What personality is that exactly?

I’m an extroverted introvert—or what I like to call a “social introvert.” I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test several times, and half the time it decides I’m an introvert, and the other half of the time it goes the opposite direction, depending on how long it’s been since I’ve had large-scale social interaction. My personality can best be summed up as,

“Please don’t make me go anywhere! How come we never go out?”

This makes me a treat to live with, I think.

I really like people—for about two hours. Then I look at my watch, send you want to go home now” ESP signals, look at my watch again, get up, sit back down, and start calculating how to get this charming person to go home and when I will be able to sleep next and for how long I will be able to do so.

I think there are a lot of people like me.

I’m not shy, but I am socially anxious, so I tend to talk too much and then spend hours rehashing the conversation, teeming with regret. I can’t possibly be the only introverted over-talker in existence, can I? I’d be better served by under-talking, but this is not something I am capable of.

I don’t mind groups and parties, but tend to gravitate to one-on-one conversations even at large functions. I have several close friends, but they are unrelated, and I prefer to see them singly. I like to go places, but am intimidated by crowds, and hover at the edges.

Maybe more than any sort of –vert, I am a low-energy person who is easily overwhelmed. I get worn out. I like to sit on my ass. Naps are very important to me. Or maybe I just haven’t gone to enough parties to develop a tolerance to them. I do know that I like large groups no more than once a month, but when I don’t have group interaction for a while, I yearn for it.

I really like to dress up to go out. I like the dressing up part more than the actual going out part, to be entirely honest. And of course half the time the dressing up part involves a lot of insecurity and hatred of everything I own, and frustration that none of my shoes go with any of my dresses, and none of my tops go with my bottoms. And the hair is always a problem. I don’t care for it all that much on those days. Perhaps I like the idea of dressing up and going out more than the actuality of it.

Some days I have a lot in common with my cat:

Pet me, pet me, pet me,

NOT LIKE THAT or like THAT

oh fuck it all I’ll just bite you and run away—

I don’t need people anyway.

 

Other days, I relate much more to my dog. Bogie is much more of a people-person, except he’s not technically a people.

Pet me all the time right now any way you like as many pets as possible why are you stopping?

I want to be petted more please pet now pet pet pet pet.

Want me to wear a hat? I’ll wear a hat.

Want me to be a taco? Everyone loves tacos.

Just pet me more now pet me please oh please.

More people to pet me?

Yay! Invite everyone over!

They can pet me and I’ll also eat the pizza off their plate what could be better?

Wait—let me lick the children.

 

I crave people. I dream of parties. I even go so far as to make plans and buy tickets to over-crowded venues, and equally often I rejoice in my hermitude, say no when someone asks me to go somewhere, and avoid all human contact of any sort.

 

In short, some days I look like this:

 

And other days I look like this:

What personality is that exactly?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out. Her memoir, Girlish, available for preorder on Amazon, is slated for release in February 2018 with Skyhorse Publishing. Lara Lillibridge is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review's Contest in Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Pure Slush Vol. 11, Vandalia, and Polychrome Ink; on the web at Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and Airplane Reading, among others. Read her work at www.LaraLillibridge.com

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This article has 7 Comments

  1. Love this post! I put “extroverted introvert” on my resume! You could also look up Highly Sensitive Person. The terms seems silly but there are lots of resources and I found that a lot of the material resonated. The way I’ve dealt with it lately is I work alone and then plan volunteering so I get group time for a few hours. That seems to work great.

  2. Well said! Although I’d mostly categorize myself as an extrovert, I also feel like my extrovertedness has an expiration time. How long I’m willing to sit with a group of people is often related to if they are my close friends, how tired I am, how late it has become, and how hungry I am. Two hours and I’m cleaning up around my guests like, “Sorry (not sorry) you have to leave so soon!”

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