But what is an introvert…really?

It’s died down a bit lately (or maybe that’s because I’ve cleaned up my social media sites to reflect the posts I want to see…), but the buzzword lately seems to be “introvert” and listing reasons why you’re an introvert, qualities of an introvert, ways you can make your friends understand the daily trials of being an introvert… you catch my drift. Some weeks ago, I saw a list that caught my eye, though: “# signs you’re an outgoing introvert.” I read the list (guilty!) and realized, hey, that’s me.

The confusion I felt with being an outgoing person, yet introverted, remained: don’t outgoing people crave social interactions all the time? And aren’t introverted people constantly seeking solitude?

Today, I listened to a really interesting podcast about defining introversion and extraversion, saying that introversion is when a person “re-charges” their energy by being alone, and extroverted people “re-charge” by being around others. The speaker went on to say that outgoing people enjoy social interactions and interact with others comfortably, while shyness is a term we associate with being socially awkward.

I really enjoyed the distinction in which the speaker made, saying that shyness is somewhat of a crutch for adults. Sure, you can be shy, but you have to interact with people. That’s how the world works. You can teach yourself confidence and how to interact more fluidly, and you might never overcome those feelings of shyness, but you can try to work through them to be a better social partner.

If you are interested in listening to the podcast episode, you can download it here.

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