November 10, 2014

Extroverts Have Problems Too

Recently I read a fascinating insight into How To Understand An Introvert. Not being an introvert myself, this was utterly revelatory to me.

I am an extrovert. Really, as extroverted an extrovert as one can be. And - whilst I am sure it can be challenging being an introvert - it is exceedingly challenging being someone like me.

Extroverts need interaction like other people need food. If I do not get my daily quota of meaningful interaction, I feel as spiritually hungry as you might without meals. I feel cranky, frustrated, empty, even a little depressed. And so I talk to everyone - and I mean everyone - to get my fill of conversation. I talk to taxi drivers, people at the grocery store, parents waiting at school, the barista who makes my coffee. I am one of those sad old ladies who talk to the bank teller when I'm depositing money, except that I'm not actually sad, and I'm not even all that old.

It was easy being an extrovert when I was younger and worked in an office environment. I would talk to people all day, and then come home and debrief with my husband.

Now I work alone, at my desk, writing words into a computer, and I live with my kids, without the company of another adult. My computer listens to me, but doesn't talk back, which makes getting my share of discussion immensely difficult to achieve. On the days I have places to go and people to see, I will talk incessantly to anyone who will listen. On the days I don't have anywhere particular to be, I will spend a great deal of time on social media, letting my fingers do the talking for me.

The thing is, despite being an extrovert, I am happy in my own company. I couldn't spend all this time alone if I wasn't able to entertain myself. And I can and do entertain myself. I read and I think and I write and I watch Girls on DVD and I keep myself occupied. But needing to find my daily fix of stimulation is a constant struggle.

As an extrovert, I don't much like travelling alone. And when I do travel, I prefer going to populated areas. I don't like huge crowds, but love being with small groups of people in which we can have meaningful interaction. And I find it difficult to rein in my conversation; I tend to get a little overexcited in the company of people I like.

Oh, and I tend to dance in my undies a lot. But I don't actually think that has anything to do with being an extrovert. I just think that has something to do with me.

Extroverts, like introverts, face challenges every day. We just need to talk about our challenges a whole lot more than you do. And we tend to hold up lines at supermarkets, because we're chatting to the cashier. I'm sorry about that. I'm happy to discuss it if you wish.

For challenges faced by extroverts, see here.


  1. Yes. I hear you. You just described me ... except the undies bit. I prefer to dance naked.

  2. I think I share character traits from both sides. I struggle with random strangers who chat to me in queues (although they often do) not because I'm shy or impolite but because I don't tend to share with people I don't know well. On the other hand, I have no problem with being the centre of attention in the right situation and I'll happily dance on tables or around the house with or without undies. I'm constantly unintentionally saying and doing things that draw attention to myself and yet I love my privacy and my own company. Maybe that's why I blog, I can share my often silly daily life with like minded people and still feel secure.

  3. I'm as introverted as you are extroverted. Plus, I'm also shy and have Asperger's, so I've scored the ultimate hatrick of social awkwardness. The introversion doesn't bother me so much these days, but it bothers other people. I'm constantly told how quiet I am and that I MUST 'come out of my shell'. I hate that expression. It does seem like it would be easier to be an extrovert in some ways, but maybe I'm wrong. Dancing in your undies does seem like fun, though. Just not in public..*shudders*

  4. I'm not sure even I would dance in my undies in public. I mean.... it's possible, with the right amount of alcohol.... but so far unproven.....:-)

  5. I am totally inviting you to my next Dancing in Undies party. We shall not talk to random strangers. We shall dance at them x

  6. I have a mental image of you dancing naking in my apartment..... It doesn't displease me..... xxx

  7. You deposit money in the bank!!!
    I was told I am a shy extrovert....I also talk to people who I encounter where ever I am,....say stuff to people in queues.
    I also enjoy my own company but dislike crowds.
    My dancing is mainly done to celebrate the coming of rain so that is done naked. the #nakedraindance is great....the rain on your skin when it hasn't rained for ages is exquisite...perhaps its a rural person on a property with no neighbours also helps with the dancing :)

  8. This is hilarious and fascinating to hear from an extrovert for once (we hear a lot from introverts considering how damn introverted they are). I think I just assumed that all writers were introverts - because how can you stand the isolation otherwise? Maybe a shared space would be good for you (then you can stop holding people up on lines?) :)

  9. I think the problem would be that I would never, ever stop talking..... I wouldn't get much writing done.....!

  10. #nakedraindance.... That sounds AWESOME


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