It never fails to be true though!
Originally when I started this post I had all kinds of definitions because that's the kind of person I am. If I can get to the root of what something means I can understand it. Simply put Extroversion & Introversion are really just how a person recharges their battery. I am including the links below if you are also interested.
My friend and I discussed several points around this including generalizations when it comes to vocabulary. Must a shy person be an introvert? Or an out going person an extrovert? No, although most people generalize it that way. We both consider ourselves shy but as I mention she is clearly an introvert while I am an extrovert. Having a diverse combination of introvert and extrovert friends we began commenting on how they relate to each other and things that are hard about each. That was the point we realized we have been bombarded with lists over the last year, maybe more, of "struggles of being an introvert" and "how to relate to your introvert friend". It occurred to us that there has been no evidence of such a list for extroverts. Why you might be asking? I don't really know, but my best guess is that the qualities that come with being an extrovert tend to be prized and sought after in ambitious society so as a culture we see them as not struggling. Wrong. Not to down play the challenges introverts face, because if we are being honest, it really is an extrovert world we live in. But when your battery percentage depends greatly on who is around you life is not always a picnic. We extroverts have our own problems and I shall make my list now!
So world here it is:
The Struggles of Being an Extrovert
Was That Too Much?As extroverts we tend to be excited about the prospect of meeting new people. It's like a whole new adventure & story that is about to unfold. Someone new! And quite possibly a new friend! IT'S JUST SO EXCITING!!!! At least that's what it's like on the inside for extrovert, which is fine. Until the excitement vomits out at an unsuspecting introvert, woops! All too often the energy we are drawing out of this exciting new social situation is far too overwhelming for the other person involved. You end up making a first impression that could be described as over bearing, pushy, overly chatty, irritating, know it all, aggressive, maybe even a little crazy. The honest truth is, we didn't mean to.
Sometimes I Need To Think About Things By Myself TooMost extroverts need to bounce their thoughts & ideas off another person to process them appropriately. There are those rare times when even extroverts know that they have to sort out their thoughts for themselves. It is likely that they will bounce their conclusions off another person when they've sorted them but they still need the time to think. What ends up happening is a never ending string of "what's wrong", "are you ok", "you look sad", "can I help you", etc. I know my introvert friends understand this all too well, but I included it here because extroverts experience this in a different way. When you are an extrovert people around you become used to your energy level in public, your socializing, your chattiness. So when it's not there those people are uncomfortable and don't believe you when you tell them you are fine and they panic and insist on returning you to you the state they are most comfortable with. To which one wants to shout "OMG GO AWAY!!!" There are some life events & problems that just require your own opinions and no one else's, even for an extrovert.
Pressure To Be The Life Of The PartyIn a similar fashion, as an extrovert there is a generalized assumption that when you are out and about with people (which is often) that you are going to "bring the party". This idea didn't come from no where, it is often true, but with it comes a constant pressure to always be "On". Performers know what
What If I Don't Wanna Be In ChargeLeading right into the ever present pressure to be the leader, planner, or decision maker. Yes, extroverts gain energy from being around others but that doesn't mean that we are all naturally born party planners. Extroverts can get overwhelmed by all the details that go into planning events and being around people is not the same as managing them. Extroverts are as diverse as Introverts and some of them HATE planning, they just wanna show up and enjoy the event bringing their life & energy with them. If you ask them to create an itinerary or make a seating chart they may just rip their hair out. Decisions are hard and that need to bounce ideas off others can make being the decision maker even more complicated. You end up with too many opinions and if you're not a skilled planner/leader then you're more confused then when you started. The need to be around people for mood & energy's sake does not mean we should or are comfortable being in charge.
The Dangers Of "Negative Nellie"As I have mentioned extroverts get energy from being around people and it effects their mood & thought process. What happens when an extrovert is surrounded by negative energy & people? It feels like being trapped in a room with an angry kitten (or puppy if you rather). It's frustrating, and hurts, and possibly kinda scary, and you wanna leave because you know it's better for you but you also wanna grab that kitten and cuddle it anyway because, kitten. It feels like a trap, as if you were being pulled into a vortex of negative thoughts feet first and even though you are grasping for something there is nothing to pull you out. We know the negative energy is toxic but sometimes you can't get away (like at work) and other times it's still less terrifying than being alone.
I Might Be ShyThey are out there folks, the elusive Shy Extrovert. Don't worry I've already done the definition thing but let me tell you what happens. If you are a shy extrovert your friends are all used to they expect you to be lively, talkative, and full of energy because that is what they are used to. But when you're faced unexpectedly with a social situation where you don't know anyone the anxiety starts to build.
You know you should talk to people, it will put you back in your element, but they all seem so scary and your thoughts start to race. It's not long before words become hard to think of and you have absolutely nothing interesting to bring up to start that crucial conversation. And just like with all shy people this is 1,000 times worse and more awkward if I'm attracted to you. It's real I promise because I've lived it.