselves mentally for the task.
We want to be alone, just not lonely.
Sometimes it’s hard to balance choosing to be alone and feeling lonely.
We live in our heads, even if it seems like we put ourselves out there.
Since we’re a mix of both introverted and extroverted, we can chat and be social but we’re still constantly analyzing the situation in our heads.
We tend to be leaders but don’t want praise and don’t want to talk about how great we are.
This is one of our biggest struggles. Because we understand people so well, we tend to be leaders. We also can stand up in front of large crowds and we can make good decisions. However, having to talk about how good we are or how well we’ve done makes us cringe and embarrassed. Let us lead, just don’t talk about it.
We love being surrounded by people but being able to be by ourselves.
Coffee shops and cafés are one of the best places for us. We thrive on the energy that everyone is giving off around us but love that we don’t have to interact with anyone.
We don’t have one group of friends.
Oftentimes, we pick and choose one or two people out of each social group we’re a part of and make them our closest friends. We don’t mind spending time with everyone but these handful of closest friends are our best friends for life and we would do anything for these friends.
Adapted from lifehack.org and unisoultheory.com