Extrovert or Introvert?

How about both? A fellow blogger, Kate Crimmins, recently posted what I quote here as part of her post at Views and Mews by Coffee Kat (you can follow her at https://coffeekatblog.com): “An extroverted introvert – Yes there is such a thing. I get energy off of people but in large doses they make me cranky, irritable and homicidal. The past ten days social engagements have piled on top of each other. That’s a lot of being nice. Way over my limit. This past Friday was the first day without a scheduled people event. I was ecstatic. I don’t like to go too long without people interaction but I love my alone time. Next week is all about me, me, me!”

I’d never have thought up that label, but it fits me pretty well! If asked to choose, most people who know me would classify me as an extrovert because they have always seen me appear confident in social settings. (Note the word “appear”). My career in the hospitality industry made it necessary, so I learned to don that mask and perform well with it. Yet, and especially as I get older, I’ve never really had much tolerance for crowds. Even team-building exercises with a small group always made me uncomfortable. Yet I learned to be able to express myself because it was expected.

And yet, I feel very shy around strangers. Beyond the hello and nice to meet you line, I struggle to initiate a conversation. Fortunately, I learned early on the idea is to ask questions and get the other person to talk about themselves. And fortunately, most people are more than eager to talk about themselves. I can walk away from a conversation with a stranger and all they can tell you about me is that I’m a good listener. I’ve never liked to talk about myself except in private conversations with people I trust. I detest being the center of attention for any reason (even with friends I trust).

Even my Zodiac sign, which I don’t put much stock in, says I’m an introvert!

And yes, I like being alone. I like being alone a LOT! Like Kate, I need to feed off the energy of others from time to time, but I’ve become very content with my own self for company. My tolerance for crowds of people continues to diminish as I age, as well as my tolerance for high levels of noise.

And yet, if you read my blog, you find that I have strong opinions and the ability to put them into words. Talking is the sign of an extrovert, while listening is a sign of an introvert. And that’s why I’m so ecstatic to find out that I’m not the only one with some of both. Of course, in this case, talking actually means writing…performing these words orally for others would have me petrified!

So, from now on, I’m going to label myself as an extroverted introvert – or maybe an introverted extrovert – allowing myself to be some of each.

What about you? Do you clearly classify as one or the other, or are you also some of each?