I’ve always had an issue typecasting myself as either an extrovert or introvert; I found both to be somewhat of an extreme, whereas I see myself as a pretty neutral type of person. My personality is very specific–I like to have fun in the right environment, I’m talkative with ones I’m most comfortable, if I don’t like something I can shut down, & I’m often in my own head. It’s taken years of getting to know myself to really understand my personality but I finally feel like I can label it as something: an outgoing introvert.
It was brought to my attention recently that I’m terrible at small talk (obviously Paul pointed this out). I never even gave it much thought, but I literally tense up inside when I have to do it–I can’t think of ONE normal question to ask or comment to make–it’s bad. It happens at work events, when I meet people who read my blog or follow me, if I don’t know someone & have to make conversation, I’m just awkward. Occasionally, depending on the circumstances, I can bust out conversation with strangers but it’s pretty rare. I’m going to go ahead and blame this on my personality.
Another example of my personality being super specific, is during my work week. After 2 full days of non-stop fun over the weekend my energy starts to wear and I need to boost myself back into an organized mindset. I work really hard and get into the zone so I don’t want to be bothered. At the end of a long work day I don’t want to chit-chat, I just want my space and time to decompress. Sometimes that means alone, sometimes that means working out, and sometimes that means staring at my phone for 2 hours to give myself some mindless recreation. Other days I like to talk Paul’s ear off with details of my every move. Just depends on how I’m feeling that day!
Don’t even get me started about trying to talk on the phone during business hours. Something many people don’t know about me is a simple text or call unrelated to my work will derail my focus and send me into an hour of procrastination. While I am an avid multi-tasker, talking on the phone handicaps me. So yes, I am ignoring your calls, but chances are if you call me 6:00pm or later (or on the weekends) I will very willingly answer the phone to chat.
As an outgoing introvert I absolutely love getting dinner with friends to catch up. I’m the kind of person you will spend 3 hours at dinner with because we will talk and talk and talk and I’ll make you spill your guts. I’m a “listener” and people tend to pick up on that and turn our dinner into a sort of therapy session…and I love it! BUT, put me in a massive group dinner with a bunch of people I’ve never met, and add to that loud music where we have to shout and I’ll most likely be the most boring person you’ve ever met. Cocktails always help, but I’m definitely not making my best impression under these circumstances. I guess you can say I’m selectively social.
Lastly, since introverts do live inside their own heads a lot, sometimes I will be thinking ‘that girl looks so gorgeous!’ and sort of forget to say it out loud. It’s less an insecurity thing, and more just getting lost in my own thoughts. I also tend to think I’ve told people (sorry Paul) things that I actually only thought in my own head. It can be a serious issue at times, but I’m working on it. Over the last few months I’ve made a conscious effort to vocalize my thoughts rather than suppressing them (the Scorpio in me) and it definitely helps manage my anxiety since I’m not bottling things up. I’m also trying to actually say what I’m thinking out loud rather than just keeping it to myself, which is helping me start more conversations (aka not just mindless small talk that I hate).
Does anyone else relate to these traits and behaviors? I like to think that I’m not alone, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.