A Peek Into The Mind Of An Extroverted Introvert

 

Say what?  An extroverted introvert?  What the heck is that you ask  You’re in luck.  I’m going to give you a bird’s eye look into the mind of one:  mine.  And yes, extroverted introversion is a real ‘thing’.  Go ahead and Google it to see for yourself.  But do it in a new tab please.  I don’t want you to get so enthralled with your reading that you forget about me and can’t find your way back.  I’ll wait for you …

Back already?  That was fast.  Or are you so curious you’ll just trust me [for now].

So anyway, yes it is a legit thing.  And it’s not an oxymoron either.  Introversion and extroversion are merely two ends of a spectrum to measure and classify personality types.  But it doesn’t mean a person is one OR the other.  They simply tend to display more thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of one versus the other.  It’s kind of like the left-brain, right-brain classification.  Most of us are dominant on one side, but that doesn’t mean we don’t use the other side.  A celebrated visual artist can still balance their chequebooks and a stats nerd can still write a romantic haiku for their partner.

And I my readers am an extroverted introvert.  I’ve taken many a personality tests in my day and they all score me very high on any introversion-related dimensions of personality.  I’ve done the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® three times, and each time was classified as an INFJ – Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging.  I am rare being a part of only 1-3% of the general population.  I’m cool with that.

I am also cool with being just enough extroverted to make my otherwise introverted life exciting.  So exciting, I feel I have cause to share some of that life with you in this post.  Hold on tight.  You’re about to get into my head and like I said, I’m rare so I hope you’re cool with that too.

 

I love being single.

I’ve been married twice plus engaged one other time.  I’ve been single now for about 9 years and I love it.  I am very chill with the idea of living out the rest of my life alone.  Apart from spending time with my 3 kids of course, but on my schedule.  Do I get lonely sometimes?  Hell yeah I do.  But it passes.  Just like my cravings for Hershey chocolate kisses and salty chips at the same time.  And even when I do cave to those cravings, there’s nobody around to laugh.  Or complain about the crumbs in my bed.

I’ll pick sleeping alone over sex any night (or day).

Speaking of beds, it’s mine, all mine.  Every glorious queen-size inch of it.  If I don’t want to make it, I don’t.  If I want to hog all of the blankets, I do.  It’s probably better that way anyway.  I’m in early menopause and I get those things like night sweats and the waking up at 5 am for no damn reason and can’t get back to sleep.  Single males of the world, you can thank me for not availing myself to be a mate for you.  You wouldn’t want to sleep with me, in the literal or the figurative sense of the phrase.  It takes more energy for me to get ready for sex than to partake in it.  Oh, and to my kids – thank you for getting all growned up now and not wanting to sleep with mommy anymore.  I won’t tell you how many times I cursed God for thunderstorms during your childhoods.

I like my back to the wall and my eye on the door.

Being a wallflower is my modus operandi.  I do it on purpose, not because I’m not popular or anything.  Heck, people love being around me.  Just ask the 3 friends I have, they’ll tell you.  But really, put me in a crowd of folks and you’ll find me at the back of the room or off to the side of it.  It’s partly because of the introverted side who always needs to have an escape route.  And it’s partly because of the extroverted side who really does love observing and listening to people.  I’m not trying to ignore everyone.  I just prefer to watch everyone interacting than be a part of it.

Did she really just say 3 friends?

Yep, sure did and I like it that way thank you kindly.  Apart from my teen years when somehow I managed to be an integral part of three different social circles at school (the popular clique, the brainiac nerds, and the parking lot rebels), most of my life I’ve been able to count on one hand those I’ve honestly considered friends.  Right now they are my gal pal I call “Lovely”, my BWAT, and my sponsor.  While I’m sure many others will go to my funeral, I’m pretty picky about who I let get close to me.  It’s a compliment, trust me.

I screen calls and messages.

Even from those 3 friends and umm, uhhh, yes even from my beloved children.  Dang, did I really just make that public info?  Guess I should start following some “good mommy” blogs in my Reader eh?  If it’s just a quick back’n’forth, I’ll reply promptly.  But if it involves any ‘conversation’, then likely not.  Or anything about spending time with the person.  I may not know today if I’ll be feeling extroverted enough then to get together.  Seriously, that’s what crosses my mind.  Hence the featured image pic I chose for this post. The downside of my wait and see approach is sometimes I forget about the calls or the messages.  Then I feel bad.

I have a love-hate relationship with malls.

Every year, I go the mall on Christmas Eve.  Even if I don’t have to be there.  Not because I like to spend 15 minutes looking for a parking spot.  And not because I’m a lover of the crowds.  But it does make me feel connected to the world at large without having to say anything more than “excuse me” or “double-double please … thank you” over a two-hour period of time.  And because I get a kick out of looking at the horrified looks on husbands’ faces as they start their Christmas shopping for the wife.  Their misery is my source of entertainment.  Beats caroling in the streets with other people any year.

And my kids don’t like shopping with me, unless I’m paying for their purchases of course.  They say I’m rude to the clerks who are simply doing their jobs saying hello, telling me about the sale of the day, or asking if we need any help.  I don’t mean to be rude.  I just don’t like the small talk [more on that one coming soon].  I have actually pretended to answer a non-existent call on my phone to present some sort of socially acceptable reason for leaving a store to get me the heck away from all of their chatty kathy’s without having to say “leave me alone.”  ‘Tis a sad life we introverts lead at times I know.

I’m a great big talker but despise small talk.

The two careers I’ve had thus far have been in government services and my current field of trade, the hospitality sector.  Both require a lot of talking to people, mostly complete strangers.  And I’m damn good at it.  I’ve even given seminars on the art of networking to hundreds of people and have written a couple of training manuals for restaurant customer service excellence.  I can walk into a church basement, tell my drunkalogue and story of recovery to a room full of people I don’t know.  But as soon as I’m done at the podium, I want to bolt.  Don’t anyone dare come talk to me after to say thanks or ask me a question on the topic at hand.  I’ve just given a week’s worth of my social time energy in one very long to me hour, isn’t that enough?

I’m not really a bitch.  I just look that way.

I have what the young folks these days call a ‘resting bitch face’.  Please don’t take it the wrong way, it just means I’m thinking about something or trying to really focus, hence my accompanying silence likely.  And it’s way worse when I’m stressed or already feeling hyper-anxious about being in the social situation I’ve found myself in.  I tried to curb it before, by getting a “bitch buddy” at work who would sarcastically smile at me in passing if she saw that I had the look on.  It didn’t work.  Awareness improved, but just stressed me out more so it got worse anyway.  Now I think the only thing that would cure it is botox.  But your impression of me and my face isn’t worth spending that much money on, thanks anyway.

 

Well, writing this post was easy.  I know the subject matter well.  But I’m starting to worry that some of you may actually have something to say about it and well, that means you might comment on it.  And your commenting means I will have to reply to it.  And I’m not sure if I’m ready to interact with you just yet.  So I think I’ll just get it over with, hit publish, and then go off into my Reader and explore what you all have been writing about.  Maybe I’ll go find me some of those good mommy blogs out there, or some posts about how to smile more.  Or maybe I’ll head on over to TED and re-watch the talks below to remind myself that being an introvert ain’t such a bad thing after all.  Of course, with some Hershey chocolates and a bag of chips, sitting on my big bed alone but not lonely.

 

Confessions of a passionate introvert:  Brian Little

An introvert’s guide to changing the world:  Alexander Six

The power of introverts:  Susan Cain

 

In somewhat of an anti-response to today’s Daily Prompt:  Solitude

 


Listen to music.  It could save your soul.  Be kind.  It could save someone’s world.  Wear a hat.  It could save your life.

 

57 thoughts on “A Peek Into The Mind Of An Extroverted Introvert

  1. I love this! Some of the revelations I cannot relate to… due to my age… but this is totally me. I think we extroverted introverts have our charms. Another thing I always come across is: I tell people I am an introvert at heart, and they go “No way!”. 😦
    BTW, you don’t have to reply if you’re “not ready to interact” with me.

    Mia ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahaha.

    I get bizarre stares aka questioning looks from people who just couldn’t understanding why I choose my own company over mingling or enduring noisy gatherings or why I wouldn’t passionately interact or get into discussions, every time.

    I totally relate with you, Marianne and im glad I’m absolutely ‘normal’….

    I listened to Susan Cain 2yrs ago at the GLS. ..great mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I get those looks too. Especially from the folks who INSIST I am not introverted. Glad you could relate and found something to be ‘normal’ with.
      I would love to hear Susan speak. She’s one of my favourite TED speakers. So envious …
      Anyway, thanks for the note and the visit. Wishing you a kindness-filled kinda day … Marianne

      Like

  3. My whole life I was told I was so outgoing, so vivacious, the life of the party, so much fun. I just accepted this while at the same time feeling like a fraud. I didn’t feel like the life of the party, I felt like an outsider. Everyone was laughing and talking and having FUN! and I just wanted to sit in the corner and pet the dog or play legos with the kids or go to the kitchen to help plate appetizers. Anything but interact with kids my own age. It wasn’t until I was about 48 that I read somewhere about introverted people with SOME extroverted character traits. WHAT A RELIEF. I had a people. Now I know what the norm is for me and I love it! I love being with my book group or smaller circles of friends. Family’s okay in large doses because that’s the way it works. You’ll even see me throwing a largish party. Guess where I am? In the kitchen talking to one or two people while we plate appetizers. Thank you for the post. As usual, you are spot on Marianne! Hope you are well and having a beautiful day.
    Amy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahahahaha! BLIP. COL. ROFL.
    So many things to say here. One, “ambiverts” are actually more common than most people realize. Two, the INFJ is the most extroverted of introverted types, which you possibly already knew. 🙂 Incidentally, the ENFP is the considered the most introverted of extroverts, in case you were wondering.
    Do you have a species for your wallflower? I could suggest a few. Ah, and yes, doesn’t making friends—the type and number—change over time? The ones who can hang on end up on the fingers of one hand. 😉
    Screening calls is the way to go! The latest operating systems on smartphones allow you to use a software fix for that, too, which is nice.
    There, I’ve rambled. Don’t you love how these exchanges take place on your blog, and not mine? Preserves the image of my “austerity,” ahahaha. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wouldn’t comment for you to reply, but yeah what the heck, I thought I’d comment anyway. I know it might be up for approval, and you might trash it, but I’d still like to say it anyway. Now, all of a sudden, after all that I got nothing to say. I’d say the post is amazing but you’d be like, deep inside, I know, maybe not by arrogance, but because it’s true. But even then, when it is really true and you know it, you let it be I guess. You’ve made me spill my brains but I don’t seem to control it, my thoughts, my flow of words. It is random and I do realise it is a comment on another’s blog and not my own post, so I need to stop. But that’s what my extroverted introvert mind is making me to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the way you comment Claymarc. Tellin’ it like it is going through your mind, uninterrupted. Splendid.
      And nope I didn’t think the post was awesome. Good enough to hit publish on, but awesome not so much so thank you for thinking that it was. That brings a grin to my resting bitch face this morning.
      Thanks again, hope you’re having a kindness-filled kinda day … Marianne

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Marianne–I loved this! I am an ISTP. Yup. A true bleeding heart. And if we met in the store and I didn’t recognize you (cause you didn’t have your hat on)–we would be strangers, right? Yes! But I would so chat you up. One of my favorite things is to make small talk with absolute strangers when I am shopping. That must be the extrovert part of my introversion. I loved this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my Louisa, you just reminded me of my mom. As an introverted kid, it used to drive me bonkers the way she would stop to talk to anyone, telling her life story while in line at the grocery store. But as I matured, I came to adore that side of her and to be honest, find myself doing it on occasion … when the extroversion in me wants to go out and play.
      Thanks for the visit and the note. Thrilled to see you liked the post. Wishing you a kindness-filled kinda day … Marianne

      Like

  7. This is totally me as well, except for the bitch face part but that’s because I feel so peaceful being alone and I don’t work in a corporate office. I’ve had several jobs that involved public speaking, a lot of it, in front of both large and small crowds – but conversation bores me. Unless it’s with one of my very few close friends and it’s about something meaningful. Oh and don’t feel you have to respond to this comment, because I understand that too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too funny, you’re the second one to give me the okay to not reply. 🙂
      Congrats on avoiding the bitch face. I know mine ain’t pretty and I don’t wish it on anyone. Okay well maybe the chatty kathy’s now and then, but generally no.
      Anyway, thanks for the visit, the note, and the permission. All 3 made me smile and I need to smile more obviously.
      Wishing you a kindness-filled kinda day … Marianne

      Like

    • You are very welcome Curious. You are definitely not alone, even though being alone might be what you favour over social get-togethers like me. And yeah, I’ve been caled strange too. I shook the dislike of that word a long time ago after I saw some of the synonyms for it in the thesaurus. Go check them out, maybe there’s one you’ll be fond of too. Like remarkable, wonderful, extraordinary. 🙂
      Marianne

      Like

  8. O-M-G! Me too! I’ve never met one before! You are indeed a kindred soul. Maybe that accounts for similarity in our site names, lol. You’ve said it all, so I don’t have much to add other than I was so drawn to your post’s image I wanted to take it for myself. I detest appointments, absolutely detest them, among other things. Nice to “meet” you – again :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Too funny about the site name similarities 🙂
      Appointments eh? Yeah me too, always worried that at that particular time, I’d rather be home alone in my pjs drinking coffee and on the puter rather than interacting with the world. But alas they are a necessary evil so off I trod.
      Terrific to “meet” you again as well. Hope you’re having a kindness-filled kinda day … Marianne

      Liked by 1 person

      • Getting myself out the door for any obligation, pleasure or otherwise, is a burdensome mental process, lol. Inevitably I tell myself all sorts of reasons I could stay home and do what I really prefer (yes, pjs, whatever) … and sometimes I do that. Ha. So funny. Enjoyed this! Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved this post, it truly spoke to me, about me and maybe for me? 😀 It is great to know that I am not crazy, ok, I might be, but the test could have been a false positive?! JK You explained so well what I have always felt but could not seem to explain well enough so that others could understand, I am alone and I like it! I think I’ll reread this wonderful piece again, just to feel again that wonderful, I am not alone, but still alone and we like it feeling, sort of like riding that one ride at a theme park over and over that makes you feel good 😉 Anywho, have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this!! I’m an INTJ and I can relate to many of the things you’ve written here! I am married and do love sharing my bed with my hubby 🙂 but I adore my alone time and with him being an extroverted extravert (like yes, extravert x2), I love love LOVE my alone time!! Good read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So happy you liked it Nikki. And that you like to share your bed haha! 🙂
      Extroversion to the power of 2 eh? Wow, not sure I could handle that. Well not for more than 30 minutes or so I think.
      Hope you’re having a kindness-filled kinda day … Marianne

      Like

  11. I totally get this – I think I am a little the same. I HATE when my phone rings and I despise small talk, so I keep my friendship group small so that I only have interesting and more meaningful conversations. And I go stir crazy if I don’t get enough time alone!

    Liked by 1 person

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