I loving call myself the loud mouth introvert. Depending on my mood I can be extremely extroverted or extremely introverted. Some friends have insisted it’s due to my Gemini ways, that I purposefully have two very different sides to my personality based on my horoscope. But I know that I am not the only one who identifies with this, as I’ve had conversations with friends and family that also identify, regardless of whether they are a Gemini or not.
It’s so easy to label each other and put people in different categories. It’s part of how we adapt and understand the world. But when it comes to labeling ourselves, that can be trickier because we know that we are more than the limitations of said label. I know that I am neither introvert or extrovert, but instead, a strange mix of the two.
And it can be difficult to balance these two opposites. I have friends that are very much extroverts; they love and thrive in social situations, they insist on going out every weekend and occasionally during the week as well, and tend to have massive friend groups. I also have friends that are very much introverts; they could spend hours reading alone on the couch, they would rather have one good friend to confide in than a large group of friends, and they usually have a solitary passion like writing.
Me? Well, I like to be the life of the party, but sometimes they overwhelm me. I love having many hobbies, but can be shy about showing them off. I love hanging out with big groups of people but I also love spending time by myself, thinking my own thoughts. I also love telling stories and usually act it out, but I always seem to reach my limit of socialization at some point and I start tuning out conversations and retreat into my bubble.
But I’m trying to learn to balance these two sides of myself. Mainly because Mike is quite the extrovert, and I’m trying to keep up. So if you are anything like me, hopefully these tips I’ve come up with will help you as well.
Make Plans with Friends at Least Once a Week
If you plan a social engagement in advance that gives your introvert side time to mentally prepare. It will feed your extrovert side by giving yourself some quality friend time, but you also allow yourself the rest of the week to do your own thing if that’s what you are needing.
Take up a Hobby That Can Be Both
For instance, my related hobby is playing the guitar. Writing songs is a very personal, introverted thing for me. I need quiet and alone time to think. But when it’s time to perform, the extrovert side can come to the rescue and put on a show. Dancing also used to be my outlet for this.
Have Friends From Both Categories
Make sure you stay friends with the people that encourage you to go out and try new things. They will fan the extrovert flame and you will always have a good time. But also have friends that are okay with a night in just catching up or watching a movie. Those people will also totally understand your need to leave a party early.
Know Your Limit
If you are sick of spending all day at home talking to your dog (or cat) then you know it’s time for a night out. But conversely, if you’ve spent all day out with friends and you feel yourself backing away from conversation, take that as your clue to duck out early and go home and cuddle with your dog (or cat… or significant other). Know when to call it quits on both to keep your sanity.
Don’t Get Frustrated
With yourself or with others. People can’t read your mind, so they won’t always know what you are needing at that particular moment. If they want to go out and you don’t, that’s fine. If they want to stay in and you don’t, that’s also fine. And when you make a choice to do the opposite of friends or your significant other, own it and don’t regret it! A night in can be just as fun as a night out, so make it that way and enjoy your time to yourself.
I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself recently and I’m starting to come to terms with who I am and what makes me happy. It seems silly, but it can be the hardest thing in the world to understand yourself sometimes, because emotions and feelings are a screwy thing to put into words.
Learning to balance your personality can be a huge step to self understanding and acceptance. Understanding what makes you happiest and nurturing that is what matters most in the long run.
Do you consider yourself a mix as well, or do you identify more with being an introvert or an extrovert?