So I’m up in Newcastle at the moment, staying with some friends over the next few days to catch up, relax and enjoy the city that I love so much. The people here that I’m visiting are amazing. I love them like they’re my own brothers and sisters. They ground me, lift my confidence and my spirits but are also not afraid to take me down a peg or two if I’m being a knob. They’re perfect friends. I met almost all of them through my old volunteering days and those are the days that made me do a whole lot of thinking.
As I’m sure you’ve read in the title, I want to talk about the types of personality there are. Particularly introverts and extroverts. Now, a lot of people just think that extroverts are highly social party animals and introverts are recluses who don’t mix well with other human beings. Occasionally that can be true but I personally feel like it’s a little more complex than that.
I cannot for the life of me remember where I read it (it was most likely on a random post on Facebook) but the post said that extroverts get their energy from other people while introverts get their energy from themselves. I like this way of thinking about it. Extroverts are in their element when they’re around other extroverts and sometimes may struggle to spend extended periods of time in their own company. Introverts relish their time alone and that gives them a sense of comfort and contentment, but again, they may struggle when dropped in a large group setting.
Almost all the people who know me would consider me an extrovert. When I’m around people, I’m generally very chatty, I can be loud, brash and a little rowdy (especially after a few pints). I’ve always considered myself an introvert. It may be due to my mental ill-health, it may not be. I love my time alone. I make sure that I give myself time to just be with my thoughts or to do simple little things just for myself. Sometimes, if I’m already at home, I flat out won’t make plans so I can stay at home. When someone else cancels plans with me, I’m almost always pretty pleased about it as I can throw on my pajamas and watch a film. Obviously I’d have loved to have seen the person or else I wouldn’t have made the plans but cancelled plans just means I have more me time. I’m not even a fan of texting or calling people anymore. Like, I won’t flat out ignore anyone, but I’ll avoid checking my messages for a few days at a time.
Recently though, I’ve begun to think about myself as an ambivert. A nice balance between the two. At work I’m usually upbeat and lively, especially if I’m delivering a session/working with a large group. And even though my anxiety usually skyrockets and eventually leaves me physically and emotionally drained, for a short period, I get my energy from being around those people and working with them. But then as soon as I get home, I just want to eat, play some games and sleep with no more contact from the outside world.
I’m not sure if I’m making any sense right now as it’s 11pm and I’m half asleep, but to me, being an ambivert (or at the very least, moving from introverted to ambiverted) strikes a perfect balance. It’s what I’m working towards. I am not naturally extroverted, despite what others may say about me so I’m trying to learn to be that way. It’ll allow me to meet more amazing people, experience new things. I’m also trying to stay true to my introverted roots by allowing myself to shut away from the rest of humanity.
When I was volunteering, I was super introverted at first. I never approached anyone until I got to know them. There were 100 of us at a training weekend and that terrified me. I waited for people to approach me and was even more scared that no one would approach me. Luckily I attracted amazing people, the people I’m visiting right now. They managed to start pulling the extrovert out of me and I’m grateful for it. Without them I’d not be transforming into an ambivert and to be honest I’d probably be a proper hermit by now.
There’s nothing wrong with being either an introvert or an extrovert, but for me, I am really looking forward to being someone in the middle. It’s a fine line for me, but I’m prepared to walk that line if it means it’ll help me become a better, more rounded and braver person.
Also I need people to go see films with and eat nice food with. Mainly that.