Extrovert: adj: An outgoing or gregarious person. Someone who is energized by being around other people.
My name is Mara and I’m an extrovert. If I’m being honest, being this way mostly is great. As per my personal development plan, I’m totally committed to being who I am, and the best that I can be. Sure, it’s great to love being around other human beings and and to have the ability to recharge my internal batteries via shenanigans and laughter. Being an extrovert means that it’s not very hard for me to NOT have a good time. Us extroverts are wired for parties of all kinds (generally legal.)
We also believe in unicorns and rainbows and glitter showers. What? No? Just me?
But I gotta tell you that while being an extrovert seems desirable (and mostly it is), it’s not always as much fun as you’d imagine.There are drawbacks to being a naturally outgoing people person. In fact, sometimes it’s a real pain in the butt. Here’s why.
1. We’re not allowed to be in a bad mood. Everyone’s a downer once in a while, and why should you introverts get a free pass on moodiness? There definitely are days where videos of people flipping over stairs won’t make us laugh, when we feel like crying even as we watch babies laugh, when a room full of people means that we need more pretend knives to stab them with. But, we’re still supposed to be chipper. Because we’re extroverts. And if we’re not, then we’re being bitches. That’s just not fair. Related: We’re not allowed to be tired, boring, or just feel like lazing about.
2. We have to hang out with introverts. I can attest that living in a house full of people who are ‘having fun on the inside‘ is the biggest buzz kill of all time. I don’t even want to go on vacation anymore (It’s hard, but I FORCE myself to do it) because all they want to do is sit in the hotel room and watch Shark Week. I mean, people, there’s a party happening somewhere, and it’s not on that sofa.
3. We can be annoying to those who are unlike us. Look, I know that my energy can be irritating. I LIKE having enthusiasm. Don’t you want what I’m having? No? Who am I kidding? I can tell that I’m making you uncomfortable, but I can’t stop. I KNOW you want to get away from me- fast. Be kind. Put yourself in my shoes and imagine that the more people you’re around, the more hyper you get. It’s tough to go through life being a human bouncing ball. At least I’m talking (albeit fast). I mean, you’re just sitting there counting the moments till you can leave. Would it KILL you to crack a smile?
4. Being alone is worse for me than it is for you. Since I really like people, when I’m not going to be around them, I panic. I actually like being alone, but I’m just not sure what to make of it. Last week my husband was out, my daughter was out (and even when she’s here she’s not here if you have a 20-year old you’ll know what I mean) and my sons were away sleep-over camp because they like it and I like not cooking for 6 weeks. I was LOST. I didn’t know what a person should do when faced with the prospect of being on her lonesome for an extended period of time. I ask you this introverts: What do you do when you’re alone besides be happy staring at chairs that are devoid of people? Do you even have the urge to make plans? Or do you seize the opportunity to dance around in your underwear and/or drink and play TWO DOTS till you can’t see straight?
The peace and quiet was lovely. You should have called. I felt like a loser.
5. Nobody believes me when I say I’m shy. Being a gal that thrives on crowds means that I’m expected to just be able to walk into a room and talk to anyone. And you know what? If I have purpose, I totally can. However, you’d never know that I’m freaking out on the inside, and have been for days. I can’t speak for the others who don’t believe in unicorns, but social anxiety and extroversion are not mutually exclusive. I’m that girl who stands in a corner and pretends to be conducting important business like texting Adam Levine or managing my invisible millions. I get really nervous when I have to go to a social or business event where I don’t know anyone. Actually, being an extrovert makes this type of situation worse, because since I feel a visceral NEED to talk to people ALL THE TIME, yet have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SAY TO THEM, I invariably blurt out something completely stupid and embarrassing. And then the part of Point 3 happens where my new best friends are just trying to get away. It’s very damaging emotionally.
6. Naturally outgoing people are expected to be confident. When I say I love myself, it’s just bravado. Just because my immediate vicinity is party central doesn’t mean that I don’t doubt myself as much as you do (or don’t). In fact, the pressure to perform like a circus monkey actually means I’m LESS confident. Nobody expects you introverts to wear a lampshade at every event. You’re not walking into a room expecting everyone to look at you (they’re not doing that. I’m not that important, but I can’t help feeling that way. I’m a LEO.) Go ahead, just sit there and be quiet, no pressure.
In closing, the grass is NOT greener on the other side. Oh, and call me. I’m the life of the party.