What It’s Like To Be An Introverted Extrovert

Being an introvert or an extrovert defines a lot about your personality. While introverts are more comfortable being alone participating in quiet activities such as reading or writing, extroverts thrive in more social, exciting environments. The two seem like polar opposites, but there are plenty of people who fall somewhere in the middle. If you’ve never felt like either word described you, here are some signs you might be an introverted extrovert:

  1. You like being around people, but you prefer to listen. It’s not that you don’t like being social— just that you prefer being a member of the audience. Your idea of a good time involves a lot more of observing what other people are doing and discussing rather than being the one to initiate conversations. You don’t mind participating a little bit, but when chatting too much leaves you slightly drained, you can sit back and let everyone else do all the social heavy lifting while you just take it all in.
  2. You struggle with both being alone and being in large groups. You’re like the cat that is always wanting to go out, then go back in again. You get antsy when you’re stuck in the house by yourself, but as soon as you find yourself surrounded by people, you feel overwhelmed. For you, the ideal social outing involves yourself and maybe three friends at most. It’s not that you hate people — just that you’d rather be with smaller groups of people.
  3. You need the chance to recharge during large social gatherings. If you attend a party or go out to a club, you’re going to be that person who needs to step outside or hide in the bathroom for a few minutes every now and then. Your friends might ask you if you’re not having fun, but that’s not the case at all; you just need the occasional break so you can have the energy to continue having fun while being surrounded by other people.
  4. You don’t go out of your way to make plans, but you’ll show up if invited. You can count on one hand the number of times you’ve actually organized get-togethers with more than two people. If you get invited, though, you’re not going to avoid going just because. You have fun when you hang out with people, but actually organizing opportunities to do so just isn’t at the top of your list of priorities.
  5. You get disappointed when plans are cancelled, but you don’t mind staying in. When you’re a full-on introvert, cancelled plans are a blessing. When you’re a full-on extrovert, they’re a curse. But when you’re an introverted extrovert, they’re just meh. Sure, you would have liked to have gone out and seen your friends, but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out. You’re perfectly content to stay home with your cat and Netflix if going out is no longer an option.
  6. You can take both solitude and socialization in small doses. Being alone for a while is fun. Being with people for a while is fun. But being alone or with people for a long period of time is a nightmare. Your need for balance in your social life makes it hard to ever truly be satisfied with how much time you’re spending in solitude or around others, but you do your best to find a happy equilibrium.
  7. You value individual interactions over grand experiences. You aren’t the type to remember parties for the crazy music or how much you drank, but instead for that one really cool girl you met who had awesome stories about living abroad. For you, the small, personal details are what matter even when you attend big events. When you’re with a lot of people, you make an effort to get to really know the people you talk to instead of just dismissing them as one-and-done interactions.
  8. You tend to stick with a small group of people when you go to a big event. If you don’t get forced into interacting with strangers at a large social function, you’ll be a lot happier. You much prefer to stick with the people you know, maybe with a couple of new friends mixed in.
  9. You have to force yourself to be social, but you enjoy it once you’re out. You’re definitely a victim of anticipation. You’ll sometimes spend hours dreading leaving your bed and books to go out, but once you see your friends, you have a blast. It’s mostly the IDEA of going out that makes you miserable— actually doing it is a lot of fun for you.
  10. You don’t mind talking to people… as long as it’s on your terms. Your version of hell involves being stuck in a crappy conversation with no way out. You enjoy chatting, but you have to be in control of the conversation if you’re going to be happy. You’re a pro at coming up with a thousand excuses to exit a conversation just in case you need them, and you’re not ashamed to go to use the “I have to pee” excuse five times in an hour if necessary.
  11. The key to a happy social life for you is balance. Being an introverted extrovert means that you don’t lean too far to either extreme of the social scale. While some people hate going out and others hate staying in, you fall somewhere in the middle. You need to achieve a balance of old friends and new friends, being alone and being with people, and meeting strangers and sticking with people you know if you want to feel at peace.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt. She's currently hanging out in Costa Rica with her cat and a lot of really big bugs.