That’s right – you read the title of this post correctly. I truly am an extraverted introvert.
I’ll start by making it clear – I am, definitely, positively, without any shadow of a doubt, an introvert. I find big groups of people frightening. I am exhausted by excessive socialising. If there’s a big room full of people, I’ll be the one hiding up the back. And when it comes to public speaking (or any kind of speaking with lots of people around), the very thought of it makes me want to find a big warm blanket and hide under it for a very long time.
Many people would be embarrassed about these qualities, but not me. I’m actually pretty proud of my introversion. As I stand at the back of the room, as far away as possible from the action, I take my lack of extraversion as a mark of pride. I value my proclivity for looking inward as one of my most valuable personality traits.
Let’s say it loud and clear. Introverts are great. We’re thoughtful and thorough. We take the time to think deeply and analyse things before we act, which makes us amazing as problem solvers. We consider other people and how they might react to us, rather than expecting everybody else to focus their attention on ourselves. Sure, we might not always be the most exciting people to spend time with, but we more than make up for that in so many other ways. In fact, I have to say that some of my best friends are introverts and I don’t get bored with them at all. Hey, I’m an introvert, and I never get bored with myself.
So here’s the thing. I’m proud of my introversion. I’m out there and loud about my introversion. I’m happy for all the world to know about my introversion. I am, if I might say so, highly extraverted about my introversion.
I don’t know if that’s a contradiction in terms. I don’t know if that somehow invalidates my claims of introversion. I don’t know if I’m just hopelessly confused and don’t actually know what I’m talking about. All I know is that I’d be quite happy to stand on top of a mountain and call out to the world, “I am an introvert.”
But I’d do it very quietly. And I suspect I would only do it on top of a very small mountain, and probably one that’s a long way away from anywhere else.
Whether you’re introverted or extraverted, I hope you have a great week.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as