I’ve been meaning to write this post, because a lot of people don’t understand what the “Outgoing Introvert” is, and no the label does not contradict itself.
During my time as a TA during fourth year, I had students who were in disbelief that I was an introvert. They kept questioning my identification to introvert-ism, thought it was not possible, and that “Introverts are socially inept though.” How could their TA possibly be someone who was introverted, if they had to lead a class each week?
Good questions posed by my students, which I’m still learning to work out. I figure there are two methods which allow me to come across as someone who is more outgoing: Preparation & Sarcasm.
As an outgoing introvert we are socially selective. This means that we are not totally against going out. You just have to let us warm up to the situation. Personally, I also like to know about an event ahead of time so that I can mentally prepare myself to going out. I still have trouble with large crowds, so concerts have been a task. If I know I’m going to a concert ahead of time, I can prepare myself to handle the crowds (eg. Osheaga).
Small talk is also a difficult task for us, as we feel it doesn’t achieve anything. I want deep conversations, stories, humour. Let me actually get to know you. What keeps you up at night? What makes you happy? Do aliens exist*? These are the questions worth living for.
Small talk leads to environments. In large crowds, you may find me still talking quietly. That’s because I only want the people I’m with to hear my conversation, not others. No I’m not going to raise my voice, because then others will hear… get it?
Another big part for introverts is that social situations exhaust us. At the end of the night, I need to be alone to recharge my batteries. Reading, Netflix, etc. Whereas with extroverts, social situations charge their batteries (being alone drains them).
Yep. That about it. Being a person is truly interesting.
*Firm believer that aliens exist.