On Friday, I was driving back from an event in the city and stuck in serious weekend traffic. Instead of letting it get to me, I decided to finally listen to Oprah’s podcast, SuperSoul Conversations, after hearing great things about it. I started with the episode in which she interviews Amy Schumer, and was blown away. They were seriously vibing, and brought up a lot of interesting and important topics like body confidence, the #MeToo movement, and meditation.
But the one point that really stuck with me was when they both admitted that they were introverts. My first thought was how could these two outgoing, vivacious women be introverts?! But I kept listening. Amy talked about how at parties, she often has to go hide in the bathroom for a few minutes to gather herself because being around a lot of people is draining.
I screamed out loud, “Me too!!” Then she joked that after a crowded event, she wants to be rolled out in a stretcher. I feel the same way every time I have to interact with a lot of people, especially strangers.
Until that very moment last Friday, I kid you not, I felt like there was something wrong with me.
My entire life, I’ve compared myself to my sister who loves being around people and thrives on it, and I always aspired to be more like her. I always thought that I was just socially awkward, but when I’d talk to friends about it they disagreed whole heartedly. I can put on the charm and chat with people… And I’m genuinely interested in what they have to say (usually), but after a few conversations with someone new or really anyone who I’m not close to, I feel a full body exhaustion and want to lay down immediately.
I have always felt guilty about that. Was I selfish for not wanting to talk to more people? Was I lame for always wanting to leave parties early? When I brought up these questions with a friend yesterday, she said with confidence that I’m an extroverted introvert based on everything I’m feeling. I looked it up and I have all of the signs. I also really resonated with this article.
I always thought you had to be one or the other, but I now realize that I can outwardly be an extrovert while inwardly being an introvert. I can be the life of the party when I want to, but it often drains me to my core.
That said, if I’m around close friends or family, I feel differently. I can chat with my besties or my mom or sister for hours and never feel that feeling. It’s probably because I’m so comfortable around them.
Anyway, this was a huge revelation for me, and if hiding in a bathroom works for Oprah and Amy Schumer, then it’s definitely good enough for me!
Can any of you relate to my extroverted introvertedness? Are you an introvert or extravert (or a mix) and how does that show up in your everyday life?
Photos by Julia D’Agostino.