You’ve probably heard the terms “extrovert” and “introvert” being thrown around a lot online. An introvert is someone who gets energy from being alone or with a limited amount of people. Me, I’m an extrovert. That means I get a lot of energy from being in social situations. However, being an extrovert comes with its fair share of problems, such as…
1. People always expect you to be on
When you’re extroverted, you tend to be a little more talkative and willing to engage with just about anyone, regardless of how well you know them or what you have in common. You might be known as the life of the party or the social butterfly in your friend group. However, when people get used to your bubbly and outgoing nature, they expect you to be like that literally all the time. The responsibility falls on you to pump up the party or lead friends on adventures worthy of Snapchat. You’re not allowed to be sad or want alone time without something being SUPER DISASTROUSLY WRONG. Which like, hey, cool, I get it, but I’m not your personal Energizer Bunny. Even extroverts need alone time and the space to process our emotions without other people thinking it’s the end of the world.
2. We sometimes talk to multiple people about our problems
Some people like to mull things over and handle problems alone or with the help of a single trusted friend. Personally, I have what I call my Small Council — a group of friends I go to to discuss problems and get focus group feedback on. I find it to be incredibly helpful, but sometimes people aren’t available or I’m worried I’m being annoying. We don’t want to be seen as needy or clingy, but we’re often painted that way by various think pieces and infographics.
3. The romanticization of introversion
Speaking of infographics, every time I see informative articles like “Understanding Your Introvert” or “10 Tips to Care for Your Introvert” I want to die. Look, I have no problem with introverts; some of my closest friends are introverts! But it sucks that we’re painting introverts’ social impediments as cute and quirky traits while extroverts are insensitive assholes for not understanding. This leads to some crappy stereotypes of extroverts while introverts are put on an internet pedestal of delicate quirkiness. Not cool.
4. People assume we’re stupid and shallow
Extroverts are stereotyped as shallow, loud, obnoxious party-goers who don’t know how to sit down and read a book. Following up on my previous point about introverts being romanticized, introverts are seen as misunderstood unicorns who are deep and wax lyrically about art and music and blah blah blah. Get out of here with that ridiculousness. Being outgoing has nothing to do with being shallow, just like being quiet has nothing to do with being intelligent. Extroverts can have complex thoughts and engaging debates about just about anything. Trust, fam.
5. People assume you’re flirting with them
I can’t count how many times I thought I was just being my usual outgoing and friendly self, only for the other person to think I’m hitting on them. I’ve been accused of flirting with chairs. I, and many other extroverts, are just talking the way we normally do, but some people sees that as availability. It’s worse when you’re a woman and get accused of being a tease (at best) because the person you’re talking to is horribly offended that you aren’t, you know, actually flirting.
6. People slack in their friendships
Because people are so used to you being the one who initiates hang outs and conversations, a lot of people tend to drop the ball when it comes to being friends with extroverts. I just want to say it’s exhausting, and quite frankly a little disheartening, when we pause for a second and realize that we’re putting so much effort and energy into friendships and the person on the other side is just happy to take and give very little back. I see a lot of laziness in friendships because the extrovert is doing so much of the work. All relationships require effort on both sides, regardless of what kind of relationship it is. We extroverts feel unappreciated when friends start slacking and you can imagine how fun that is.
7. We assume you’re embarrassed by us
Many extroverts are pretty self-aware. I know I’m loud AF, but a snide remark about that can make me wonder if I should just shut the hell up and melt into the floor. I knew someone who would shush her extroverted friend when she felt like she was being too loud in public. This led to that extroverted friend texting me upset that it seemed like the shushing friend was embarrassed by her. We don’t want to embarrass you non-extroverts, but it’s also hurtful when you consider our normal behavior to be embarrassing. If it’s really that big of a deal, talk to us privately and maybe come up with a non-verbal way to let us know we’re being too loud.
8. No one’s available when we want to go out
Yes, we do enjoy being alone from time to time but when we’re ready to be social, our squad isn’t free to hang. Sometimes we really need to just be out and about grabbing a drink or seeing a show. You’d be surprised how hard it can be to find other extroverts to hang out with. Please be willing to compromise with us! We don’t always have to go on a rager! Let’s find activities we’ll both enjoy!
9. Feeling left out
Man, oh man, there is nothing worse as an extrovert than seeing everyone else go out and have fun WITHOUT YOU. Obviously, we know it’s not (always) intentional, but it stings nonetheless when we see your snapstory and it looks like a blast and we weren’t invited. In reality, sometimes you just don’t get invited to stuff for whatever reason and that’s okay! It’s important for extroverts to remember that social media usually shows the highlights of someone’s day and creates serious FOMO. We’re working on that.
10. A lack of eye contact feels like you’re not listening to us
Eye contact is super important during social interactions as it often indicates receptive listening. I’m known to make a lot of intense eye contact, so it drives me crazy when people don’t want to look me in the eye when I’m talking to them. It makes me feel like the other person isn’t listening and therefore doesn’t respect me. And trust, I’ve read plenty of articles and think pieces and memoir-style tumblr posts about why it’s hard for people to make eye contact. But that’s why compromise is so beautiful. I have friends who can’t make eye contact or struggle with eye contact. We’ve had that discussion and since we’re friends, I know they’re listening even if they’re not looking at me. It’s also helpful that they’ll assure me that they’re listening from time to time. If you don’t know someone, make the effort to make eye contact (at least a little until you can have the eye contact talk with them).
Are you an extrovert with these problems? Or maybe an introvert who’s learned a thing or two about your extroverted friends? Let me know on Twitter!