However, as I've gotten older--and especially as I've learned to tune into my body and energy through yoga--I've started to realize that I might have been operating under the wrong assumption all of these years, and that I might, in fact, be what they call an "Outgoing Introvert" or "Extroverted Introvert."
The biggest indicator of this? How tired I get after being around people, and how drained I am from my very social job.
One of the biggest characteristics separating introverts and extroverts is how social situations and interacting with big groups affects their energy. Extroverts feel energized, "charged-up," and refreshed when they spend time at an event or in a large group; Introverts feel completely drained and must spend some time alone in order to recharge.
Before becoming a yoga teacher, I was around people a lot, but mostly the same people each day in fairly controlled environments--I worked with the same colleagues in somewhat small and autonomous offices each day, I found a few super close friends to whom I was basically glued over the years, and although I was always an active part of the social world around me, time spent socializing was usually pretty balanced with time spent alone recharging. Also, when necessary, I found ways to fuel my energy for large groups + social settings [Caffeine and/or alcohol, anyone?], so it wasn't as apparent how taxing they were for me at the time.
Therefore, until I became a yoga teacher and began spending my days with large groups of people--chatting, meeting new students, and interacting with all kinds of personalities--I was never fully aware of the way that these social interactions truly affect my energy.
Since making this career change, how I spend my time has changed, albeit so slowly that it took a while to see it, and I've become quite the homebody. In fact, I haven't just become a homebody, I've become somewhat anti-social.
I still love being with friends and I love the idea of going out or attending a party, but when it comes down to it on the actual day of the event, I am usually so drained and have already spent so much time with big groups during the week that having to get myself up enough for a large social gathering just feels too exhausting and overwhelming to handle. [#thestruggleisreal]
As I've done more research into what it means to be an Outgoing or Extroverted Introvert, I've become more convinced that this is what I am and that it explains a lot of my actions and feelings: Outgoing Introverts are selectively social, they hate small talk but when forced to do it, worry a lot about making others feel comfortable, caffeine can make them overwhelmed and exhausted instead of energized, they tend to crash/burnout really easily, I could go on and on...
Does this sound like you? Do you relate to some of the things I'm saying here? If so, you might be in a similar boat, but your life circumstances might not have given you a chance to realize it yet (as mine did when I became a teacher).
I think that knowing your personality type can be really helpful in understanding why you feel the way that you do and being more aware of why + how your energy is affected by your job, your daily life, and/or various social encounters.
In my recent experience, learning more about my personality type has given me the permission that I needed to take care of myself and honor my energy. It has explained why I might be way more tired than I think I "should" be, and has been a great reminder of the importance of getting to know yourself and then accepting who you find when you dig a little bit deeper.
Interested in learning more about being an Outgoing Introvert or just personality types in general? Here are some useful resources:
- Psychology Today's Extroversion Introversion Test (Figure out what you are!)
- 8 Signs You Might Be an Outgoing Introvert
- The Extroverted Introvert
- 18 Struggles Only Socially Outgoing Introverts Understand (There's a BuzzFeed list for everything!!)
What do you think? How does your personality type affect your energy on a daily basis? Worth pondering...