Am I An Introvert?

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.

Mind. Blown.

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?

Tyler Boe Shirt c/o / J.Crew White Jeans / J.Mclaughlin Wicker Bag / Lisi Lerch Earrings c/o

Tyler Boe Shirt c/o / J.Crew White Jeans / J.Mclaughlin Wicker Bag / Lisi Lerch Earrings c/o

Photos by Julia D’Agostino.

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Comments

  1. Katherine said:

    Omg the top 10 list is me, especially #2. I hate when my weekends have events both days… I definitely can suck it up and make small talk with people I don’t know and while I don’t love it I am fine. However, if I am with people I am super comfortable with it’s no issue.

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I know right? I’m EXACTLY the same way. I need a “down” day!

      4.30.18 · Reply
  2. Allie said:

    You should look through the book Quiet. It talks about how introverts like us interact, and shares the stories of other introverts who have managed to become successful public speakers etc. I really enjoyed it, I felt like I understood how my brain works better. I’ll have to listen to this podcast episode too!
    Happy Monday! xAllie
    http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I will thank you! Now that I know this I feel like I want to learn everything.

      4.30.18 · Reply
  3. Gretchen Hershberger said:

    I am absolutely an extroverted introvert! Social situations are often draining, even though I do have fun in the moment. I’m definitely glad I’m not the only one who experiences this.

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      You’re not alone I promise! I also feel like in the moment I’m having fun… until all of a sudden I’m not and I need to get home ASAP.

      4.30.18 · Reply
  4. Angela said:

    Thank you for sharing- I feel the exact same way! I have to force myself to go out to parties once in a while and by the time I leave I am so drained. I love my friends and interacting with people, but when I interact with so many new people I am just ready for a day long nap. But I know my limits and I know when I’m ready to step away which is good!

    Angela | Cue the Coffee
    https://cuethecoffee.blogspot.com/

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      At least you know your limits! I feel like I’m still learning mine but now that I’ve made this realization it’s going to be a huge turning point I think.

      4.30.18 · Reply
  5. Lillie said:

    Being an introvert or extrovert has more to do with where you draw your energy from – having alone time or being in a group of people. It was a pretty huge revelation to me too! I thought at one time that being an introvert just meant you were shy. Listen to the TED Talk, Power of the Intovert, with Susan Cain. It’s amazing!

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I definitely draw energy from being alone, whereas my sister (a TOTAL extrovert) draws hers from other people. I’m going to listen to that podcast in the car today!

      4.30.18 · Reply
  6. I can totally relate!
    I went to talk this year with SUSAN CAIN (look her up, she has great info).

    And discovered I am an OUTGOING INTROVERT. Often people get shyness and introvert confused and they are two different things. My husband is a SHY EXTROVERT.
    The talk made me so much more aware of my needs.

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      People keep telling me to listen to her podcast today so I’m going to check it out! Can’t wait to hear what she has to say, it sounds so eye opening!

      4.30.18 · Reply
  7. Rachael Draper said:

    This is totally me! I like to be around the people I know and am comfortable with but if it’s an event or party with people I don’t know, I often don’t feel the energy to want to carry a conversation with people past a certain point because it’s so tiring. I love being home by myself or with my boyfriend and rarely crave larger social interactions.

    The funny thing is I work as an admission counselor and talk to people all day for a living but when it comes to socializing, two hours tops and I’m out unless it’s with close friends or family and even then I tend to be quieter one in the group because I’d rather listen then talk talk talk.

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I think work is different than small talk which is why that makes sense! I’m the same with listening rather than talking in a group of new people.

      4.30.18 · Reply
  8. Leslie said:

    It’s definitely different for me if I am around strangers vs. people I know. But I remember going to a party once where I only knew the hostess. My two co-workers were supposed to accompany me but bailed at the last minute. I made a concerted effort to go to the party and “mingle”. It was exhausting and extremely overwhelming. I remember crying in my car on the way to the party – that’s how freaked out I was about going to a party where I knew only 1 person – ALONE! After I left the party though, I felt so accomplished and proud of myself. However, when the hostess invited me to her wedding without a +1 – I kindly declined the invitation. It has definitely gotten easier since then. I also think being introverted has to do with how you make decisions. Do you go inwards to try to find a solution – OR – do you poll every member of your family, group of friends and even perfect strangers? I tend to go inwards to do so. So I think I am a little of both like yourself Julia. Thanks for posting – great article!

    4.30.18 · Reply
  9. Lauren said:

    There is a very interesting book called “Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking” by Susan Caine. It talks about the key role that introverts play in society in general, organizations and their very insightful leadership style.
    Introverts can make a difference and their input can be very valuable, so it is important to stay true to your style and to who you are.

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      So many people are recommending that! I just ordered it on Amazon and can’t wait to read it.

      4.30.18 · Reply
  10. Stefanie said:

    Yep! I’m an ambivert as well, which means a personality with a balance of extrovert and introvert features. You should take this personality test if you haven’t already. It’s really fun and interesting to learn about yourself. It also tells you celebrities/characters with the same personality as you. I got (to name a few) Tyra Banks, J. Lo, Steve Harvey, and Monica from Friends https://www.16personalities.com

    4.30.18 · Reply
  11. Molly said:

    This post resonates with me SO much. Also, coincidentally, this article from Business Insider was just sent to me as part of their newsletter – http://www.businessinsider.com/why-people-are-extroverts-or-introverts-2018-4

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Amazing article thank you so much for sharing! This line is so true for me, “This is why introverts tend to avoid crowded places or deadlines — things that are likely to put extra pressure on them — because they already have pressure within themselves.”

      4.30.18 · Reply
  12. margo said:

    I call myself an extroverted/introvert. I am not particularly shy and able to make conversation with almost anybody. However, after an event is over I feel drained and relieved it’s over. Extroverts get energized when in social situation and seek them out on a regular basis.

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      It sounds like you and I are on the SAME page Margo 🙂

      4.30.18 · Reply
  13. Jenn J. said:

    You should check out 16Personalities.com. It’s a sort of boiled down Myers Briggs personality test – if none of this makes sense, I’m sorry… leadership and organizational studies person here! I’m an extrovert (53%) so I’m just a little more extrovert than introvert. Small talk at parties drives me nuts but I really love being around people.

    I found the description was pretty spot on and it details how you interact in personal, romantic and business situations! Also, I learned about enneagrams this weekend, which I guess is another personality category thing. From the limited understanding I have, it’s used in therapy a lot.

    4.30.18 · Reply
  14. Sam said:

    First of all, love this outfit. So perfect for spring! Also really interesting to hear about how learning more about what it means to be an introvert validated some of your feelings and reactions to situations. I am undoubtedly an introvert, and what bothers me the most is when people assume that I’m just shy or timid. What they don’t realize is that it’s so much more layered than that, and it’s not a bad thing. I’ve learned that there are certain situations I should try to avoid (like over-packed bars), and if I have to deal with them, I make sure to leave before I get overwhelmed, and then give myself time to recharge afterwards. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    xx
    Sam

    4.30.18 · Reply
  15. Emily said:

    Great post nothing wrong with being an introvert or an extrovert 😉 But sometimes I think that introverts get a bad rap unfortunately! It’s all about how people re-charge and garner energy: introverts re-charge by being alone where as extroverts re-charge and are stimulated by being around people! It’s all about figuring out your own personality and what works best for you! It’s hard when we compare ourselves to others: my sister is an introvert ( and I’m an extrovert so the opposite of you and your sister LOL) and I never quite understood why she needed “me time” until recently. I always enjoy your posts! XOXO !

    4.30.18 · Reply
  16. Beth Ann said:

    YES! I’m also an extroverted introvert. I think it’s why I absolutely dread the holidays. There’s already so much to be done and then there are So. Many. Parties. By the time New Years Eve rolls around, I am completely spent and have zero motivation to go out.

    4.30.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      OMG yes to the holidays! It’s so overwhelming for me too.

      5.4.18 · Reply
  17. Ellie said:

    I am VERY much an extrovert, but find the extroverted introvert personality type to be interesting. In my biz classes in college, we did a lot of learning around Meyers-Briggs and a couple things we talked about relate to the extroverted introvert:

    First, extrovert vs introvert (E vs I for the MBTI fans out there), is not necessarily an indication of how you act, but it’s how you recharge. I test 100% to E or sometimes one question tallies in the I column and I think that’s really shown by the fact that I will block some alone time for myself only to find that I’m texting friends to see if anyone wants to come hang out! haha. I also leave a party or networking event and feel really keyed up when I get home and I need to wind down, whereas an I would already feel tired and drained.

    Second, we learned in my class that our Western society favors certain types (in Meyers-Briggs world that would be extrovert over introvert, thinking over feeling, sensing over intuitive, and judging over perceiving). Therefore, it’s common that people select answers on the assessment that are more in line with how they “should” be.

    Thus, it’s “expected” of us to act like extroverts with our family, in social situations, at work, etc even if that’s not how you draw energy. So many I’s are comfortable acting extroverted either naturally or through training themselves to be that way, but you leave feeling in need of rest and alone time to recharge.

    If you haven’t taken the MBTI assessment, I really recommend it! I think it’s so interesting and is fun to see what type the people around you are. Just make sure you do the crucial final step of self assessing, meaning you ultimately decide if you’re one type (usually 1 letter off) over the type the test gives you. I test ESTJ, but reading the descriptions of each type, I know I’m an ESFJ.

    That’s really long, but I love talking about this stuff! 🙂

    5.1.18 · Reply
  18. I am definitely an extrovert! I feel like it is just so part of my everyday life now that I can’t imagine being any other way. Sometimes I am an extrovert to a fault – whether it’s in conversation or in emails, sometimes I just can’t.shut.up. I reflect on it later and think “man, I should have just kept my mouth shut!” I am really thankful though to pretty much always feel comfortable speaking in public or being in a room with someone I’ve never met before. The irony is I was actually a pretty shy kid! I feel like doing theater in childhood and then later into high school really helped me come out of my shell and feel more comfortable addressing people.

    5.1.18 · Reply
  19. Kellie said:

    You need to read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking- it’s so good.

    I have always been well aware that I’m an introvert. Unfortunately I decided to become a teacher so am completely drained by the time I get home…… just in time to have a 2 and 4 year old demand my attention. I have had to figure out how to schedule time to decompress so that I’m not exhausted & snappy by dinnertime.

    The whole idea of being exhausted by social interactions is something that tends to be missed when talking about introverts & it’s such the key part!

    5.3.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      So many people have told me that! I bought it on Amazon and can’t wait to start it. I can’t imagine teaching all day, that must be so intense!

      5.4.18 · Reply
  20. Emily said:

    Hi! Where are those sandals from? The ones you linked on Instagram aren’t the same and I’m really looking for a pair of tan sandals without a strap going around the ankle and these look perfect. Thanks!

    5.4.18 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      They are old from Brooks Brothers. I wish they still had them because they’re amazing!

      5.4.18 · Reply