If you’re an extroverted introvert, you don’t have the energy to maintain a large social network, but you do find relationships deeply fulfilling.
Does this sound like you?
You relish spending time alone and often feel drained when making pointless small talk. After a busy weekend filled with socializing, you find yourself feeling tired, irritable, and perhaps even physically unwell — a state sometimes referred to as the introvert hangover.
However, you also have a good circle of friends and genuinely enjoy meeting new people. While you prefer deep, meaningful conversations, you’re quite adept at making light chitchat.
So, what does that make you… an introvert or an extrovert?
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What Is an Extroverted Introvert?
Enter the extroverted introvert.
This personality type is known by many names. Some refer to it as an outgoing introvert or a social introvert. Others suggest that this reflects ambiversion, which blends introversion and extroversion.
But what does extroverted introvert really mean?
Understanding introversion is key. As I explain in my book, The Secret Lives of Introverts, it’s not an all-or-nothing trait. Even Carl Jung, the renowned psychiatrist who introduced the concepts of introversion and extroversion, said there’s no such thing as a “pure” introvert or extrovert. We all show introverted and extroverted behaviors at different times, influenced by our circumstances, goals, and energy levels.
So, it’s more accurate to view ourselves as existing on an introversion-extroversion spectrum. Some of us lean towards the extreme ends, being highly introverted or extroverted. However, many fall closer to the middle, embodying qualities of both introversion and extroversion.
If you consider yourself an extroverted introvert, it means you’re more outgoing than typical introverts, indicating that your personality is nearer to the center of the spectrum.
Signs You’re an Extroverted Introvert
Are you an extroverted introvert? If so, you might recognize yourself in these signs.
1. Your energy level is closely tied to your environment.
You are sensitive to your surroundings. The vibe of a place, the type of music playing, the number of people present, and the noise level all matter to you. The ambiance of a location can either energize or drain you, depending on whether it fits with your preferences. For example, a loud rock concert in a crowded stadium might be overwhelming, but an intimate acoustic set at your favorite club could be soothing.
2. You find people both intriguing and exhausting.
People-watching? Absolutely. Meeting new people and hearing their life stories? Fascinating. But spending several nights in a row hanging out with friends? Unlikely. Extroverted introverts enjoy meeting new people but have a limited tolerance for extensive socializing. After a busy weekend or a long day at work, you may feel the need to retreat and recharge by spending time alone or with just one other person.
3. Certain people and interactions drain you, while others energize you.
There are a few people in your life with whom you could spend endless hours. With these friends, you never seem to run out of things to talk about. Being with them is easy. In fact, you often feel more energized after spending time with them, not drained — and you act pretty outgoing around them. On the other hand, some people quickly tire or bore you, and you need to get away fast. Although extroverted introverts enjoy socializing, they’d rather be alone than settle for unfulfilling company.
4. You can be charming but also deeply introspective and reflective.
You’re good at making small talk when necessary, like at your child’s parent-teacher conference or when meeting a new coworker. You also know that small talk can lead to deeper, more authentic conversation. People tend to feel comfortable around you because you’re good at reading others and have a talent for encouraging them to talk and open up about themselves. When out with friends, you find yourself making sure that everyone is having a good time.
However, what most people don’t realize is how “in your head” you are. Despite appearing social and light-hearted, your mind is always running in the background. Taking on the role of a leader or social butterfly is just that — a role you consciously step into.
5. When you feel rested and recharged, you’re the one who reaches out to others.
You often find yourself organizing social events. Playing the host is ideal for an extroverted introvert, because it allows you to socialize on your own terms. However, once your energy is depleted, you’re done. Much like a true introvert, all you crave is to hibernate at home.
6. You need time to warm up in social situations.
Sometimes your initial impression masks your true personality. At first, you might appear quiet and reserved. However, once you feel comfortable around someone, you have no trouble chatting. No, you probably won’t divulge your entire life story or deepest insecurities to a new acquaintance, but you will gradually reveal more details as trust develops. The better someone gets to know you, the more extroverted you seem to become.
Do you ever struggle to know what to say?
As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.
7. It takes less energy to speak your mind than to make small talk.
True extroverts rarely struggle with what to say. For them, it’s easy to shoot from the hip and make chitchat about almost any topic. However, this isn’t always the case for many introverts. Introverts often find it challenging to force small talk. They’d rather discuss big ideas or connect in a genuine, authentic way. This is particularly true for extroverted introverts. For them, expressing their true thoughts may be far easier than faking a rousing discussion about mundane topics like the weather.
8. You’re selectively social.
While you find relationships deeply fulfilling, you don’t possess the endless energy of a true extrovert to maintain a large social network. Plus, there are a lot of people that you don’t connect with. As a result, you make your limited people energy count by investing it in just a few close relationships.
9. You have no interest in proving yourself in a crowd of strangers.
At networking events or parties, you’re not the type to work the room. You also don’t feel compelled to draw a lot of attention in social settings. While you recognize the value of making connections, you particularly cherish those rare moments when you meet a like-minded soul. However, you’ll probably never be the most popular person in the room — and you’re perfectly fine with that.
10. You’re often mistaken for an extrovert.
The biggest sign that you’re an extroverted introvert? Deep down, you feel like an introvert, yet others describe you as an extrovert.
In fact, your friends and family may not believe you’re an introvert because you seem so sociable. And it might have taken you some time to realize your true introverted nature, given how well you play the extrovert role. Now, you often find yourself explaining your introversion and your energy dynamics to others, though many still don’t quite get it.
Keep in mind that there’s no wrong way to be an introvert. You can be friendly and outgoing and still be an introvert. It’s all about understanding and honoring your own needs and style. This might mean being the life of the party one night and then binge-watching your favorite show alone the next night.
You might like:
- 25 Illustrations That Perfectly Capture the Joy of Living Alone as an Introvert
- 12 Things Introverts Absolutely Need to Be Happy
- 27 ‘Strange’ Things You Do Because You’re a Highly Sensitive Person
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