TOP 12 THINGS PEOPLE GET WRONG ABOUT EXTROVERTS
I’m an extrovert. As in ENF-to-da-fuckin-P, extrovert.
So much has been written about the “misunderstood” introverts, yet for those of us who NEED HUMAN INTERACTION for energetic source, it becomes a social clusterfuck, when folks have misconstrued notions of why we act as we do.
I’ll premise this post by admitting, I am not a psychologist (trist), nor anyone with a license to tell you ANYTHING about the human psyche nor intricate social/cognitive determinant of behavioral affect. I considered medical school for about 10 minutes.
I decided to peruse doctoral studies in some other shit, instead.
However, my EXPERTISE is that having lived in the body of an extroverted empath, and having had to navigate the murky landscape of dating, friendships, familial relationships, where most have NO CLUE why you do, say and behave in ways that are often misunderstood.
So, here you go.
- Extroverts NEED external stimulation, yet do not always WANT to be stimulated in the way you might think. The idea of being “on” is generally a misnomer. We get tired too. There are times when we’d rather not go out and would be most happy to chill with a small group of select friends or a special bae. While we want and need stimulation from our environment, we don’t always need to be at the latest soiree, or up in the swanky loft, sipping on Dom. Sometimes we simply just want to talk on the phone, or watch a movie. And other times, we want to dance in the park or splash in public water fountains.
- Extroverts are NOT always flirting with you! We are social. We like to be around folks. But just because we call you, text you, or want to hang out, DOESN'T MEAN WE WANT TO DATE YOU. The good thing tho, if we do, you will know. (Which brings me to my next point…)
- Folks, not all extroverts want your man/woman! This is especially true if you are single/newly divorced around the “married/boo’d-up crew.” Being friendly doesn’t negate boundaries. And quite honestly, many of us wonder why YOU’RE WITH HIM/HER (ok, that’s not nice). But, understand, the only way someone will take your partner, is if s/he is a willing participant. That, my love is an issue with your partner. Not us.
- Extroverts do not all have personality disorders. Some do, but not all. With the advent of “Internet Psychiatrist, MD” everyone who has a excitable affect, MUST be a narcissist. Um, no. Cluster B Personality Disorders (Narcissist Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Pathological Histrionic Personality Disorder) are A PERVASIVE PATTERN OF MALADJUSTED INTERPERSONAL AND SOCIAL BEHAVIORS. And YES, there are traits of “attention seeking” behaviors indicative of the Cluster Bs (primarily NPD, BPD, and HPD), yet, the DIFFERENCE between these behaviors and extroversion is that the “attention-seeking” drive of personality disorders comes from pathology, is extremely manipulative and socially maladjusted. Oh and BTW, there is such a beast as an “Introverted Narcissist/Sociopath”. Seyzer Kose, anyone?
- Extroverts like to talk. A. Lot. I work in politics. I have worked as a college professor, a community educator, been a guest on a political talk show, and host a spiritual podcast. What’s the connection. I GET TO TALK! Socially, talkativeness, is viewed in a negative light. Since we were kids, we were told to “stop talking so much.” We can’t. And trust me we try. We are not attempting to “overtalk you”, nor ignore you. We hear you. It just takes us a minute to let it register.
- WE ARE NOT ALL SHALLOW AND VAPID. SOME OF US ARE ACTUALLY PRETTY DAMN SMART.
- Sometimes we need to retreat. It’s not that we’re mad at you. We get overloaded too! Extroverts are the life of EVERYONE’S PARTY. Trust me, most extroverts are the “happy place” many of their friends and family members go to when they need a pick-me-up. And we need to chill too.
- Extroverts are HEAVILY influenced by toxic relationships and negative energy. While extroverts are not necessarily “toxic”, WE ARE VERY ATTRACTIVE TO THOSE WHO ARE; and we absorb that toxic energy in higher doses. Hence, why when a toxic relationship ends, the pain is usually more intense. Especially if the person was a dominate source of energy. It’s not fun…
- We find energy from many sources. Including people, animals, nature, and yes, SOCIAL MEDIA. You might find yourself in an intense (or lighthearted and delightful) social media banter, that feels as if you’re sitting a laughing with a good friend over a Bellini. You might be chatting with an extrovert.
- Extroverts NEED external stimulation, but DO NOT want it from everyone. Major misconception. Many believe that extroverts will accept all attention. Um. Fuck no. Primarily because extroverts GET a lot of attention, it’s important for us to be discerning about the attention-source. Energy is energy. And we will absorb it. Good or bad. This explains why many extroverts will simply walk away from a bad relationship rather than “work it out.” I’d rather stare at a wall and visualize redecorating it, than to spend another 10 minutes with someone who has crappy energy; or a relationship that is sucking my whole-ass life out of me.
- We are not “attention seeking”, we seek energy from external sources. This is by far the MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTION. While extroverts need interaction, we are usually not pathological or manipulative about it. If a friend is not avail, we just find another source. (Which can cause problems in a relationship if…)
- If you are one who tends to retreat, or emotionally detach, YOU CAN UNINTENTIONAL EMOTIONALLY ABUSE AN EXTROVERTED PARTNER. First, not all partners who need time alone are emotionally abusive. However, it becomes very problematic with primary partners who emotionally detach, or in some way are unavailable. I had a relationship with an introverted partner who would “retreat” and ironically, I needed him emotionally. It created a cycle of “needy” behavior and more “distancing” from him. To that person — especially, since he’s purportedly had toxic and manipulative partners — the “need for his energy” read like manipulation; and due to my history of narcissistic partners, his “need to retreat” felt like emotional abuse. Eventually (among other reasons), this divergence in energy, ended the relationship. Yet, I learned a very valuable lesson: Denying an extrovert of energy, and not setting parameters for how to deal with the individual energy needs, is a death trap. Especially if the “energy source” has become centralized (the partner is the primary source of energy, and might see other sources as “threatening” or “cheating”). If one wants to be in a relationship with an extrovert, s/he MUST set boundaries and establish “protocol” when dealing with their extroverted partner. If you are a partner with a history of infidelity, you might not be best suited for an extroverted partner. If you are one who likes to “retreat”, you might not the best suited for an extroverted partner. If you find that you are madly in love with an extrovert, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND your partner. If not, it will often result in the demise of the relationship. Not all extroverts cheat. Not all extroverts will manipulate for energy. We will simply (and painfully) move on to other sources of energy. Trust and understanding is PARAMOUNT!
In a wrap, we’re the enigmas, social butterflies and “happy places” of the word. Love us or hate us, we’re here to STAY.
And will give you one hell of a ride..
Off to dance in the fountain……