Confessions of an outgoing introvert

What’s going through all our heads

Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

I’ve walked into thousands of rooms before.

Empty rooms.

Rooms full of friends.

Rooms full of strangers.

But over time, the way I approach them has become different.

Different due to experiences, both good and bad.

As we grow we follow our individual journeys. Everyone has ups and everyone has downs. These experiences shape who we become.

The person we were 5 years ago will not be the person you are today.

Growing up I was very outgoing.

I had lots of friends and spent almost every day with them.

I also played every sport under the sun. I Surfed. I Swam. I played tennis, soccer, rugby, boxing, water polo, skiing, you name it. I did it.

I was School Captain in primary school and never had any issues with meeting new people. In fact, I loved it.

But when I got diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, I became different.

Embarrassment, jealousy, and self-consciousness were all new emotions I regularly felt.

I was embarrassed by the way my body changed. I was skinny. 55 kgs to be exact. The medication I took also gave me severe acne.

I felt jealousy towards the people around me who seemed to live a carefree life and I was constantly self-conscious of what others were thinking.

I became quiet and spent most of my time at home. Only going out if I had to.

But then I found writing.

It helped me develop goals and aspirations. I found motivation, productivity, and the burning desire to get somewhere in life.

All of a sudden my forced introversion changed to choice introversion.

I didn’t want to hang around people who didn’t have aspirations.

I didn’t want to be a part of things that didn’t get me closer to my goals.

I spent weekends writing. I spent nights writing. I skipped birthday parties and social events.

I also do a lot of things in public but I do them alone.

I hike alone.
I go to the beach alone.
I go to cafes alone.
I go to the movies alone.

Not because I’m scared or insecure to be around people but because I stuck by my side through everything so I’m content being around myself.

I trust myself and I work best when there’s no one around.

That’s not to say I don’t see people. I’ve loosened up a fair bit. I do see friends every week.

It’s more the point that I hit my ‘person limit’ quite quickly.

I like spending 4–5 days without seeing anyone. Working on myself and doing exactly what I want to do.

I like not having to accommodate others.

I’m about to move to a new city where I don’t know anyone. For most, that would be a hard decision. Leaving friends and family behind would be an unquestionable ‘no’. But for me, it’s an easy ‘yes’. I’ll meet new people. I’ll make new friends and my family will always be there to visit.

This is when I decided that I’m an outgoing introvert.

What is an outgoing introvert?

There are a few things I’ve noticed which make me come to the conclusion that I’m an outgoing introvert. They’re personality traits I don’t often tell anyone and have become stronger with time.

Here they are:

1. Some social situations I love, some I hate

I don’t like big groups of people but love hanging out with a couple of people. I love being at the beach but hate nightclubs.

2. I fucking hate small talk

I don’t care how your day was. I don’t want to talk about mine. I feel great. Always will. The beach was great. My week was great. Didn’t do much on the weekend, thanks for asking.

There is nothing more boring than small talk.

If someone walked up to me and asked me ‘who’s your favorite pornstar?’, that’s something I want to talk about.

Or the most intimidating situation I’ve been in. The weirdest dream I ever had. The best memory I have. Which one of my past girlfriends do I wish I never broke up with.

I will talk about anything and you want to know how my sandwich at lunch was?

Fuck, I hate small talk.

3. People seem to think I’m an extrovert

I get told I’m extroverted and in social situations, I act like it.

4. I’m perfectly okay with being by myself

As I said, I can easily go 4–5 days without seeing anyone and not get bored. I’m good at entertaining myself and am happy doing it.

5. I refuse to go to networking events

I think they’re fake and everyone is only there to get something out of someone.

There’s no genuine connection. No relationship building. Just greed.

6. I’d rather have 2 good friends than heaps of ‘friends’

Give me 2 best friends who I can truly be myself with over a group of ‘friends’ any day.

7. I’m not shy, scared or quiet

Regardless of whether I want to be there or not, I’m not uncomfortable. I’ll talk to everyone and have a good time.

8. If I can’t contribute I’ll most likely stop listening

If you’re talking about a topic that I can’t add to, then chances are I’ve stopped listening. I like being able to contribute and don’t like to feel like I’m not adding value.

9. I will talk to you till the cows come home if you’re interesting

Like number 2, If you’re interesting, I will never get tired of talking to you.

But if you’ve got the personality of a brick wall, I’ll walk away and I won’t feel awkward about it.

This isn’t intended to help you in any way.

Instead, it’s to show you that just because someone seems extraverted there’s a possibility that they are actually introverted.

I know there are millions of other people out there who consider themselves outgoing introverts.

So this is an insight into how they behave and what they’re thinking.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +422,678 people.

Subscribe to receive our top stories here.