Wondering if you might be an extroverted introvert? Maybe you took a personality test and learned that you’re an introvert.
This discovery makes a lot of sense given the many of the ways you react and feel on a daily basis.
You do some research on introverts, and while some articles describe you perfectly, others don’t even come close. There are introverted behaviors that don’t fit you at all.
- You don’t hate socializing.
- You don’t want to spend all of your time by yourself.
- You feel comfortable meeting and talking with other people.
- People think you’re talkative and outgoing.
- You have a close-knit group of friends.
Sure, you’d rather send a text message than make a phone call, and you may even prefer to have quiet alone time over being in a loud and rambunctious crowd.
So how do you know if you really are an introvert or an extravert?
What Is An Extroverted Introvert?
This personality type seems like a contradiction. How can you be an introvert who is extroverted? The reason is that personality traits exist on a scale, so your introversion score may be slightly lower than the “typical” introvert.
Introversion and extroversion are personality traits that are part of a wide spectrum, and you can fall anywhere in between.
However, some introverts share many of the traits of extroverts — but with limits. This can be confusing to friends and family who don’t understand our fluctuating needs and behaviors.
Maybe you can relate to this. If you find yourself conflicted about whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you might just be an “extroverted introvert” — sometimes referred to as a social introvert and an outgoing introvert
This personality dynamic can be quite confusing to you and the people who know you well.
For example, let’s say your best friend invites you to a party, and you both look forward to it for weeks. You go out together and buy new outfits to wear to the event, you talk about it daily, and finally, the big day arrives.
You’re all dressed up, you go to the party, talk to a few people, and have a drink or two. You’re having a good time, and then, BOOM, you want to go home. You’re done.
Your friend is still going strong and has no idea why you want to leave so early. Are you sick? Did someone say something rude? Did you spill something on your dress?
Nope, you just want to go home.
Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be alone all of the time. Like extroverts, you may crave the company of others, even in large groups.
But as an introvert, you need to pull away sooner to recharge. Or maybe it takes you longer to recover after spending time with other people. Do you think this describes you?
Here are 17 clues you may be an extroverted introvert:
1. You find people interesting.
You love to people watch. You also love meeting new people and asking them questions about their life’s journey. You want to know them on a deeper level.
But you probably don’t want to do this every night. As much as you are interested in people, you prefer a little bit of socializing at one time before you need some time to yourself.
After a busy weekend, you feel the need to be alone and recharge your mind in peace and quiet.
2. Once you recharge, you reach out to your friends.
You have had some time to yourself now, and you are actually itching to get your friends together — especially friends who enjoy more intimate gatherings.
When you’re the host, it allows you to create your social plans on your own terms. You can set the time, the place, and the invite list.
As soon as you start to feel drained, you can slip out for the night and go home.
3. You enjoy other people, even larger groups.
Some introverts really prefer time alone or just with a couple of close friends. But you like social gatherings, meeting new people, and even some amount of small talk.
You can even be the life of the party or the center of attention for a short amount of time.
But unlike most extroverts, you can only take so much. You suddenly feel depleted and eager to be alone again to recharge. It’s not that you’re having a bad time. You’ve just run out of your social gas and you’re running on fumes.
4. You need time between social events.
Many extroverts can socialize all week long and feel energized by the activity. If the weekend is packed with parties and group outings, they feel excited and energized.
A social introvert may like the idea of a party lifestyle, but the reality of it would send them into a tailspin.
As an introvert, you need time between events to hunker down and recover. Maybe you can handle one or two group events a month without feeling completely drained.
Some extroverted introverts may push themselves to keep up with their extroverted friends, but it can take a toll in the form of exhaustion, irritability, and anxiety.
5. You change your mind at the last minute.
You may have planned on attending a party or event for weeks, but then on the day of the gathering, you suddenly feel the overwhelming desire to stay home and curl up in front of the TV or with your book.
Just thinking about dressing up and going out feels torturous, even though the day before you were looking forward to it.
For introverts, it’s hard to explain the sudden turn-around to your friends. You just know that you don’t have it in you to be around a lot of people and stimulation.
6. You make connections, but they may not last.
When you’re socializing, you meet people you like and have great intentions of staying in touch. But once you’re back in the cocoon of your daily life, you don’t make the effort to reconnect.
You’re not being rude or snobby. You just know how much effort it takes to build the kind of deep connections you prefer. You don’t like superficial relationships, so you tend to reach out to your established friends rather than starting from scratch.
The exception to this is when you happen to connect with someone on a deep level right away. You might strike up a conversation with someone who bypasses small talk and wants to really engage. This kind of good conversation energizes you and makes it worth your effort to build on the connection.
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7. You find a quiet space in the midst of a party.
In group events, you find yourself pulling away with one or two people for quiet conversation rather than “working the room.”
Or if you can’t find one person to converse with for long, you’ll make yourself useful in some out-of-the-way corner, helping the host with the dishes, checking out the books on the bookshelf, or just listening to others in the group.
You may re-engage and withdraw a few times at an event before you hit the wall and need to leave.
8. Some social settings are better than others.
You might love going to a group cocktail party in someone’s home, but spending time in a crowded, noisy bar with dozens of people makes you crazy.
The energy in some groups of people lifts you up, while others can completely exhaust and deplete you.
For you, there are some group events that are just intolerable, and you avoid them like the plague.
It might take you a few negative experiences to figure out the social settings you enjoy and those you don’t. But you know
9. You find yourself asking lots of questions to avoid talking.
People see you as a great conversationalist because you ask a lot of questions and seem genuinely curious about others.
You may truly be interested in other people, but you also know that by asking questions, you’re inviting the other person to talk. This means you don’t have to talk as much. You can listen, observe, and conserve your energy.
Also, by asking questions, you can discern whether or not a person has the potential for a deep connection by the way they respond to your questions.
10. You find group settings where you can be alone.
There are times you may want to be around people, but you don’t want to socialize. You just need the energy of having others around you, but you don’t need to talk or interact.
You enjoy going to coffee shops, parks, or other places where people are around but you can remain anonymous and secluded.
This makes you feel less lonely and isolated without having to work yourself up for a big social occasion.
11. You’re in your head even when out with others.
Part of the exhaustion of socializing comes with trying to be two places at the same time — engaged with others and in your own head.
As an introvert, you spend most of your time in your head, analyzing situations, thinking about what to say, and “trying” to appear social.
It’s a balancing act that requires a lot of emotional energy. It sometimes makes you feel like an outsider at an event, observing other people rather than being part of the action.
12. You are selective with your friends.
You may be comfortable socializing with a variety of people at parties or other events, but your true friends are few and well-vetted.
You find there are a limited number of people with whom you authentically connect, but that doesn’t bother you. In fact, you prefer it that way because it allows for deeper, more meaningful friendships.
You can put more energy into these few close friends rather than spreading yourself thin with a large circle of people (which would exhaust you).
13. You prefer text or email but can talk on the phone for hours.
It’s not that you don’t want to talk to people. It just takes so much energy to invest in a long phone conversation, especially if you’re quietly reading a book or watching a movie.
More often than not, you would much rather email or text to send a quick message.
When you absolutely have to call someone on the phone, you’re probably hoping they won’t pick up, and you can just leave a voicemail.
On the other hand, you have those days when you can spend hours chatting with your best friend because you feel lonely and crave some human interaction. Or you have something profound and interesting to discuss.
14. You love deep and meaningful conversations.
Every conversation is different, especially when considering how much energy it takes to be a part of it.
Not every type of conversation wears you out. It may energize you to talk about big ideas or deep topics with someone who also enjoys these kinds of chats.
But making small talk with someone you hardly know is often challenging and draining for you.
You can manage it graciously for a few minutes, but you lose steam if you can’t get to a topic that has more substance.
15. You’ll do crowds but small ones.
While your other friends can’t wait to go to the giant arena to see their favorite band, you have to mentally prepare yourself to be in a huge, loud crowd for the night.
In fact, you don’t mind missing the encore if it means getting out of the arena quickly at the end of the night.
But a small jazz ensemble in an intimate venue? You’re all over that. You can get in and out quickly and find a quiet corner to enjoy the music.
Spending the day shopping at a crowded mall? Not your thing. You’d rather pop into a boutique or order online. Hanging out at a loud, crowded bar? Ugh. Not so much. Unless you can stand on the patio and chat with a few friends.
Places that are noisy and packed with people feel overwhelming and draining to you. You can put on your game face for a while, but inside you can’t wait to escape.
16. You don’t mind being in the spotlight, sometimes.
If you’re an outgoing introvert, you don’t always hate getting attention or briefly being in the spotlight.
You might secretly enjoy getting attention for things you’re passionate about.
This could be a little extra praise from a boss for a project well-done or a “congrats” from someone you admire. Not all personal attention is bad, but a little goes a long way for you.
17. Other people think you’re an extrovert.
People who don’t know you well might confuse you for an extrovert. You have the social skills to handle yourself well, and you’ll work hard at an event to make other people feel included and comfortable.
You might have leadership skills or speaking skills that make you seem completely confident and comfortable in social situations.
But those closest to you know that once you’re behind closed doors, you might pass out from overwhelm. In fact, extroverted introverts are smart to have a close friend or confidant nearby to help them recognize when it’s time to leave the party.
Are you an extroverted introvert?
It’s helpful to remember that being introverted or extroverted doesn’t mean you’re completely one or the other. These personality traits exist on a scale, and we all have some of each trait.
But as a social introvert, you may have more extroverted needs than your average introvert.
Don’t be confused or upset by your shifting social needs. Just go with the flow and accept that your feelings may change from one day to the next or even one hour to the next. Be kind to yourself and know that you’re not weird or anti-social when you suddenly feel the need to race home.
As an introvert, there may be times you need to stretch yourself in social settings for the sake of politeness or for your career. You may be required to push past your comfort zone and play the part of the outgoing extrovert.
But by understanding your natural traits and your need to recharge, you can generally prepare yourself in advance and manage these situations so you have an “escape plan” when you hit the wall.