I love hanging out with my friends. I like to go out and laugh and talk and I love being with other people. I feed off of other people’s energy sometimes. When everyone is in a good mood, I’m in a good mood too. If I’m feeling down, my friends can help me out of my ruts and start making me feel better.
But I like my alone time too. I like to be by myself, with just my thoughts. This is the time where I really boost my energy. It’s the time when I can focus on myself and put myself first for once.
So yes, I am an extroverted introvert. I can turn “on” in social situations and be personable, sociable, and fun. But this can exhaust me. Being “on” all day, or even some of the day, can cause me to fall into bed that night and sleep well into the next morning. Being “on” all day does not rejuvenate me like it does for some of my other friends. Being “on” can be rather harrowing for me.
On the other side of this, my time spent alone, without my friends, just me and my phone or computer or book, is the time when I feel rested and the most like myself. Getting to turn myself “off” after a long day is the best thing in the whole world to me. Getting to be “off” for a whole day is the most rejuvenating thing I’ve ever found so far.
It took me a while to realize that it was okay to feel exhausted after being sociable all day.
That it is okay to want to spend time alone some days instead of going out with friends and hanging out with so many people all night. That it is okay to ask for me time. But it is.
When I first realized I was more introvert than extrovert, I thought it was something to be ashamed of or something that I should hide about myself because it would totally change what my friends thought of me.
But now I know that it’s okay to ask my friends to move our plans around because I was feeling too exhausted, too tired, just that hanging out with people would be too much. I know it’s okay to tell my friends that I’d prefer we stay home and watch a movie than go out with everyone else. I know it’s okay to admit that I’m an introvert.
Extroverted introverts can do anything. Of course I’ll hang out with you, but I’d prefer to hang out one on one with you because then I can listen to you talk for hours and if you need advice, I’ll be able to give it better than I would in a group setting. I sometimes tend to be more quiet, more introspective. And just because I ask you for alone time doesn’t mean I don’t get lonely. I do need time with friends and people I love because I do sometimes feel too alone.
Even when I’m hanging out with people, I’m still overanalyzing everything because I want to make sure that I’m acting the way I should be in social context. I’m trying to take social cues from everyone around me so that I don’t do something out of place or something that draws too much attention to me. I sometimes have to force myself to go out with you because I’m worried about what you’re going to think of me otherwise.
All this is not to say: don’t ask me to hang out with you.
Really, this is just a request for you understand that I don’t always want to hang out with you and you shouldn’t take that as an insult to our friendship and you certainly shouldn’t think that just because I have to cancel plans means I don’t like you anymore.
This is just to say that I am an extroverted introvert and I’m okay with that. You should be too.