A central dimension of human personalities is the extroversion-introversion trait. We trend toward thinking of this temperament as black or white – people are either outgoing or shy, right? Online quizzes and human resources personality indicators put people into clear, easy-to-read boxes. But in reality, many folks are a mix of life-of-the-party and wallflower.
Enter the extroverted introvert. The extroverted introvert has a kind of love/hate relationship with other people. People who identify with this mixed-trait know the way we interact with the world isn’t fixed; it’s a sliding scale. While often outgoing, extroverted introverts also desperately need their alone time.
Take a look at this list of 12 traits of extroverted introverts to see what resonates with you:
1. You love your alone time. Extroverted introverts don’t feel discomfort in being alone. In fact, an extroverted introvert will relish a day spent in solitude, often not speaking to another human being. They love being by themselves and find time spent in a solitary pastime – like reading a book – extremely invigorating.
2. But sometimes you feel lonely. Being good on your own doesn’t mean it’s always good for you. Extroverted introverts get lonely when they cross the line between their love for alone time and the need for social interaction.
3. You can meet anybody. Whether partners, bosses, or friends-of-friends, extroverted introverts are good at meeting other people. Because they don’t really like talking about themselves, they are skilled at asking questions and building connections.
4. One-on-one time is your go-to. Communication with another person one-on-one is usually the favorite type of interaction for an extroverted introvert. Preferring meaningful conversation, they don’t enjoy the obligatory small talk a group situation tends to bring.
5. You’re a natural people person. An extroverted introvert knows how to work a party. Charming and funny, these are the ones who seem to get along with anyone and everyone.
6. Until you’re not. There’s a point in any social situation where extroverted introverts have had enough. While initially energized by the buzz of human interaction, after a couple of hours they’re drained. The remedy to replenish? You guessed it, alone time.
7. You shy away from compliments. Everyone likes making good impressions and being noticed. For extroverted introverts, when someone pays a compliment, they often feel bashful. They want people to look at them, but not too much.
8. Friendships that require maintenance exhaust you. We all have friends that require more attention and communication than others. For extroverted introverts, their ideal friendship isn’t too demanding. Friendships that allow space, like only seeing each other sporadically or not needing respond immediately to communications, work best for extroverted introverts.
9. Sometimes you’re bad at returning calls and messages. Following the same line as relaxed friendships, some days an extroverted introvert may not feel like responding to messages and texts. Instead, they crave complete solitude in that moment. Don’t take it personally, it’s not that they don’t want to talk to you; they don’t want to talk to anyone.
10. You sometimes have social anxiety. No matter how many times an extroverted introvert makes a great impression, social anxiety can rear its ugly head. This typically happens in the hours or days before the next time they need to be “on” for a crowd. While extroverted introverts know they’ll enjoy the shindig once they get there, they may consider canceling before they leave the house.
11. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Extroverted introverts enjoy going out with friends and being social, whether out for a drink or hitting the dance floor. While they thrive on the energy, there comes a point when the extroverted introvert is suddenly ready to go home. But it’s not because the fun’s run out – it’s because for them it’s time to recharge alone.
12. You enjoy being around people while being alone. So this one sounds a little oxymoronic, but it’s a very real feeling. Think about going alone to a bustling café. For an extroverted introvert, this can be a fulfilling experience – you get to look around and see folks in social situations, but you are removed from it. The result is that you’re part of something, but there’s no pressure.
Does any of this resonate with you? Maybe you’re an extroverted introvert. If so, that’s OK. Nobody is going to make you get up in front of a group and talk about it.